No justice for women in India
Posted by P Mukherjee
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 – Nothing new or unusual happened on the night 16th December 2012 at a busy road of Delhi as it is a routine affair. But, another daughter of India namely Nirbhaya, a 23 years physiotherapy student belonging to lower caste “Dalit”, was tortured along with her colleague for complete 35 minutes after which she was raped by six persons. Her internal organs were damaged. It is pertinent to mention here that the girl had undergone three surgeries at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi after which she developed cardiac arrest and brain injury.
Later, on 26 December, she was airlifted to Singapore for her treatment at Mount Elizebeth Hospital. Indian High Commissioner to Singapore Mr. T C A Raghavan appointed a liaison officer with the family to satisfy the foreign media persons on the behalf of family. The liaison officer did not allow them to speak claiming that they don’t know English and it was important to maintain the privacy of the parents of victim girl. No one can deny the fact that poor Nirbhaya was forced to give statements again and again before the metropolitan magistrate, despite her critical condition. Complaints from the relatives as well as by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit are on the record that senior police officials were interfering in the process.
It would interesting to note that there is a strong consensus in India that the victim girl was subjected to rape because her dress was below morality. However, there is no or little truth behind the idea and it is only to protect the culprits as Nirbhaya was a decent girl. Had she been a daughter from upper caste no one dared to talk so. Banwari Lal Singhal, a BJP legislator from Rajasthan demanded government to prohibit private schools from making girls to wear skirts as uniform, citing it as the reason behind increased cases of sexual harassment. He termed it as a social crime against women. Opposition party leader, Sushma Swaraj has demanded death penalty for rapists. Police leveled murder charges against only four accused including the driver of the bus and will file the Charge Sheet against them on 3 January 2013. According to official record held by Human Rights agency working in New Delhi, 800 rape cases have been reported in Delhi region in 2012 alone. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB data has shown an increase over 522 rape cases reported in Delhi and reflected that the number of rapes in India shot up from 1953 to 2011 by a staggering 873 percent while between 2007 and 2011, rape incidents increased by 9.7 percent. It need to be kept in mind that only one present of rape or sexually assaulted female Indian approach police stations to register a case.
Complaint by the female working women, especially the internees at the Indian hospitals are quite frequent that they are sexually abused and those who refuse to cooperate are tortured or their lives made miserable. This is, but, the true face of India, where women do not share such incidents with their fathers, brothers or even mothers and sisters, with a fear that they may lose their lives if they challenge powerful or their source of income would exhaust. There is no doubt that there is a need for Indian young girls and women to observe dress code according to their eastern tradition and culture but all women need to be respected.
One wonders that it has been mentioned in a Hadith that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) once said, “ When a female child is born, Allah the Almight sends His angels to the dwellers of that house and pray that peace may be upon them. The angels then cover the newly born girl in the shadow of their wings and caressing the head of the baby with their hands they say that, this is a weak and frail person, whoever will bear the responsibility of cherishing her will go on having the blessing of Allah as long as that person remains alive.” Irrespective of our faiths ie Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian or others our women folk are blessing from Allah and we must respect and them and give due honour.(Afshain Afzal)