December 23, 2012 5:30 AM   Subscribe

"The brutal* gang rape of a student in Delhi on December 15 has ignited anger across the country. Youth and students from various cities raised their voices demanding a safer society for women and an end to violence in every form*. From the capital* city of Delhi to Hyderabad and Guwahati, protesters turned up in large numbers to register their protest." (text via The Hindu's slideshow) Women protesters were also sexually harassed during these protests. *may contain triggers
posted by infini (97 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
In case you were wondering what eve teasing meant:

Eve teasing is a euphemism used in India and sometimes Pakistan and Bangladesh for public sexual harassment or molestation of women by men, with use of the word "Eve" being a reference to the biblical Eve, the first woman. It implies that the woman is in some way responsible for the behaviour of the perpetrators of this act.
posted by phaedon at 6:29 AM on December 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

The link for "the capital" is a damning indictment of police excuses for rape in the Delhi area, including proposing a curfew for women to "protect" them. It seems that a curfew on men would be fairer and more effective.
posted by jb at 6:35 AM on December 23, 2012 [28 favorites]

For anyone who doesn't know, or read the links: It happened on a bus (off-duty), and she was travelling with a male companion who was badly beaten. And they were then thrown from the bus.

Important details for anyone who wants to skip the links.

I hate people.
posted by Mezentian at 6:37 AM on December 23, 2012 [11 favorites]

This is so incomprehensible and sad, in more ways than I can even express. My heart goes out to all the people who live under the fear and oppression of this extreme rape culture, and especially to the two attack victims. Also, a moment of silence for the journalist killed by Manipur police,
posted by iamkimiam at 6:41 AM on December 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

It seems that the surest way of producing entire generations of men who think of women only as outlets for their sexual urges is to keep men and women socially separated. But from what I've read, it seems like in India some politicians are blaming the problem on the very casual social interaction between men and women that is likely to be part of the solution to this disaster. I don't know if that makes sense. I'm too angry.
posted by 1adam12 at 6:56 AM on December 23, 2012 [12 favorites]

It happened on a bus (off-duty)

They were on a joyride pretending to be legitimate public transportation. A fish trap, if you will.
posted by infini at 7:11 AM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

This story is officially the worst thing I've read in a long time. Instant full-body revulsion, like drinking a cup of ice-cold slime. I mean, it's great that people are protesting in droves, but they shouldn't have to.

I was intrigued by the fact that one of the assailants said to the judge, "I did it. Hang me." Does he realize the full extent of what he did and what he was a part of?
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:31 AM on December 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

The Tehelka article is very good. The fact that none of the cops interviewed will (I assume) face any consequences for their anti-woman views tells you a great deal about the causes for the situation.

I don't mean to muddy the waters, and this is alluded to in some of the comments on the Tehleka article, but Indian law does in some cases have a slightly different definition of rape, which I think makes solving the problems more complicated. (Apart from an obvious climate of misogyny, underclass, women-blaming, enemic corruption, etc.)
posted by goethean at 7:48 AM on December 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

(Reads India Health links). This is crazy; this is full-on Congo civil war level crazy. Encouraging that so many people are protesting, but still... Incredible India, indeed.
posted by bouvin at 8:08 AM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Incredible India, indeed.

Hey, let's not judge. Our country is pretty messed up too, if you haven't noticed over the past couple weeks. This is really sad and heinous but people are brutalized, raped or even murdered all over the world every single minute of every single day. Let's not get all, "Holy fuck India is like the third world times a billion and it's worse than four hundred Civil War Congos combined blah blah"
posted by ReeMonster at 9:11 AM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

No... please judge.

Please shame my so called country into doing something about the massive social change required so that a girl child is not suffering every single day. There is no war in my country, its not a fragile state. It poses on the world stage as the largest democracy and an emerging power yet it can do nothing for me.

Its not even fucking developing...

Call them out on this. Shine a fucking spotlight. Other nations spoke up about guns and whatnot recently so why the hell isn't this called out for a moral, social failure that it genuinely is?

I sincerely believe that the time has come for Kali to dance for us all.
posted by infini at 9:18 AM on December 23, 2012 [107 favorites]

Any numbers or resources for under reported rape statistics in India ? or South Asia in general? S

How about institutions for woman who are attacked to safely and anonymously to report incidents of sexual violence and get help and/or counseling without having to wade into the male dominated Indian police?

This is really sad ... Sad for the poor woman who was attacked, sad for poor man who was beaten, sad for Delhi (more often than not a lovely, crazy, and completely safe city) and sad for India.

