The friend of Delhi Braveheart discussed the incidents surrounding the whole rape situation (People were afraid to help us: Delhi gang-rape victim’s friend). Here is what he said.
“The occupants of the bus, which had tinted windows and curtains, had laid a trap for us. They were probably involved in crimes before also. They beat us up, hit us with an iron rod, snatched our clothes and belongings and threw us off the bus on a deserted stretch.
“The bus occupants had everything planned. Apart from the driver and the helper, others behaved like they were passengers. We even paid Rs 20 as fare. They then started teasing my friend and it led to a brawl. I beat three of them up but then the rest of them brought an iron rod and hit me. Before I fell unconscious, they took my friend away.
“From where we boarded the bus, they moved around for nearly two and a half hours. We were shouting, trying to make people hear us. But they switched off the lights of the bus. We tried to resist them. Even my friend fought with them, she tried to save me. She tried to dial the police control room number 100, but the accused snatched her mobile away,” he said.
“Before throwing us off the bus, they snatched our mobiles and tore off our clothes in order to destroy any evidence of the crime.
“After throwing us off the bus, they tried to mow us down but I saved my friend by pulling her away in the nick of time. We were without clothes. We tried to stop passersby. Several auto rickshaws, cars and bikes slowed down but none stopped for about 20 to 25 minutes. Then, someone on patrolling, stopped and called the police,”
My friend was bleeding profusely; I was more concerned about her. But instead of taking us to a nearby hospital, they (police) took us to a hospital (Safdarjung) that was far away.
Nobody from the public helped us. People were probably afraid that if they helped us, they would become witnesses to the crime and would be asked to come to the police station and court,” he told the channel.
“Even at the hospital, we were made to wait and I had to literally beg for clothes. I asked one ‘safai karamchari’ to give me some clothes or curtains and he asked me to wait. But the clothes never came. I then borrowed a stranger’s mobile and called my relatives, but just told them that I had met with an accident. My treatment started only after my relatives came.
He also said that the PCR van came to the scene 30-45 mins later to the scene – after the call was made – and then wasted time in trying to decide “under which police station’s jurisdiction the case fell”. Apart from that, people kept watching them as they were without clothes and no one even offered them any thing to cover themselves as the girl bled profusely.
Rape and Apathy
So let us look at this situation a bit closely.
There are three main issues that this whole incident has brought out:
- Rape is widespread in India and that has to be tackled
- Public apathy has made us into moronic onlookers
- Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, there is a complete – or near complete – breakdown of public administration infrastructure.
The brutality and the death of the Delhi Braveheart happened because of a cocktail of all three. That is why its impact is so stunning.
In the aftermath of the entire incident, I would like to add another ingredient:
- Ego and brutality of power
This is best exemplified by two things:
- Treatment of the Delhi Protesters and the imposition of the Section 144
- Filing of a case by Delhi Police against Zee TV for the interview of this guy – Delhi Braveheart’s friend.
Here is what has happened in that exhibition of “Brutality of power” (link)
Indian police say they have filed a case against a news channel for broadcasting an interview with the boyfriend of a woman who died after a gang rape, in which he criticised officers for squabbling as the couple lay injured in the road.
The 28-year-old said officers refused to lift his bleeding girlfriend into a police van and claimed delays meant it took two hours to reach hospital.
A criminal case was registered late on Friday against the Hindi language TV channel Zee News over the interview, which police said could lead to the identification of the victim in breach of a law entitling her to anonymity. “Investigations will begin shortly and anyone guilty of this violation will be similar charged,” said Rajan Bhagat, police spokesman.
We need a FOUR-pronged strategy
Until now, the focus has only been on the criminality and the psychology of Rape. Yes, rape is abhorable and inhuman… yes, it should be stopped and eliminated. But the rest of 3-pronged cocktail that we have in our midst, will render ANY crime into inhuman suffering. And it does.
I have used this clip often and want to cite it again because it articulates the dangers of Apathy and a Broken (and corrupt) administration very well.
We have to clearly understand that the pothole at the top of our street, the raped 16 year old or this 23 year old, or corruption of billions (nay trillions), terrorist attacks, someone dying from hunger on the street, beggar begging, villagers forced to become Maoists and taken to arms, bribe for the birth certificate, the Babu being forced to fall in line and become corrupt because in this endemic inflation he can’t make ends meet and is forced by his peers and superiors into submission, farmers committing suicide, millions losing money in real estate scams…..
.. everything is interlinked.
These are all manifestation of three main issues: (1) Apathy of everyone. (2) Breakdown of Administrative machinery (3) Brutality of Power.
The first one needs people with just two characteristics - (i) they should be breathing (ii) they should have brains.
The third - Survival instinct – is a fundamental ingredient that has been put in EVERY part of this creation and existence as a given. From a Galaxy to an Amoeba to an Animal. I doubt Indians were left out by Nature.
Apparently, we are so driven by survival now and breathing so fast, that we have stopped using our brains.
Or does getting over Apathy require something else? At an individual level, Apathy happens – despite someone possessing all the three – when one is in depression. So, is the reason for our collective Apathy .. some strange case of Mass Depression? I am not sure what the reason is but the cure is with us.
Once the Apathy part is taken care of, the rest two can be taken on.
But the fight will have to start one person by person.