In a recent interview to Mirror Now, Sheila Dikshit had decided to establish just how insensitive an individual can be. Her views on women safety and the sheer disregard she has towards the victims are loathsome beyond imaginable limits, and this comes from a woman who is contesting for a parliamentary seat from Delhi, the city where this horrendous incident took place.
According to Sheila Dikshit, the Nirbhaya rape case was “blown out of proportion by the media” and there are “so many cases like this taking place today”, which hardly find a mention in the newspaper. She said, “Sometimes you ignore rapes, just a little thing in the newspaper…little children being raped…and one was made into a political scandal.”
The Nirbhaya rape case was a frightful crime, in which a 23 year old girl was brutally gang raped by 6 individuals in a moving public vehicle. Along with sexual penetration, she was tortured with different devices including an iron rod which led to her intestines coming out of her body. A couple of weeks later, she succumbed to her injuries in a hospital in Singapore. The perpetrators underwent trial, out of which the juvenile was released after 3 years on reaching the age of majority but the others were sentenced to death, a verdict which was upheld by the Supreme Court. The Nirbhaya rape case took place in December 2012, during the time Sheila Dikshit was the elected chief minister of Delhi, with Congress led UPA government in power at the centre.
After the horrific incident, the citizens and the media had taken to the streets, demanding justice for the incident. The unnatural incident happened in a public transport vehicle which went on to illustrate just how unsafe Delhi’s public facilities are. The entire country was disgusted and shocked by the cruelty of the crime and the graveness of the situation but Sheila Dikshit here feels that the reaction was uncalled for. Perhaps, she doesn’t realize that this outrageous reaction to the Nirbhaya rape case is what led to an amendment in the criminal laws in the country, right in 2013, when several new provisions were introduced and others were amended in the IPC, Evidence Act and the CRPC. The pro-active “out of proportion” response is what led to stringent laws to ensure women safety, something which was ideally the responsibility of the elected representative, a job at which Dikshit failed miserably.
Being the good for nothing representative, all Sheila Dikshit does is deviate responsibility and shrugs her hands off it. During the interview with Mirror Now, when asked for a justification on Delhi having the highest crime rates against women as opposed to any other state, Sheila Dikshit wiped off her hands by stating that Delhi police is under central government. According to her, lack of lighting in the city and making sure the women are safe in public transport are all the central government’s duty. The Delhi government is not responsible for ensuring safety of the women and doesn’t have any role to play. She continued further by stating that since the police are under the central government, if they have been inefficient, it is the responsibility of the central government. On this, when the executive editor of Time Mirror, Faye D’Souza stated that it was the Congress led UPA government in power at the centre during the Nirbhaya case; Dikshit became dubious and said that it is the parliament who should offer solutions. However, she also stated that even after being an MP, she cannot offer any solutions as the subject is “not within her purview”.
This is not the first time that Sheila Dikshit has displayed her utter disregard for the safety of the women in the capital. According to All India Progressive Women’s Association Secretary Kavita Krishnan, when the journalist Soumya Vishwanathan was murdered, Sheila Dikshit had said, “If she (Soumya Vishwanathan) was out at 3 am in the morning, she was being too adventurous.”
Even after holding such regressive views, Dikshit does not shy away from taking credit. During a session in the assembly in 2013, when talking about the performance of her government in the last five years, she had proudly stated, “We had one rape case and a helpline called 181 was established immediately within a week so that all women who feel insecure can contact us and police for help. It is only one of its kind in India.” In this context, it is pertinent to note that a total of 706 cases of rape were reported in Delhi in 2012 itself. She hasn’t done a thing to ensure women safety and is blatantly projecting otherwise.
All in all, Sheila Dikshit has mastered the art of blame game. She keeps changing her stance according to the situation to fit her personal needs, so as to keep her, and her government free from any responsibility. Women safety is one of the most crucial issues in Delhi today, and neither has Sheila Dikshit done anything to ensure it, nor is she planning to. She has the gumption to contest for Lok Sabha elections from Delhi on a Congress ticket, even after essentially stating, “I cannot do anything, public security is the Central government’s responsibility”. How she envisages being elected after making such ignorant remarks, is beyond a voter’s understanding.