Death of Nirbhaya: Here is what we owe the young woman

Nirbhaya is gone and leaves behind a shamed and a mourning nation. In her death Nirbhaya has become the symbol of how we have, as a country and people let her and her family down. Let her down we have and many thousands like her every year. Delhi reportedly has more rape cases than any other city in India, with instances of reported rape rising at a rate of 17% every year.

The outrage against assault against this young Indian, with everything to look forward to in her life has galvanized young and old all over the country - a nationwide mobilization of minds and body expressing disgust, anger and frustration against what they see as a callous and unfeeling establishment that has presided over these statistics of crime. While expectedly there will be debate and discussion on this, including the tendency of the ruling class to blame this on ’social evils’ and therefore a need for social transformation - we must make sure Nirbhaya’s life, her struggles and indeed her painful death isn’t in vain.

The focus must be on why policing and care for citizens rights (man, woman and child) to a safe life in their communities isn’t possible in a nation that boasts of being an economic superpower. Why is it that while we boast economic growth numbers at the drop of a hat, that there are so many Nirbhayas who have to live and work in fear and humiliation?

The answer is simple. For all the rhetoric from Delhi, we are increasingly becoming a nation where rule of law are held in contempt by many. The message to government and the law makers should be loud & clear : our current laws aren’t deterrents - be it for rapists or the crooks. The legacy of Nirbhaya must be that we create a framework of laws, law enforcement and prosecution and a culture of zero tolerance towards crime and criminals - however big or small, regardless of caste or creed. New laws that are deterrents to crime, A police force whose mission is to make peoples life safe and prosecution of crimes and criminals that mete out exemplary punishment in fastest possible time to those found guilty. The Government must act now, work hard to restore people’s confidence to do create an atmosphere of deterrence for criminals, ensure Delhi and India made safe again for all men, women, children and unsafe for all criminals. That would be the true redemption of the debt we owe Nirbhaya.

And to all those Indians who have come out in anger against this, I quote Thomas Jefferson, “A little Rebellion now and then is a good thing. It’s a medicine necessary for the sound health of the Government”.

This appeared in the DNA on December 30th, 2012

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4 Responses to “Death of Nirbhaya: Here is what we owe the young woman”

  1. Rakesh Katyal  on January 9th, 2013

    I don’t think we require new laws, we have enough of them. WHat we require to do is to provide good governance to implement these laws properly. AT the working level the Police and the Judiciary are in shambles and provide no confidence to any citizen. It is this what needs to change which will happen only if we are able to provide good governance. There has to be a fear of law in the citizens.

  2. KSR  on January 16th, 2013

    In my opinion the horrific Delhi incident is a fall out or eventuality to which each one of us (believe for a moment) has contributed. How?? We Indians break rules ‘just like that’. Be it tint/curtains on windows of motor vehicles, ‘Fancy’ illegal reg. number plates on our vehicles, general brashness… (do you really want me to continue with the list?) This way we dilute the energy put into governance and law and order. Big crimes/criminals climb on this pyramid of seemingly Benign crimes and show its ugly face.
    So friends, please let us not build this pyramid in the first place. So the true criminal can stand out in contrast.
    Let me finish with one example in my city Bangalore: As per supreme court order tints had to be taken off cars. Nearly everybody did abide. Women drivers returning late from work, Petite IT folks with laptops and debit cards,Retired seniors… Everyone. But those with number plates displaying only Kannada script ( Which by the way is also illegal if not displayed along-side in English) go scott free. The poor cop on the streets know how these people flaunt nexus to big wigs or parochial regional activists.

  3. vinodtiwari2608  on March 14th, 2013

    I think that we need to stop the discretionary powers and define SOP / processes along with stricter implementation of laws. When the law makers break rules or create ruckus, ministers behave as goons and doesn’t shy away from taking decisions for pity political gain; the average citizen is bound to loose the faith. The ministers who are sacked keeping public outrage in mind are conveniently being accommodated in other plum positions, all this must stop.

    Its time to enforce the law, no logic in enacting if it can’t be applied on selective ‘class’.

  4. Dhivya Raj  on June 17th, 2013

    you bring out newer tougher rules, the first ones who would fall to it would be the ones who had enforced it. Behind every hideous crime in India that goes unpunished, there is a person-in-power who would rather fill his pot belly than change the plight of the victim. Make one corrupt politician pay for what he did, and you ll see things starting to fall in line.

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