Fix Opinion

India Needs Attitude Adjustment About Rape

By Roohani Deshpande
Junior Reporter
NEW DELHI, India – The city and the entire country are outraged at the
brutal gang rape and horrific torture of a 23-year-old young woman at the hands
of half a dozen men.
The December 16 attack, covered widely in news accounts, triggered both
fury and fear in the heart of citizens throughout India.
On Sunday, 16th December, the victim, a medical student and her male
friend boarded a private bus after watching a movie, believing it to be a safe
mode of transport, according to reports.
News accounts say the assault began after the driver’s friends began to harass
the woman, verbally abusing her for the fact that she was outside with a man at
night. When the male friend tried to resist, the six men used an iron rod to
attack him. 
The attackers turned on the woman as well, beating her and taking turns
raping her and with unimaginable violence and hatred. News reports quoted doctors
saying the rusted iron rod was inserted into the woman and taken out with such
force that her intestines were pulled out, her genitals suffered irreversible
damage and she sustained severe head injuries. 
Though both the woman and her friend were subsequently thrown out of the
bus and left to die, she is in the hospital, still alive.
Sexual and physical violence against women is considered an ordinary
thing in India, but such hideous violence takes place rarely.
This incident is just reminding us how normalized sexual violence has
become across the nation. What does this say about the place of women in our
The act of rape continues to be perceived as personal shame for the
victim, and victim-blaming is the norm in India. Instead of criminalizing the
men who take advantage of innocent women walking on the street, using public
transportation or wearing what they like, this nation routinely harasses the
victims a second time by pushing them to take responsibility for what happens
to them.
Our society fails to acknowledge sexual and physical assault against women
as a violent crime and refuses to punish criminals.
Women’s “place” continues to be fixed in society, as evident from this
incident where this woman was attacked for merely being outside with a man at
Basic human rights, like having the freedom to walk on a street, wear
the clothing they like, use the transportation they like, choose their friends
or marriage partners, etc. do not apply to women. 
Complete strangers feel entitled to control women who express themselves
freely. It is shameful to be a part of such a nation where men are considered
the default humans while the humanity of women is seldom acknowledged.
A certain poll conducted by experts declares India to be the worst
country for women due to female feticide, child marriage and rising dowry
Since the attack, Indians, especially young people, have taken to the streets
in protest, demanding harsh punishment for the rapists and a safer nation for
Strengthening of laws and
regulations is the first step to stop this overwhelming gender based oppression,
but without a shift in society’s mindset regarding women’s humanity, any
measures to protect women are doomed to fail.