Hopefully this incident will help foster real change and more respect for women in India, especially in Delhi.
posted by specialk420 at 10:03 AM on December 23, 2012

sad for Delhi (more often than not a lovely, crazy, and completely safe city)

Was talking with a youngish female relative from India (raised in Lucknow, went to university in Delhi) about this, and one thing she said really stood out for me. According to her, incidents like this are all too common, specifically in Delhi. "No, Apa, things like this happen everywhere off and on. In Delhi it's every day." She expressed the view that women were more likely to be violently assaulted by strangers in Delhi than in Mumbai. If that's true, it seems worth examining.
posted by bardophile at 10:58 AM on December 23, 2012 [4 favorites]

The quotes from Delhi police offices in that tehelka investigation article were just incredible. It was hard to believe at first but the quotes just kept rolling in.

As for the story, I could only find vague allusions to why she needs an intestinal transplant but there was a brief mention of a large blunt object being used.

And even then, the cops were in a race to outdo each other in their haste to blame victims. The length of cognitive backflips they are using to rationalize away the rapes are depressing.

Sure, I've met regular guys, even cops in the states who privately believed that a lot of rape cases were bullshit, but never in their wildest dreams would they use their real name and official title in a newspaper story to offer up quotes that basically say "When you dress like a slut and cocktease boys all night long in your wild booze and drug fueled parties, don't come crying to us when shit happens."
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 11:00 AM on December 23, 2012

I can't read the details, I changed the radio station when they reported on it. This is hatred for women and backlash for gains in equality, acted out by violent, drunk men.
posted by theora55 at 11:21 AM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is hatred for women and backlash for gains in equality, acted out by violent, drunk men.

I wish it was hatred for women -- because, at least, the hatred would acknowledge that women were, in the men's view, human. But this kind of treatment clearly demonstrates that women are viewed as things, with no discernible value.

And to second infini above: this is no time for cultural relativism. This is pure and utter barbarism in the world's so-called largest democracy. Culturally, too much of India is backward and worthless, with a practicing disregard for even the most basic of human rights, and it's unacceptable by any decent standard.

So yes: judge India, and judge hard. And vocally.
posted by gsh at 11:49 AM on December 23, 2012 [7 favorites]

Wondered whether you'd FPP this infini, and about decided no; took guts-- thank you.

If America can be legitimately criticized as being gun-maddened, from outside as well as within, then India can be judged for things like this.

I listen to a certain amount of Indian popular music on KBCS in Seattle, and I think I've noticed an odd perennially appearing trope in some duets, where the male voice will be clear and beautiful, but the female voice will be pitched much higher even than the natural range of the singer, and infused with a weirdly comical and self-effacing chipmunk-like tone that inescapably conveys something like 'I am a harmless little fuddy-duddy, please do not hurt me' and I am totally cast down to think just how frightened and submissive women in general must be-- and feel the need to be-- and how much men must batten on it and demand that for such a voice to have become a thing.
posted by jamjam at 11:59 AM on December 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

Police said she was raped for nearly an hour, both she and her companion were beaten with iron rods and thrown out of the moving bus into a Delhi street.

Also an important detail.

Call them out on this. Shine a fucking spotlight.

By the same token, give props to the people taking hits from the water cannons.

I heard a while back about a (south african) rugger who axe murdered three men who gang raped his daughter and gave her AIDS. And I couldn't help but wonder why that wouldn't be more prevalent in places where women are socially degraded. I suspect it has to be the attitude toward women. But then, how can one have that attitude toward one's sister or daughter or mother? How does anyone let someone get away with that without, well, yeah, burying an axe in someone's head?

I read from the BBC links "But the protesters say the government's pledge to seek life sentences for the attackers is not enough - many are calling for the death penalty" and R. P. N. Singh: "Trying to storm buildings and breaking barricades is not a way to start a dialogue."

And I'm curious what those people think the alternative is absent responsive law enforcement. Absent equal treatment under the law.
Singh has two daughters. Would he want to start a dialogue if it were his kid or would he want to have someone's head on a plate if the police snickered and kept going?
If the plan is to rely on people's self-restraint while watching women close to them are routinely abused, that's a serious misunderstanding of human nature.

At least part of the concept of government is to assuage the need for personal retribution (not to get Platonic here). Without that social safety valve, in that environment, it's only a matter of time before someone very angry and personally involved does something very drastic.
In what world did these people not expect, ultimately, a violent reaction?

Not saying I approve, but it's almost mechanical in its predictability. Much like the pressure on a fault line. You might not know the exact where and when, but you can be pretty sure there's going to be an earthquake whether it's something like the killing of Ken McElroy or the vigilantes in Cape Town. If the government is corrupt or unresponsive, someone is going to take matters into their own hands and others are look the other way. And justice is going to have a much uglier, much bloodier face.
So too, where are the parents of those young men and why do they think their kids weren't putting themselves in danger?
posted by Smedleyman at 12:22 PM on December 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

India is run by the powerful and connected, to a degree that would astonish even Americans, who live in the most powerful Plutocracy in the world.

