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‘Freedom without fear is what we need to protect, to guard and respect’

in INDIA, 31/12/2012

Following the bestial sexual attack on a 23-year-old paramedical student in Delhi, the capital, along with other cities across the country, has seen numerous protests demanding justice not just for the survivor, but better laws and stringent action against sexual offenders per se. When on Wednesday 19 December students and protesters marched towards the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s house, the police tried to ward them off with water cannons.

Kavita Krishnan, secretary, All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), said why Sheila Dikshit and the political establishment are responsible for women’s deplorable social status in India.

 Today, we demonstrated outside (CM) Sheila Dikshit’s house. Why are we demanding her resignation? We need people to understand why — it’s true that Ms Dikshit made a statement saying the incident (gangrape) occurred on a private bus, not a DTC (Delhi Tourism Corporation) bus, so how could it be her responsibility. This is what we are here to tell her — if a bus containing iron rods and rapists is plying openly in the city with no rules and regulations, if it can pick up passengers at any time, anywhere — then madam, you are responsible for it, it is no one else’s responsibility — it is yours. If that girl is fighting for her life today, you are responsible for it. Why was that iron rod in that bus that day — is something that only you can answer, no one else can. You cannot blame anyone else for it. 

But there is a more pressing matter than even this — something that we have been talking about, that we are here to talk abut today – when that journalist Soumya (Vishwanathan) was murdered, Sheila Dikshit had issued another statement saying “If she (Soumya) was out at 3 am in the morning, she was being too adventurous,” — we are here to tell her that women have every right to be adventurous. We will be adventurous. We will be reckless. We will be rash. We will do nothing for our safety. Don’t you dare tell us how to dress, when to go out at night, in the day, or how to walk or how many escorts we need!

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