“a small nuisance like rape”

Most of the educated world has been aghast at the latest (published, at least) atrocity to a female in India.  A lovely young woman died on Saturday.  She was just 23.

After years of sacrifice by her family so she & her brother could be educated, this still nameless young woman had come to the big city of New Delhi to follow her dream of studying to be a doctor.   She was engaged to be married, and her fiance & she had gone out for the evening and were heading home by public transport, as thousands do every day in India.

But this bus was different.  Several drunken men were already on board and decided to have a little fun.  They came prepared, it seems, having brought with them an iron rod.  They beat the young woman’s fiance and then, for several hours on the still moving bus (one has to wonder about the driver in all of this) they took turns raping her, including the use of the iron rod, severely damaging most of her internal organs.   At the end of their fun evening, the men stripped both the young woman and her fiance of their clothing and dumped them at the side of the road, probably laughing as the bus drove away.

For two longs weeks this 23 year old beloved daughter/sister/fiancee battled for life, her injuries being so severe that she was air-flighted to a hospital in Singapore that specializes in the transplanting of multiple organs, but she was too brutally injured to recover.  A lovely young woman, whose dream it was to be a good doctor and help the women and children in her country, was dead.

Because of, and only because of, the enormous public outcry from within India and around the world, the Indian government has decided to outlaw rape.   Yup, you heard that right.  Up until this point, rape has not been considered a crime.  In fact, India’s Law & Justice minister was quoted as saying:

“It’s such a terrible tragedy when a small nuisance like rape turns into to something tragic like murder,” Kumar says. “Yes, the government has known that rape is a problem in society. But we always thought of it as akin to smoking: something to be frowned upon, but not criminalized or prosecuted.

“Now we have this horrible event which reminds us that sometimes rape can have negative consequences.”

If the atrocity of rape is only now being considered a crime, it will be light years before domestic abuse will ever be taken seriously in India.   I can only imagine being Kumar’s wife, after he was quoted as further saying:

“We’ve neglected the issue of sexual violence in our society because frankly I think who someone is sleeping with should be a private affair. If the government goes around telling rapists who they can and can’t have sex with, what is next? Are they going to tell me which of my wife’s orifices I should use?

And then, to finish off his eloquent speech, he says: “It”s a slippery slope and one I wish I didn’t have to face. But if rapists can’t behave responsibly we’re left with no choice but to ban rape altogether.”

Remember our sisters in India today, and pray for a family as they grieve the loss of their precious daughter.   No word to date on her still nameless fiance, as his body & mind begin their long journey of healing.

Photo courtesy of the Heifer Project International, a wonderful organization that supports the education and safety of Indian women.  They welcome your donations.

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18 thoughts on ““a small nuisance like rape”

    • I’m hoping that my sources were accurate, Barb, but even if there wasn’t complete accuracy, there is so much misogyny in that part of the world, I believe that many public officials do feel as his quoted words read. I’m still trying to do some more research on my sources, but I think there is truth in there somewhere. M

  1. Thanks Morven for sharing this. While we cannot find this quote elsewhere on the internet, this misogyny needs to be publicised world wide in order that India is finally shamed into ACTING on violence against women. Legislation is not enough, a change of culture requires implementation in many ways.
    Recently there were some racist attacks on Indian students in Australia. Indian media was rightly appalled at this violence, but we are however left with the question, “Why is rape tolerated when racism is not?”
    “Half the Sky” by NYT journalists, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, relates many stories of brutal rape and murder in India, including the deliberate destruction of internal organs, which demonstrates a despicable hatred of women. They also relate many examples of women reporting rape at police stations only to be gang raped by police. We are dealing with an attitude that rates women often as being of less value than animals.
    May I encourage your readers to read ‘Half the Sky’ (purchase or borrow) as we believe it is a significant book in the uncovering of world-wide misogyny, including the disappearance of millions of Chinese girls. May we then take the next step and point to the education of girls as being fundamental to changing this situation. If our charity dollars are directed towards girls we have the potential to impact generations of families and profoundly change the way girls and women are treated.

  2. Joyce, you had me on a search and, while I can’t find another source for the quotes, Snopes tells me that it is NOT, at least so far reported, an Urban Legend, so chances are it is the truth, or at least close to the truth. Thanks for your interest and support.

    • Morven, the Daily Currant website states “Our stories are purely fictional. However they are meant to address real-world issues through satire and often refer and link to real events happening in the world”. I think they are right on in identifying Kumar’s thoughts/attitude, but it was satire, not real quotes. What actually happened is unbelievable in itself, but unfortunately very true.

      • Thanks, Joyce. I appreciate your sleuthing! I heard today about a young Muslim woman given the punishment of lashes after being gang raped. She died after 70 lashes …. but I’ll research that one a bit further before I write a post.

  3. Pingback: Another rape in India and another | Las Vegas World News

  4. I just wonder…is rape against men considered a crime in India, or is it ignored only against women. Maybe if the experience of rape hit a bit closer to home to the mysogynists would look a bit differently at things…..Just wondering……Not encouraging anything…….

    • Thank you for sharing this with us. Giving us her name allows us to give her the honor and respect she deserves. It also allows history to remember her better. I pray we learn from her sacrifice.

  5. India is the rape capital of the world. I don’t what’s causing it inside of that country. The government should implement strict rules like death penalties of the rapists to stop it. Thanks for sharing this. You have a very nice blog. attorney medford oregon

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