After the dust had died down in the aftermath of the gruesome gangrape – and death – of a girl in a bus in Delhi, there has been a rising wave of anger and outrage against rape in India. One of the accused is a boy of 16 years, still a minor. It has shocked Indians how so many rapes go unreported in the country as more cases of rape are coming to light. The women, and men, have been emboldened to speak out and seek justice. It appears that in India of modernisation and glitzy malls something like violation of a woman’s right to exist is being threatened. For example see this page in the leading newspaper Times of India which is full of news about rape that occurred in different parts of the country. Women have been warned by politicians not to go out after dark and to cover themselves up when going out. However, this seriously curtails the freedom of the modern liberalised Indian woman.
Strict laws including chemical castration and death have been discussed for offenders. However, even in the event of imposing these laws the justice system in India remains painfully slow and resolution of cases take months. The political pundits have been slow to react to protesters who thronged the India Gate in Delhi demanding justice. A solution needs to be worked out soon, or, else, the anger will lead to either a political change at the centre or some other dire consequence. Only lately is the political class – who move around in guarded bullet-proof vehicles – waking up to the realities.
There has been endless coverage in the media, discussions following discussions in gory detail about the case. Will all the talk be forgotten and will the country return to the dark ages of atrocities against women remains to be seen. However, from the anger and outrage expressed it doesn’t seem likely.