"Only fear can stop it. We are the youth of India. We are her voice."
September 12, 2013 9:42 AM   Subscribe

On Tuesday, a court in India convicted four men of "rape, unnatural sex, murder, conspiracy and destruction of evidence" after they brutally gang-raped a woman on a bus in Delhi last December. The woman died two weeks later in a Singapore hospital. When news broke, it sparked protests (previously) and raised awareness worldwide about the plight of many women in India. Now that the verdict is in, the Guardian analyzes the incident to see how "the nation's surge to superpower status has left millions behind struggling on the margins." (Links in this post contain descriptions of rape and assault which some may find disturbing.)

Also from The Guardian: The Prosecution's Case: Interactive

The case was fast-tracked. Possibly due to the international attention it attracted.

As India gang rape trial ends, a debate over what has changed. "...it has helped in breaking the silence surrounding crimes against women in a deeply patriarchal country."

WSJ: Last December, the Indian government appointed a group of judges and lawyers to map out changes to Indian laws aimed at curbing violence against women in response to the New Delhi bus incident. The Verma Committee took just 29 days to release a report with over 650 pages of recommendations, including making the rape of a women by her husband a crime, criminalizing stalking and voyeurism, and increasing punishment for those who engage in trafficking women. Some of those suggestions on voyeurism, stalking and trafficking were incorporated into the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act (pdf), passed in March 2013. "But there were some parts the government ignored, including laws on marital rape and strong advice against introducing the death penalty for rapes, which the committee said would be a regressive step. The new law sanctions the use of the death penalty in extreme cases and for repeat offenders."

What the Delhi Rape Trials Mean for India's Women: "The country must prove that it can routinely and effectively prosecute rapists, even when it's not in the international spotlight."

Worth noting that the defendants' lawyers' "blame the rape victims" defense failed. So did citing Mahatma Gandhi during closing testimony.

A TrustLaw poll conducted in June 2012 ranked India, the world's largest democracy, as the worst G20 country in which to be a woman thanks to infanticide, child marriage and slavery. TrustLaw is a news service run by Thomson Reuters. From January, a Reuters slideshow: India's Women Defend Themselves
posted by zarq (16 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
"The country must prove that it can routinely and effectively prosecute rapists, even when it's not in the international spotlight."

The country must also teach its men how not to treat women as sex objects that are nothing but their playthings and "asking" to be assaulted. Effective prosecution of rapists is a necessary start, but not addressing the underlying cultural attitude problem leaves only one side of the problem addressed.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 9:56 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


India: A Dangerous Place To Be A Woman
In December 2012 a young medical student was brutally gang-raped on board a bus in Delhi. Horrified by the attack, 28-year-old British Asian Radha Bedi travels to India to uncover the reality of life for young women there.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:02 AM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Related: Almost a quarter of men 'admit to rape in parts of Asia'
posted by MuffinMan at 10:05 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


how not to treat women as sex objects

As dire as the situation in India really is for women, the article that you linked infuriated me. I sent a small rant to a fellow Indian American woman about the entire framing of the articlen when I first read it weeks ago, like the blanket statements from yet another white visitor, the assumptions about how anyone reading the article must have no personal connection to the culture or country, the mix of exotification and othering, etc. I understand it's an "iReport" and people are going to say what they say, but I'm a bit tired of the "white woman who goes to India expecting a land of enlightenment and is surprised by reality" narrative.

On preview: thanks for the British-Asian link, Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey.
posted by sweetkid at 10:08 AM on September 12, 2013 [9 favorites]


"the nation's surge to superpower status has left millions behind struggling on the margins". Uhm crurious, I tought it was an article on the States?
posted by elpapacito at 10:44 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hope this is not a derail, but I am sick of hearing the word, "brutal," attached to the word rape, as if all rapes are not so bad, but *this one* is noteworthy in it's awfulness. This story is indeed awful, and I am not trying to take away from that, but all rape is despicable.
posted by agregoli at 10:51 AM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Even though all rapes are despicable, there are degrees of brutality. This one killed a woman.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:12 AM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


agregoli: "I hope this is not a derail, but I am sick of hearing the word, "brutal," attached to the word rape, as if all rapes are not so bad, but *this one* is noteworthy in it's awfulness. This story is indeed awful, and I am not trying to take away from that, but all rape is despicable."

This one was extremely violent. She was beaten, raped and had severe internal injuries which were the cause of her death.

I didn't include a link in the post because I felt it was too disturbing, but she gave a handwritten and verbal statement to the authorities from the hospital in Singapore. The main Guardian article on the incident also describes what was done to her. It's sickening.

For whatever it's worth, I was not trying to minimize other rapes by describing hers as "brutal" in this post.
posted by zarq at 11:20 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Related: Almost a quarter of men 'admit to rape in parts of Asia'

More clearly put, in the parts of Asia surveyed, almost a quarter of men admitted to rape. The headline, as written, makes it sound like a quarter of all the men in the world are committing rape on the continent of Asia.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:29 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


That Guardian article was very thorough and very well written. It was also hellishly disturbing.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:48 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know you weren't, zarq, and I'm aware of the facts of the case. It's just becoming a very overused word when used in front of the word rape Obviously in this case it applies.
posted by agregoli at 11:55 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


The word "brutal"most definitely apples in this case. Cases like this make the news and encourage societies to question whether something like this could ever happen again. This is unquestionably the meaning of brutal, so violent it stops tradition and corruption cold in its tracks.
posted by saysthis at 12:57 PM on September 12, 2013


> I hope this is not a derail, but I am sick of hearing the word, "brutal," attached to the word rape, as if all rapes are not so bad, but *this one* is noteworthy in it's awfulness.

This particular rape left the victim in hospital with surgeons removing most of her intestines in an ultimately fruitless bid to save her life. I'd say the word 'brutal' is warranted.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 9:14 PM on September 12, 2013


All four are going to hang, it seems.

I'm not keen on the death penalty in general, and specifically in India where the chance of miscarriage of justice is relatively high. But if there are people who are going to be put to death for awful crimes, these guys would rank near the top of my list of the deserving.
posted by vanar sena at 2:31 AM on September 13, 2013


WSJ: India Court Sentences Four to Death in Delhi Rape Case
Chicago Tribune: Indian judge sentences Delhi rapists to die for 'gruesome crime'
Times of India: "Delivering his 20-page order in a packed courtroom, the judge noted that the "ghastly acts" of Mukesh (26), Akshay Thakur (28), Pawan Gupta (19) and Vinay Sharma (20) requires withdrawal of the "protective arm of the community from around them"."
posted by zarq at 8:13 AM on September 13, 2013


I'm not keen on the death penalty in general, and specifically in India where the chance of miscarriage of justice is relatively high.

I'm with you all the way here, and after reading about what they had done.... hell, I'd buy the rope myself.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:22 AM on September 13, 2013


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