By Shashi Bhatia
DURHAM: Like NRIs across the world, I am shocked and appalled by this barbaric act of violence against the innocent young woman on a bus in Delhi.
It was a terrible indictment of some of the attitudes prevalent in segments of Indian society. Much of my efforts here in Toronto through my organization – called the Indo-Canadian Cultural Association of Durham (ICCAD) – are aimed at promoting the image of India as a progressive nation. But sadly such dreadful incidents as the one in the Indian capital do nothing but sully India’s name.
This tragic event illustrates one of the major gender-based problems faced by Indian society. For all its progress, there is still an undercurrent in Indian society where women are seen as possessions to be used and not as valuable beings in their own right.
We Indians must now direct all our efforts to eliminate the misogynist views that led to the cruel death of this 23-year-old young woman. That she would meet her death in such a violent manner is a sad reflection on contemporary Indian society.
If there is any good that comes out of this shameful act it is that the people of India have reacted in horror. Perhaps some sort of permanent memorial to her would serve as a symbol of the respect that should be due to all Indian women and girls.
(Shashi Bhatia is the founding chair of the Indo-Canadian Cultural Association of Durham or ICCAD)