As a father of 3 daughters, I feel anguished: PM

Towards justice: Opposition leaders say Manmohan cant inspire confidence

As a father of 3 daughters, I feel anguished: PM

Forced to issue a public statement following massive protests over the gang rape of a 23-year-oldwoman, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday broke his silence and said protests were justified but violence would serve no purpose.

Reading out a brief statement in a televised address, Singh appealed for peace and said the protest was “genuine and justified anger and anguish at the ghastly crime of gang rape.”

“As a father of three daughters myself, I feel as strongly about this as each one of you. My wife, my family and I are all joined in our concern for the young woman who was the victim of this heinous crime. We are constantly monitoring her medical condition. Let us all pray for her and her loved ones during this critical time,” he remarked.

“I also feel deeply sad at the turn of events leading to clashes between protesters and police forces. Anger at this crime is justified but violence will serve no purpose. I appeal to all concerned citizens to maintain peace and calm. I assure you that we will make all possible efforts to ensure security and safety of women in this country.

“The home minister has already spoken about the steps being taken. We will examine without delay not only the responses to this terrible crime but also all aspects concerning the safety of women and children and punishment to those who commit these monstrous crimes. Our government will keep you informed of the steps we are taking and the processes we are following. I appeal to all sections of society to maintain peace and help us in our efforts.”  

However, the PM’s statement did not cut ice with the BJP. The party, insisting on its demand that an all-party meeting and a special session of Parliament be convened to discuss the issue of safety of women, said Singh’s statement promising steps to prevent heinous crimes against women did not inspire confidence.

BJP spokesman Prakash Javdekar said: “The Prime Minister's statement does not inspire any confidence in the people. It has come too late and is too little. People want tougher laws and time-bound action. The government has failed to gauge the mood of the people.
“The home minister saying we cannot talk to the protesters is ridiculous.” he said.

PM at the receiving end from Twitterati

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may have thought that he had assuaged the protesters to some extent through a televised address on the gang-rape of the 23-year-old woman. However, what happened within an hour of the address was entirely unexpected and Singh was at the receiving end from the Twitterati, reports DHNS from New Delhi.

The reason: At the end of the address, Singh asked somebody whether the speech was alright. “Theek hai (allright)?” the prime minister had probably asked the cameraman or the producers. However, the snippet, which was mistakenly broadcast, gave an impression to certain people that Singh was not sensitive about the entire issue. The news spread like wildfire over the net, with the people venting their anger over the apparent insensitivity of the prime minister.

Some among the Twitterati even mocked him. “Theekhai,” “meekhai,” “bheekhai,” they tweeted.

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