Just another rape in India. Are we becoming numb?

April 30, 2013

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily of Reuters)

A grim parlour game sometimes comes to mind when I read the latest story about someone raping a woman or a child in India. Is this the one that’s going to change everything? Is this the one that’s going to keep me up for days contributing to the news media’s coverage? Or is this just another rape?

There is no such thing as “just another rape” for a victim. Beyond the sexual violation, there is the torture. The physiotherapy student who was raped on a bus in New Delhi last December died as the result of injuries sustained by being penetrated with an iron rod. Everybody knows this, and everybody got angry, but anger runs out.

Between then and now, there have been many reports in the press about rape incidents. Which one was going to be the big one? It was that of a five-year-old girl in east Delhi. A neighbour kidnapped her, raped her and tried to kill her. Then the police tried to bribe the parents 2,000 rupees (about $37) to not talk about the case.

Apart from the bruises around her neck, face and chest, doctors removed a bottle and a candle from her body. From CNN-IBN: “Panic gripped the two accused when the five-year-old girl started bleeding after they raped her, and one of them inserted a small glass bottle and bits of candle into her vagina to stem the flow of blood, police said on Tuesday. One of the accused, Manoj Kumar, 22, allegedly tried to slit her throat with a blade, a police officer told IANS.”

Since then, there have been more:

Six-year-old girl assaulted in Delhi: Police official Ajay Chaudhry said: “There is a slum colony where a small child had gone to use the public toilet, she was assaulted there.”

Five-year-old girl raped and killed in Ranchi, suspect Mohd Saddam arrested: “Police said after she was last seen with Saddam on Wednesday afternoon, the girl, a student of Class I, had gone missing. Parents of the girl had recovered her strangulated body, after 14 hours of manhunt, from near the house. The private parts of the girl were injured and bleeding. Later post-mortem reports confirmed rape.”

Ten-year-old girl raped, then locked in jail: “Two women constables have been suspended while two sub-Inspectors including the station-in-charge have been sent to police lines following the incident, SSP Gulab Singh said. The victim spent several hours behind the bars after her mother brought her to a women’s police station to lodge a complaint against a local goon for allegedly raping her. She was rescued only after locals protested over the matter. According to Singh, the minor from Meerpur village here was found lying unconscious in a field by her parents last night where she had been dumped after being allegedly raped.”

Hindustan Times wrote an article about a study by the Asian Centre for Human Rights. It said this: “48,338 child rape cases were recorded during 2001-11, which was an increase of 336% in such cases since 2001 when only 2,113 child rape cases were recorded. The number rose to 7,112 cases in 2011. With 9,465 cases, Madhya Pradesh was on the top of the child rape table, followed by Maharashtra (6,868) and Uttar Pradesh (5,949), while Daman and Diu (9), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (15) and Nagaland (38) reported the least number of child rape cases during 2001-11.”

Anuja Gupta, who heads an NGO that deals with rape and incest victims, says violence is increasing in society and people are becoming more aggressive.

“(But) does it reflect also in rape, and in the way rape is being conducted. Maybe. But too early to say there is a trend. Such cases are a minority amongst rape cases,” says Gupta, director of Recovering and Healing from Incest (RAHI).

“In order to call it a trend, you have to see a progression over the years and that data nobody has,” she added.

Regardless of the reason for the rise – more incidents or more reporting of incidents – what will push people to go beyond demanding change, and actually make it happen? What will it take to get them to be angry every time it happens instead of focusing on one here and one there and then losing interest because the day-to-day shopping needs doing? Will this outrageous brutality make a difference? Sometimes I wonder. Please let me know what you think.

