The gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi has cast its shadow on the three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas which concluded in Kochi on Wednesday with delegates painting a grim picture for the tourism sector.
The brutal crime has marred the country’s reputation abroad so much so that all Union ministers, including the prime minister, external affairs minister and country’s senior bureaucrats had to assure delegates that more teeth would be added to laws to deal with the crime against women.
Inaugurating the meet, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that legal and regulatory frame work would be improved.
Making an indirect reference to the Delhi gang-rape case in his address at the meet, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid urged the delegates to take the message back that the country would correct the social wrongs even while its judicial mechanism would sort out the issue through the legal steps.
He acknowledged that the gang-rape was being widely discussed at panel meetings and personal discussions.
It had affected every home, town and institution in the country.
“Everyone felt hurt and was determined to fight it. India has done a lot to bring women to public space. The country needs to introduce all necessary measures so that women entering the public space should not feel it is a place of regret. Never think that India has gone back to an irreversible phase. The country is all determined to fight the menace. Every thing is not grim and dark in the country,” he said.
Indian Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said what happened in Delhi was sad. “Steps had been taken to make the police more watchful in Delhi and other states to prevent attacks against women in future,” he said.
Many delegates expressed concern over the safety and security of women in the country. They wanted to know what steps the government was taking to ensure a safe and secure environment for women.
Delegates fear that the stories of atrocities on women pouring from all parts of the country will badly hit its thriving tourism industry.
Prez hopeful of 8.6 to 9 pc growth
Addressing the valedictory function Pranab Mukherjee said that only with the high rate of investment, the country could achieve the targeted growth and he called upon the Indian diaspora to liberally invest in the ongoing and future projects of the country to accelerate the country’s economi growth. He said that NRIs had deposited close to $67 billion at the end of the October 2012 in various exclusive deposit schemes introduced by the country for them.