The gang rape and physical assault of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in New Delhi by six men has touched the raw nerves of the Indian society. As the girl battles for her life in a hospital, protestors have clashed with police in the national capital and in spite of the brutal crackdown, protestors are showing no signs of backing out. Kavita Krishnan is one of the foremost leaders of the protest and is a central committee member of CPIML (Liberation). She engaged with IBNLive readers in a short interaction on the issue.
Q. Madam let me know if the government would have kept quite if any relative/women/daughter of any top political personality had faced this situation. Asked by: sudheendra_sr
A. My point is what women in general are asking for: that govt should safeguard their rights to freedom without fear. This government is behaving in a high-handed authoritarian way. It is not willing to convene a special session of Parliament to pass the long pending bills relating to sexual assault, sexual violence and a new law on honour crimes.
Q. Ma'am, this isn't really a question but just wanted to tell you that I share your views on the matter at hand. Refreshing to hear such a balanced take on the thing instead of a vindictive approach. I really wish we all succeed with our protests. Hats off to you ma'am! With you all the way. Asked by: Sukhada Chaudhary
Q. Mam, how will have the government responded to such an assault if it concerned members of their families? Apart from it, we, the general people, have only one way to put our views forward to the government and that is by mass movement. Can you tell me if a minister has ever had an open forum to discuss these general issues? Asked by: Varun Berry
A. Certainly not, this government is the worst offender in this regard. Whenever they are faced with a popular protest, they start branding the protestors as Maoists and in this case also, they are doing the same.
Q. The protests continues but do we have a direction and destination? Asked by: Mangelethe Sneha Menon
A. We do have a clear direction. We are demanding that the govt should declare a date for a special session of Parliament to pass the long pending bills relating to violence on women & institutional changes including gender sensitisation in the police, strict police procedures for forensic & other kinds of investigation of rape cases, fast-track courts to ensure swift, sure and severe punishments in each & every case of violence on women.
Q. Keeping rarest of the rarest aside, law need to be changed so as to punish the guilty in every rape case with capital punishment or chemical castration. Exemption of cross examination of victims in courts also needs to be done away with. Asked by: Sumeet W
A. I'm saying that the debate should not be diverted. Chemical castration is an absolutely incorrect demand because a rape is not a product of sexual desire. It happens because the rapist fears women's freedom. You have had many serial rapists and killers like Jack the Ripper who was impotent. A rapist can rape a woman by an object. The main issue is that there is widespread impunity for rapists. Only, 26 out of a 100 rapists are punished in our country. We want a series of changes in the laws as well as in the police and judicial procedures to ensure that every rapist is severely punished. This should be the main demand.
Q. The government is saying that they used force because protesters were going out of control. Do you think it was a political drama by sending such elements to create a bad situation within the crowd? Asked by: Parul
A. I think the govt and police themselves are to blame for the situation yesterday...because of their high handed and repressive attitude.