Rarely has a victim galvanised society into action the way the 23-yearold student of Delhi did (‘Asaram says rape victim should have ‘begged’,’ Gulf News, January 8). Her death should not slow us down. Her fight will not go in vain. Her sufferings should impel us to speak up. We need to find a solution immediately. We need to protect the women and female children of our country. Things can change only if we first change ourselves. We have to change the sexist mindset. We have to love and respect our daughters on a par with our sons. We need to treat them equally and give them equal liberty and punishments. Nobody should have the audacity of ripping apart the modesty of women taking them as the weaker half of our society. Weaker half should not mean lesser half.
From Dr Mohammad R. Abbas
This is really a matter of concern that a self-styled guru having thousands of followers is playing with the sentiments of a civilised society. Speaking at an event in Rajasthan the man who himself is under country’s legal scanner said that the gang-rape victim should have prayed and begged to let her go. This is the right time for government to take strict action against Asaram and ask him for a public apology. If this publicity stunt is not punished it will encourage other such leaders to carry on with their rubbish and play with public sentiment.
From Mohammad Mudassir Alam
If this incident had happened with his daughter or a girl from his asharam, then he would not have said this.
It’s true that no one can clap with one hand, but the guru is forgetting that people always slap with only one hand. He is asking for trouble by making such an insane statement.
Asaram has made these remarks because he wants publicity. It is so wrong that he is promoting himself by using a very unfortunate event.
Really you think she would not have begged for her life? It was six people against her and their motives were very clear because they had a bus with tinted windows. I don’t know how many such cases might have happened with how many girls, but they didn’t reach the media. This is the time for much awaited time for justice. I am glad that the case got picked up. If this girl won’t be given justice and this case won’t change the society it is clear that the country still lives in the dark ages.
When a woman is being raped do you think she didn’t beg them? Do you think she had enough time to recite the prayers? Why is media covering such worthless comments and people? The man needs to be punished rather than being publicised.
It is totally unacceptable for a religious scholar to give such an immature comment on the horrifying incident.
I was in a hotel in Dusseldorf, Germany, last year when I heard some noises but ignored and snuggled into my bed. My roommate peered out of the window and asked me if I heard the sound. She wondered if it was a woman in trouble. We could hear someone crying for help. I told her there was nothing we could do as we were strangers to the city. I went back to sleep but my room mate spent a sleepless night wondering if we could have saved a life. Delhi’s rape case immediately reminded me of the same and made me guilty. In such situations there is a natural tendency to indulge in the blame game. When we are in pain and searching for answers and solutions, it is so easy to blame everyone from the country’s chief to the police to the passers-by that ignored the two people lying helplessly on the road. But I want to ask that how often does each one of us actually connect deeply with fellow humans, to feel their pain, to understand and sympathise? But how can we do this unless we first connect with ourselves. Life is too busy, we are caught in the rat race and are busy stocking up money, houses, gadgets, jewellery and get disconnected with ourselves. A huge percentage of Indians experience poverty, yet on the other side we have the wealthy living in expensive houses, driving expensive cars and taking expensive holidays. Several homeless die of cold or heat in India’s poorer states. Thousands of children don’t go to school, thousands more go hungry. How many of us are guilty of turning a blind eye and a deaf year as I did that night in Dusseldorf? I raise my hand in shame and make a commitment to myself to look deep within and acknowledge my own shadow. I encourage others also to do so in whatever way they can.
From Ms Nirmala Natarajan
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