Millennium Post

Let lust not be an excuse for rape

The horrific incident of gangrape of a 23-year-old woman in a Delhi bus is assuming national importance and rightly so. Thanks to relentless media reporting about the incident, the lawmakers, ministers and the public are, for once, on the same page about the need for speedy, effective and exemplary punishment for the men who indulged in raping and savaging this woman inside on Sunday late evening. Having boarded a private chartered bus from Munirka after a movie show on their way to Dwarka, the woman and her companion were brutally abused and raped and flung out of the bus on a flyover near the airport, severely injured and unconscious, in a state of semi-nakedness. Rescued by the police, they were admitted to Safdarjung hospital where the young man was discharged later but the girl is in a critical condition. She is on ventilator support and under watch of a team of doctors who had to remove her intestines, on which gangrene had set in, due to repeated beating with an iron rod to brutalise her into submission.  

The savagery of the incident has stunned the nation. From the doctors who are treating her to the usually reticent Prime Minister to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, to the Supreme Court and women’s organisations, everyone has expressed their horror that such an incident could happen in a country that prides itself on being a civilisation. The apex court has expressed its desire to look into the case suo motu while Gandhi has written to the home ministry under Sushilkumar Shinde to act quickly on this case and bring the culprits to justice. PM Manmohan Singh has also expressed his deepest concerns. Shinde is on the job and has promised strong preventive measures and effective movement on the case. Protests have been planned across the city this weekend. The singular concern is: how can six perverted men even think they can get away after committing a crime that has few recent parallels. Are Delhi’s streets considered a haven for perverts and rapists at large? Are women nothing but an object of lust on whom one can, at wish, perform forced acts of carnal rape and bloody abuse? The parents of the girl have pleaded death sentence for the perpetrators which we think can have no room for conjecture. Nothing short of the fiercest punishment can act as a deterrent for crimes of such indescribable nature.

But above all we need to look at ourselves as a nation and as a culture. Is this what we have become? Are we nurturing rapists and barbarians at every nook and corner? If six men can gang up against a hapless woman at ten o’clock at night and perform rape on her on a moving bus for forty minutes with apparent impunity, are we really not a sick nation at heart? This incident should not become history. Law will take its course and the nation will protest and pray for the woman’s life. But above all, the nation should look into itself and question its very foundations! If anywhere, this could be a good beginning.
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