'And when the baby girl who is buried alive will be questioned about;
For what offence was she killed?'
---Surah Al Takwir, Ch:81: 9-10)
Last month, the kidnapping, gang-rape and brutal killing of an eight-year old little girl in Kathua, in the Jammu region, caused a national outrage in India. And the country witnessed a series of popular protests against the rising tide of horrific incidents of violence against women and girl children in recent years. The government’s woeful record of abject failures in dealing with the question of safety and security of women and girl children was highlighted in these mass mobilizations. Across several cities and townships, public meetings called for ending the prevailing culture of impunity around sex and gender-related crimes. That the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself was reminded on Indian women’s safety by well-meaning foreigners during his recent tour of Britain speak volumes about the national dishonour and humiliation these institutional failings represent for the people.