? The Brave Heart: Lessons from Delhi

The brave heart, the young woman got brutally beaten and gang-raped in a Delhi bus on December 16 night, and died even after all possible medical care right up to Singapore. Long before this incident, Delhi was already becoming famous as ‘rape capital’, but as usual the administration lives in Kumhkaran Mode and was sleeping. The bill and the action plan against the women assault and rape remained in cold box for years. As usual, the parliamentarians and the government had many different priorities for winning the votes or for getting their own vested interests served.

For the first time, the name of the victim didn’t appear in the media. The incident with the brave heart who has got numerous name in media, Nirvaya, Damini,Anamika, Jyoti, stirred the minds of the younger generations and the massive protests all over the country is continuing demanding a justice for the brave heart and asking for an assurance from the government that similar accident will not get repeated in the future. The government is worried, as this movement is not political, and of a different type without clear-cut leaders who can be managed, almost impromptu and appears to continue for considerable time.

I am ashamed for one another reason too. Globally, the media has given a real bad publicity with this news extensively tarnishing the name of India.

What can be the root cause behind so many rapes in India? Can it be enumerated and action agreed? What can be done to stop it through administrative steps? Can the police force stop this malaise? Can the mindsets of the Indian males be changed through right education? Should not the potential victims be prepared to face the rapist in effective manner? How can parents participate in this? Can the technology be of help? What can be the steps to make a woman safe? The government, again as usual, has set up a task force and one more special high power committee.

Few points that can certainly be considered by the governments at the centre and in the states in its policies:

1. Let the women reservation bill be passed unanimously. The government must convince Lalu and Mulayam for supporting it and take steps to encourage community policing throughout the country.

2. Women must be encouraged to join all types of jobs and also given preference. For examples, let the government encourage the women as bus conductors and also drivers. With a woman conductor in the bus, the situation will be different.

3. The state police must have at least 40 percent women and are given all sorts of tough assignments and made effective.

4. At school level, the physical education must be compulsory and girl children must be encouraged to undergo sufficient training for self defence against criminals and serving the weak in the society.

5. Gender sensitization and value building must be part of the course in school and parents must participate.

6. Social opinion builders must reverse the traditional views of the people starting from killing of female feticide to dowry and torture throughout the life till death. All those involved and accused in cases against women must get social boycott. Persons such as Kanda should be punished with life imprisonment.

What are we doing as a society to reduce inequality of access to sex? I don’t mean publicly provided brothels — though those are not unknown in history — but just the right to a normal conjugal life.

The New Year Day of 2013 will be remembered in history of India for its uniqueness and with difference at least by those who across the country instead of celebrating took part in the protest for the great cause arising out of the death of the brave-heart of Delhi.

And unfortunately while there are protests all over the country the shameful act of rape and molestation of women and girls are going on unabated without any fear. This shows how deep and wide the damage has gone.

The nation must hear the voices of the new class of aggrieved.

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