Music industry grieves for Delhi rape victim
MUMBAI: Music artists across the fraternity have mourned the death of the 23 year old medical student who was savagely raped in Delhi. The victim, who was flown to Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital, lost her courageous battle for life early on Saturday.
Noted playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy said the incident was a sad chapter in India’s history and that rape was becoming a growing crime. Educating people to give respect to others especially women and treating them as equal individuals was the need of the hour, she told Radioandmusic.com.
“What can I say? It was so tragic. I am concerned about the rapid depth of immorality that we are sinking into. I used to be proud of India; for its spirituality, morality and support system within families. But now I feel empty and sad for the country. This shouldn't have happened in a democratic country. The only thing I am ‘happy’ about is the protest launch by the girls who would have gone through similar traumas. You could see the depth of anger in their voices. I don’t think hanging is the solution as a punishment, it could prove to be dangerous as the next culprit would make sure the victim doesn’t survive.”
Two weeks ago, the victim and her male friend boarded a bus after watching a movie at night. The bus driver and his accomplices raped the victim, assaulted her friend and threw her off the bus.
“The country is sleepwalking. It’s time for introspection. Indians should stop talking about China and Pakistan and look inside ourselves. To say the incident is a ‘wake up’ call is too simplistic. I am amazed at the way people in power are thinking (going by their reaction or lack of it) but the victim has lit the fire under their pants and they are sure to get burnt. At the social level, I blame both parents who inculcate certain attitudes in their children. While some are too scared to touch women, others have the confidence to go ahead and molest and degrade them,” said singer-guitarist Lesle Lewis.
The savagery and callousness of the attack on the young girl spurred Delhi’s citizens - known for their lackadaisical attitude towards uncouth behavior, to launch protest marches against the crime and its perpetrators who were all caught. Marching up to the Parliament and other landmark sites, the protesters largely college students braved tear gas and water cannons and clashed with the police.
“I belong to Delhi and I always had preferred the city to others. It is better in food, warmth and family, but as this incident has exposed the important fact that it cannot provide security to young girls. And safety is paramount to girls. The Delhi rape incident is shameful and ridiculous. I can only feel for the victim and the huge number of protesters But I wonder how effective are these protests? Will they bring about changes? I am sure about one thing; we cannot depend on the system to protect us. We have to rely on ourselves for our security. I hear carrying pepper spray is not allowed, but it seems that rape is,” said singer Akriti Kakkar.
After fighting for her life with unbelievable courage for 13 days, young ‘Damini’ as protesters called her, succumbed to her injuries on 29 December.
For music director Sneha Khanwalkar the sordid incident has left her shocked and cynical about the society and how it functions.
“Each time an incident like this happens we ask, ‘What can be done?’ I don’t think that’s much use anymore. I don’t want to join a list of known personalities who share their quotes. As a commoner and a girl who travels alone (frequently) I know I am at risk like every other girl. There is a need for action but I don’t think that action will come from us. I am too disgusted.”
Music director Sulaiman Merchant blames the immense pressure that modern day Indians are undergoing for such monstrous acts.
“It’s shocking that such incidents happen. The most important thing is to educate people, especially the men. We may know about respect, but education will bring about knowledge and change in perspective. I don’t know how many changes the protests will make, but it’s for the government to take notice and take action.”