Echoes of an Entire Country
Judgement onDelhi’s gang-rape case sends a message to the world
Giulia Dogliatti Delhi
December 16, 2012, marked a breaking point for many Indian women who could not stand violence any longer. The feelings of all those women became as one in the world, focused around the shocking gang rape that happened that night on a bus in Southwest Delhi. The victim, a 23 year-old girl, was attacked, raped and thrown off a bus by four men. The impact onIndia, its people and authorities, was so strong that even Sonia Gandhi went toSafdarjangHospitalto check on the condition of the poor girl, who the media named Nirbhaya (“The one who has no fear”). She died after two weeks; her internal organs had been completely destroyed. News of this brutal event reached all corners and resonated in the ears of women in so many countries outsideIndia. I still remember when I heard the sad story inItaly. I never thought that I would have been here, inDelhi, when the sentence would be emitted.
Three hours of wait and expectations, pacific turmoil and interviews within the crowd. The sun is bursting, and the multitude of people is so tense that even the opinions asked from journalists to the citizenry participating are requested silently, in a preparatory mood, like the atmosphere is too sacred to be broken. It is only when a man jumps over the barrier and shouts, in excitement and joy, “Capital Punishment, Capital Punishment!!! They gave them the Capital Punishment!”, that the eyes of every person present in the place open with surprise and release: the mob gets what it wanted. It took nine months to finally have the judgement, and here we are: today, September 13, the four men are condemned to capital punishment.
At 1 pm cameras, headlines, and so many people outside the Court waited for Judge Yogesh Kanna to decide the destinies of the four assailants. An immense crowd of police carefully kept an eye on the situation, inside and outside, with lathis. Pressure and excitement were in the air. From posters it could be supposed that people demanded full condemnation: an old strong woman dressed in white marched proudly with a white sheet declaiming: “Phansi do, phansi do” (“Hang them, hang them”). Was this actually the overall opinion? I and my friend were asked this question a lot of times when we were in front of theJustice Courtbefore and after the sentence: it is well known the big echo news of the event had had, so people were curious about the reaction aroused by it in other States and Continents. We answered and launched the ball back to the Indian men and women living all this time with these events. Some said, “Capital Pain is not useful. It comes too late. If the police would be as aware as today every other day of the year, that horrifying thing wouldn`t have happened.” It`s three pm when we leave the Justice Court: the crowd is full of joy, and justice is made. Violence against women is not finished, but it`s a beginning. And let the echo of this beginning spread to the entire world.
When fiction becomes reality
The September 13 sentencing of gang-rape assailants in Delhi does some to balm the wounds
Jessica Rubino Delhi