Although the protests against the brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old girl on a bus in south Delhi last week have been largely spontaneous and unorganised, there are some who played a part in representing the protesters and communicating with the powers-that-be in trying to find a solution to the stalemate. And they’re not disheartened by the protests shifting from India Gate to Jantar Mantar.
Antim, a girl student who along with some others met Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Sunday even as protesters clashed with police, said, “We condemn efforts by political parties and people like Ramdev to hijack our movement. We also denounce violence by hooligans.”
“The home minister told us that laws cannot be amended in a day or two. He said this would be done at the earliest. But he assured that the harshest possible punishment would be given to the Delhi gangrape accused.”
A student of ITS Engineering College in Greater Noida, she said, “We will continue to protest at Jantar Mantar till people like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or Congress president Sonia Gandhi come out and tell us about a specific timeframe for punishment being meted out to the rape accused.”
All India Progressive Women’s Association leader Kavita Krishnan, one of the spearheads of the demand for the movement, said: “People think they can get away after committing crimes against women. This perception needs to change. This case is a trigger. We need to change laws. General assurances will not do.”
She said: “People spontaneously stepped out of their homes for the cause. But yes, we mobilised people from campuses through social media and campaigning.”