Rajya Sabha members seek more stringent anti-rape laws

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) Rajya Sabha Members Monday sought more stringent laws following the brutal rape of a five-year-old girl here and asked the government to call an all-party meeting for the purpose, even as some parties pushed for the death penalty in such cases.

The debate, which saw participation of several women members, also saw MPs raising questions about direction of modernity, influence of globalization and effect of consumerist culture.

There were also demands to check spread of pornographic material and complaints about obscenity in films and TV.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Maya Singh, who initiated the short duration discussion on growing crimes against women, accused Delhi Police of callousness in its initial handling of case of brutal rape of the five-year old girl.

“There should be tough action,” she said and called for immediate death penalty to culprits of brutal rapes against children.

She said the incident of brutal rape of the girl had happened even as the country was dealing with the shock of gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in the capital December last. The 23-year-old woman subsequently died of her injuries.

In his powerful speech, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury said India had low global rankings in women safety and law enforcement and justice delivery continue to be pathetic.

It is not modernity, but “modernoxity” – intoxication with modern things where people flaunt modern brands, but while fixing up a marriage, they look into the caste and sub caste and where people prefer the birth of a boy to a girl.

“This is a toxic society with modern instruments to play with, but not a modern society. We are creating a lethal combination, a venal cocktail – of a hangover of feudal patriarchism and neo liberal values of consumerism,” he said, contending this was destroying the social values and leading to depravity in society.

He said government should accept recommendations of Justice J.S. Verma panel, which has not called for death penalty in crimes of rape.

Urging Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to call all-party meeting to make anti-rape bill more stringent, Congress MP Prabha Thakur also suggested that the statement and medical examination of the victim should be considered as enough evidence in cases of brutal rape.

She said an ordinance could be brought to make anti-rape provisions tougher and favoured death penalty in cases of rapes against children.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati suggested that all-party meeting should be held to tackle any shortcomings in the anti-rape law and also called for death penalty in cases of barbaric rapes.

While giving clearance to entertainment programmes, like films, and advertisements, the government should keep Indian culture and traditions in mind, she urged.

Janata Dal-United member Shivanand Tewari, who said he felt ashamed to be a man on hearing of brutal atrocities against children, opined that violence against women was not an issue of “law and order only but there was also problem of values”.”

He said there should be psychological analysis of culprits who indulge in brutal crimes against women.

Samajwadi Party member Ram Gopal Yadav said there was need of tough action if police fails to act in cases of crimes against women but there was also need to check influences that are “polluting the mind of youth”.

He said pornographic material was easily available and asked if a raid had even been carried on Palika Bazaar in Delhi to seize such material.

He said while dance bars have been closed in Mumbai, “item songs” in Bollywood movies were “100 times more obscene”.

Najma Heptulla of the BJP said globalization had come to the country but westen values had not.

Her party colleague Smriti Irani complained that India had become third largest consumer of pornographic material.

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