Grief Over Gangrape

The death of 23 year old Delhi gang-rape victim has plunged India into a deep mourning. There have been silent protests in the country, even in the US where Indian-Americans gathered at the Gandhi statue in Washington to hold a candle-light vigil for the deceased. Even UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has voiced his “deep sorrow” at the incident. In an unprecedented gesture, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi received the body at the Delhi airport when it arrived from  Singapore. Gandhi has promised “swift and fitting punishment” to perpetrators as well as stringent laws for women protection. The incident has also generated a wave of sympathy in Kashmir. All Kashmiri leaders across the ideological divide have offered their condolences to the family. More importantly, the tragic incident has shaken the conscience of the nation and generated a deep public consciousness about the violence against women.  There is now a hope that the government would be moved to enact stringent laws to protect women in public and work places. At the same time, there is a need not to limit the displays of public outrage and the empathetic official response to the atrocities and excesses committed in Delhi and Mumbai. While Kashmiris have been genuinely moved by the story of the Delhi gang-rape victim, they also harbour a deep sense of grievance against the state’s refusal to act fairly in crimes of heinous nature committed in the state over the past two decades. While we can only appreciate the central government’s attempt, albeit a bit belated, to commensurately respond to the public outrage over the gangrape, both the J-K and central government have more or less refused to as much as acknowledge an international civil society group’s report against hundreds of police and security personnel responsible for some heinous crimes in the state over the past two decades. What baffles every Kashmiri is why wouldn't state be a more professional dispenser of justice even in contexts which it perceives as unfavourable. And the primary requirement for so doing is to purvey justice, whenever, wherever and in whatever context the need for it arises. It will therefore be a pity if the government approaches Delhi gang-rape as a single case or a Delhi-specific incident. The incident must trigger a sense of outrage and the response that applies to all irrespective of the region, caste, creed and of course, cause.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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