Modi government: 'zero tolerance' for attacks on women

By AFP
Published: June 9, 2014
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Indian President Pranab Mukherjee  gestures a greeting as he arrives with Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi to address the joint session of Parliament in New Delhi. PHOTO: AFP

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee gestures a greeting as he arrives with Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi to address the joint session of Parliament in New Delhi. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI: India’s new government pledged on Monday to curb violence against women and strengthen the criminal justice system, amid public outrage over the gang-rape and lynching of two girls.

Newly-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government also promised to provide toilets and electricity in every home in a country where almost half of the population defecates in the open.

India’s President Pranab Mukherjee made the pledges in a speech to parliament that laid out the right-wing government’s agenda following Modi’s landslide election victory last month.

“The government will have a policy of zero tolerance for violence against women, and will strengthen the criminal justice system for its effective implementation,” Mukherjee told a joint sitting of parliament.

Mukherjee said India “must not tolerate the indignity of homes without toilets” as the government promised family residences would be connected to power and water by 2022.

The pledges come after the attacks last month on the two low-caste girls, aged 12 and 14, in a village in northern Uttar Pradesh state, which reignited anger over violence against women.

The cousins had gone into the fields in the evening to relieve themselves when they were attacked because their homes, like most in the district, do not have toilets.

India brought in tougher laws last year after the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi, but they have failed to stem the tide of sex attacks across the country, and implementation is patchy, according to experts.

The Modi government would ensure strict implementation of those laws, Mukherjee said.

A rape occurs every 22 minutes, according to Indian government figures.

On women’s empowerment, the government was committed to reserving 33% of seats in parliament and state assemblies for women, the president said, a pledge of previous national governments.

The government will also seek to improve education for girls in patriarchal India and end female foeticide, which though outlawed is still practised in a country that favours boys over girls.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Jun 9, 2014 - 4:34PM

    Indian govt. is economically strong but people are poor. About 50% or more population doesn’t have the facility of toilets. As modi pointed out earlier he will prefer to built toilets instead of mander.Recommend

  • Np
    Jun 9, 2014 - 11:59PM

    @umar farooq:
    In Pakistan too only47% people have toilets in their homes. InIndia thought webacknowledge the problem and work on fixing it. In Pakistan the prolem is ignored.

    Can you imagine a Pakistani politician saying it is more important to build toilets than mosques?

    Recommend

  • Bob
    Jun 10, 2014 - 1:46PM

    @ NP I have been to India & Pakistan both. Have to say living conditions in Pakistan are relatively better than in India. Nothing personal but it is really what I felt, maybe because of huge population it is harder to manage.

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  • Rob
    Jun 10, 2014 - 3:18PM

    @Bob: dude it’s other way around, have been to India & Pakistan both…Have to say living conditions in India are relatively better than in Pakistan. Nothing personal but it is really what I felt, that’s because of the huge economy India has been able to achieve during the past 20 years, but on the other hand past 20 years Pakistan is misguided and going towards extremism…!! today India is home to all the fortune five hundred companies research centers in it’s back yard that shows where India stands today in this globalized world…!!

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  • lol
    Jun 12, 2014 - 5:43PM

    @Bob: lol…u Got Polio??

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