Corruption is endemic and embedded among those who have the power to change and protect society (politicians, bureaucrats, educators, police, etc.). Thus, the powerless continue to suffer, in spite of fancy claims about "Democracy".

Add to this that India is composed of many different cultures and languages and customs; India's's culture was completely fucked over by the Brits (who, like all past imperialist nations, leave nothing but horror and death and social inefficiency in their wake - just look at Africa, India, South America, and Asia).

Recent personal experiences re: India have reinforced my claims, above. Yes, India needs to be outed on the International stage. So does America, and Russia, and the EU, and South American elites - who all use their power and capital (now, on the wire, with no national borders) to continue to enrich themselves at the cost of the world's poor (not as conspirators, but as the "ignorant rich", who never learned that their wealth is derivative of a large invisible community of prior contributors).

Relative to the aforementioned ignorance, one of the things that needs to be done in a persistent and focused way is to start to name names, to let the world know who the oppressors are, right down to the municipal level. Muckraking journalism is now available to everyone - or almost everyone. Start outing!

Modern networking technologies make this possible. Shame is a powerful motivator, and it's something that we've lost as a tool to control the most criminal among world citizens - i.e. those who hold the most massive amounts of power, and use that power to do little more than multiply same, at everyone else' expense - large bankers come to mind, and health insurance officials, and gun lobbyists, and Indian education officials (who prevent their own from becoming educated), and Indian politicians of almost every stripe, who are on the take for every little thing - who keep the old caste system alive in practice, even though it was eliminated in name more than a half-century ago.

There is no reason that Indian women - or any women - need to suffer the way that the tragic victim (and her boyfriend) suffered that recent evening. I read the Indian papers right after this outrage happened, and was shocked to learn that crimes like this most often go completely unpunished. Some comments following this news articles in the Hindu Times called for hanging the perpetrators, with many others saying that like most prior outrages of this kind, the perps will likely walk. How in Krishna's name can the latter happen, unless there are public officials who have not done a damn thing to prevent it.

Out them all! Our world population is growing, and we had better start to use the Internet to keep those who have power from increasing that power at the expense of the many. Notice that we are hearing more about control of the Internet these days? Where do you think that's coming from? Certainly not from poor women in India, or China, or South America, or America.

Hoep this hasn't been too ranty, but reading about the sheer helplessness of women in places like India, Pakistan, and many other places - in addition to the plight of so many billions held down by nothing more than the greed and corruption of those that *could* be helping, is almost more than I can stand.
posted by Vibrissae at 12:27 PM on December 23, 2012 [4 favorites]

This is hatred for women and backlash for gains in equality, acted out by violent, drunk men.

Eve-teasing does seem to be incredibly pervasive in India. At least, that was my (second hand) experience from travelling around with my then girlfriend on a couple of trips totalling around nine months across the length & breadth of the country. We had to consciously adopt specific tactics while walking, me always behind & both of us on the lookout & making commando style hand signals: "watch out for the guy coming up on the right..."

It would be impossible to generalise from this to an Indian woman's experience, though, as westerners are generally perceived to be sexually liberated hornbag sluts to begin with, so there's an aspect that my girlfriend may have attracted more attention because she was thought to be...I don't know, more receptive to it? Just asking for it? Already damaged goods? More likely to throw off her clothes & start shagging the guy who just "accidentally" grazed his hand on her bum while passing?

One thing I would generalise is that the behaviour is very normalised & not socially stigmatised. These incidents would happen in public, in full visibility, and I can't recall a single time that any local criticised the eve-teaser or adopted any kind of "knight in shining armour" approach.

While there may be some kind of backlash element against the rising social status of women, and there are undoubtedly many tangled threads of inequality or outright misogyny, I felt mostly that the real reason behind the eve-teasing is that there are huge numbers of young Indian men who are phenomenally sexually immature, with no legitimate outlet for their sexual energy*, and a combination of self-entitlement & absolute cluelessness about women, that makes them think this is somehow not inappropriate behaviour.

* Ogling their sister-in-law's underwear drying on the line does not count as a legitimate outlet.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:34 PM on December 23, 2012 [9 favorites]

(That was in contrast with a couple of trips either alone, and/or with a male friend. It's chalk & cheese, travelling in India with a woman vs all male company)
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:42 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Narrow focus on New Delhi incident misses scope of India's rape crisis

The Times of India (blog): Why Indian men rape
Strange theories are floated to explain the depravity of Indian men [...] but the truth is that at the root of it all lies a culture built around hierarchies, of gender, faith, colour, caste, region.

