"Actions are louder than words"- a reminder to what has long been forgotten. The Parliament definitely saw outrage with MPs cutting across party lines registering their angst over the rape and murder of a young veterinary doctor in Hyderabad. Parliamentarians have demanded swift death penalty, public lynching and castration of rape convicts, similar to what we heard when Nirbhaya was raped in December 2012. According to a survey published by Thomson Reuters Foundation, India is the most dangerous country for women.
The Hyderabad rape-murder case sends chills down our spine. The charred body of the victim, working as an assistant veterinarian at a state-run hospital, was found dumped under a culvert at Shadnagar near Hyderabad on the morning of November 28, a day after she went missing. Four men, all lorry workers and aged between 20 and 24, were arrested on November 29 on charges of raping and killing the woman. They were sent to judicial custody for 14 days on Saturday. The four, who faced violent protests while being taken to the prison, are now kept in solitary confinement at Cherlapally Prison.
OUTRAGE INSIDE PARLIAMENT:
Samajwadi Party's Jaya Bachchan said the rapists should be "brought out in public and lynched." DMK's P Wilson said courts should be empowered to surgically and chemically castrate convicted rapists before they are released from jails so as to check repeat offenders. Leader of the Opposition and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the society will have to tackle this problem at its root and the guilty should be given stringent punishment without any discrimination on the basis of religion or caste. Mohd Ali Khan of the Congress and Sanjay Singh of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanded that the trial and punishment be carried out within a fixed time frame.
Union Minister Rajnath Singh said the government is ready for discussions in the House so that stringent provisions in laws could be explored to give punishment to those involved in ghastly crimes against women. He said the incident has hurt everyone. He observed that such heinous crimes were happening even after strict laws were framed following the Nirbhaya rape and murder incident. Union minister G Kishan Reddy said the government is ready to amend the Indian Penal Code(IPC) and the Criminal Procedure Code(CrPC) to ensure swift justice in heinous crimes. The Centre had written to states and police forces over the issue, he said, adding all political parties will be consulted.
This is only a Déjà vu moment for all Indians. We heard words when Nirbhaya case kicked up storm, and we are hearing similar words, similar outrage now. What the country needs is ACTION.
OUTRAGE ON STREETS:
From Hyderabad to Delhi, there have been widespread protests ever since the case came to light. There was no let up in protests in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana with students, activists and lawyers taking out rallies and holding demonstrations demanding death penalty for the four accused arrested in the case. The protesters shouted slogans like "We want justice" and held placards that read "Hang the rapists." Dozens of people also staged protests at the Jantar Mantar in the heart of Delhi. Students of Presidency university and Jadavpur university staged separate protests in Kolkata, demanding prompt conviction and action in rape cases.
Aditi Purohit, a student of Delhi University's Hansraj College, broke down while shouting the slogans.
"This is my first time in a protest. I am here because, just like a woman who stays in Delhi away from home, the issue affects me and my family."
Purohit, who hails from Jhansi, said her parents regularly call her and ask her to be back in hostel by 5 pm. "They start crying if my phone is switched off even for five minutes. What are women supposed to do?"
Meanwhile, activists from Left-backed organisations also protested against the heinous incident and demanded justice for the victim.
Kawalpreet Kaur, Delhi president of All India Students' Association, said, "It is not the mistake of women if they are raped. Women are blamed when such incidents happen. Why are we not talking about the fact that had there been a good public transport system, she would not have been travelling on her scooter. Victim shaming has to end."
From Parliament to streets, what's common is OUTRAGE. But is it enough?
THE REAL TALK:
Now that the country has heard words, it is time for some action. The nation expects its Parliamentarians to dwell upon the issues that really are. Outrage, unfortunately, is just the REaction. Be it making tough laws, providing enough safety and security or enacting stringent punishment that would set a precedent- the time is now. It is now or never. The heinous of crimes need the most serious deliberation and of course - ACTION.