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'Rape should be taken as seriously as a terrorist attack'

January 02, 2013 23:29 IST

Local elected officials and community members in California participated in the candle light vigil on Tuesday to show solidarity and to honour the 23-year-old girl, who was gangraped in a bus and severely beaten resulting to her death from injuries.

The heinous incident has not only triggered concern about women's safety in India, but the world around.

The candle light was organised by the Vedic Dharma Samaj also known as the Fremont Hindu Temple located in a highly-populated Indian American community in Fremont. Many devotees who had come to the temple to seek blessings on the occasion of New Year, instead participated in the candle light vigil.

Talking to the attendees, the newly-elected Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison wished everyone a Happy New Year and said that he had read in his high school science class about the Newton's Law that every action has equal and opposite reaction and this is what has happened.

"This is the opposite reaction of the tragic incident. We are thousands of miles away, but we are here to show our support and to pledge that this never happens again in our community or any other community."

Dr Romesh Japra, temple co-founder and chairman and cardiologist said the world has come closer, and what happens in India affects worldwide.

He said, "Coming and praying and paying homage is not enough. It will take years or more to eliminate this kind of barbarism from this world. It is going on for many years. But I think when it comes to this level; no kind of punishment is enough for this act even if it is the capital punishment."

He added, "Today we should resolve to make a safe future for our children."

Lalit K Mathur, co-founder of the temple said, "This is a serious issue that brought us here. It's not just the rape, but about culture our culture, about what we are teaching our children or not teaching our children and about change. We have to change our attitude our thinking and character."

"So we the people of India, from across India and the world should make sure that this does not happen anywhere. We have to make sure what we teach our children human values," said Mathur.

Sanjay Minocha, CEO, Accrete Solutions who was a Delhi resident before moving to the United States in 1995, said, "It is sad that it has taken a tragic incident to awaken the city and the country. The good thing is that finally the country has come together and the fact that they feel so strongly about this. I feel they are going in the right direction."

He added, "I wish and pray that this movement takes a turn for making lives of women in Delhi and in our country much better and safer."

Minocha said that India needs drastic change in the laws and the regulations, Such men won't stop doing what they are doing. There are animals and they will be there. But they should make an example of the six accused. They should be put to death."

Sandeep Deokhule, member of a non-profit Maharastra Mandal in the Bay Area echoed the same as Minocha.

"We need more awareness and helplines; rape should be taken as seriously as a terrorists attack," Deokhule said.

Yogi Chugh, a political activist and community leader said, "I feel India has woken up. What happened is not just the issue in India but could happen in any part of the world. As we stand in solidarity, we should make sure that this never ever happens to anybody."

Ritu Jha in California