Will India’s political class take responsibility now?

Even as our hearts sink following the death of the rape victim, there are several questions that need answers now
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First Published: Sat, Dec 29 2012. 11 49 AM IST
Students in Kolkata participate in a rally against the Delhi gang-rape and recent rape cases reported in West Bengal on Thursday. Photo: PTI
Students in Kolkata participate in a rally against the Delhi gang-rape and recent rape cases reported in West Bengal on Thursday. Photo: PTI
Updated: Sat, Dec 29 2012. 06 21 PM IST
Will India’s political leadership ever learn any lessons? Even as our hearts sink as we bid goodbye to the unnamed girl who lost her life to the inhuman assault, there are questions that arise that need answers now.
Did our so-called leaders and aspiring leaders act in the way they should have? Did the Prime Minister step in when he should have? He did not even bother to react when the issue was raised in Parliament and when women parliamentarians spoke passionately about the safety and security of women in the country? Did Sonia Gandhi, who had the political acumen to come out of her fortified security to greet the crowd celebrating the Indian cricket team’s World Cup victory last year, come out and speak to those who were leading a peaceful protest at India Gate? Has Rahul Gandhi, who has projected himself as India’s youth leader, and is preparing himself to be the country’s Prime Minister, tried to reach out to the youth who were anguished about what happened to that girl? One can understand it is difficult or impossible to address an agitated mob. But couldn’t they have spoken to the young people in the initial stages as they were gathering to protest peacefully? Wouldn’t that have prevented the protest from turning ugly?
Did the opposition parties react in the way they were expected to? Did they not try to capitalize on the incident keeping the forthcoming Delhi elections in mind? Where were the so-called young and upcoming leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party? Did any of the suave politicians who took turns to appear in TV studios try to address the crowd and take them into confidence?
Did the police chief, who is apparently miffed with the political leadership for not being chosen for a top post, do justice to his uniform?
Did the media play its role sincerely—instead of trying to whip up emotions and raise TRPs?
Why do our leaders and all those who we look to for guidance and leadership fail us? Why have they forgotten that the young are the greatest strength of this country, but can turn into our greatest weakness if not handled properly and carefully.
Are we the citizens of a failed nation?
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First Published: Sat, Dec 29 2012. 11 49 AM IST
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