India Insight

Gang rape puts spotlight on India’s rape capital

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

Yet another rape has rattled India. As I read the details, I felt familiar sensations of anger, frustration, helplessness and vulnerability. Sunday’s incident, in which a 23-year-old student in New Delhi was gang raped, assaulted and thrown out of a bus, made the front pages of India’s newspapers and was debated in parliament.

The woman is hospitalised with severe vaginal, abdominal and head injuries. One of those arrested is a 30-year-old driver who ferries school children.

As a single woman living in New Delhi for more than a decade, I find it difficult to come to terms with how vulnerable I feel each time I hear of a rape. or each time I travel by taxi at night.

It forces me to ask questions that I have harboured for years — owing to personal experiences, and plenty from friends and colleagues (almost every woman I have known in India’s rape capital has had a brush with Delhi’s groping and elbowing).

Sexual harassment bill: need for a gender-neutral law

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

India took 50 years to come up with a definition for what constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace, courtesy of a Supreme Court judgement 12 years ago.

It makes you wonder where parliament has been, considering that there is no law to deal with the offense.

Elsewhere in India: girls, mobile phones and slapping your tormentors

Here’s a short roundup of regional news in India that attracted our interest this weekend. Any opinions expressed by the author are no doubt ill informed and ridiculous. Aditya Yogi Kalra contributed to this post.

Another politician, another reference to women being the root of all man’s troubles. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh blamed “girlfriends, bikes and  mobile phones” for the rising number of road accidents in the state.  ”It’s a common sight to see youngsters driving two-wheelers while talking on cellphones which often leads to accidents. Youths should avoid such habits,” Singh said. (PTI via CNBC-TV18)

Shivakumar of Uliyakovil, Kollam, was arrested after promising to marry a woman, but demanding that she sell one of her kidneys first. “The victim was identified as Manju (alias Chinchu). Police said Manju had lodged a complaint in 2009. The operation to remove her kidney was conducted at KIMS Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.” Shivakumar reportedly abandoned Manju, and took the kidney, which he sold for 1 million rupees, or $18,289. (TNN)

Not so safe on Delhi streets

As a thriving metropolis, New Delhi is taking steps towards becoming a world-class city but the safety of its residents remains a concern — especially if you are a woman.

A Thomson Reuters survey ranks India as the fourth most unsafe place for women in the world. And its capital is no safe haven for its female residents.

But what makes New Delhi so unsafe? Experts differ on whether it’s the deep seated psyche of a male-dominated society, its socio-economic diversity or perhaps both.

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