We are, quite simply, not used to people being equal [...] A mindset that since the time of that deviant philosopher called Manu has refused to see “the weaker sex” as anything but property and the receptacle of male sperms.

[...] In those (Indian) societies that do -- or have learnt to -- respect women, and consider them as equal, incidence of rape, sexual harassment, molestation is very low, if not absent altogether. In Darjeeling, for instance, police stations across the district will tell you that in the last decade they have come across only a couple of cases. That, too, in one an outsider was involved. A cop I spoke to for this article remembered just a single case of “eve teasing” – in 1981.

Huffpost: New Delhi Gang-Rape: Why We Are the Problem
Sunday's incident is another example of blaming "them" -- the drunk, poorly-educated rapists. Which is not to say that they must not be punished or are not part of the problem.

But more significantly, we need to ask what secrets of patriarchy we all hide within us. We may not all be sexually violent but we are products of a society that insidiously and systemically promotes the denigration of women.
posted by Golden Eternity at 12:43 PM on December 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Haryana’s bestial rape chronicles or where a rapist is considered ‘a real man’

‘Rape is a cultural thing in India; just as the US has gun culture, we have this. Eve-teasing is so widely accepted, as if men must prove their manhood by indulging in it. The police subscribes to the same value system’
Flavia Agnes, Lawyer

posted by infini at 12:54 PM on December 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Hey, let's not judge.

Yeah god forbid we should just a woman being brutally assaulted as a symptom of a widespread societal problem.
posted by Justinian at 2:53 PM on December 23, 2012 [5 favorites]

Notes from Raisina Hill: Read this first person account of the first day's protests, when they were unsullied by political goons.
posted by vidur at 3:47 PM on December 23, 2012

A lot of Indian media is trying to handwave the protests away by asking the protesters about solutions, and then discussing whether this case should lead to a change in laws about rape (read: death penalty). It's not their job, you fuckwits. How about asking the government officials and politicians whose job it is to provide law and order?

I would be extremely uncomfortable with Indian law enforcement having even more death penalties on board. Given how many miscarriages of justice seem to happen routinely in death penalty cases in places like the US with a far better legal system, I would have no faith at all in the Indian criminal justice system. As it is, the Indian Supreme Court's "rarest of the rare" yardstick about capital punishment is simply taken to mean "does this outrage the public enough". No more, please.

I would also like Indian media to stop applauding the Indian Police for "cracking" this case. There was nothing to "crack" here. Poor people raped and hurt some other poor people. Happens all the time in India. Never gets "cracked", if not for the media spotlight. Lets see the police do more than the bare minimum when under close scrutiny (how about not fucking up the prosecution of that senior police officer who molested a teenaged girl and led to her suicide?) before we start saying "good job".

What we need is just plain law enforcement of existing laws. Nothing more. The most basic of things - being able to register a police complaint - are not available to the public, and police officials do not want to show a high crime rate. This needs to change.

If you "eve tease" (fuck that term, btw) by groping a woman.. well, you should go to jail for sexual harassment even if it is only for 2 weeks or whatever. It should net you a criminal record. Lets see how you explain that to your family, your employers and on your visa forms. And may be India should have public criminal records as many countries already do.
posted by vidur at 4:04 PM on December 23, 2012 [12 favorites]

More coverage of the terrible state response to anti-rape protesters

I couldn't even comment on this when I first read the links. Thank you for posting though, infini. );
posted by eviemath at 5:26 PM on December 23, 2012

If a lot of people started cancelling vacation plans to Delhi and cited lack of safety and a corrupt justice system as the reason, would that help?

How much arranged marriage is there in Delhi specifically? Do the matchmakers assess the men for scandalous and criminal behavior?

I have noticed a relatively relaxed cultural attitude about hiring prostitutes among the Indian born men of my acquaintance. Is this a general cultural thing that's part and parcel of a spectrum of disrespect towards women, or a statistical anomaly?
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:43 PM on December 23, 2012

If a lot of people started cancelling vacation plans to Delhi and cited lack of safety and a corrupt justice system as the reason, would that help?

I don't know what the feedback mechanism is in such cases. Tourism is not the only thing affected by law and order. Every Indian's life is impacted every single day. If that doesn't move the machinery, I don't know if tourist cancellations would.

The protests do seem to be a bit different in complexion this time around. I think this is the first time that Indian upper middle class (the English-speaking, Times of India subscriber types) have joined protests in such large numbers without coming under a political umbrella. Perhaps the law and order situation has worsened so much that the lives of elites are no longer insulated, as they used to be in the years past, and a breaking point of sorts has been reached.

I sure hope so.

How much arranged marriage is there in Delhi specifically? Do the matchmakers assess the men for scandalous and criminal behavior?

