There has been an outrage all over the country in the light of the 16th December incident. The gang rape of the 23-year old physiotherapy student in a moving bus has ignited a general outcry across India. Candle marches have been held all over Delhi. One such march was held at Sector-6 market in Dwarka on Saturday, 22nd December. It started in sector-6 and went up to the sector-12 market.

The people, close to 150 in number, carried candles and filled the atmosphere with slogans condemning the crime. Two groups marched on the roads. One group had ladies ranging from little girls to elder women. The other group consisted of teenagers. The energy and the anger could be felt throughout the streets.

The protestors halted the traffic for a little while, but cleared it soon. The candles and posters were later set on the footpath. A two-minute silence was observed for the well-being of the victim. The crowd also questioned the vigilance of the Delhi Police, as the bus went on a trip around Delhi for over 40 minutes. They expressed shock over how the victims were neglected by onlookers.

Archana Singh, a mother of two daughters, described “how utterly dangerous” it was for her and her daughters to step out of the house after dark.

Sahil Kukreja, a student, said “Capital punishment is the only fitting punishment for this heinous crime.”

Other punishments suggested for the crime were castration and public humiliation. People believe that any punishment that completely deters a criminal from committing such atrocity is the best punishment.

Suhani Rana says, “I can’t even imagine being in her place.”

The people pledged to fight for the right of women and to not let this matter become mere history. They also pledged to not blame the victims of this crime, referring to the stigma attached to the victims of such crimes. The incident has been very disturbing for the whole country. Schools like DPS Dwarka have stopped using private buses that are used to transport students.

Unlike the march at India Gate, however, there was not any violence in Dwarka and the Police force did not have to interfere. It was much more peaceful and people exercised their right to freedom of speech, without attracting any mishaps.

The victim is admitted in Safdarjung Hospital and has undergone two life-saving surgeries since the 16th. She is still in a critical condition due to an infection spreading across her body, the reason for which is supposed to be the iron rod. The doctors are worried about her delicate condition. She is communicating now, but with difficulty. No one but her mother has been allowed to meet her, given the fear of infection.

The only prayer India now has that the girl should come out of danger and the criminals should be punished properly, so that justice can prevail.


Shreya Mudgil
[email protected] 

In what is being seen as the next biggest uprising India saw since Anna Hazare’s India Against Corruption, the protest march that commenced today on India Gate has surely got the parliament at its toes.

The official time of beginning the protest was 9 am, however such was the charge amongst people that a significant crowd could be seen assembling from 7:30 am. Slogans of “Delhi Police hai hai!”, “Hang the rapist” and “We want justice” echoed across the entire stretch of Rajpath. Several street play groups came up and vehemently put forward the appeal of death penalty, or something more harsh and cruel for the perpetrators. A very significant part of this protest was that a lot of school students could be seen, accompanied by their teachers. They could be seen holding banners and echoing the appeals that the entire nation seems to voice- punish hard and punish fast.

Celebrities preferred to hide behind the veils of Twitter and their support ended at that. “It seems ironical. The same celebrities who say so many things about social change on T.V. never actually do something to use their star power to the fullest potential”, said Nikita, a protestor. Gopal Krishna Gandhi, former Governor of Bengal showed up to voice his support.

According to me, this protest was slightly different from its past counterparts and by different I mean in a good sense. Lesser were the number of men who went to protests to engage in some “bird watching”. Lesser were the attention seeking people trying to hog into media limelight by coming to such territories. Lesser were the number of people who came with their friends to watch the tamasha. Of course, you could spot some bored looking men wandering aimlessly, giving the protestors a queer expression, clearly realizing they don’t fit in. You could also spot some ladies all dressed up in the “perfect protest March ensemble” trying to attract a media person to let her protest in front of the camera.

However, as far as the majority was concerned, the anger within them seemed genuine and an honest concern for the rape victim could be felt. There was unity in the crowd which prevented the crowd from turning into a violent mob. The only violence that existed was towards the inefficiency of the police and law makers.

Later on, things turned a little problematic when the crowd tried to force themselves in into the President House premises. The police began a lathi charge and tear gas was splashed. This only perpetuated the anger towards the government. Many people were injured and admitted into RML hospital.


