Public fury over Delhi gangrape case
'Fasi do, Fasi do - death to rapists, death to rapists' - slogans continue to rent the air at India Gate to Vijay Chowk. Young people from all parts of Delhi descend over the heart of Lutyen's Delhi. They are angry, they are upset, they have no faith in the system and some want to change it over night.
Twenty one-year-old Neha is from a South Delhi family. She is doing MBA at a prestigious college. She was upset that somebody asked her if she was from Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
"I don't belong to any party. I have no interest in politics. But, I want a safe city. I have come here on my own," she fumes.
Nineteen-year-old Pinky is from Vinod Nagar in East Delhi. She works at a Super Market as a salesgirl. She was at India Gate after dropping the idea of going to watch a movie. "My job is very tough. I work from 10 AM to 9 PM, six days a week. Sunday is a luxury. I have come here instead of taking rest at home or going for a movie. Because my blood is boiling", she says holding a placard that demands Bobbitty for the rapists. Her friends nod approvingly.
Huge contingents of police stand at a distance watching the burning of seats put up for Republic Day Parade. Whenever the police try to stop young protesters, they push them back and run away with whatever they can snatch from the police.
"Aaj se thand bad gaya, hum police aur sarkar ko thoda thanda karenge" says a 35-year-old shopkeeper from West Delhi.
An Arab couple from Lebanon who have come with their toddler try to negotiate their way through angry crowd, which keeps swelling every minute. A college girl shouts 'Arab spring, Arab spring'. They wave at her and move on.
Vendors are doing a brisk business. The sale of Tea and Gol Gappa has gone up. Elderly people who have come to India Gate with their young children sit near these vendors keeping a close watch on the agitators.
"Business is extremely good. But, we are scared of police. If they continue crackdown, nobody will come here" groundnut seller Chunni Lal says in a hushed tone after making sure that no cop is listening. He admits that he dislikes police the most.
Outdoor Broadcasting Vans (OB Vans) of several dozen news channels have been parked just behind India Gate for the past 5 days. A hassled young reporter is feeling tired after two days of non-stop work. "All that I need is rest. A good rest. But, it does not seem to end soon. What to do?" she asks before rushing to get some more sound bites of angry voices.
A huge crowd curiously watches an overturned car. Police in battle gear rush towards these people menacingly. They start hitting them. Some run away, some fight back, some refuse to move and some shout anti-police slogans.
A JNU student says some pro-Congress rowdy elements have managed to infiltrate the peaceful protesting crowd. "These anti-social elements are creating trouble to discredit this apolitical movement. I know that some of them are from NSUI. We warn the Congress that if it does not stop this, situation will get worse' he thunders fist-pumped from behind his girl friend. Is he actually happy or angry? I wonder!"
A group of 50-60 young professionals discuss the apathy of Delhi police. A 25-year-old man complains that he made a call to Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar in connection with some sexual harassment and got a negative reply. Others share similar experiences with each other.
These are net savvy youngsters. Some discuss celebrity tweets supporting the crowd at India Gate. A few feel that they should make it an international news. "If the international media makes it big like they did during the Arab Spring, this insensitive government will be forced to act", they say.
All Metro stations between Mandi House and Race Course are shut. But, it did not stop people from reaching India Gate. They walk a long distance on a cold Sunday. Some shout 'Death to rapists'. Some just hold placards. Some run on empty roads. Delhi has never seen something like this before.
More about D P SatishD P Satish has been a journalist for the past 14 years. Born at the picturesque Jog Falls in Shimoga district of Karnataka, Satish did his graduation in English Literature. He is a post-graduate in Journalism from the prestigious Asian College of Journalism, Bangalore (now in Chennai). After a brief stint with the Indian Express Group, he shifted to TV. He also worked for an American news magazine called ' Image '. He has widely travelled and covered some of the biggest events from South of Vindhyas in the first decade of the 21st century. He is passionate about English literature, classical music, cinema, history, photography, jazz and Cricket. A self-proclaimed centrist, Satish keenly follows major political developments from across the World. He blogs regularly and spends hours searching for readable material from the Internet! He belives that journalism is a calling and a person meant to be a journalist, can't escape from it. A hillman at heart and by birth, Satish lives and works in New Delhi. But, loves Bangalore more than Delhi!
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