British History, Culture & Sports, History of Freedom, Heroes, Inventors, Brits at their, English country scene

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Of fathers and daughters

The murderous rape of a young Indian woman has horrified the world.

As have the reports that gang rape is common in India, and rape victims who survive assault are often too ashamed to press charges.

Faced with the Indian practice of "suttee" – the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands, British General Sir Charles Napier said: "You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."

The oppression of women occurs all over the world. In Britain, women have excelled in courage and have been extolled as heroines because they lived in a culture which, increasingly, valued them.

The father of the lovely and brilliant Indian student who died had borrowed heavily to finance her education. May there always be men like him, who love and support their daughters.

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