|Written by New Wave|
|Saturday, 29 December 2012 18:30|
| On the 16th of December, a 23 years old girl was raped in Delhi. According to several Internet news sites, the victim and her friend had been to see a film when they boarded the bus in the Munirka area of Delhi, intending to travel to Dwarka in the south-west of the city. The bus was driven around on a stretch in south Delhi for more than an hour and had “crossed” three police patrol vans, while she was raped for nearly an hour, and both she and her companion were beaten with iron bars and thrown out of the moving bus and into the street. The couple have been admitted to hospital, where the womanhad remained in an extremely critical condition. “She had suffered from severe organ failure following serious injuries to her body and brain” said the Hospital’s spokesperson and couldn’t overcome her injuries, dying on 29 Dec 2012.Six men, among them the bus driver, have been arrested and two police officers have been suspended following the 16 December attack. City shamed, headlined The Times of India, saying that Sunday’s incident is a “new low for a city already notorious as India’s rape capital”, where 582 cases of rape had been reported so far this year. We publish below the New Wave Group’s Statement on this issue: This would have passed for an ordinary incident, getting the usual stereotyped and apathetic response from the people, but this was not to be so! After being beaten down and down again, womenfolk, and in particular the youth have arisen! An entire city has erupted in revolt against the systematic apathy and neglect they have received from those who rule. Now the wave which emerged in Delhi is becoming national, women and youth everywhere who’ve been at the receiving end of violence have raised their voices in protest. Never before has such an upsurge been seen on the issue of sexual oppression. We, the New Wavegroup stand in solidarity with the protests in Delhi, and in solidarity with the victim of the rape struggling on and fighting the fight for survival. We present our gamut of demands and proposals: 1. Speedy trial of rape accused Justice delayed is justice denied so the saying goes. Cases like this go on for months if not years, before any justice is met for the victim. Even this at times comes only due to consistent social pressure. The example of the Khairlanji massacre case is there before us as an example of how the judicial system proceeds in India. We cannot and will not tolerate such a lazy approach where entire lives have been ruined. The last straw has been breached, and we demand a speedy trial of the accused in this case. We demand a special fast track court for trying rape cases and cases pertaining to sexual assault, and swift justice be delivered through them. Additionally, it is imperative that, in such cases, the victim must have the burden of proof be passed to the accused rather than the victim. 2. Throw out the criminal politicians Even as demands for hanging the rapists are shouted outside the houses of parliament and on the streets in the national capital, the bulk of our political parties, those lapdogs of the bourgeoisie, field such cretins as candidates and leaders who have stated (almost with pride!) that they have been accused for sexual offenses. The Association for Democratic reforms lists 369 such politicians, some of whom are MLAs and MPs, who have been charged with crimes ranging from rape to sexual abuse. What hope can there be for respite from the ‘democratic’ institutions when they are monopolized by the likes of parties that fill such candidates with pride? On the contrary they will see to it; that women continue to be exploited and brutalized under their command. Only the organized force of the people, the workers, the peasants, the students, can bring about justice by forcing those in power. Now is the time when we use the full measure of our strength and cleanse the polity of such elements and see to it that these lumpens are thrown out! We must show that no one can simply by dint of their high positions escape the rage of the people and escape from the strong hand of justice. We, the people must realize our power, and bring down the high and mighty. We have done it before, and we can do it again! 3. Compulsory Self-Defense training for women In our male dominated society, it has been made a norm as if, that women must be servile, dutiful and ‘effeminate’. The idea of protecting women from the violence of men only involves putting the onus on the women, all the while ensuring that they remain akin to glorified maids restricted to the kitchen and working as nurses for our babies. It never occurred to the mind of our antiquated peers that if women could be taught to defend themselves, half of their problems relating to domestic violence would be resolved. Ah! But here we find their true intentions! The bourgeoisie never lets workers be armed because if those who produce all wealth get the means to control it, then power would be lost! In parallel to this, women give all to their male masters, get only crumbs if at all of their effort. Women get disproportionate share of property ownership, a disproportionately larger share of burden of work, and a disproportionately smaller share of salaries! If that discrimination weren’t enough they get a bigger share of violence and repression over them! In an environment where women are repeatedly subjected to the worst kind of atrocities, ranging from mental torture to rape and death for dowry, women must be taught all means by which they can defend their life and limb. We demand that compulsory self-defense be taught to all women from 16 years and above. 4. Recognition of Marital rape No one must perceive that marriage is a safe haven for conducting the most heinous crimes on women. Our laws, which are in many cases mere relics of a colonial past, must be radically overhauled to meet the practical challenges posed by our society. Marital rape must be recognized as a form of sexual offense and recognized in its all brutishness. It is one of the great ironies that while alternative sexual lifestyles which mean no harm to anybody are punished by section 377, marital rape is given a convenient backdoor escape. There can be no justice, unless this wrong is struck down. Thousands, perhaps millions have fallen victim to violence at home, going up to the point of rape and worse. Yet they have no respite, because our archaic laws give them no answer! 5. Immediate suspension of police personnel who have assaulted women No one, not even the police can be exonerated for their role in dealing with women. What god given right do they have to treat the citizens in any way they want?! In dealing with the protestors in Delhi, some constables stooped to such low levels of lumpen behaviour that they started teasing the female protestors. If that weren’t enough some male officers were seen beating unarmed female protestors with sticks in a lathicharge! The law provides for a code of conduct when dealing with women in any operation, none of them were honoured when policing the protests in Delhi! It is not only the police constables at the ground level who must be answerable for their behaviour, but the commissioner of Delhi police who must answer for the innumerable people injured grievously during cannonade by water cannon and lathi charges. The police is seen as an institute to defend the people, but it seems more like the institution is taken over by the moneyed elite who ha
ve monopolized all the security for them! It is complete rubbish when the commissioner meekly talks about dearth of manpower. Where was this dearth of manpower when crushing the protestors or providing for security for the elite?! We demand the immediate suspension of all officers who illegally used excessive force on peaceful protestors as well as the Commissioner of Delhi police for the actions of his force under his command!