There is plenty of arranged marriage in India, including Delhi. There is no official database of convicted criminals in India. Criminal records have to be checked using the name and other details with the local police stations, and AFAIK, there is no formal mechanism for that either.

I have noticed a relatively relaxed cultural attitude about hiring prostitutes among the Indian born men of my acquaintance. Is this a general cultural thing that's part and parcel of a spectrum of disrespect towards women, or a statistical anomaly?

If this were an Indian thing, prostitution would have been made legal in India. My bet is on "you need to make better Indian acquaintances"!
posted by vidur at 6:00 PM on December 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

If a lot of people started cancelling vacation plans to Delhi and cited lack of safety and a corrupt justice system as the reason, would that help?

Assuming that message had some way of getting through, being collated & presented to somebody who cared, it might help in the sense that more police could be diverted to patrolling tourist sites & tourist-heavy areas like Connaught Place, and less resources devoted to Indian-on-Indian crimes like these.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:04 PM on December 23, 2012

A TV reporter, while reporting on sexual harassment in Delhi, gets sexually harassed. Have a look. Don't worry about not understanding the language. It was sexual harassment, plain and simple. They got footage of their faces. They got the car registration on camera. What do you think should happen next? Well, what happened was that the journos "tracked the wrong doers and made them to apologize". That's all.

Oh, and that video has been uploaded by the TV channel itself. Yet, what do they title it? If you guessed "eve teasing", you may be Indian.
posted by vidur at 6:31 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Krishna, what a bhenchod.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:29 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Anyone can venture a guess why these atrocities against women are more common in northern part of India? What's different between the cultures of north and south that created such a disparity?
posted by Pantalaimon at 7:59 PM on December 23, 2012

Anyone can venture a guess why these atrocities against women are more common in northern part of India? What's different between the cultures of north and south that created such a disparity?

The data (PDF, rate of crimes against women state-wise is on page 4 of the document; details here) does not seem to indicate any clear geographical pattern. There are assholes everywhere.
posted by vidur at 8:20 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

>>I have noticed a relatively relaxed cultural attitude about hiring prostitutes among the Indian born men of my acquaintance. Is this a general cultural thing that's part and parcel of a spectrum of disrespect towards women, or a statistical anomaly?
>If this were an Indian thing, prostitution would have been made legal in India. My bet is on "you need to make better Indian acquaintances"!

I don't know about that. For one thing, legalization of prostitution is associated with liberal and feminist attitudes, not with popularity of prostitution. The illegality seems to be part of the "fun," the "manliness."

Also, my anecdata -- when I visited New Dehli, I went to a sound and light show and chatted with a bunch of college-educated technicians at the sound and light show I attended. I told them I was from Portland in the US, and their first two questions were "Do you have prostitutes there?" "Sure, I guess." "How much are they?"
posted by msalt at 10:14 PM on December 23, 2012

Dear young women and men of Delhi, I am writing this to you so that in the middle of all your anger you can find a space to reflect on the force that patriarchy has over all our lives, and I hope that you will find the means, burnished by your anger to dethrone it from its undeserved position of power in this city. I want yours to be the generation that changed Delhi forever. And i know you can make that happen, and that is why I am writing to you.

Let us think about patriarchy together. Patriarchy is what makes you ashamed, not delighted when you have a period, because your traditions teach you that a menstruating body is a polluting body. Patriarchy is what tells you that there are things you cannot or should not do because of the way your body or your desires are shaped.

Patriarchy is the secret to your nightmares, the reason for your deepest, most personal fears and anxieties. It seeks control of your body, your mind, your speech, your behavior, even the ways in which you raise and lower your eyes.

Behind this lies a clear identification between property and the sexual body that patriarchy tries to perpetuate at any cost. When anyone says that a raped person, say a woman, is defiled, what they mean is that the violence done to her sexually is identical to the violation of their personhood, which ‘properly’ understood, is the property of someone who can legitimately ‘husband’ her body and being. Any woman, according to this view, either is, or will eventually become some man’s property. If she is ‘defiled’ she will become ‘broken goods’, the legitimate claimant to the property which her body constitutes will no longer have any interest in ‘husbanding’ her. That is why they say that her life, laid fallow and waste by rape, will no longer be worth living.

