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Millennium Post

Delhi is unsafe, didn’t we warn you!

The brutal rape of a young woman in a bus in Delhi is not only shameful for the government but a story of pure horror. And in this case the woman, a para medical student, was not ‘alone’. She was being accompanied by a male friend when moments after they boarded a bus, six people inside the bus ganged up, abused and brutally raped the girl, severely beat up the man and threw them out of the bus in the middle of nowhere, unconscious, in the middle of the night. To those ears unaccustomed to the ways of Delhi, this would seem pure fiction, a sort of thing that happens in lawless lands shown in popular cinema. But the truth is that this has happened in the so-called globalising city of Delhi, when these two hapless victims had boarded a private chartered bus from Munirka after 10 pm at night on their way to Dwarka. The man was accompanying his friend to drop her at her residence. The woman is now fighting for her life in a Delhi hospital with dreadful abdominal injuries caused by her being beaten repeatedly with an iron rod. Her only crime? She is a woman. The problem is that most sitting in their drawing room reading this will frown that knowing Delhi’s reputation, why would someone risk such a ride? Aren’t there options like a hired cab, or auto? There are two discontents to this thinking.

One, is there any guarantee that an auto or a cab would have been a safer option? We have enough incidents to believe on the contrary. But the second deterrent is more important. We have let the fear of abuse and rape in Delhi become so institutionalised that we rationalise the decisions we take.

In other words, if someone boards the bus at 11 am , it is willy-nilly his or her fault because in some sense he is she is doing it with the complete awareness that they could be brutally abused. This means that such rapes don’t happen much more often not because of police patroling or awareness or some dramatic improvement in the senses of Delhi’s sea of masculine predators, but because Delhiites ‘choose’ not to venture out in late evenings and when they do, they have enough security ‘cover’. And in any case, in a city that thrives itself on licking the rich, it’s the middle and poor class which move in the city insecure, hapless and always in fear of being on the receiving end of bestial aggression. Specially vulnerable are the city’s young student population, thousands of whom land here every year to study or make a career. The above incident has led to the usual outrage and protest and the Delhi police has already arrested three people and detained a few more. Police has also promised better vigilance. The state government is also mooting a proposal to set up fast track courts to bring justice to victims of such crimes. But that’s not enough. The punishment should be exemplary, so harsh that if anything, only that could act as a deterrent. And without getting intellectual about it, a death penalty should be seen as the only option of such heinous acts of crime! Nothing less will do.
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