From Gbade Akanbi, India.
The Supreme Court in India sitting in Delhi on Friday confirmed death sentence on four men who were involved in the rape and murder of a 23 years old physiotherapy intern, Nirbhaya, on December 12, 2012.
The rape victim and her boyfriend boarded a bus at about 9.00 p.m in Saket area of Delhi to go home after a movie show. In the same bus were four other men (ages 22-31) and a juvenile apart from the driver. The young men passed lewd comments on the duo and when the two objected, they were trashed and eventually the men took turns to rape the lady, assaulted her with rods and spanners until she became unconscious.
According to the Times of India, Nirbhaya and her friend were stripped and later thrown out of the bus at about 10:10pm around a place called Mahipalpur in South Delhi. A passerby reported the incident to the police upon seeing the helpless victims by the roadside and after a few days, the police succeeded in arresting the suspects through the CCTV footage around the scene of the crime.
The incident drew outrage worldwide and on September 10, 2013, a lower court sentenced the accused to death for rape and murder. The judgment was upheld by the High Court on March 13, 2014. The prime accused committed suicide while in jail on March 10, 2013. The juvenile was released after three years in a juvenile home. Now that the Supreme Court has confirmed the death sentence, the general feeling across the country is that justice has been done finally.
However, the incidence of rape still continues to be worrisome in India. How will this barbaric and inhumane act stop? In fact some consider the spate of rape in India as demonic especially in the north of India. Obviously, there are factors that contribute to the recurrence of the shameful act.
First is the fact that women are not respected in India, despite the fact that the Indian constitution guarantees equality of men and women. This is mainly due to the strong grip of attachment to traditional values which places greater premium on the male child compared to the girl child.
For instance, it is customary to distribute sweets to friends and relatives upon the birth of a male child. This however doesn’t happen when a female child is born. Many families go to the extent of aborting a pregnancy once they discover that the baby is going to be a girl.
Honour killings and selling girls as domestic slaves are still rampant in several communities despite government efforts at discouraging such. One needs to ask the question: If female foeticide (killing of female children) is being practised by certain people, how do they expect to get wives for their boys in future? If all the people in India are men, how do they expect to procreate? Shouldn’t this be a common sense issue?
A religious and psychology expert, who simply wants to be identified as Paul for safety reasons has his position. “It cannot be common sense when people’s minds, eyes, and hearts have been blinded to the truth by the devil. This is the reason why some people believe that this is not only a psychological problem but also a deep spiritual problem.”
According to the religious expert, India needs a lot of prayers in order for the demonic hold on the people to be broken and the millions of people liberated from bondage.
“A lot of psycho education also needs to be done across the country for the purpose of enlightenment so that women can be respected. This is not only needed for the illiterates but also for the literates, because even some of the educated people and political leaders still support the barbaric acts against women.
“For instance, one of the lawyers representing the accused people in the above case categorically stated that he believes that there is no place for women in Indian culture. Imagine if such a lawyer becomes a judge tomorrow!
“On a final note, there are still people in India who are actively promoting not only the rights of women in India but also the rights of everyone. Let’s join hands with such people to promote a better India where there is equality and justice,” he added.