Hope: An Indian women drinks tea during one of many protests.
In December last year a young woman was raped and attacked while on a bus with a male friend in Delhi; she later died in hospital from her injuries. The attackers of this young woman are alleged to be six men, the youngest of which was just 17 years old and will be tried as a juvenile; if convicted he will receive a maximum of only 3 years in a reform facility. The men were on a bus that stopped at a roadside in Mahipalpur and lured the couple on board, promising them a lift home. The men, including the bus driver who was among those arrested for the attack, brutally raped the woman for over an hour and then threw the naked and injured couple off the bus; it was another 40 minutes before a passerby called the emergency services. That's 40 minutes of passing cars and no-one going to help.
This appalling attack was one in a long list of violent rapes in India. Last year, there was a rape reported every 20 minutes and just 26 percent of those resulted in a conviction.
This latest attack has highlighted the large gap between two different sides of the modern India–the affluent businesses, expensive cars, and growing economy versus the struggling slums and violent culture that is still apparent on the edges (and centres) of the growing cities. It also sparked anger from the growing number of young, educated urban women and voters who were no longer prepared to put up with an unresponsive political elite and public in the face of attacks such as these. It led to a month of candlelight vigils, mass demonstrations, and street protests against the growing culture of rape in India. The need for greater protection for girls in India against sexual violence is now brought to the surface and we hope that in the face of the latest attacks the country will stand up and do something.
Girl Museum Inc.