Vijender Singh’s turban is askew. When you point it out to the 50-year-old teacher from Ailum town in Shamli, Uttar Pradesh, he dismisses it with a swift hand gesture. “Iss desh ki pagdi uchchal gayi hai!”( This country has lost its honour). Standing beside an OT van at the Capital’s nerve centre, Sansad Marg, the kurta-clad teacher looks a little lost. Behind him, a group of Delhi University students are writing slogans on the road.
“Chale chalo chale chalo Dilon mein ghaav Lekar bhi, chale chalo chale chalo Lahu luhan pao lekar bhi, chale chalo ki aaj saath saath chalne ki zaroorat hai”. (Move ahead with wounds in your hearts, move ahead with blood on your feet, move ahead because it’s the time to walk together).
When Singh heard about the protest meet to seek justice for the victims of Kathua and Unnao rape cases at delhi a few days ago, he decided to bring his 13-year-old grandson with him. “I want him to open his eyes and see that there are people condemning these crimes. We can’t let our kids believe that the whole country thinks in such a deplorable manner,” says Singh.
Singh, who left his home early on Saturday morning to reach the venue on time, believes that nothing has changed since the horrific December 16 rape case of 2012, that shook the nation. “We are a nation of animals. Politicians will divide us in name of religion, that’s what they do. But how did we let our conscience die ?”he asks.
A 19-year-old student of Delhi university, Nidhi Sharma, echoes his thought. “I feel angry and helpless. Rape in any form is deplorable. But how are we supposed to react when lawyers bring out rallies in support of rape-accused? What kind of moral bankruptcy is this ?”she asks.
There were similar protests that were organised in the other parts of the country. In Mumbai’s Carter Road, people turned up in large numbers to express their solidarity for the cause. There were protests in Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru and Nashik
Meanwhile, advocate Deepika S Rajawat who is representing Kathua victim’s family also joined the protest said that she fears for her life as she may get raped or murdered.
“Today, I don’t know, I am not in my senses. I can be raped, I can be killed and may be they won’t allow me to practice in court. They (have) isolated me, I don’t know how I can survive,” she told ANI.
Delhi spoke up too! Never forget who tried to shield the culprits of these disgusting crimes in #Unnao #Kathua . More gruesome child rape/murders since! #SuratRape victim must also get justice, as must all others. #RapeRoko #FastTrackCourtsNOW#StrictestSentencesForRapists https://t.co/U82XF1Mqyc
— VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) April 15, 2018
— Girish (@GirishNaught) April 15, 2018
More images from #NotInMyName protest. Vrinda Grover speaking about how citizens MUST keep vigil over Governments to keep them accountable to women’s rights. Rape like at Kathua is a hate crime, she says, hate is being sown and fanned up amongst us by those who rule us. pic.twitter.com/EWEts4xjM5
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) April 15, 2018