If you are a resident of New Delhi, please also participate in our survey on women’s safety at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3M6SH55


(You can follow Anuja Jaiman on Twitter @AnujaJaiman)


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demonstrations, aggression, death penalty – do u really think its gonna change anything? i don’t think so. let me give you a perspective – the govt. says if we allow FDI, we can help the nation through more subsidies to the poor. the opposition says that FDI is like selling the nation to the west, so we should concentrate in letting the PSUs and PFIs create job to eradicate poverty. BUT no one ever says a word about controlling the population. today 65% (govt. data 34%) are BPL. population growth rate is more than twice the GDP growth rate.


that was just an example – why politicians can’t advice people or force people not to have kids if they don’t have food/shelter for them self or for the coming generation.
reason – politicians play in the name of religion. and religion(no matter which)says, that god created women only for giving birth. that is the reason for the existence of a woman.

this is the general belief in the middle class (lets not talk of the BPL). the so called educated and RISING middle class would still do anything in the name of caste, religion and sex.

why woman’s day? if we consider women to be equal to men why not a man’s day.
why rules for woman. why wearing a western dress tags them to be immoral. and why men can wear western dresses and are still moral. why can’t women choose what they consider is moral or immoral.

standard of middle class rising? buying a car or an AC is not a standard any more(as the govt. claims). it WAS back in 70s and 80s. is it ok to use the same benchmarks standards as 30 years ago?
moreover, standard of living has nothing to do with how much you earn, it depends on how you think. how broad or parochial is you mentality.

so what is the solution?

i don’t think anyone can come up with a solution as long as the country is governed in the name of religion and caste.
we need to change our perspective, which is hard. for the time being i want to build up a life for my self and my loved ones around a group of right minded people.

Posted by dipakkumardas | Report as abusive

“i don’t think anyone can come up with a solution as long as the country is governed in the name of religion and caste.”

How true. Unfortunately wherever democracy is under attack, religion is usually the aggressor.

Posted by ZackRice | Report as abusive

The problem is grave and needs to be addressed urgently. Two things must be done immediately: 1- implementation of clear, comprehensive and adequate laws 2- proper enforcement of these laws. In a society as complicated, populated and problematic as India one can think of a million reasons why these disgusting crimes occur so frequently, and also a million long-term social and personal projects which would eliminate them. And indeed such a thinking should be done, over and over. However the focus must not be lost in the process. People must demand these essential things until they are established and ordinary people can only do this through demonstrations. And this is what they are doing. As the government fails to fulfil their demands, they naturally become aggressive. The deeply corrupt government will fail again, the crimes will occur again and people will answer more and more aggressively unless a strong, educated, civil third party provides a bridge between these two. It should closely watch the government, report it to the people and guide people in their demands. Such a third party seems weak in India. It is provocative but detached, disconnected and most unfortunately distrustful of the masses. Eventually things will change for the better, but if the “outrageous brutality” remain the only driving force, it will turn its back at those who were not properly involved

Posted by newcity | Report as abusive

YES INDEED WE ARE BECOMING SHAMEFULLY NUMB….. a news comes out we hear a lot of uproar a few candle light vigils and marches and then it is all over – until we hear about another happening, and it goes on.
It is not that molestation/rapes are something that has suddenly erupted – rights from Harems to socially or religiously acceptable multi-marriages, by-gamy, poly-gamy one or the other way are the forms of rape or at least exploitation of women for cenbturies. Nor it is that this problem confines to our country only.
Sickness of MEN’S mind is a phenomenon that spreads around the globe since ages.
The sudden spurt in the incidences of molestation and rapes – of women and even more gruesome of small girls – “An Act Of Sick Mind” shall be a very mild term to express one’s anguish – for Politicians and Police – each reported case, “Just Another Case or Number”.
But as so called civilized people we indeed need to realize – How Many More and How Much Longer – shall we tolerate – before our anger turns in to a fire to force some changes to take place – or we shall continue with some “CHEEKH PUKAAR” and candle lights on each of such horrific happenings, and move on with relief “At least my family is safe’
Till then – at best we should hang our heads in utter shame – and stop making tall claims of being a so called educated and civilized nation.

Posted by alok21 | Report as abusive

Ask not what the country can do for you but what you can do for the country. If you want to reduce rape in New Delhi, Organize citizen patrols,woman should try not go out late alone in the night and parent should keep close watch on their young daughter. Please in New Delhi should be aware of rape problems.

Designate red light area for man single to relieve themselves.

Posted by Max4114 | Report as abusive

Well, since all religions are untrue, it’s okay for me to rape whoever I want. I’ll be sure to travel to India sometime in the distant future and see who I can find. Maybe they’ll be more attractive then

Posted by STALEPIE | Report as abusive