NEW DELHI: "Thankfully, I don’t have a daughter," said one of the women, who visited Jantar Mantar where Swati Maliwal started an indefinite hunger strike, demanding hanging of rapists within 6 months after conviction. "We always live in fear that we could be victims of such cases. While outside, there is always a hurry to go back home before it gets dark. Thankfully, I don’t have a daughter...When I get to know about these horrific cases I am happy I do not have one," said 46-year-old bank employee, Vimmi Verma.
Verma said the mass protests would be effective if those in power would stop politicising such incidents. "Going in a metro or in a bus, we feel so unsafe. Men are always looking for excuses to touch us somehow. Either we fight against it or we forget about it. I came here to fight against it. But I don’t see any hope. Everybody is trying to politicise the issue. The problem is that different parties are taking out protests. The need is for everybody to come together against it rather than fighting separately. Elections are approaching. What else can we expect?" she added.
At Jantar Mantar, other groups protested against the brutal rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad. Members of the transgender community, retired armymen, housewives and Anu Dubey, the lone protester against the rape who was detained outside the Parliament last week, were also present. Dubey, an army man’s daughter, said that like Maliwal, she was also on a fast unto death.
“Like the rape victim called her sister for help, my sister also called me once when she felt unsafe in an area. She was stalked by four men but somehow managed to escape them. I am here to demand strict action against rapists,” she said.
‘Dialling 100 is of no use’
Sam Williams, a fashion choreographer, said that she was there to protest the mentality. “To the MLA who said that the Hyderabad victim should have dialed 100, I have to tell that nothing happens when you dial that number. Being a transwoman I have experienced it myself,” she lamented.