Perhaps the most dignified and gracious of senior Indian politicians, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Smt. Meira Kumar has given an utterly heart wrenching interview to NDTV. Speaking very gently, maintaining a calm and smiling visage, she made two telling points-
1) the parents of the girl so horrifically attacked had sold their land to educate their daughter- not pay for her dowry. They have two younger sons. The mother is probably illiterate. The father is not well off. At home they eat namak roti (bread and salt). Yet they have progressive attitudes- the wanted to make their daughter a doctor- they are 'sophisticated' (i.e having true adaab, true akhlaq) in the proper meaning of the term, the humanitarian meaning. It is the hooliganism of the power elite, the rank hedonism of the comfortably off which is 'unsophisticated'- jahil, savage, bestial.
2) The father told Smt. Meira Kumar that he did not want revenge- he even used the word 'accident'- but he does not want any other girl to suffer the fate of his own daughter. It appears this grief stricken family yet understand something about Justice as a universal value which is lost upon the law-makers.
(edit- it appears the parents have asked that the perpetrators are hanged without delay. )
Meira Kumar, who chooses her words very carefully- she was a diplomat before entering politics- took the opportunity to make two substantive points
1) that some portion of the police currently on VIP protection (30% of the total manpower) should be reassigned to make the streets safe.
2) that there is a connection between the bestial violence of the rapists and Parliamentary hooliganism once again in evidence after having reached a low point during debate on the Women's Reservations Bill.
Hopefully, this truly great Speaker will speak out more often and, more importantly, that her voice will be heard. She speaks for the dignity of the truly dignified- the masses of India.