“Cultural protest” held in Delhi

December 17, 2014 09:58 am | Updated November 16, 2021 04:51 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat and acidattack survivor Lakshmi at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat and acidattack survivor Lakshmi at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Marking two years of the rape and brutal assault of a paramedic student on a moving bus in South Delhi, hundreds of people came together at Jantar Mantar here to observe what they called a “cultural protest”.

The event was organised by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI). Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat and acid-attack survivor Lakshmi were also present at the protest. The event included songs, speeches and plays on gender issues.

Blaming the current government for not taking women’s security seriously, Ms. Karat said: “Where is the accountability of the current government for women’s safety? People should keep mounting pressure on the government, only then will they have a role to play in providing safety.”

“The Justice Verma Committee recommendations should be applied to public transport. CCTV cameras should be installed in buses and private cabs should be monitored,” she added.

Lakshmi said: “People should change their mindset towards women, otherwise nothing will change. We will gather, protest, go home and then come back to protest for something else, but these things will keep happening.”

A huge signboard was put up at the venue, where people wrote their messages and views on women’s safety.

Apart from cultural protest, Jantar Mantar also saw protest by various women organisations and the December 16 Kranti Sena, which has been demanding justice for the victim for the last two years. The protesters demanded death for all the rapists, including the juvenile, and death penalty in all acid attack cases, besides police reforms.

Working professional Pooja said: “Women are unsafe outside their houses more than ever. Even during the day. This is happening because culprits don’t get caught and there is no fear of law.”

“Rather than making society more segregated with separate coaches for women in the metro, why can’t we learn to live in the same sphere while respecting each other,” added 19-year-old Kanwal.

The only change Shehnawaz Alam saw in society after December 16 was that the middle class has started raising its voice. “A class that was only concerned about its bread and butter so far has started coming out in support of social causes. The mass protest that the country saw following the horrific incident is probably the biggest mass protest so far.”

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