Indian Lawmakers Allow Police to Charge Protesters
A 7-year-old girl was raped, at school no less, and once again Indian lawmakers prove their mettle. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is outdoing his previous actions in ordering police violence against India Gate protesters in Delhi in the latest violation of women's rights in the world's largest democracy. Police have already begun to act in the name of public safety by charging crowds with batons.
On Tuesday, his department has announced that though "stalking and acid attacks" will be considered violent sexual offenses, the age of consent will be lowered from 18 to 16. A parliamentary panel also denied acceptance of marital rape as a criminal offense, despite the recommendations of the Verma Report. PolicyMic will track how these latest legal developments affect the renewed protests.
In the midst of the rocky, cultural revolution an interesting political development is taking place. Rahul Gandhi, supposed 'heir to the throne,' has stated publicly he would not like to follow in his grandmother India Gandhi's footsteps and become prime minister. Touted as the youth voice in politics, representing a growing number of Indians who have lived or worked outside the subcontinent, many were angered by his silence during the December and January protests in Delhi.
Will he continue to remain silent, hiding behind the family name and money? Or will he actually use the powerful female models of his mother and grandmother to his political, and perhaps India's cultural, advantage?