The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, today said Indian democracy provides effective checks on aberrations affecting civil rights, human rights, womens' safety or any other deficiencies.
Referring specifically to the December 16, 2012 gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a running bus in New Delhi, Dr. Singh said the Indian Government had reacted swiftly in the aftermath of the horrific incident.
"The recent gang rape of a young woman in Delhi was one such incident. It mobilized tremendous amount of India's civil society...to draw attention to this ghastly crime. The Government of India reacted with speed," said Dr. Singh, while emphasizing that his government has introduced legal framework to check such aberrations.
"Whenever aberrations, whether they are civil rights, human rights, or other deficiencies, come to notice our democracy provides effective checks in ensuring that these aberrations will not go unchecked. You have my assurance that India is an open book, India is an open society, committed to all ... of a functioning democracy, even though functioning as a democracy at times, is not easy when you are dealing with per capita incomes as low as that of India," he added.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had talked with the visiting Indian Prime Minister about the role and situation of feminine gender.
"Of course, we talked today and yesterday to know about the role of women and the situation of women, and I believe for one, that the Prime Minister is more than aware of the challenges India is facing here," said Merkel.
"As a consequence of our development cooperation, Germany is a part of a major endeavour to assist India on this very difficult path, taking it from an agricultural country with the traditions and cultural circumstances to a modern country," she added.
Dr. Singh had earlier on April 7 acknowledged that the Delhi gang-rape incident had forced the government to change laws, and said: 'more needs to be done' to deal with crimes against women, but cautioned against knee-jerk reactions which could drown the voice of sanity.
"The national outrage at the recent horrific tragedy of gang rape in Delhi compels an urgent introspection about our laws and justice delivery system, but we must not allow ourselves to be overcome by a sense of despair at some of the demonstrated inadequacies of our legal system," said Dr. Singh, while addressing a conference of chief ministers and chief justices of states in the national capital.
Dr. Singh said the government had moved with expedition to respond to the felt sensitivities of the people in the aftermath of the 'gruesome tragedy' and brought about significant amendments in the criminal law to effectively deal with heinous offences against women.
"But, notwithstanding the steps that have already been taken, a great deal more needs to be done as far as offences against women are concerned," he had said.
Dr. Singh also thanked the judiciary for establishing special courts to fast-track trial of offences against women. (ANI)