Hundreds of devotees, representatives of interfaith institutions and prominent members of the community gathered in vigil to pay tribute to Jyoti Singh Pandey, 23 year old medical student, who was gang raped and brutally assaulted on a moving bus in Delhi on 16th December 2012. She later died of her injuries at a hospital in Singapore on 29th December.
Among those who attended were Community Leaders, Ealing MP, GLA Member, Detective and Chief Inspector Jane, Editor of Pardes Weekly Jaskaran Singh and Deputy Editor Abhay Lakhani along with many faith leaders and representatives of different religions. Later they signed the condolence book.
Padit Ravi Sharma paid homage with his mellifluous rendition of bhajans and an appeal to one and all to practice a more conscientious way of life.
Sudarshan Bhatia, President of the Vishwa Hindu Kendra said, “Even though there are laws in India to deal with such victimizations there was no lawful implementation. Laws in India sadly are implemented subject to appeasement of the minorities or majorities and according to the power and wishes of politicians. There is so much propagation of all the religions practiced in the country but the common tenet of all its Dharma which gives the message ‘Respect and Honor the Woman’ is not observed or adopted by the countrymen.”
Abhay Lakhani, Deputy Editor, Pardes Weekly stated that “The eyes of the whole world are upon India now â€“ India needs to wake up from its slumber and show no mercy for rapists.”
Dr. Onkar Sahota; London Assembly Member said, “This incident has shocked the Indian Diaspora, and the Indian Government needs to take serious action. Even though India claims to be a powerful country a lot remains to be done for their women.”
Women Detective and Chief Inspector Jane spoke on the law in this country on matter of rape and other serious sexual violence and said “In the UK not only was there an emphasis to arrest and prosecute the perpetrator and investigate the offence to the satisfaction of the victim, but equally important was care and support to the victims of these crimes.”
The assembly concluded with the holy ‘Prasaad’ served to all at the temple.
LONDON: Hounslow’s Shree Jalaram Seva Trust Temple
The case of the 23-year-old medical student, who was gang-raped and brutally beaten on a moving bus in New Delhi, has shocked many among the Indian community in the UK. There has been an instant outpouring of sympathy over the past couple of days in London with many people coming out to mourn together.
Over 100 people with tricolours in one hand and candles in the other met at Hounslow’s Shree Jalaram Seva Trust temple. Hounslow is a London borough close to the Heathrow Airport with a sizeable Indian population.
Many people spoke about their grief at the passing away of Amanat (NOT her real name).
Many held up posters that read “We demand stricter laws” and “RIP India’s daughter”.
The prayer meeting started with local politicians voicing their concerns about what happened to Amanat and how it has touched them personally. “My sister and I talk on the phone regularly and all we have been talking about last few days is this case,” said Seema Malhotra, Labour MP from Feltham and Heston.
There was considerable anger against the Indian government at the meeting. “Why was she taken to Singapore when we have the best doctors in India?” asked a housewife who turned up with her daughter to pay homage to “India’s daughter”.
For many this has been a mediated event – something they’ve watched on television and read about in the newspapers.
Darshan Grewal, has a unique perspective. He’s been a Delhi cop and also served as the mayor of Hounslow. “For days nobody said anything. Sonia ji didn’t say much and Sheila Dikshit, also didn’t say much. But now you young people – you’ve put pressure on them to change themselves.”
Many people in the crowd, especially women, were quite emotional about the case and wanted to tell the Indian government, “Make India safer for women.”
“There are many many people who are very generous and especially for such causes. We always come forward for any worthy cause. Even in the past, many people have sent money through the Indian High Commission and through other people and I think you won’t be disappointed at all at the way people show their support and generosity,” said Jagdish Sharma, another prominent member of the local community here.
There have been precedents. Many people got together to raise funds for Anuj Bidve’s family earlier this year by way of a charity event held at the O2 arena in London.
For many it was a time to reflect on how they can push for change, even if they don’t reside in India.
“We’ve got over two thousand signatures for our petition asking the Indian government to introduce fast track courts and introduce harsher punishments for rapists. We must awaken the Indian government. It seems asleep right now,” said Nachiket Joshi, a local youth leader.
LEICESTER: Shree Sanatan Mandir Hindu temple
They gathered at the Shree Sanatan Mandir Hindu temple, in Belgrave, Leicester, for the hour-long ceremony which included the singing of devotional songs.
Ramanbhai Barber MBE, president of Shree Sanatan Mandir, said the congregation was united in its horror at what had happened to Jyoti Singh Pandey â€“ known as Damini â€“ who was attacked and raped on a bus in Delhi, before being thrown off the moving vehicle. She later died in hospital.
The congregation is to write to the Indian High Commission in London calling for tougher laws to prevent similar attacks in the future.
Mr Barber said: “We all prayed and sang bhajans to grant peace to Damini.
“Damini is everyone’s loss, and we all wish she was still alive. We hope she rests in peace “
Mr Barber said a lot of people travel to India, and added: “We should feel safe and secure to travel without fear.
“We want assurance that travel to Delhi, or any part of India, will be safe for our sisters and mothers.”
COWLEY: Adhya Shakti Mataji Temple
Amavasya Friday 11th January (Auspicious day for Pitru Puja) at 2.00pm
for many departed Souls including 23 year old young woman named by the people of India, ‘Nirbhaya Damini’ – Jyoti Singh Pandey.
The brave heart and daughter of India, on 16 December 2012 in New Delhi, India, who was savagely attacked by a group of men on a bus and subsequently died from her injuries on 29 December 2012.
The Temple supports the calls for greater protection for women across the world including here in the UK and believes that society at large must do much more to protect women from such abhorrent acts and that violence against women in all its forms and domestic violence cannot be tolerated.
London: Shri Ram Mandir, 22 King Street, Southall
Hundreds of people including Politicians, Community Leaders and members of the public attended the vigil prayers for our beloved daughter of India ‘Damini’ who was the victim of a savage rape attack in Delhi, to pray for her Atma to rest in peace with the all pervading Brahm in the comfort of her Isht-Dev.
Anil Bhanot OBE, Managing Director of Hindu Council UK said that the problem seems to be systemic in India to the point that a Hindu Guru, Asaram Bapu, who preaches Dharma on TV has remarked ‘the rape victim Jyoti was guilty too as she should have been more friendly to her attackers, she should have called them ‘brothers’ and begged them to stop’. Asaram Bapu should be reprimanded for inciting rape and murder. A true Guru would’ve called for punishment and rehabilitation of the Rakshas demonic tendency of the culprits yet this Guru blames the innocent victims. India needs to re-instate RE in schools immediately so that people can grow to shun such fake Gurus and more importantly learn to respect girls as Devi’s that they are.
Hindu Council UK