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Delhi gang-rape tragedy cause for reflection

I REFER to the many comments following the recent gang-rape in Delhi where the victim died.

What is it that causes a man/men to commit such a heinous act? Is it a complete submission the male bestial instinct, to claim what he desires by force if necessary; a tragic twist on Nietzsche's will to power? Does it stem from an inability to respect women? Or perhaps does it come from an inability to feel empathy, to understand the feeling of suffering that your victim would experience at your hands, to understand how you would yourself feel at the hands of some attacker?

But do we show empathy to others in our everyday lives? Or are we so caught up in our own worlds that we are cannot approach situations except from the vantage point of our own perception?

How many of us on the roadways shout curses and insults at fellow drivers, rather than forgiving their mistakes, or inversely drive recklessly out of impatience, with no regard for those who we may affect? Or on an even shallower level, how many of us ridicule others for any simple blunder? Are these things really any different from rape, except in extent and degree of savagery?

What we should teach our children is to act always with consideration for another's feelings regardless of their perceived worth. Most people might not be rapists, but most people would not respect the man sleeping on the streets, and just as the rapist does not respect the woman whose physical fragility he violates, many of us I'm sure are guilty of violating others based on notions of intellectual, economic or social inferiority.

Khaleel Ali

UWI

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