Union minister of state Shashi Tharoor tweeted on Tuesday that the name and identity of the 23-year-old gangrape victim should be revealed so that she could be publicly honoured, triggering a fresh debate.
The Indian Penal Code's section 228 prohibits naming a rape victim unless she authorises it or, if she is dead, her family agrees her to be named.
"Wondering what interest is served by continuing anonymity of #DelhGangRape victim. Why not name&honour her as a real person w/own identity?" Tharoor tweeted.
Although the Congress termed the idea as Tharoor's "personal view" and the BJP criticised it, the HRD minister was supported by Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CMD of Biocon — a leading drug manufacturer.
Shaw tweeted back: "That's the question I've been asking as well. Especially when the new Rape law needs to immortalise her by bearing her name."
Barkha Dutt, group editor of NDTV, too supported the idea in her tweet, provided the family agreed to such a thing.
"ShashiTharoor agree. But has to be the family choice per law," Dutt's tweet stated.
On Tuesday, Delhi Police registered a case against an English daily for carrying a news report that identified the victim by her name.
Some twitter users just balked at the idea, indicating that the government could court a fresh controversy in case it chooses to go ahead with the suggestion.
"Even our braindead Govt. should be airlifted to Singapore," a twitter user wrote.
Unless her parents object,she should be honoured&the revised anti-rape law named after her. She was a human being w/a name,not just a symbol— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 1, 2013
Wondering what interest is served by continuing anonymity of #DelhGangRape victim. Why not name&honour her as a real person w/own identity?— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 1, 2013
Under the law, the identity of a rape victim cannot be disclosed and printing or publishing the name or any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom rape is committed is an offence under section 228-A of Indian Penal Code.
His comments also came close on the heels of Delhi Police registering a case against an English daily for publishing material which could lead to the identification of the victim.
Tharoor's comments sparked instant reactions on Twitter with people supporting and questioning his suggestions. " Why are you after creating honours, idols and temples again instead of making real changes to criminal justice system?" Chirdeep, one of the users, asked.
Former top cop Kiran Bedi supported naming of the law asfter the braveheart saying it has happend in the US before.
Anil Wanvari, however, wrote: "A good suggestion. This is exactly what I had recommended four days ago. Cheers!"
Some Twitter reactions to Tharoor's suggestion
I support S Tharoor's on naming new law on rape after 'Nirbyaya' as v called her!This has been done in USA: Brady,Megan, Jessica, Karly Law!— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) January 1, 2013
Shashi Tharoor as a minister shd stop tweeting.He always is a disaster and creates a problem for himself.Nw he wants d rape victms dtls out.— Ashoke Pandit (@ashokepandit) January 1, 2013
A redundant controversy is about to hit Shashi Tharoor thanks to our media's penchant for drama.— Shakti Shetty (@Shakti_Shetty) January 1, 2013
Honor her? For being a symbol of despair? "@firstpostin Shashi Tharoor: Identity of the Delhi gangrape victim must be revealed to honor her"— We. Why. (@vitalstatistiks) January 1, 2013
this is NOT Natha'fication of the victim RT @nbtdilliUnion Minister Shashi Tharoor demands New anti rape law to name after 'Daughter of Ind— ????? ??? (@indiantweeter) January 1, 2013
50 crore ka suggestion RT @firstpostin: Shashi Tharoor: Identity of the Delhi gangrape victim must be revealed to honour her.— Ornab Goswami (@justicearnab) January 1, 2013
The girl was gangraped and brutally assaulted allegedly by six persons in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
With inputs from PTI