Dr. Shalini Grover, who teaches Sociology at the Institute of Economic Growth, said, "I think it is a positive development that nobody is in a mood to stop now without substantial changes on the ground."
Protest against the Delhi gang-rape continued at Jantar Mantar even on Sunday with a large number of people turning up, demanding not only stern punishment for the culprits of violence against women but also asking for “a change in the attitude and mindset of society.”
Dr. Shalini Grover, who teaches Sociology at the Institute of Economic Growth, said: “The outrage continues and is being expressed through the continued protests since last one month. I think it is a positive development that nobody is in a mood to stop now without substantial changes on the ground.”
She demanded immediate relief in terms of legal, medical, financial and psychological assistance and long-term rehabilitation measures for survivors of sexual assault. “We want the government to announce and publicise gender-just protocols for the FIRs and the police investigation of crime against women. Police officers who violate the protocols and display gender bias or victim blaming should be punished. But more importantly, what we also need is a change in the attitude and mindsets of the society which blames the women,” she added.
Ruhi Seth, who works with Oxford Policy Management, argued that it was due to the public outrage at the Delhi gang-rape that a very small change could be seen as far as public behaviour was concerned. “The public in general is seen as more sensitive towards women now in public spaces but the big question remains that how long will it last?” she asked, advocating putting in place a mechanism in schools for gender sensitisation.
Suggesting short-term, medium term and long term measures to tackle violence against women, she argued not only cases of violence should be the target but the aggressive masculinity which goes into the making of the mentality which perpetrates the violence, must be dealt with.
Highlighting the fundamentals of the society urgently needing change, Delhi University students Nainika Nath and Jigyasa Tandon said the attitude of men could only be changed by bringing about changes in the way parents raise their children. “The change in mentality has to start at our homes. Parents need to make their daughters brave and sons responsible. How can you change the situation when parents continue to privilege sons over daughters which subsequently empower boys with a sense of entitlement over girls?”
Demanding death penalty for rape convicts, Gauri Grover, a law student, argued that “the Juvenile Justice Act should be amended retrospectively.”
Present at the occasion was also Camilla Conti, an independent breastfeeding consultant, who has initiated a campaign, “Pink Thread -- a World for Women”, inspired by the anti-Iraq War campaign in Italy. “This is a campaign of tying pink threads, symbolising that we want a safe world for women. The gang-rape has shattered the country but what needs to be highlighted is that women have to go through cases of violence on daily basis. It is high time that it should be stopped,” added Ms. Conti, who is an Italian, married to an Indian.
In the campaign she was joined by Joana from Bulgaria who is married to an Indian doctor. Talking about her last seven years of experience of living in India, she said: “Unlike Bulgaria, here in India I do not feel safe especially after 8 p.m.” Theatre group Asmita also staged “Dastak” on the occasion.