Recent Assault Exposes Indian Gender Divide

Protesters in New Delhi

Last month, on December 16, in New Delhi, India, a 23-year old student went to see a movie, “The Life of Pi,” with one of her male friends. After leaving the movie, however, the woman and her friend boarded a private bus on a highway. There were five men and one alleged minor (of age 17) on the bus. Of these men, four were pretending to be passengers. As soon as the woman and her friend sat down in the bus, the men began to taunt her. When the friend tried to step in, he was beaten and then knocked out with an iron rod. They then took the woman to the back of the bus, where they brutally raped her as they drove through the streets. After both victims were attacked with a metal rod, the men abandoned them on the side of the road. Less than an hour afterwards, the police arrived and rushed both victims to the hospital. The woman, whose full name has not been disclosed in compliance with Indian law, was sent to a Singapore hospital due to the severity of her injuries. Despite doctors’ best efforts to keep her alive there, the woman passed away on December 29. Her friend survived.

The accused men have been charged and their case will be heard in the court. However, outraged citizens have suggested that the men immediately be punished with the death penalty. The incident has instigated nationwide protests in various Indian cities. Demonstrators and advocates of women’s rights hope that the attention garnered by this case will awaken the country to the injustices still perpetrated against women. Furthermore, they hope that current pending rape cases will be fast-tracked and harsher laws against rape and sexual harassment will be implemented.

In this day and age, it is horrifying that such atrocities are committed, but the reality remains that a significant number of Indian women are subjected to emotional and physical sexual harassment on a daily basis. We can only hope that one day such incidents will be a thing of the past, and that day cannot arrive fast enough.

–Khush Dhaliwal, Staff Writer

Posted by on January 16, 2013. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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