On the night of December 16th, 2012, a couple was on their way back from seeing a movie at the mall cinema. They boarded a private bus to make their, what they thought safe, way back to their neighborhood of Dwarka. Already on the bus was a group of four drunken men and a juvenile. They were from the New Delhi’s slums and were looking for trouble and sex. The men attacked and beat the couple then took the woman to the back of the bus and brutally raped her one by one. They then tossed both of their beat and naked bodies out of the bus onto the street. Days later, the woman died at a hospital in Singapore. The four men were sentenced to death by hanging Friday at the Saket District Court.
This verdict proved a triumph for women in India. Angered protesters and use of social media about this case forced the government to make changes to their laws. New anti-rape laws were introduced criminalizing voyeurism; stalking and charges of brutal rape were now a capital crime. The change in the laws brought on an increase in the number of reported rapes in the past year, showing that women feel more empowered rather than fear and shame. Unfortunately not all women find this hanging verdict as a deterrent for these brutal crimes. Karuna Nundy, a litigator who argued before India’s Supreme Court stated, “I think a lot of people were hugging each other because they thought this evil is localized, and it will be wiped out, and that is not the case.” Unfortunately, social changes in India’s cities has left many unemployed and feeling hopeless. On the other hand, advocates feel the attention this case received has made a big impact for the future.
Friday, September 13, 2013