Written by Rupinder Kaur in Edmonton, Alberta
The Delhi gang rape has been highlighted and reported on around the world. It should bring a sense of shame to the country of India and to their corrupt and incompetent justice system. However, I doubt anything useful will come out of the protests and calls for action because the war on women is systemic and deeply bred into the sub-continent.
So what is the uproar about? Rape in India is not new. Attacks on women are not new. Are the angry Indians protesting now fed up with the lack of response and action by the elected officials and authorities when it comes to violating human rights and human dignity?
It is no surprise that abuse – sexual, physical, psychological, emotion and financial – takes places against girls and women around the world. But when a government continues to ignore it and refuses to acknowledge or take action to prevent it from happening to half of its population, that’s a sign of a weak and complicit government.
I hold the culprits guilty of the horrendous crimes they committed against the innocent young woman in Delhi, but I hold the authorities responsible, too. If proper laws and enforcement was in place, the incidents of rape wouldn’t be so high in India – “the world’s largest democracy”.
I’m sure mothers are holding their daughters tightly these days, hugging them dearly as they pass on words of wisdom like, don’t walk alone at night, don’t wear inappropriate clothes, don’t ever be caught in a situation where you’ll bring shame on the family.
The real wisdom they should teach is to their sons – respect women. Period.
Pledges for better rape laws, better training for authorities, better awareness campaigns is fine, but when those responsible for implementing them are unaccountable, then what’s the point?
It’s time for a Woman Spring, not just in India but around the world.