Producer, Educator & Writer
This article originally appeared in Global Voices.
The victim of a gang rape on a bus in Delhi died yesterday in a hospital in Singapore.
The Delhi gang rape occurred on the 16 of December after the victim and a friend attended a movie. After boarding a bus, they were assaulted by five other passengers. On 26 December, the victim was sent to Singapore for further treatment and she passed away on 29 December, 2012.
Mumbai’s vigil, in memory of Delhi gang rape victim, took place on Saturday December 29, with attendees marching from the Gandhi statue at Juhu beach to Kaifi Azmi Park.
According to Zee News, the day is being called ‘Black Saturday’ with people all over the country protesting against the injustice.
Mumbai vigil. Image courtesy Molly Anderson. Used with permission.
Set off by a tweet from actress Shabana Azmi this message was retweeted 405 times:
@AzmiShabana: Citizens of Mumbai including theatre, film personalities lead silent march at 5.30 pm today from Juhu Beach gandhi statue 2 Kaifi Azmi Park.
I wrote in Policymic about the vigil I attended:
The vigil maintained a somber mood. Signs ranged from “My body, my city, my rights” to “It’s not her shame it is ours” and “Girl child, boy child, our child”
According to police, the crowd consisted of about 1,500 people. The marchers included women and men, as well as Bollywood stars such as Kailash Kher and director Satish Kaushik, famous lyricist Javed Akhtar, in addition to others.
As Aruna Prakash, a radio jockey for 90.8 Jaaga Mumbai said, “I’m a women, I was a girl, and I am a Delhite.” Prakash was “enraged, angered and sad,” at the news. She remarked that in the past girls were safe, but now that is not the case.
Sonam Revanker a young professional in Mumbai came to the protest with her brother. As she said, “It’s time someone takes some action.” Revanker heard of the vigil through facebook and twitter and decided to come with her brother. [..]
As Bollywood actor Sameer Kochhar said, “I’m here to show solidarity and support. As an Indian and a Delhiite, I am saddened.” He walked in order to “show that we do care and we need a change to happen.”
Mumbai Vigil. Image by Molly Anderson. Used with permission.
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women called on the Indian government to:
do everything in their power to take up radical reforms, ensure justice and reach out with robust public services to make women’s lives more safe and secure.
Newspaper articles and opinion pieces have ranged from calling for castrating the perpetrators to calling for speedy action when it comes to rape cases. Some state governments are calling for all women teams to deal with crimes against women.
Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Aruna Broota, is quoted in The Hindu saying said that to counter the rising fears among women and girls there is a need to educate boys and men.
“They have to begin with some kind of workshops and therapy in schools and they must include the boys. There is an absolute need to involve the boys and men and to address the hierarchy in gender relationships.
Indian activists lights candles and hold placards during the protest in Agartala, India. Image by Arindam. Copyright Demotix (30/12/2012)
Additional responses on twitter have focused on a need for education:
Matthew Ward was retweeted 1988 times:
@HistoryNeedsYou: Listen to the women of India: Don’t stop your daughter from going out. Teach your son how to behave. #Delhigangrape pic.twitter.com/OvmlArpQ
Harsha Walia says:
@HarshaWalia: best twitter response to headlines like “india has a woman problem” –> “the world has a patriarchy problem” #delhigangrape #delhiprotests
Author Anand Giridharadas tweeted:
@AnandWrites: Gut-punched to hear #DelhiGangRape victim has died in Singapore.#RIP. Will she be #India‘s Tunisian vendor, or will complacency prevail?
Today’s vigil will be followed by a protest on December 31st from Colaba to Gateway of India.