By Shivam Vij - Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 0 Comments
And how the reaction to one brutal case may finally lead to change
On the evening of Dec. 16, 2012, a young man named Ram Singh set out on a bus with five others from his slum on the edge of the posh South Delhi district. The bus was used for hire by a school by day; Ram Singh was usually the driver. But on this night, he and his brother, Mukesh, were out for a joyride, and they had persuaded Vinay Sharma, a handyman at a gym, and Pawan Gupta, a fruit seller, to come along, as well as Akshay Thakur, who had just arrived in Delhi to look for a job. By the end of the night the men’s stories had changed forever; they now stand accused of gang raping, assaulting and murdering a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a moving bus—a brutal story that made headlines around the world, launching a global debate about rape and violence against women.
The doctors at Safdarjung Hospital, where the woman was first taken, were horrified. “It’s more than rape,” one was quoted as saying in the papers next morning. The woman’s intestines had to be removed and she battled for life on a ventilator. As another day passed and Delhi’s citizenry realized she was unlikely to survive, anger spread. It wasn’t the first such case, nor was it the last—there were even cases subsequently reported in India’s capital, taking the total number of rapes in 2012 to more than 700. Yet this case angered and saddened Indians as no other had done. Continue…