Image credits: Kirti Narain 

The recent developments in Delhi were appalling; and unfortunately, they are the dire reflection of our society. I am the part of the city-Delhi where we actively encourage and assist inhumane violation of our women. To serve the purpose, our supreme police force works around the clock to actively remove any encumbrance to the rape of a woman. Here, we welcome you to satiate your most carnal desires and we find them justified! After all we are the rape capital of the world and we thoroughly believe in “if it is consensual, it ain’t fun.”  Here, women get raped, bystanders look on and the help-lines don’t work!

The article 21 of the constitution gives us-the women, the right to bodily integrity- right to life and liberty to men and women both alike. But does that extirpate such crimes like molestation, does that promise a safe haven for us. I feel scared to walk on the roads now, after it is dark. Men can get drunk, and go out at night alone, wear what they want, and get in a car with any number of people of the same or opposite gender without the inherent risk of being assaulted, but women have to take precautions not to do the exact same things, then women are not free, and certainly not equal. Everyday women have to think how to avoid such tragedies; we may rise to the highest positions in business and academia, but we cannot walk in a skirt late in the evening, and rely on our police forces. Yes, indeed we are talking of gender equality.

Blame the victim- defence of the defenceless! We are asked to take precautions, not from bombs and bullets, but men! Ours is a civilised society, a free democratic society, where half of the population is expected to behave and dress up according to the other half. Am I really free if I am asked to restrict myself to prevent from being attacked by other members of the same society?  This is outrageous.

And the response this incident has evoked is despicable. My Facebook wall was swarmed with posts that condemn the victims, for being out late at night, for wearing provocative clothes, for wearing heavy make-up, for having male friends. There are people out there who believe that a woman would deliberately provoke a sexual assault! As if being a rape victim was so much fun. Rape is always unwanted, always uninvited! Rape is the most heinous crime. A woman that gets raped remains brutally scarred for her entire life. Frankly, I don’t understand why we debate that what-was-she-wearing?, what-time?, must-have-gotten-him-aroused. Rape is hardly about sex and it’s almost always about exerting power. Girls as young as 2 years old get raped, young boys get raped. What’s the arousal thing involved here? Civilised men should take a stand against it instead of justifying and blaming the victim.

And rhetoric in the parliament will not solve the problem, but stringent laws and prosecution will. Because the ones who commit the crime are very well aware of the loop-holes in our judicial system, which they conveniently exploit and then get away with horrendous crimes like rape.

In fact, in most of the rape cases that go to trial, only a handful is such in which the rapists are convicted.  In Mohd. Habib v/s State, the Delhi High Court allowed a rapist to go scot-free merely because there were no marks of injury on his penis- which the High Court presumed was a indication of no resistance. The most important facts such as the age of the victim (being seven years) and that she had suffered a ruptured hymen and the bite marks on her body were not considered by the High Court. Even the eye- witnesses, who witnessed this ghastly act, could not sway the High Court’s judgment.  Another classic example of the judicial pronouncements in rape cases is the case of Bhanwari Devi, wherein a judge remarked that the victim could not have been raped since she was a dalit while the accused hailed from an upper caste- who would not stoop to sexual relations with a dalit.

The constitution did witness amendments in the rape laws in 1983 but there is a need to commute life imprisonment to capital punishment in rape cases. The idea is simple, remove the weed and let the society grow undeterred. Castration (removal of male sex organ) was suggested by Delhi Judge Ms Kamini Lau and we would love to have a law that allows us to bobbitize or stone them to death, but our legal system will not. Capital punishment is possible, like in case of Dhanonjay Chatterjee and if not, then the least they could do is sentencing them to solitary confinement, for life, without bail. Every single day in darkness and isolation, till death.

But now they are resorting to stupid band-aid tactics…Banning tinted glasses as if all rapes happened in buses! The big tank of crime is leaking from all corners, but our government and law will prefer to put a little bit of plaster to temporarily deal with one little crack. And that is because they have been so accustomed to doing nothing that now when the people are angry and demanding action, they resort to such stupid solutions! But I am glad the people are angry, I am glad we are voicing our concerns in as loud a manner that our leaders cannot ignore.

Skipping the blame-game, let us think beyond punishments. What can we actually do? As a parent, I would regularly talk and watch over my children, not making topics like sex, rape a taboo but talking openly about it. As a teacher, I will constantly show the right path to my children. As a friend, I will be a good moral support; I would never let my friend indulge in anything that is faintly equivalent to harassing. As police, I will give a sense of security to the citizens. As a politician, I would work to uplift the nation. And as a society, I will contribute to create a healthy environment, reject those who cannot respect all sections.

I will be the change that I want to see.


Guest writer – Megha Baid, LSR