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    Posted December 29, 2012 by
    meeravijayan
    Location
    Bangalore, India
    Assignment
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    More from meeravijayan

    India Mourns Death of the Delhi Gang Rape Victim - Protests in Bangalore

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     meeravijayan says there were silent protests across all cities in India on December 30, after news was released that the hospitalized Indian medical student and rape victim died from her injuries. She attended a gathering in Bangalore, India, and says it was a highly emotional and tense setting. She says a majority of the protesters were college students and there was a large police force present to ensure that the protest remained under control.

    'The one thing that touched me was the large number of men and boys who attended the protests,' she said. 'It is important for the people to understand that this isn't a “man verse woman” fight like certain feminists and the media are making it out to be, this is everybody's fight.'

    She says women in India are in danger of violent crimes, and says it is a part of Indian culture to warn girls early on not to venture outside late at night and to dress modestly. She says she too has been attacked while living in Bangalore. 'I've been attacked seriously while walking home after dinner once,' she said. 'The two times that I had tried complaining to the police, they merely asked me "what were you doing out on the road alone?"'

    She does not believe Indian politicians are taking the situation seriously. 'In Delhi, over the past week, the government seems to be doing everything to prevent the people from protesting. How can any government not allow the people to protest in a democracy?' she asked. She also says these problems stem from societal problems in India. 'It is a deeply conservative, religious society that is tied down by the harsh rules of the patriarchal system. For women to break free, to rise and to be treated as equal members of this society, it calls for a long, hard fight,' she said.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    Strangely, it was a cloudy, rainy day. At 4 30 PM, I went to join the silent protests held at Town Hall and Freedom Park. The group that was organising the protest were school and college-going youngsters, and it was simply heart wrenching to look at so many trying to hold back their emotions as they lit candles. I watched all of them peacefully hold up signs, a few of them visibly upset. Nearby, at another protest, organised by a TV channel, emotions were running high and people shouted slogans questioning the government and the ruling Congress party.

     

    Across the city, there were several small groups of citizens who came out to talk, voice their opinions and show their respect. In all honesty, I wonder if things will actually change in India. A few months ago, a young girl was molested in public, and the media seems to have forgotten about the incident already. Recently, another girl committed suicide after being raped in Patiala. Rape still isn't seen as a violation of human rights in India. Worse, there are more than a 1000 rapes that happen everyday and the victims often think it's 'their fault' that they got raped. I hope, against all odds, things change.

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