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What Do We Do?
by Ananya S Guha Bookmark and Share
Reports of rape cases are coming from all over the country. And as the writer, film maker Nikhil Sharda says : they are all 'alleged' cases. It's a wonder that so much evil is taking place, even when we have not reconciled to the death of  'Damini '. What is the use of describing her as India's Daughter? The parents have lost a precious daughter, how will they ever recover from this shock, the shock of their daughter not only being raped, but finally murdered? Let's not be unequivocal, she has been raped and then murdered.

And all this time our leaders dithered. One said, she could not bear to meet the lady, or talk to her. And when after the death, young people gathered to mourn her death, the leader appeared, in a sudden show of support and solidarity. Why were policemen deployed in Raisina Hill, this immediately angered the students, when all they wanted was some comfort, assurance and empathy from the Home Minister, the Prime Minister or the President? They were all there waiting for some comforting words, because they were and still are insecure. Instead they find policemen, tear gassing and lathi charging, and irately they  countered such action.  The tragedy is that the sadness of this death, the sadness that has enveloped the educated youth, and the country as a whole,  has not been understood in the proper context. Instead, their protest, is seen as a law and order problem.

The death of the constable could have been avoided, if only the leaders had calmed down the protesters. After the death of the para medic student, the protesters mourned and grieved, which showed a peaceful remonstration of saddened people unable to get reconciled to the tragic truth.

Our political leaders have to understand, that the entire nation is in a state of bewildered shock, and traumatized. December 29th will certainly go down as one of the ' Blackest ' days in the annals of Indian history.

In Shillong where I live civil rights leaders assembled in Don Bosco Square, which epitomizes an educational centre, as many of Shillong's schools and colleges are situated there. There were candle light protests, and posters underlying and signalling  the tragedy, which at once speaks of how abonimable people in general felt about this affair. On the 30th too, I saw some students lighting candles.

The hurt, anger have not been doused. They are going to stay for a long time. Our leaders should realize that this is internal security, which is blemished, and only retribution and justice will ameliorate feelings to some extent. The next, is to concretize permanent measures to address brutal attacks on women. Simply attending funerals, and mouthing platitudes will not do. Nor, is deploying police men in matters of civil unrest,  any solution.

What do we do now? The youth are harassed, afraid. They want assurance, assurance of precious lives, and their security. Can the Government give these? The least we can do for the young lady is to pay tribute to her memory, by declaring a day of National Mourning.
More by :  Ananya S Guha
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Article Comment I had commented on Rajendar Puri's article ‘After the rape…’ that the act of rape is the fulfilling act of a general social malaise. The young men who committed the act of student rape were of that society. Their attitude reflects their perception of the sexual mores of society.

However, we may conjecture that the subsequent violence of their actions was no doubt triggered by the victim’s and her male companion’s probable use of the strongest possible terms of invective to repel the advances of the young men, to turn into a form of retaliation by the gang for their injured personal pride, culminating in the injurious use of a ‘metal rod’ (though one wonders what sort of object this is that the men should have it to hand) inserted in the woman’s body..

We all know what it’s like to be verbally abused, and how it almost invariably prompts a reaction, and rapidly escalates into a row, in which the mutual perception is one of hatred. In a rape situation, when the aggressor is incensed by verbal abuse from the victim, the actions are less of sexual lust as of expressing rage in sexual actions. We are all familiar with the use of sexual actions to express contempt, if only in the use of two fingers stuck up in the air.

It has been reported that an act of rape is committed in New Delhi every 14 hours. In none of these cases is a woman seriously injured, the act being confined to the demands of sexual lust. The woman may struggle, and cry for help, or repeatedly utter ‘no’, but she doesn’t antagonise her assailant to the extent it becomes necessary for him to attack her on grounds of injured pride causing her lasting injury as in the student rape case.

The student rape case does bring out the ugliness of rape as an act of violation that in the normal case of rape where no life-threatening injury is caused - except, of course, psychologically - is brought to speedy closure, the victim often not reporting the case.
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