Indian rape victim dies | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 30, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 30, 2012


Indian rape victim dies

Her sacrifice must not go in vain

The death of the 23-year-old Indian woman who was gang raped on a Delhi bus a fortnight ago when public outcries reached a crescendo, now sends intense shock waves through society not just in India but in places where women have regularly been victims of such bestiality. The assault on the woman and her male friend has already caused much outrage in India, to a point where the responsibility of the government and parliament and indeed of the police in ensuring security for citizens has been much debated on. For their part, young men and women in Delhi and elsewhere in India have been making it clear that nothing short of exemplary punishment for those who raped the woman will satisfy them. It is a demand that has been echoed by politicians, artistes, journalists and civil society. Now, the death of the victim in Singapore from organ failure has prompted the Indian authorities into treating the matter as one of murder.
The tragic happening raises the very broad question of how safe women are in the South Asian region as a whole. In Pakistan, the fact that women are yet subjected to brutal, degrading treatment in a society which remains feudal to the core is cause for serious worry. In Bangladesh, the instance of what has happened in India, along with the outcry it has raised, should now serve as a wake-up call for the authorities in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country to take measures toward safeguarding the lives and dignity of women. One must face facts squarely. In Dhaka and in the interior of Bangladesh, rape has been a malady the government has not been able to handle to public satisfaction. Stories of rape and gang rape flow in regularly from the rural interior. In the urban areas, there are large numbers of women who have been groped, molested, raped and, in some cases, killed. These are happenings that are not only regrettable but also horrific in nature. And with the Delhi incident as a lesson to learn from, let the law enforcers as well as civil society in Bangladesh come forth strongly in ensuring the security of women at home and in public places.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the young Indian woman. Till the end, she fought bravely to hang on to life, with an entire country praying for her. Her sacrifice must not go in vain.

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