By REBECCA SPARROW
Only four weeks after the attack and rape of a student on a moving bus in India, another six suspects have been arrested for their involvement in a separate incident – that also involved the gang rape of a female bus passenger.
The facts are truly horrific: A 29-year-old woman was the only person traveling on a bus to her village home – but the bus driver refused to stop at her village, and instead drove to a more secluded location. Once there, he and the bus conductor took her to a building where they were joined by five friends. The seven men took turns raping her throughout the evening, before she was dropped off at her village on Saturday morning.
Also over the weekend, Indian police arrested a 32-year-old man for raping and killing a nine-year-old girl, whose body was found two weeks after her disappearance. Last week, a seven-year-old girl was raped and murdered in Northern India after being abducted by a youth in a nearby district.
That such heartbreaking news continues to come out of India highlights the very real need for tougher rape laws, police reforms, and a tangible change to the culture of violence against women in the country.
A few weeks ago, Mamamia’s Deputy Editor Rebecca Sparrow wrote about the fact that, devastatingly, these are not isolated incidents and that India is continuing to fail its women.
Looks are deceiving.
A young woman and her boyfriend are offered a lift home by a friendly group of young men on a private bus in New Delhi. It is a trip that will sicken the stomachs of people around the globe, as the girl’s boyfriend is severely beaten and she is subjected to a gang-rape that leads to such incredible internal injuries that she dies days later in hospital.
Looks are deceiving.
At first glance it appears that India is a nation which reveres and respects women. After all, this is a country which in the 1980s was unafraid to elect a female prime minister (Indira Gandhi ruled 1966-1977, 1980-1984). Embracing strong female leaders continues today. Sonia Ghandi is the head of the current ruling coalition government and Sheila Dikshit has been the chief minister of Delhi since 1998.
The power and influence of women extends beyond politics. This is a nation where an extraordinary number of women run multi-billion dollar companies.
But looks are deceiving.