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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Don't victimise the victim - no need to name Nirbhaya


cut short on Dec 29 when she breathed her last at  Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital after battling for survival for 13 days. She has made the citizens flock to the square but Q always remains on whether the country  will rise after this or will this be another forgotten story with no end?   Social media, Press – and all other forms are forums for debating and perhaps initiating but can never be the end.  The calls may never reach those whom they should reach ~ unless the language is one which they can understand.  

Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Shashi Tharoor has sparked off another controversy on Twitter, by stating that the government should ‘honour’ the Delhi gangrape victim by naming the new anti-rape law after her, if her parents don’t object to it. He wonders what interest is served by continuing anonymity of the gang rape victim and why not name & honour her as a real person with her own identity?.

By naming the law after Nirbhaya, would she be honoured in any manner or would the present society attach some stigma to her life…  we all need to fight the stigma that is attached to rape but is naming the victim the only way to do this?, especially the sufferer who for no fault of her endured cruel assault and paled away.  Are there any instances of victims coming out in public, being honoured or least not ridiculed and looked down !   You name the assailant, punish him ~ many a times Human rights activists would start arguments that ‘it is the ill of the society and not that of the individual – the perpetrator’.  

Nation does get reasonably angry, anger seethes when you read and hear of such incidents ~ but short lived and forgotten in a few days or till the next thing takes over.  For sometimes newschannels would busy themselves running ‘breaking news’, interviewing people, organizing debates and slowly things fade out.  It was not like the the tragedy didn’t sink into our conscience, altogether. It was also not as if we didn’t shudder every time news about her trials hit our ears. It did. The unflinching, undaunted protesters demanding justice on the streets of Delhi, was proof enough. And the less fortunate, who didn’t have a TV channel to flaunt the breadth of their conscience, had to make do with Facebook status updates, declaring, with great sombreness that they have not partied on  New Year’s eve.  Saying on FB or Twitter that you are concerned and not celebrating New Year for this incident is good, but simply not enough ! 

Now before the fire dies, you read of more victims on newspapers, more unreported incidents ~ there is no point in claims to moral greatness without trying for some tough measures aimed at curbing all menace.  In between Honey singh the rapper  was in news as people tried drawing line between obscene content and sensual imagery.  There is no need for getting into greater details of flesh and blood of the victims, everyone knows that it is painful and numbing ~ never dig into their melancholy.. .. details are not going to provide any solace certainly to them. Nirbhaya for sure was not the strongest, iron-willed, fearless ~ a normal human being should most likely would have been most scared, terrified at what happened to her.  Let her rest in peace…

The Congress party tried to stay clear of the controversial remarks of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor favouring making public the identity of the 23-year-old gang-rape victim.  "It is his personal opinion," was the brief response of party spokesperson Rashid Alvi when asked to comment on Tharoor's remarks.

And before we forget, there is National Bravery Award for Indian children given each year by the Government of India, usually handed during the Republic Day parade to children for "meritorious acts of bravery against all odds." The awards are given to about 24 children, below the ages of 16. One of two coveted awards are the Sanjay Chopra Award and Geeta Chopra Award instituted in 1978, in the memory of Chopra children who laid their lives while confronting their kidnappers, and are given to a boy and a girl respectively for acts of bravery;  the awardees take part in Delhi Republic Day parade. The chopra children were the victims of a violence unleashed in 1978…

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
2nd Jan 2013.

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