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Millennium Post

Prayers for gang rape victim

The prayers of the common people of India are with the 23-year-old paramedical student who was gangraped in a moving bus in the national capital last Sunday, as she undergoes treatment at a super speciality clinic in Singapore. A fighter, the girl has emerged as an emblem of strength and courage, as doctors attending to her at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi, where she had been receiving treatment for the past 11 days before being flown to Singapore on Wednesday, informed of her alert state and battle to survive. On Thursday, chief executive of the Singapore hospital, Kelvin Loh, said in a statement that the young woman remains in ‘an extremely critical condition’. ‘A multi-disciplinary team of specialists is taking care of her and doing everything possible to stabilise her condition,’ he added. The courage that she exhibited in standing up to her abusers when they attacked her friend, and that she has shown throughout her treatment, has given the nation hope. We want her to survive, to give hope to others, to finish her fight for justice. For though, the protests, debates and demands for justice that started with her has expanded to become a plea for justice for the womankind in general, she, and the abuse she faced remains at the core of it.

Which makes one fear though, what if she was removed to dilute the protests back home. Was the government, which has been facing flak over the lack of security, judicial paralysis and police atrocity in beating up protesters hoping that if she is removed from the scene the protests will die a natural death. Or that in case she succumbs to her injuries, the reaction in the city and the country, will be easier to control, than if she was present here. We would like to think that isn’t the case, we would like to think, that the government wishes her to recover as much as we do, and not just to save its face or buy a few more votes in the next election. We would like to hope that the government is sincere when it assures women of better security and speedy justice for abuse victims. But in a country where the president’s son makes comments like women participating in the protests were ‘pretty women who were dented and painted’,  it is difficult to have much hope from the leadership. If the first citizen of the country has not been able to teach his son to respect for the women, what hope is there for the uneducated millions. Isn’t it ridiculous then or mere wishful thinking, to expect that holding a placard saying ‘Don’t teach me what to wear, teach them not to rape,’ will change ground realities.
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