Hindu Council UK (HCUK) joined hands for Candlelight Vigil for India’s Brave Heart, to urge the Government of India to enforce harsh laws on Rape Cases in order to bring the perpetrators to justice for the violent offences they commit against women.
Ano Rao – Executive Member of Hindu Council UK joined other community members for a candle light vigil on 5th January 2013 at Gandhi Statue, Tavistock Square, WC1H 9ND London at 12.00 pm to show our solidarity along with CARE Education Trust UK , Big Hug Foundation and all other Community Organisations in the UK. It was a very sad and emotional day at the Candle light Vigil for Late Damini.
Late Damini’s brutal death doesn’t change the brutal and barbaric act that she underwent in the national capital of India – Delhi. Her suffering and consequential death brought out the seething anger within each one of us. It brought in a delayed realisation that our women are not safe back home and it is high time we do something about it.
Rape is the fastest growing crime in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the number of rape cases registered in India increased by a startling 873.3 %, from 2,487 in 1971 to 24,206 in 2011. In comparison, the murder cases increased by 250% over an even longer period, six decades, starting from 1953 to 2011. So clearly, something is going wrong somewhere.
The case brought together thousands of people demanding justice for the 23-year old and a safer country for women. The protests were limited not just to the Indian boundaries but concerned members of Indian origin settled abroad organised protests and candle light vigil to demand speedy justice for Late Damini the Delhi Gang Raped Victim and the similar victims like Damini.
In London, the Pravasi Bharat, a humanitarian organization working for the welfare and basic rights of Indians living abroad organised a peaceful gathering and candle lit vigil, near Mahatma Gandhi Statue at Tavistock Square. Led by Nagender Chindam, the chairman of Pravasi Bharat. The event started with a two minute silence in the memory of all the rape victims who have lost their lives and to pay respect to all those who have fought their way back into their lives.
Despite the cold weather and rain, many people came with their children to support the movement and expressed their anger and disappointment over the sad state of affairs back in India. Those present at the gathering signed a petition demanding stricter punishments for rapists and introduction of fast-track courts for speedy justice.
The brutal question looming over our heads is when will the Indian Government wake up? – The incident has kept India and its citizens awake for the past few weeks now but there still has been no strong response from the Government on either the anti-rape law or stringent punishments. The debate at this moment seems to have been distracted towards whether naming the anti-rape law after the victim or not?
One can seriously hope that this incident is not forgotten like the many incidents in the past. One rape incident in India brings out many opinions, comments, debates, blog posts, protests and promises from Government, but it all simply dies down until a next big crime is committed. In this case, one can only hope that late Damini’s sacrifice and the voice of thousands of protesters does not go in vain.
AVAAZ.org has also launched a worldwide Petition for tougher law enforcement for Rape Cases in India. Please see below. AVAAZ.org has already secured more than Eight Hundred Thousand Signatures.
“To the Government of India, the Verma Commission, and the Mehra Commission”:
We call on you to urgently strengthen sexual violence legislation and enforcement, and to launch a massive public education program with hard-hitting and high quality content designed to bring about a profound shift in the shameful attitudes that permit and promote violence against women.
Mahatma Gandhi once said “The day a woman can walk freely on the roads of India, that day we can say India has achieved Independence.“
Unfortunately, in his eyes India is yet to achieve independence. Crime against women in India is rising; there were 24,000 reported cases of rape in 2011 with a 9.2% rise over the previous year. Please also see below web link on the UN Report Human Rights Violation against women.
On behalf of Hindu Council UK – Ano Rao who is also Human Rights lawyer, gave a short press statement along with other Community Leaders who attended the candle light vigil, to urge the Government of India to enforce harsh laws on Rape Cases in order to bring the perpetrators to justice for the violent offences they have committed against women.
Ano Rao. LL.B (Honours)
Executive Member of HCUK