Recognising the "emotions and energies" that the rape of the young woman in Delhi had generated in the capital and elsewhere, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday, while condoling her death, said that "India genuinely desires change" and resolved that the government will ensure that it becomes "a demonstrably better and safer place for women to live in".
Here's the full text of his statement:
I am deeply saddened to learn that the unfortunate victim of the brutal assault that took place on December 16 in New Delhi has succumbed to the grievous injuries she suffered following that attack. I join the nation in conveying to her family and friends my deepest condolences at this terrible loss.
I want to tell them and the nation that while she may have lost her battle for life, it is up to us all to ensure that her death will not have been in vain. We have already seen the emotions and energies this incident has generated. These are perfectly understandable reactions from a young India and an India that genuinely desires change. It would be a true homage to her memory if we are able to channelize these emotions and energies into a constructive course of action.
The need of the hour is a dispassionate debate and inquiry into the critical changes that are required in societal attitudes. Government is examining, on priority basis, the penal provisions that exist for such crimes and measures to enhance the safety and security of women. I hope that the entire political class and civil society will set aside narrow sectional interests and agenda to help us all reach the end that we all desire – making India a demonstrably better and safer place for women to live in.
I pray for the peace of the departed soul and hope that her family will have the strength to bear this grievous loss.