That is why courts in India are so reluctant to admit marital rape. They are bewildered by the reality of marital rape because they cannot understand how someone can ‘violate’ their own property. To understand clearly this you have to think about kinds of injury other than rape.
Read the rest
posted by infini at 1:37 AM on December 24, 2012 [8 favorites]

The assumption that women are automatically available for sex at the appropriate ‘clean’ time is hard-coded into the Hindu tradition. Rama as an upholder of that tradition, cannot act outside its dictates in the way in which women’s agency is viewed. Remember that the Brhadarankya Upanishad says – “..surely a woman who has changed her clothes at the end of her menstrual period is the most auspicious of women. When she has changed her clothes at the end of her menstrual period, therefore one should approach that splendid woman and invite her to have sex. Should she refuse to consent, he should bribe her, if she still still refuses, he should beat her with a stick or with his fists and overpower her, saying – ‘I take away the splendour from you with my virility and splendor’

(Bradaranyaka Upanishad, Chapter 6.4.6 - see especially pages 88 and 89 of the Patrick Olivelle translation of the Upanishads published by the Oxford University Press, 1996)

When one thinks this passage through, it is not difficult to understand why rape should be such an endemic practice within our society. Marital rape is the original, scripturally sanctioned template on which all rape is founded. The fear of death penalty can never be a deterrent when you have scriptural and cultural sanction for the codes of property and agency that underlie the control that some bodies are armed with over and above others.

In our society, this includes the sanction for the control that men have over women, adults have over children, and that dominant castes have over others. This normalization of domination and control is the key to the phenomenon of rape and humiliation. In such a situation, carrying placards that demand death penalty for rapists is the easiest thing to do. The difficult, challenging and interesting thing to do, the real thing to do, is to try and understand what are the cultural factors that actually go into the making of a rapists mind.

Thakur, Sharma, Sharma, Singh and Gupta were not eccentric, abnormal characters. They were normal young men. One of them even functioned as an occasional priest in a neighborhood temple. Think carefully of the traditions that he would have imbibed that would have helped, not hindered him in doing what he did.

posted by infini at 1:48 AM on December 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

posted by BigSky at 7:45 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

With no offence to your intent, there is still an irony inherent in the "previously"
posted by infini at 8:15 AM on December 24, 2012

Nine of Delhi's most crucial metro stations were closed for three days specifically to keep protestors from reaching their protest location, the India Gate.

Twitter user Shamwoo and other peaceful protestors, including women and girls, were apparently arrested and detained without charges. Shamwoo's last tweet was 11 hours ago.
posted by brainwane at 4:20 PM on December 25, 2012

Well, its 6.30am in India right now fwiw.
posted by infini at 5:17 PM on December 25, 2012

What's SHO? I'm stomaching as much Twitter as I can, but am coming up short.
posted by Mezentian at 5:10 AM on December 26, 2012

Station House Officer or some such police title.
posted by infini at 6:14 AM on December 26, 2012

posted by Mezentian at 6:22 AM on December 26, 2012


"A 17-year-old Indian girl who was gang-raped killed herself after police pressured her to drop the case and marry one of her attackers, police and a relative said on Thursday."

I don't even have words.
posted by mephron at 12:57 PM on December 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Absolutely devastating, heartbreaking.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:51 PM on December 28, 2012

posted by bowline at 3:02 PM on December 28, 2012

posted by Mezentian at 3:07 PM on December 28, 2012

posted by Arbac at 3:14 PM on December 28, 2012

So sad. Rest in peace.
posted by nikitabot at 3:19 PM on December 28, 2012

posted by young sister beacon at 3:21 PM on December 28, 2012

posted by longdaysjourney at 3:23 PM on December 28, 2012

posted by evoque at 4:17 PM on December 28, 2012

posted by grippycat at 5:18 PM on December 28, 2012

posted by homunculus at 6:20 PM on December 28, 2012

posted by Kinbote at 6:23 PM on December 28, 2012

posted by thack3r at 6:43 PM on December 28, 2012

posted by adamvasco at 7:00 PM on December 28, 2012

posted by Golden Eternity at 7:22 PM on December 28, 2012

posted by tonycpsu at 8:46 PM on December 28, 2012

Riots in 3... 2... 1...

/ And goddamned rightly so, for a change!
posted by pla at 10:55 PM on December 28, 2012

She died early this morning, in a Singapore hospital where she and her family had been despatched by the government for what the papers called political, not compassionate, reasons.


The first was: enough. Let there be an end to this epidemic of violence, this culture where if we can’t kill off our girls before they are born, we ensure that they live these lives of constant fear. Like many women in India, I rely on a layer of privilege, a network of friends, paranoid security measures and a huge dose of amnesia just to get around the city, just to travel in this country. So many more women have neither the privilege, nor the luxury of amnesia, and this week, perhaps we all stood up to say, “Enough”, no matter how incoherently or angrily we said it.

For Anonymous.
posted by infini at 8:09 AM on December 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

posted by cass at 4:33 PM on December 29, 2012

posted by mayurasana at 10:39 PM on December 29, 2012

I saw pictures of these young girls standing their ground getting beaten up, screaming in the cops’ faces. Learned pundits question why. What is the point of this protest anyway? What do they want?

