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Bleeding Heart of a Father in Delhi, infamously called Rape Capital of India

Delhi is the city which houses the capital of the country. This city is a city of despair, doom and death, and as history has it, this city has risen out of ashes like Phoenix, seven times. But that was history which happened over centuries of existence, today the city dies a thousand death every single day. This city of forts which kept safe empires in fast is the citadel of power so impotent that it can no protect its women. Last checked the statistics touched more than six hundred an year, close to two in a day.

The newspaper today screams of the rape of a physiotherapist, at nine thirty, right at the heart of the so called educated and snob section of the city, the south Delhi in a moving bus. The scream is shrill enough to shake you out of the slumber, which is so characteristic of the Indian middle class today, and is dripping with a painful wail of helplessness.

The rape was followed by usual condemnation by the political class, a commitment to take tough action on the people who perpetrated this heinous crime. A debate ensued in the parliament, unanimous in feeling, unequivocal in seeking action, though attended by one third the strength. No party whip to call full attendance, no FDI being debated, no lobbying fund available with the poor woman still struggling to hold on to the slipping strands of dear life or whatever is left of it in her. Honourable MP from Samajwadi Party almost burst into tears debating on the issue. The arguments she made were heartfelt, genuine and moving enough to turn activist out if any cynic.

Good that the city picked up the argument, but for how long? I do not know and I dare not predict. Some years back, the city saw a young girl, named Jessica killed by a politicos son for refusing a drink. It took more than ten years to bring the guy to justice, only to later find him being released on bail on some flimsy grounds. The CM of Delhi, then and now, came to defend the bail, only backing out when it drew too much of media attention, as the culprits father regained usefulness when they cobbled support to form government in the neighbouring state. The city for a long time had lost its voice, abandoning the cause, which limped to slow death, when mysteriously it came back hitting back the collective conscience of the largely scared, timid and silent middle class.

In between, a girl, a journalist was murdered at night, and the chief minister, then and now proposed that women ought not be so adventurous. I have mentioned, then and now, with purpose, for it exemplifies our stupid tolerance which has allowed the situation to worsen with impunity. We have traffic signals in the city with zero tolerance, but do not exercise zero tolerance to such barbaric crimes and insensitive treatment with which they are responded to by those in power. It is the message, the underlying theme, which tells people the depth of animal cruelty to which they can let their humanity fall without the bother of a state coming heavy on them. It is law of broken windows, which the Mayor of New York spoke of in an interview. He posited that on a street with glass pane windows, all the windows will stay undamaged till one of them is broken. Once one is broken, in no time, all windows will get broken. It is the first broken window which goes unaddressed and the first act which goes unpunished which emboldens others to follow.

I am not an authority on women rights, or politics or policing. I have no reason to write on this, I have actually avoided to write on it. It is crushing and painful to have to think of it, to think of a twenty three year old, raped and so severely assaulted, and thrown for dead naked on the street. What makes it even more excruciating is that I have a daughter of five year who is to grow up in this sinister city. But then, that makes it necessary as well that I write this post. I can not but think that some years back, some man would have held that woman thus humiliated, in his palms, as she would, as a baby, have looked back at him, a man, with a love, unequaled that any man can ever feel, secure in the affectionate comfort of a father's protection. She must have had then toes as pink, eyes as clear and fingers as eager to twirl into a trusting embrace around her father's thumb as my daughter's. Today, not only is she stripped of the fervour, audacity and joyous demeanour which youth is known for, as a woman humiliated, in the hands of five animals, who would roam around in the capital city of the country which was known to worship it's women; I feel like choking up at mere thought of the father who helplessness has been brutally and heartlessly exposed by the state which is too self centred to be concerned about the well-being of its citizen. The girl was not my daughter but I as a father feel as helpless, as pained and as naked today.

I am too middle class to propose a solution or a semblance of it, to counter such menace, but as father and a citizen abandoned by state, propose the following at the very least without getting into high decibel discussion on the merits and demerits of death penalty to rapes ( this is not only about rape, this is about lack of respect for those who are stripped of power, monetary, physical or political, at one point of time, with no state to protect them).

1. Passage of Women reservation bill-
I only wonder if the hon. MP of Samajwadi Party ask her party boss to get the Women reservation bill mandating thirty-three percent reservation for women. Will the lady be true enough to seek public apology of her party president who opposed the bill, condescendingly claiming that such bill will bring to parliament women with short hair, who wear kohl and lipstick. Can we get commitment across party lines for time bound passage of the bill? Will the government risk it's existence for it, as it did for nuclear deal and FDI and reservation in promotion bill?

2. A definite number of women cops in each police station-
I believe having women officers will not only sensitise policing, but will also deter the perpetrators who will find that with representation of their gender in police station, they will not be out of bound for women complainant.

3. Highest political powers to come public and apologise or at least talk to their people.
I can not think of more, but understand that maybe no one will bother even about these two points, given the inert society we live in, and how well our politicians understand our spinelessness. I only pray to God or whatever force that might be, that the girl may get well very soon, and no other woman may have to face that kind of fate again in this country. Please join me in my silent prayer, and when we are at it, swear to yourselves not to let such acts go unpunished, let the bloody humpy dumpy fall off the wall, those who could but did nothing to prevent such acts and are not responsible enough to offer public apology.

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