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Death of gang rape victim sparks widespread protests

A demonstrator shouts slogans during a protest rally in New Delhi. CC Reuters/Ahmad Masood NC

A demonstrator shouts slogans during a protest rally in New Delhi. CC Reuters/Ahmad Masood NC

Naomi Wolf writes:

The crime seems incomprehensible. A 23-year-old physiotherapy student is dead, 12 days after having been raped for more than an hour by six men in a bus travelling on main roads in the Indian capital. Her internal injuries from the iron rod that her attackers used were so severe that doctors had to remove her intestines in their effort to save her life.

Indians, it seems, have had enough. Dozens of large and increasingly angry demonstrations have been held to demand that the government ensure women’s security and stop treating rapists with impunity. While the authorities have sought to quell the protests – cordoning off central New Delhi and subjecting the rest of the city to traffic restrictions – violence has escalated. After a policeman died, live ammunition was fired into the crowds – killing a journalist, Bwizamani Singh, and provoking a rebuke from Reporters without Borders.

It is not simply the high rate of rape in India that is driving the protests’ virulence. In a passionate speech, Kavita Krishnan, Secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association, spoke to the deeper issue behind the protests: the blame-the-victim culture in India around sex crimes. She notes that government and police officials recently insisted that most rapists cannot be prosecuted in India, because, as one official put it, they are known to the women attacked. Other officials have publicly suggested that victims themselves are “asking for it” by their use of freedom of movement.

Read the rest of this excellent article by clicking here.
Related post: What do we do about evil?

What do we do about evil?

Mark Kelly writes at kainos:

CC Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty NC… I am reading a Hindustan Times news article about a young woman in Delhi, India, who is fighting for her life after being brutally gang-raped on a bus, and her male companion savagely beaten, as the vehicle drove through the city’s streets. The Dec. 18 Wall Street Journal carried a first-person article by a single woman in Delhi who is both angered and terrified by the incident. She wants to live her non-traditional, Western-style life in peace and hates that the streets of her city are unsafe even for women accompanied by a man.

Rivers of (digital) ink about “the problem of evil” have been flowing in the United States since a young man slaughtered 20 children and six adults at an elementary school Dec. 14. The appalling attack in Delhi reinforces the painful truth: The human heart, though we prefer to think otherwise, is a dark, dark place. If a person thinks he can get away with it, he will do what he wants.

The “problem of evil” is not questioning why a loving God would allow bad things to happen. The problem of evil is why otherwise ordinary people choose to follow their dark impulses — and what does it take to create a society where people choose to do good instead?

When evil takes on flesh — Adam Lanza in Newtown or the rapist thugs in Delhi — our leaders instinctively call for the same tired, ineffective measures humanity has been implementing for millennia. For some, justice is about punishing evildoers, and Delhi’s halls echo with threats of dire consequences for the wicked accused. For others, justice is more about well-being — accomplished with more laws and better enforcement. In the aftermath of the Newtown massacre, everyone from city councilmen to the President is rushing to beef up gun control and mental health laws.

More laws and better enforcement, however, will never deter wicked men from dastardly deeds, much less rid the human heart of evil. Punishment is even less adequate a cure.

What we want is for people to be good — and not just the Adam Lanzas and Delhi rapists of the world. We want our neighbors and co-workers to be good. We want our children’s teachers and our civic leaders to be good. We want to be good ourselves — stronger than the everyday selfish temptations that are always getting the better of us.

Secular-minded “progressive” people puzzle over how stubborn a problem evil is in the human heart. Politicians and pundits who put their faith in governmental problem-solving can only blame wrong-headed opposers for their failures.

The truth is far simpler: We don’t need more and better methods of fixing wicked, selfish people. We need new people with new hearts.

The solution also is ridiculously simple: We need to go back to the point where our problem began, as Paul says in Romans 1, in our refusal to acknowledge Creator God for who he is and give him thanks. Do we want people to be dead to evil and live for what is right? Do we want to see all these old things gone and everything made completely new? Don’t start scripting a new episode of Law & Order. Humility before God and gratitude for his offer of new life is the place to start.

Unfortunately, transformation can’t be delivered from the top down. The law kills, and more laws only kill you deader. The politicians can’t deliver on their promise of hope and change. New communities where justice reigns are made up of new people — and that happens one heart at a time. A dark house is filled with light, room by room.

What do we do about evil? Darkness flees from light. You know about light. You are light. Look around you. Do what light does.

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