It’s a pity they can’t even see this basic point. They want to be treated as humans again. I read about the rape in Delhi and the anger in me has refused to go away. Memories of those years of harassment came flooding back. If you’re a woman in Delhi, you’ve been groped and violated five times a day since you were eight. Since you were too young to even know what breasts are and what they can do to men.

My years in Delhi exacted a heavy price from me. I’d instinctively step back when a man entered my personal space. This instinct finally started ebbing away after I moved to Pune. Even there, I’d instantly be on my guard, alert and tense, when a man looked over my shoulder as I worked on the laptop. This was because of Delhi and it took years for it to go away.
Read this one.
posted by infini at 3:50 AM on December 30, 2012 [4 favorites]

Thank you for all your updates and links, infini. I was heartbroken when I heard about the young woman's passing this morning. I've been following this when I can, and... it's all just unfathomable. My mind literally cannot wrap around it.

posted by Phire at 5:24 AM on December 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Can't avoid it even if I try, Phire, and I have been trying my damndest. As the woman quoted above says, we can't forget and this has triggered us all.
posted by infini at 5:26 AM on December 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Indian rapper caught in gang rape backlash
His 2007 track Prostitute refers to him having violent sex with a woman after he forces her to "dance naked" and includes the line: "You will scream and run but where can you go... I will take your life."
The popular star, who sang in Bollywood films last year and has several top 10 hits, told the Hindustan Times he himself had called off the performance to "express my grief for the unfortunate girl".

posted by Mezentian at 1:22 AM on January 1, 2013

A harassment map of Delhi.

Washington Post: 10 reasons why India has a sexual violence problem: includes "A 2012 report by UNICEF found that 57 percent of Indian boys and 53 percent of girls between the ages of 15 and 19 think wife-beating is justified."

Shamwoo's account of police misconduct during the protests. "We were met with much hostility from the male cops present, who refused to give us their names and ranks and kept their badges hidden under their jackets....We were detained for a long while and told that we would be released only if we swore not to talk to the media about anything."

Talking rape: "But what we collectively find hard to accept is the banality of brutality, the unremarkable every-day quality of violence—perhaps because we are so silent about the violence that seems to run through the veins of many Indian families."

An interview with the author of Why Loiter? Women and Risk on Mumbai Streets: "even in a city like Bombay, women are at best commuters through public space – moving from point A to point B – they cannot lay claim to the city as citizens. Bombay women too have to actively strategise when they access public space – in where they go, what time they are out, who they are with, what they wear etc – and constantly establish a sense of purpose when accessing public space and always manufacture an image of being respectable women."
posted by brainwane at 7:39 AM on January 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

posted by ZeusHumms at 12:49 AM on January 2, 2013

It looks like the accused will have some trouble getting legal representation.
posted by Mezentian at 2:45 AM on January 2, 2013

Tech Mahindra’s free rape alarm app

FightBack, a smartphone app, tracks each user’s location. If she comes under threat, a user can press a panic button on the phone which sends an alert within a couple of seconds, broadcasting her location. When signing up for the app, users give the mobile phone number and email address of five contacts they would like to receive these alerts. Configure the app with your Facebook account and the alert appears on your timeline. And the FightBack website includes a map of live alerts for public viewing – the time and place at which the alert was raised is given but the victim remains anonymous (there were 10 live alerts across India when beyondbrics checked before publication).

This service was initially launched to the public in December 2011 at a cost Rs100 ($1.82) for a year’s subscription, while Tech Mahindra employees had free access so that women working late would feel less threatened on their way home. After the incident in Delhi on December 16, the company decided to make the application free all over India and has been widely endorsed in social media.

Tech Mahindra hasn’t disclosed its cost, though the service isn’t cheap to run. The outlay includes the cost of sending text messages and emails, a 24 hour operations team, a tech team working on the app, and data sector costs.

Anand, you have my respect
posted by infini at 10:43 PM on January 4, 2013 [3 favorites]

That is certainly much better than the Vagina Dentata anti-rape device that I heard about.

I've heard some particularly nasty things about this (and that's nasty based on a level of nasty beyond the initial story), and they may or may not be accurate. But is there any suggestion the accused were on any sort of drug like Ice?

But just to add insult to injury: Indian rape witness: 'Nobody helped us for an hour'
posted by Mezentian at 10:51 PM on January 4, 2013

Welp, tbh been avoiding everything but the 140 chrs that pass through the timelines but nobody's said anything beyond alcohol yet. That kind of crowd might have done hash or brown sugar but nothing fancy, different strata. Do you have any links to what you are referring to? I can check with the tweeps in the country.

