August 11th, 2015
The pun on the word “Nirbhaya” is intended. It means to be fearless, but it is also a grim reminder of the fact that two-and a half years after the Delhi gang-rape-case (16th December, 2012), we are still nowhere near the resolution of crime against women in our capital city. Women on Delhi streets still fear for their bodies and their lives – they are not free to commute freely, without being told that they “invited” the assault against themselves.
It seems just like yesterday when we devoured every snippet of news related to the rape of this 23 year-old girl, who went to watch the movie with her male friend. While returning at 9 pm, no auto driver was ready to take them home. So they boarded a private bus in Munirak on that fateful night.
The next 84 minutes was a living hell for the duo. Their mobiles were snatched and they were beaten with rods because she protested against being raped brutally by six men. They were then thrown out of the bus with no clothes on their bodies. It was a shame indeed that no passer by stopped to help them. They were finally spotted by a highway patrol van and taken to the hospital. The brave girl died 13 days later in a hospital in Singapore due to multiple internal injuries including damaged intestines and skull fractures while her friend still lives with the scathing memory which is a nightmare to him.
The entire India had come on the roads in protest against such brutality and demanded poetic justice for the rapists. One of the accused hanged himself, four were sentenced to be hanged while the sixth was considered as minor and sent for juvenile reform.
All that horror, all that pain, all those demonstrations and candle marches, all the promises of the political parties to chart out a long term plan for safety of women in Delhi – did it bear any fruits? Not till date. And now we have a Delhi BJP MLA, OP Sharma throwing away the resolution copy of inquiry commission to address the crime against women in Delhi and staging a walk out! The party opposed forming of an inquiry commission to address crimes against women in Delhi Vidhan Sabha on 3d August.
This is simply not a question of politics – it is a matter of saving our female friends, sisters, mothers and aunts from the lewd comments of sexual predators and from the scariest thing that can happen to a woman – rape and the subsequent physical and psychological trauma. We need strong safety measures for women to walk about without being afraid. We want to be “Nirbhaya”, fearless, not another “Nirbhaya”. We urge the ruling and opposition parties in Delhi to bury the hatchet and come together to form the inquiry commission to address crimes against women in Delhi.