Wake up call for us: India on girl death

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 29, 2012 11:03 hrs

New Delhi, Dec 29 (IBNS) As India hanged its head in shame over the death of the Delhi gangrape victim after a 13-day long fight in her hospital beds, the nation on Saturday reacted with anger, indignation and a call for everyone to wake up to the grim reality of violence against women.

The political class, which is at the receiving end of public anger, mourned the death with promises of action, but the common people and strong voices of India´s celebrities and social activists asked everyone for action.

The 23-year-old Delhi girl, whose brutal gang-rape on a moving bus on Dec 16 triggered nationwide protests, died in a hospital in Sinagpore early on Saturday after her vital organs failed.

"The biggest betrayal to the girl would be forgetting her," said actor and social activist Shabana Azmi.

"I think this awful incident must serve as a wake up call for the nation," she said.

Supercop turned social activist Kiran Bedi said: "Let this sacrifice day be called NIRBHAY DAY (Day of Fearlessness) where all cops led by their seniors resolve that no complaint from any woman will go unattended!"

Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur said like a pressure cooker, anger of people boils within.

"Not allowing people to grieve openly for Her on streets, state risks violent explosion," he said in a Twitter post reacting to the restrictions on Delhi roads and at India Gate against any protest.

Social commentator Suhel Seth on the protest restrictions: "What an amazing day for our democracy! The rulers finally fear the ruled! Way to go my fellow-Indians! Teach them a lesson!"

Senior journalist Pritish Nandy said: "Spineless leaders of India: Remember, this not over. The fight will carry on... This flame will not die."

Actor Ajay Devgn demanded hanging of the rapists.

"Why does someone need to be sacrificed to start a revolution? I hope her sacrifice is not in vain! The bastards should be hanged! Jai hind!," he tweeted.

Abhishek Bachchan is one actor who appeared deeply disturbed.

"This is not the country I grew up in as a child, this is not the country I want my daughter to know whilst she grows up!" he wrote.

Leading news channels also decided to pay their tributes in their own way.

"We will not be covering the young girl´s funeral or interviewing relatives or descending on her hometown. Death must be marked in other ways," posted Barkha Dutt of NDTV.

CNN IBN editor Rajdeep Sardesai said there would be no entertainment/infotainment shows on the network.

"Just voices seeking change. angry, but peaceful," he said.

Former Indian army chief V K Singh was angry too.

He tweeted: "We must cut across party lines and society as a whole must come together to somehow stop this carnage.The laws are already there - it is our absolute failure to implement them that has brought us to this abyss"

Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee deeply mourned the death of the Delhi gangrape victim in a Singapore hospital calling her a brave girl and the daughter of India who fought till very last for dignity and life.

President Pranab Mukherjee said: "She was a brave and courageous girl who fought till the very last minute for her dignity and her life. She is a true hero and symbolises the best in Indian youth and women."

"At the same time, let us resolve that this death will not be in vain. We will do everything possible to ensure that such an incident never happens again," said the President.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said: "I join the nation in conveying to her family and friends my deepest condolences at this terrible loss. I want to tell them and the nation that while she may have lost her battle for life, it is up to us all to ensure that her death will not have been in vain."

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said her "heart is burning over the incident."

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said: "Her death has shaken the conscience of the nation. We must wake up and make India safe for daughters."

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi also mourned tweeting: "Deeply saddened and distressed by the news of India´s braveheart daughter passing away. My deepest condolences with her family."

"We have lost a courageous daughter of our nation today," said Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.

Junior Home Minister of India RPN Singh said: "I would like to assure her family that the government will take the firmest steps to ensure the guilty get the harshest punishment. We will endeavour to ensure nothing like this ever happens again."

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