My own cynical old woman first impulse is to think that mentioning drugs is a way to excuse the underlying societal issues the men are avoiding talking about.
posted by infini at 11:27 PM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is the link, from the NY Daily News. Having poked around it seems like the article is confusing something that happened in surgery with something that happened during the attack.

If you read it (and I would skip it), you'll see why I wondered if some sort of psychotic drug was involved, if such an act were possible. I'm not betting on sloppy reporting.
posted by Mezentian at 2:41 AM on January 5, 2013

I'll skip it... Today's my first "happy" day since the 28th. And I have a paper due on Tuesday. Thank you for the head's up. As for any brutality that might be surprising you, look above for the bestiality in Haryana link and google any acid attack.
posted by infini at 2:54 AM on January 5, 2013

That was brutal, for want of a better word.
Uncaring, even.
Between that and something I heard on the radio this morning about policing of "Maoist" rebels, it makes me realise how much I don't know about India.

Good luck with your paper.
posted by Mezentian at 3:05 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Otoh, the antics of the Delhi Police never fail to amuse

Delhi police said Saturday they had filed a case against a news channel for airing an interview with the male friend of the 23-year old woman whose gang-rape and murder has spurred protests across the country.

Oh yeah? Well, take this... ;p

"This is an instance of greatly misplaced priorities. Authorities are hardly protecting the victim's rights by retaliating against news media that are bringing to light details of the horrific crime that claimed her life,"

But wait, he's wrong...

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police have refuted allegations made by the male friend of the gang-rape victim about the delay in taking them to the hospital and said that police vans reached "the spot within no time" after receiving the call.

WTF, says the Opposition, its Keystone Kops you guys have in charge...

BJP on Saturday slammed the Delhi Police for filing a case against a news channel which aired the interview of the 23-year-old gangrape victim's friend, saying this is unacceptable and an attack on press freedom. Speaking at a party programme, BJP General Secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "Such behaviour from the police is unacceptable. This is an attack on the freedom of the press," he said.

Prasad criticised the Delhi Police for causing undue delay in taking the victim and her friend to hospital. "The two were lying on the road after the incident and police personnel from three PCR vans were arguing for 25 minutes about whose jurisdiction the case falls under and who should take them to hospital," Prasad said.

For context, I'll just add that India's press has indeed tended to have a genuinely high level of freedom of the press...[cites abound] while the Delhi Police have minimal credibility [cites trip over themselves in a rush to be found]
posted by infini at 4:46 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wow, thanks infini. I can't feel right favoriting that comment but thanks for all your work here.
posted by msalt at 6:50 PM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Her father wants us to know her name.
posted by infini at 12:08 AM on January 6, 2013

Why do I suspect that for the police, arriving two hours later fits squarely within the definition of arriving "within no time"?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:54 PM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Outrage as Indian guru blames Delhi rape victim

Apparently she should have begged for mercy.

I just have no comments.

I spent a bit of time looking and its seems this Asharam Bapu is the Hindu version of Fred Phelps.
Except potentially worse. I might be barking up the wrong three there.
posted by Mezentian at 4:42 AM on January 8, 2013

"This tragedy would not have happened if she had chanted God's name and fallen at the feet of the attackers. The error was not committed by just one side," he said.

Seems to me that this guy should broaden his scope, and extend his useful advice to, say, the seemingly intractable Israel-Palestine dispute.

posted by UbuRoivas at 2:21 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

That explains the tweets I've been seeing re: "India needs less godmen" ;p
posted by infini at 3:51 PM on January 8, 2013

"Another man spoke about the roots of female foeticide. 'These days the society has become very educated and the girls from this educated society have started eloping. When girls bring shame on their own parents and behave like that - who would want a girl?' he asked."

I am a US citizen, born and raised in the USA by parents from India. Even though I absolutely know how endemic these kinds of attitudes are in many places, even though the US also has deep-seated kyriarchy everywhere -- oh my GOD I have NEVER been so glad in my life that my parents bore and raised me here. Seeing this particularly insidious and circular-thinking misogyny .... I would be nauseated if I weren't stunned. I guess nausea will come later.
posted by brainwane at 2:07 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Six arrested in new India bus gang-rape case

Yes. Another one.
posted by Mezentian at 3:30 AM on January 13, 2013

"Yaar, boss, yeh to sahi idea hai, chalo hum bhi copy kare"

posted by infini at 3:31 AM on January 13, 2013

Yes. Another one.

What. The. Chod. Hindustan?
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:35 PM on January 13, 2013

Hindustan ki mardangi ka yeh haal, ki hindustan ki saari auratein sirf raandi hoti hein.

Here's a few more... from Bloomberg

New Suspected Cases of Gang Rape Show Threat Facing Indian Women

Now you don't mind please I am removing this thread from my recent activity...
posted by infini at 12:34 AM on January 14, 2013

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