Independence came to India at the stroke of midnight, that hour of darkness and, often, danger. The appointed time on August 15, 1947, for India’s “tryst with destiny” was chosen by astrologers, who deemed it auspicious for the country’s birth. Since then the midnight hour has become synonymous with freedom. Is that the case for women, though?
It is worth interpreting that question literally for just a moment, as others have done. “Just because India achieved freedom at midnight does not mean that women can venture out after dark,” Botsa Satyanarayana, a Congress Party politician, said in a statement following the Delhi gang rape last December. Referring to the young student who later died as a result of her injuries, he added, “The woman should have thought twice before boarding the suspicious private bus that night. Though the incident was condemnable, she should also have behaved keeping in mind the situation.”
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