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Nirbhaya incident awakened a million others: Indian MP

Dec 17, 2013

Launching the campaign, ‘Honour Our Women’, Anurag Singh Thakur said that tough laws and policing alone cannot stop crimes against women.

New Delhi: Anurag Singh Thakur, Member of Indian Parliament’s Lower House, and National President of the Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the main Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, on Monday launched a nation-wide campaign, ‘Honour Our Women’ (H.O.W. Foundation).

The campaign that transcends all political barriers will work on the streets and in schools and colleges of all state capital across India, to bring a change by sensitising men for building a women friendly ecosystem.

Launching the initiative, Thakur said that despite new laws and all the policing, cases of rape and crime against women were on the rise. He stressed on the need for complementing the legislative approach with a direct grassroots approach where men could speak up and convince other men to join hands in making a women friendly environment.

The raging reaction against the brutal Delhi gang rape has put a heavy skew only on legislative and judicial interventions without looking at the social fabric of the society, he said.

“Each rape erodes trust in our society and portrays India as intolerant to the rest of the world. A year back, when thousands of men and women took to the streets in protest, they were not just demanding justice for Nirbhaya – they also wanted a guarantee that there will not be any more Nirbhaya cases ever again. The HOW initiative that aims to shoulder this responsibility to bring about this change in mind sets and attitudes of men towards women, is a befitting tribute to one woman who lost her life, but awakened a million others,” added Thakur.

Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief, Times Now; said that political parties should have the guts to do things which might be unpopular but are right. He also cautioned that media should not have a sense of self importance. “Media need people’s support to promote right things,” he stated.

Ashutosh, Managing Editor, IBN7; said that the issue of crimes against women is not one-dimensional. “A multi-dimensional approach is required to make this country a safer place for women. The brutal, Delhi gangrape case, of December-16 has agitated people to the core,” he said.

Kapil Sharma, stand-up comedian, Comedy Nights With Kapil, said that even people who pass lewd comments on women should be put behind bars. “The change which we seek in the society has to begin from everywhere including our homes, schools and colleges. Men should set an example for kids by respecting women in the family,” he said.

Chetan Bhagat, Author, regretted the low stature of women in India. Women need to learn to assert themselves for their rights, Bhagat said. “We should respect women not just because they are mothers or sisters to someone, but because they are Indian citizens who have an equal right to life of dignity and respect,” he said.

Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi exhorted women to be all-powerful by themselves. “Women have to believe that their rights are like anyone else in this country. They have to stop being dependent on their male partners for something which is their natural right,” he said.

Eminent men from various walks of life including politics, journalism, government and cinema, pledged their commitment to the HOW campaign. Speakers like senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley and Rahul Kanwal, Editor-at-Large, Headlines Today, joined the event to discuss how a change could be brought to the mind set of men to make them honour women.

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