False Impressions?

Indian Rape ProtestsAll this talk about the 23 year old Indian female student who was raped and murdered by a gang of men, followed today by a second very similar incident involving a 21 year old Indian woman has been a real shock to me.

I have known and worked with quite a number of Indian people over the years, seen scores of documentaries about Buddha, Ghandi and aspects of Indian life, and always thought that the society, although suffering from poverty in certain areas, was spiritual and peaceful in nature.

But these stories, and the background comments describing them as almost commonplace have forced me to think again. Obviously during the Indian mutiny and the struggle for independence Indians used force to further their cause, but to hear that the abuse of women is rife within Indian society flies in the face of everything I believed true.

If, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, that women are being mistreated and that social pressures are brought to bear on girls and women who are sexually abused, there needs to be a change, brought about by the Indian Government, to address that situation.

Similar changes are needed, and are slowly being implemented in the UK. There has long been a stigma about the reporting and prosecution of rape cases, which is slowly being eroded, but much more needs to be done. Having lived with a victim of rape some years ago, I can say first hand, that it destroys lives and should be treated with the respect and sensitivity it deserves.

It is very sad that these women have suffered and died in such a traumatic and violent manner. Let us ensure that the outrage the cases have caused in India, is mirrored in the UK, and the steps to help the victims of rape in this country are strenuous far reaching and happen as soon as possible.

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