Published: The Tripoli Post, http://www.tripolipost.com/articledetail.asp?c=5&i=9821
Nothing shocked India with as much intensity of tragedy in its sixty five year of history as that of the brutal gang rape of a 23-year old girl and her subsequent death out of trauma.
The public reaction was extraordinarily exceptional. A part of the feeling of the nation was either numbed or dead. India could not decide how to come to terms with the news.
How a man in whose hand is trusted the protection of a daughter, the dignity of a sister and the care of a mother can turn out to be worse than a devil or a demon!
Humanity, indeed, has shown the ugliest face of its shameful and disgraceful act!
The suspense about what would happen to the rape-victim came to an end with her shocking death. Her suffering, certainly, implies a symbolic struggle against atrocity a helpless girl in India goes throughout her life.
From womb till every stage of her breathing, a female lives under the constant fear of shame and humiliation.
Through such violence as rape, trafficking, forced prostitution and sexual exploitation, the so-called civilized world seems to be a very terrible place for a woman to survive.
Cruelty against a girl is universal. It begins even before the very birth happens. Thousands fall victim to gender selective abortion i.e., boys being preferred to girls.
Islam took notice of this evil practice hundreds of years back. It regards female infanticide as adult murder.
The Quranic injunction strictly forbids the evil practice: ‘When the infant girl, is buried alive, is questioned, for what crime she was killed.’ (Surah 81:8 – 9)
It further mentions: ‘You shall not kill your children for fear of want. We will provide for them and for you. To kill them is a grievous sin.’ (Surah 17:31)
India’s census commissioner once estimated that several million fetuses were aborted in the country in the last two decades because they were just female.
Many more fall prey to sexual offenders, to ‘honour killings’ and to acid attacks, most often for refusing a suitor.
A large number of them are burnt to death each year in ‘kitchen accidents’ because their dowry is seen as being too modest.
Still a shocking number of women are killed within their own walls through domestic violence. Sexual abuse of girls, often by relatives, though widespread, shrouds in taboo.
Millions are trafficked while some are sold. The list of horror is endless. The picture is all too clear. India is confronted by the Slaughter of Eve, a systematic gendercide of tragic proportion.
According to World Health Organization, one woman in seven is the victim of rape or attempted rape during her life time in India.
While the facts are known and the figures are easily available to the government, the issue has never been taken seriously till the brutal gang-rape and death of a young girl that stirred the conscience of India.
Violence against women should be considered as one of the great crimes of humanity. There should not be any room for complacency in face of rape and degradation of women.
Well! India does not have the dearth of legal documents that call for the eradication of atrocity against women, yet the nation has failed to stop the occurrence of crime against women particularly the frequency of rape incidents that happen even now every day in every city without a stop.
The innocent girls continue to fall victims to the lust of the criminals. India stands as a helpless bystander in view of the growing reports of rapes in the streets and outskirts of cities.
What is needed is the stronger commitment to form strict laws. India should not feel shy in following Islamic laws for harsher punishment to the rapists. Those found guilty to outrage the modesty of a girl must be stoned to death.
At the same time, society as a whole has responsibility to change attitudes and stereotypes that maintain women’s inferiority.
It must also maintain a code of conduct in persuading its women not to mingle with men pointlessly. The bar culture must also come to an end along with culture of making girlfriends and boyfriends outside the sanctity of marriage.
It is time India broods about the safety of its women in the way Arab countries do. Islamic principles will certainly help it overcome the challenges the nation is facing at present to check the crime against women.