Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Urgent review of rape laws underway
Condition of assault victim 'deteriorating'
- Swati Deb, New Delhi
- December 27, 2012
Mass protests demanding stricter punishment for rapists has led the federal government to form a three-member committee to review rape laws, following the gang rape of a medical student in a moving bus in New Delhi on December 16.
The committee, which has invited suggestions from the public through a public notice, will submit its report next month. At present, a person accused of rape is sentenced to a minimum seven years in jail.
The 23-year-old rape victim whose assault led to public outrage and violent protests was flown last night to Singapore for treatment. Her condition is reportedly deteriorating.
"In India, the fear of law is often minimal, especially so when it comes to crimes against women," said Maya Singh of the Bharatiya Janata (Indian People’s) Party.
James Veliath, a social activist, told ucanews.com that the general belief among wrongdoers is that their influence and money can allow them to get away with all sorts of crimes against women, including rape.
Federal finance minister P. Chidambaram yesterday admitted that the government is not fully prepared to deal with "the new phenomenon of mass protests.”
Following the gang rape incident and subsequent outcry, Madhya Pradesh state has decided to impound arms, confiscate driving licenses and passports, and deny government jobs to those indulging in crimes against women.
The National Crime Records Bureau of the federal Home Ministry says that the number of rape cases registered in India increased from 2,487 in 1971 to 24,206 in 2011, far greater than the increase in murder cases.
Social activists say sex education could be one of the many ways to deal with the menace in India.
However, the "UNICEF module of sex education tried for about a decade in states of Kerala and Maharashtra was opposed and discarded," said Veliath.