Can Indian Rape Victims Finally Receive the Justice They Deserve?

By Roma Chandhok on January 9, 2013

When I was thirteen years old I vividly remember wearing a short skirt in India that in the United States would have been no big deal, but my parents had a fight over it. I was walking around and touring the streets with my family, and I failed to understand what all these men, who were anywhere from about 16 to even older than my father, were staring at. My dad was furious with my mother because she allowed me to wear such a short skirt when we were in India.

Last year I returned to Delhi; I remember walking to the mall in broad daylight with my brothers. This time I was dressed much more conservatively, but every man seemed to look right through me. Their looks were not pleasant, no one was subtly looking at me, and this was not at all a confidence boost; they were gawking. I felt the stare of their eyes burn into me. I felt so awkward and tried not to let their looks bother me, but how could I not? The stares from these guys were frightening, and if my two brothers had not been with me, I would have never been more scared.

Hearing about the recent physiotherapy school student gang-rape case in the recent news is not news to me—things like that happen in India all the time–but what is news is that the people of India are finally taking a stand. I finally thought change was being made. Yet soon after, another rape case happened where the police initially blamed the girl for running off with a guy when the family reported her missing, but her body was soon found.

The issue here is the Indian men, police, and politicians. Excuses have been made saying it’s the girl’s fault because of the revealing clothes girls and women wear nowadays. Women who are raped are looked down upon and thought of as dirty and as untouchables. This should not be the case; but instead, it should be the fault of the men in India who believe that it is okay to do such horrible acts. It is the police’s fault for failing to report many of India’s rape cases and not taking rape and missing women reports seriously. It is the fault of the politicians in India who have been reported to not think of rape as a major crime, again blaming it on the females or making jokes.

The worst part is that many of Indian’s politicians have been accused of rape. Until police take rape more seriously, stop asking demeaning questions to women, help them instead of making them feel embarrassed, and do something about these politicians (for example have them beaten by villagers such as was done to congressman Bikram Singh Brahma after he raped a woman), only then will the many men of India understand how to treat females; and therefore, decrease the amount of rapes. India is definitely moving in the right direction after the recent uproar that has taken place in regards to the latest rapes, but overall, India still fails to give these women any justice.

 

I am a senior at Mount Holyoke college majoring in Statistics and minoring in both Math and Asian Studies.

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