India calls for Sharia Punishments to rapists

The recent gang-rape and murderous assault on a young girl in New Delhi is rocking the nation, as it has never before. Practically an entire nation, women’s organisations, politicians, parliamentarians, print and electronic media and general public is manifestly appalled at the gruesome torturous physical and sexual assault on a hapless student. It has shaken the very conscience of the nation.

India appeared united in responding to the remorseless attacks on womenfolk in general and the Delhi girl in particular. Newspapers are running surveys on what could be the best measures to prevent such horrendous fate lurking for all women, whether they are in their homes or commuting for work or study.

Overwhelming ratios suggest a deterrent punishment like death by hanging, life term, and even castration of the rapists. India being a very soft state has always avoided extreme measures. However, now even hardline Hindu organisations feel no qualms about prescribing and calling for Sharia punishment for rape crime just as in Saudi Arabia.

According to a news report, published by widely circulated Urdu daily, Inquilab, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha’s senior vice president and Vishva Hindu Sena’s President, Swami Omji, which are traditionally against Muslims and Islam, has openly come out for Sharia punishment to rapists.  He has said, as Islamic Sharia Law punished crimes of rape and fornication, Indian law too should impose the same laws and Parliament should amend the laws accordingly. According to Swami, he has been in consultation with members of Parliament and they too are in agreement. Swami said he will file a writ petition in Supreme Court and will demand that Supreme Court should instruct the Indian Government in this regard.  Swami had visited the hospitalized girl and reported that the girl does not want to die.  

The victim has suffered extensive injuries and her gangrenous intestines have been removed. The rapists had forced iron rods into her private parts. She is fighting for her life. Prayers and vigils are held around the country.

However, unlike United States, where President Barack Obama carried his entire nation in mourning on the death by shootings of 20 children and six teachers, India’s President, Prime Minister and main ruling coalition Congress Party’s chief, a woman herself, have remained at best aloof and have failed to match public outrage.

The ruling oligarchy is as feudal and patriarchal as if India is still in the stone age. Atrocities on women are on the rise, as more and more women are coming out for education and employment and have perforce to increase their interactions with the male kind.

Unless the Indian government fully comprehends the paradigms of the changes in the society and devises measures to impose strict laws and fast-courts for such inhuman and deliberate attacks on innocent girls and women, the growing urbanization will take heavy toll on the women and their human rights as equal citizens of the nation.

Ghulam Muhammed

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 January 2013 on page no. 2

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