DEMONSTRATE OUTSIDE INDIA HOUSE IN LONDON, Aldwych, WC2B 4NA.
11am to 1pm 26th January 2013
As India prepares to celebrate its 63rd Republic Day on 26 January 2013, Delhi is trying to come to terms with the recent gang rape of a young woman on a moving bus and her subsequent death. Such rapes have become rampant in the Indian cities and towns. Few months ago London Guardian commented India to be the worst country for women among the G20 nations. Indian rape laws are stringent enough; however, the executive and the judiciary are so much feudal and patriarchal that the conviction rate for rape cases in India between 2001 and 2010 was 26%. In the case of Muslim and Dalit women the rate of conviction is lmost nil as evident from the gang rape case of Bhanwari Devi in Rajasthan.
However a bigger dimension to this is that the Indian state itself has proved time and again to be the biggest perpetuator of rapes and all forms of assaults on women. State violence is institutionalised through a culture of institutional impunity to the police, the paramilitary and the army. In June 1984, hundreds of Sikh women were gang raped in the sanctity of golden temple by the Indian Army during ‘Operation Blue Star’. In the village of Kuman-Poshpura in Kashmir valley, about 100 women were mass raped by the Indian Army in a single night of 23rd Feb 1991. Hundreds of Muslim women were gang raped by security forces during the anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002, as the Chief Minister Narendra Modi just watched. The brutal gang rape and execution of 32 year old Thangjam Manorama in Manipur in July 2004 is another example of Indian Army’s ongoing repression on women in the North-East. Continue reading