After India recently witnessed one of its most horrific rape cases, the hitherto apathetic public decided not to let the incident slip as just another sexual crime in a sprawling metrapolis.
Despite the freezing cold, Indians battled batons and water cannons in recent weeks to pressurise their leaders to guarantee safety for women in Delhi. Overtly, their tactics seemed to have worked; major figures of the ruling Congress party — Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde — have assured that the authorities are keen to improve security in metropolitan areas to prevent such heinous crimes.
But it seems like the government is failing to honour its lofty promises. In another disturbing incident, the Delhi police reported the case of a 42-year-old woman who was kidnapped, drugged and gang raped in a car by three men from Uttar Pradesh, before being dumped in southeast Delhi.
The brazen attack, which follows nearly two weeks of anti-rape protests, is a damning confirmation of the ineffectuality of the police.
And this is not it. A 17-year-old girl, who was abducted from Patiala, Punjab, drugged and then repeatedly raped, subsequently committed suicide after the police pressured her to drop her case and marry one of her attackers. It is utterly shameful that the Punjab police actually took 14 days to actually register her case after the girl and her family reported it. Rape cases are grossly underreported in South Asia, but even when victims are courageous enough to demand justice, the authorities refuse to take them seriously and, in fact, often collude with the perpetrators. And this horrifying incident has also shown that the home minister’s recommendations of greater night patrols and stringent checking of buses is not enough. In fact, the attitude of the law enforcement agencies in India badly needs an overhaul.
But this time around, it’s clear that the authorities will not have it easy. The government will have to do more than just make tall claims and earnest vows to appease India’s agitated masses. They want better security for women, and they won’t stop their strident chants till they get it.
Indian gang rape victim dies; New Delhi braces for protests
(Reuters, IANS) / 29 December 2012
As some other protesters rightly mentioned the other day, it is a shame, to the last degree, to be an Indian - Prathap G., Sharjah.