New Delhi, Jan 1: The rise in crime (especially rape) against women in India has hurt the country's image at international forum. Several countries have questioned India's justice system, as leaders have failed to provide security to womenfolk. Neighbouring country China with which India share age-old boundary dispute came out strongly against the brutal gang-rape and murder of 23-year-old paramedical student in national capital. China has questioned India's democratic system, and criticized it being controlled by a group of elite.
"The Indian democratic system seemingly can't solve these problems but provides legitimacy for them. India's democracy is now manipulated by a small number of elite and interest groups. This easily ignites massive grass-roots protests like the current ones and the anti-corruption rallies in August."
The street protests in New Delhi offered a lesson to China, said the Global Times write-up by Lin Xu. "Six decades ago, China and India maintained a similar development level, but there has been a widening gap after China explored reform and opening-up," it said.
Expressing "deep sadness" at the death of 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim, United Nations human rights chief Navanethem Pillay has asked the Indian government to strengthen the country's legal regime to get rid of the "terrible scourge".
The UN high commissioner for human rights said rape is a "national problem" in India, affecting women of all classes and castes and requires national solutions. Pillay expressed deep sadness over the death of Delhi rape victim and said she joined Indians in "all walks of life in condemning" the attack on the student, expressing confidence that India could emerge reformed in the wake of this "terrible crime."
"India has shown through its social reform movements of the past that it can rid itself of a scourge like rape," she said, calling for an "urgent and rational debate" aimed at ending violence against women in India. "What is needed is a new public consciousness and more effective and sensitive enforcement of the law in the interests of women," she added.
(With inputs from PTI)