A group of 600 guitarists have paid a musical tribute to an Indian gang-rape victim, playing “Imagine” by John Lennon in a bid to spread “hope, peace and promise” in a country still coming to terms with the violence.
The group assembled at a music festival in the eastern Indian hilltown of Darjeeling on Thursday, nearly three weeks after the brutal rape and murder of a student on a moving bus in New Delhi brought an outpouring of national anger.
“We chose this song because it talks about hope, peace and promise,” Sonam Bhutia, tourism secretary of Darjeeling and one of the festival organisers, told AFP by telephone.
“The song is so inspiring. It talks about a universe without any boundaries,” Bhutia said of the 1971 Lennon track.
“The tribute was a gesture on our part to show that we are with the victim’s family in their hour of unimaginable sorrow.” The scenic town of Darjeeling, in a part of India wedged between Nepal and Bhutan, is famous for its tea.
The savage attack on the woman has triggered countrywide protests with calls for better safety and an overhaul of laws governing crimes against women.