By Aisha Sarvana
On the night of December 16th, an innocent medical student in New Delhi fell victim to morbid and horrible gang rape and abuse. The young woman died two weeks later in Singapore, where she was taken for more intensive care. Gruesome details of the incident leaves one in shock and nauseous, along with a mix of emotions.
As two weeks have gone by since the death of the 23 year-old, it is still hard to not wonder what kind of pain and agony her family must be going through. Unfortunately, gang rapes are prevalent in India, and many go unreported and unpunished. Social activists say that successive governments have done little to nothing to ensure the safety of women in India. This trauma lives on in the victims and their families. There is no explanation or justification for this cruel behavior.
The five adults accused are being faced with murder and other charges. However, the Indian public wants the severest punishments for this tragedy. In the opinion of Delhi protesters, each man should be hung. Some of the men accepted their guilt and believe that, yes, they should be hung, while others have tried to escape punishment. No matter what punishment is given to the men, it will never cure the heartache the family and friends of the victim are experiencing.
Protesters peacefully rallied in New Delhi, Lucknow, Hyderabad Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai in India to put pressure on the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh to get stricter on crimes against women. According to Reuters, Sonia Ghandhi, a powerful leader in Indian Congress addressed the protesters on state television saying, “As a mother and woman, I understand your grievances. Your voice has been heard and it deepens our determination to battle the pervasive and shameful social attitudes that allow men to rape and molest women with such impunity.
Unfortunately, however, this seems very uncertain. The government was very slow to react after this tragedy. It took a whole week for the Prime Minister to make a statement of the attack, which infuriated many protestors who saw it as a sign of government insensitivity. It is not okay for crimes such as this one to go unpunished or unreported. The government must step up to protect the women of their country, otherwise, crimes like this will keep happening, whether people find out about them or not. It is disgusting that the Prime Minister seemed so disinterested throughout the coverage of this story, and steps need to be taken immediately to change the laws and enforcement in India.
However, some Indian states are stepping up and taking baby steps to reach their goals. The state of Karnatka, announced the launch of a 24/7 help hotline to register sexual abuse complaints. And other state governments are shifting their focus towards cases and hearings that involve the rape and abuse of women as well.
Women more often than not become victims for heinous rape crimes. Unfortunately, such tragedies can and do happen all around the world, not just in India. It is of utmost importance to be aware and alert of all surroundings, especially in public transportation. A combination of the right laws, law enforcement, awareness and knowledge will help ourselves and those around us to always be protected from such situations.