Op-Ed: Delhi gang rape — Appeal disrespects the dignity of Indian women

Posted Sep 24, 2013 by Michael Krebs
The lawyers for the four men sentenced to death for the brutal gang rape that resulted in a young woman's death in India are now launching an appeal, and the world cannot have it or stomach it.
Anti-rape protests at India Gate
Anti-rape protests at India Gate
The sentence was death. Handed down as it was, interpreted, digested, reinterpreted, re-digested; four men gang raped a woman in India so badly that she died from her wounds.
The incident inspired countrywide protests in India and fueled a near-riotous behavior and prattled about until a great nation found its anger, finding also a voice in its anger and its remorse.
And the cold-hearted brutality of the act - far beyond the reach of animal lust - coalesced in the reporting and in the rumination of a population just beginning to recognize and to appreciate the warm tenets of feminism and of respect and of harmony. Indian women were organizing and were vocalizing their collective disdain for a society - both public and private - that had positioned them in a manner that exposed them to this ugly act.
The world felt their collective revulsion. The world could do what it could do; turn slowly, wait for the browning touch of the sun. The world felt, but the women in India felt differently.
They wept and they spoke up. They wore pink and they carried signs. They shared photographs and they postured as best they could, making what could be said said.
And there was hope. And hope was a simple pink gesture in an environment largely defined by a hard lack of such gestures.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the lawyers for the accused gang rape defendants are seeking an appeal from the death sentence they have been handed.
Death is the most noble end for the actions these men have embarked on. Every society is defined by the means it gives its women. As a great civilization that has contributed boundlessly to global society, India has helped write this definition.
And yet, here we sit on the broken craw of this appeal.
Sure, India is a democracy. Certainly. It is the largest democracy in the world. And appeals are part of the democratic process.
But this is different. Its brutality is different.
Indian women deserve their dignity. They deserve the opportunity to preserve their beauty and their poise and the many elements that define them as sophisticated representatives of a sophisticated and complicated society.
These deaths sustain their beauty and their poise and their elegance and their charm - and deliver forward their dignity on the world stage.
Let's erase these blemishes and move a great nation and their great women forward.