A Woman in Delhi

India Gang Rape

You couldn’t have escaped one of the most tragic and gut-wrenching stories to have come out of India over the New Year period.  A 23 year old med student was gang raped in Delhi on a moving bus, then beaten with an iron rod for 45 minutes, thrown semi-naked off the moving bus and it emerged today that the bus driver tried to run her over but she was saved by her boyfriend who was also violently beaten during the attack.

Reading about this tragic and awful story is hard enough but this story gives me shivers as I live in Delhi half of year and I’m going there this week for a few months.  As our regular readers know, I’m British but I live and work between London and Delhi.

As a foreigner and a feminist I live in a bubble that at times seems crazy and abstract.  I have been visiting India, especially Delhi, for several years now and have had to think of it as a second home of sorts as I do spend so much time there.  I feel privileged to have witnessed and experienced Delhi’s transformation from a rickety capital (I miss the old airport!) to a formidable global force. However, I have hardly gone through a day without being patronised by a man or gone to bed without thanking the heavens for how lucky I am that I’m not one of the lower income (or pitiful income), struggling masses of working Indian women that I drive past.

I’m glad India has been shocked into reflection and action against perpetrators of violent and sexually violent crimes against women, however, I am of course deeply saddened that it took the torture of this young woman for that to happen.  I stopped reading broadsheets in India for a while as I couldn’t stomach many of the news stories of violence against women (e.g. female student beheaded by boy that was stalking her), the lack of justice, the number of female suicides reported without investigation, the stories of rape, rape, rape to ensure the safest place for a woman would be her home so she’d be best not to go out at all.

As a Brit I wonder if proportionately the violence against women isn’t the same here as it is in India since it was reported not too long ago that Britain also has a pitiful conviction rate against rapists and police attitudes towards women that report rape is shameful.  Women are slags that deserve what happens to them, they probably enjoyed it, they led the rapist on by wearing a mini skirt…. a judge in Italy ruled against a woman who had accused a man of raping her as her jeans were so tight that she would have had to have helped the man remove them therefore the sex must have been consensual.  That was a true story.

Bubbly

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One Comment to “A Woman in Delhi”

  1. I forgot to write that the young woman died due to the attack despite a huge effort to save her.

    This article in the guardian is interesting http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/01/delhi-rape-damini

    It also raises issues worth considering.

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