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Millennium Post

Look beyond laws to bring meaningful change

In the brutal abuse, leading to death, of the Delhi gang rape victim, the Indian nation has witnessed one of the most heinous and barbaric crime against humanity. The brave girl died in a Singapore hospital and was cremated in Delhi on 30 December. Her body was received at the airport by none other than the Prime Minister of the country and the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. India has witnessed during the last three weeks unprecedented awakening of its conscience as spontaneous outpouring of protests engulfed the nation in which a Delhi police constable lost his life in the scuffle with young protesters.

The brutal murder has badly shaken every Indian and poses a question mark on one of the world’s finest civilizations. How a few hooligans riding in a bus in the capital of the country could indulge in such frenzied rape and then insert an iron rod in her private part to puncture her intestine and leave her to bleed to death. Imagine the pain she must have gone through. How could a fellow citizen of a civilised country she loved and was born in indulge in and afford to tolerate such mad orgy and such extreme cruelty on her. Now that she is no more, it is for the country to ponder if it was her crime that she was born in India where such crimes are still being committed. This incident is not only a crime against women and humanity but against the very existence of dignified Indianness- India that is known to the world as home of non violence, spirituality, ethics and higher values of humanity.

This crime and the mass protest by the youth has raised a few questions which all the civilized citizens of this country must answer for themselves. The country must be reborn as a nation of civilised people who are modern and forward looking. Many people will say that a few criminals do not make us a nation of rouges but since the conscience of the nation has been raised it is time we resolve to rectify our mindset. Perhaps what needs to be corrected is the way society and people have taken to understand the task of governance in the present time and defining the culture in the mad rush for materialistic life. Day in and day out we read news reports of shoot outs after drunken brawls in pubs, roads and other public places. The mental make-up of these people is no different from the mental make-up of these rapists. There is a serious fracture in our society which calls for drastic remedial measures.

The uprising India has witnessed offers chance to our society to stem the rot. No amount of government bashing will help unless as a people we know how to respect the law and human dignity. This does not mean that we should not have better governance in this country or police reforms should not take place. But what also to needs to be done is better parenting to inculcate the values of civilised society. Schools should stress on better character building and respect for human dignity and love for our culture.

Dr VK Bahuguna is Director General of Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun and Chancellor of FRI University

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