The highly publicized gang rape of a woman in New Delhi has helped bring to light a broader issue of justice in India. People in India, and internationally, are becoming more aware of incidents of violence against women and minority groups that rarely receive justice. Christians, who are often persecuted by Hindu radicals, rarely receive any justice after being attacked and beaten. Hopefully this new focus on unpunished violence will help reduce Christian persecution in India.
1/4/2013 India (AsiaNews) – A “propensity to forget”: John Dayal, secretary general of the All India Christians Council (AICC), thus terms a trend of Indian society, made up of silence, under-reporting and “contempt for the human person.” The New Delhi rape seems to have lifted a veil of this mentality, with civil society united in demanding a change in a loud voice: enough corruption, more safety on the streets, some justice for those who are guilty of a crime. Just today, the main national news released a video recorded in a village in Assam: a group of women ripping the clothes from and slapping Bikram Singh Brahma, the local Congress MP, accused of rape.
However, notes Dayal, in addition to daily episodes of rape that occur throughout the country, the government “forgets the victims of past mass violence”: the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi (1984), the riots between Hindus and Muslims in Mumbai ( 1992-1993), the massacres of Gujarat (2002), the anti-Christian pogrom in Orissa (2008).
In 2012, the district of Kandhamal (Orissa) registered 33 cases of rape, 19 of which were against teenagers. A phenomenon that has grown over the years: in 2009 the victims were 24 and in 2010 there were 27. Just recently, three young Christian Dalits – of 14, 13 and 5 years of age – were raped. “Two of them – Fr. Ajaya Kumar Singh, Director for Social Action Forum Orissa Bhubaneshwar told AsiaNews – are victims of gang rape. One was strangled to death, the other was able to survive.” However, their case was never investigated.
“The problem – said John Dayal – is that the police takes days to register a complaint for rape [when it is done, ed.] The investigations are carried out carelessly, and the magistrate refuses even to hear the version of the victim.” “The Church and the community – he concludes – must act. This situation affects us all.”