"Women hold up half the sky" - Mao Zedong
The latest assault makes me shudder each time I hear about it. My blood curdles, I feel dizzy each time television channels start their meaningless debates on the subject.
What wrong did the girl do to deserve this kind of an atrocity, an atrocity of the worst order. What life will she have if she survives? Will her scars ever heal?
The girl is a citizen of this country. She had potential to contribute to the country's economic and social well-being, yet her potential has been nipped in the bud for all practical purposes.
Who is to blame?
It is easy to blame lax policing and easy laws, but we are talking about a larger social issue.
This is a society which despite having leapfrogged into the e-age has quite a medieval and feudal mindset towards half of our population - the female sex. Successive governments and social organisations have not focused on the root cause of the problem.
The solution lies at home. If little boys see their sisters being loved and are taught to love their sisters, they would never become such demons. If the little boys see equality at home, only then would learn to respect girls.
If the girl child is treated with the same respect, loved, cared for and tended to as boys are, only then would boys see girls as equals, as partners in progress and not as mere lesser mortals or just sexual objects.
Preference for the boy child, female infanticide also results in a warped sex ratio. Distortion in the sex ratio essentially results in a whole lot of sexually frustrated young men, which in Northern India has resulted in a well-oiled trade in "brides" from the East, which is nothing but human trafficking.
And then there has to be compulsory sex education in schools and colleges. Women must also be compulsorily taught self-defence techniques to deal with such demons.
To deal with these demons, I don't really think death penalty will help. Instead, they should be chemically castrated and put behind bars for a minimum 15 years. On release, their foreheads should be tattooed with the words "Rapist" to make them live the rest of their their lives in indignation. These should deter any demons in the making.
Gender issues we face as a country essentially means that half of India isn't as productive economically as they could potentially be. Look at China.
If only we understood what Chairman Mao meant when he said "Women hold up half the sky".
As for the girl, I hope she's revived, gets an intestinal transplant, returns to society with full honour and dignity and moves on to realise her dreams.