Gang Rape – India’s New Culture
The latest incident of sexual assault involves a 20 year old tribal woman being sentenced to rape by the tribe headman for the crime of falling in love with a man of other tribe. Unable to pay the fine imposed on her, she was violated by 13 men publicly; all her neighbors, whom she used to call uncle or brother! According to the complaint lodged by the victim’s family, the order was “Go enjoy the girl and have fun”.
Seems like the horrifying incident of Delhi gang rape on December 16, 2012 wasn’t enough for India, as the list of other rape cases goes on! Even after a huge rush of people who claim to come together and end rape in 2013, here comes another year 2014, but the rape cases do not seem to end up! Nation-wide protests and marches by the citizens of the country demanding fair laws and justice for crimes against women took place in 2012 after the December case. Have people forgotten Nirbhaya now? Do the rapists want to bring out other Nirbhaya’s and spread them around the world? The December incident propelled many changes to the sexual assault laws, with stalking, verbal abuse, acid attack and voyeurism being added to the criminal offences and six fast track courts being formed especially for conviction in such cases. It also paved way for authorization of death penalty to the offenders. It has been more than a year after the incident, yet nothing seem to change in reality but only on the papers. The year 2013 has repeatedly seen women being dishonored with cruelty inflicted on the rise in such cases. In a heart-rending incident a 16-year old teenage girl was raped twice on two consecutive days by the same group of six men in October. She was allegedly set afire by two men on December 23. A photo journalist was gang raped by five men including a juvenile while she was on a stroll to the Shakti Mill Compound, Mumbai for an assignment. Several other cases continue being reported throughout the year.
Rape cases in India have doubled from 1990 till date. While 24, 206 cases were reported in year 2011, the toll reached 24,923 in 2012. What must be mentioned here is that the number is far less than the real figure. While most of the cases in rural India go unreported, the cases where the victim is killed are counted under the murder cases by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Despite Aamir Khan, pleading ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ regularly on television, a 51 year old Danish woman was attacked brutally by six men on January 14 this year in New Delhi. The woman had lost her way to the hotel after a museum visit.
The incidents clearly exemplify that it is neither the dress nor the behavior of a woman but the immoral principles of men that entice them to molest the opposite gender. Using rape as a punishment, dishonoring the tourists, indicates men keep hunting their prey like wild animals; surpassing all ethics and morals that human race must possess. It appears like the only thought that cross minds of a group of men after spotting a woman alone, is to rape her. It’s a shame that gang rape is not coincidental but completely intentional in India. ———— About the Author: This article has been contributed by Srishti Raj, our intern. Srishti is a student of Computer Science & Engineering at KIIT University at Bhubaneswar. She is an avid reader and a keen observer who yearns to see a change in the society.