Monday, December 13, 2010

Again and again, Delhi rapes its women

Once again, its in the news. A woman in Delhi is gang-raped in a moving car even as 600 cops are on the lookout for that car. Yes, many of us feel - 'Ehhh...Nothing new about it'. It's true.

But looking at the front page of Times of India today really sent shivers down my spine. Below the chilling story were some statistics. It turns out that there have been 5 instances of rape, of which four were gang-rapes in Delhi in the last two weeks.

The media has given a lot of attention to what Chidambaram had to say about the rapes resulting due to a large number of migrants in the city. While Chidambaram claims he has been misquoted/ misunderstood, the opposition and other politicians are opportunistic as ever, trying to get one up on the Congress party.

And once again, the real issues - the deeper and more disturbing issues - are becoming secondary. I don't blame parents for being completely paranoid about their children in Delhi. In late november, a 7 year old girl was raped and a week later, a girl was gang-raped. Then again, a week or so later, another gang-rape. And another. And today, yet another. The gruesome reality of the situation is that Delhi is still not safe.

Moreover, what seems to be an extremely alarming fact is that apparently six-hundred policemen were apparently looking for the car while the girl was repeatedly raped in it. What is the Delhi police doing? Also, I admire our Chief Minister for all that she has done for Delhi. But what is the Chief Minister of Delhi doing about this?

Finally, I have to say - What are the people of Delhi doing?? 433 rapes in Delhi this year. The average statistic indicates that a woman is raped in Delhi everyday. Why are we so silent about this? Why are we so mute?


Blogger Restless said...

433 is marginally above the the yearly rate. See the National Crime Report 2008 (of course, this being India 2008 is the latest one we have) (this is the crimes against women table)

Interesting to note that unlike the rest of the nation where women aged 18-30 are the main targets, in Delhi the age group 14-18 is the most preyed upon.

December 13, 2010 at 8:08:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Sylvan Goddess said...

Whatever the statistics are, the fact is there are too many crimes against women in the city.

What do we, as 'aam junta', do about this??! That is my most pressing question at the moment!

December 14, 2010 at 12:44:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Restless said...

Well, wouldn't a good place to start be the facts?

And what are they:

> 450 rapes a year, puts delhi on the leader board
> and considering that studies have shown than only 1 in 60 rapes are reported in India, we are talking about 27k rapes, or 3 rapes per hour in Delhi alone
> Stats also shows that neighbours are worst offenders, and their primary targets are girls between the ages of 14-18

The next thing you would want to know is where is this happening, are they being picked up in malls, on the road, playgrounds, near schools etc.

Strategy has to be predicated on facts, otherwise you're just writing a high school essay.

December 14, 2010 at 10:15:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Sylvan Goddess said...

Of course, of course! I didn't mean to dismiss the importance of statistics!

You make some very valid points.

3 rapes a day in Delhi actually sounds more like it - when I read that its one rape a day, I did wonder whether that's actually true. It's possibly even more that 3 a day.

Then, of course, you can get into the complexities of marital rape, and how that isn't legally or socially recognized, and then you have another large bulk of rapes that are unaccounted for.

Why is India so laidback about this issue? If we're talking about roughly 27,000 rapes a year in Delhi (more if we count marital rape), then my god - I hope a lot of people will read our exchange of comments! I hope more people are incensed by this!

December 14, 2010 at 11:09:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Restless said...

Well it's 3 rapes an hour, not a day.

What we want ultimately is real change. Statistics is merely a way to organise your thoughts and actions. It is an abstraction, and like all abstractions it is leaky. But it is about the only way to get to grips with mass phenomenon.

And rape in delhi is a mass phenomenon, to say 27k is shocking is quite an understatement.

December 14, 2010 at 12:03:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Sylvan Goddess said...

Yep, I hear ya. 3 rapes an hour, eh? Even worse. This should be more publicised than it is, no?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that whether its 3 a day or 3 an hour, or even one a day - the fact that rapes are so rampant in Delhi should be creating more of a stir than it is.

We praise the State Government for all its done for the city in terms of infrastructure, but what about safety? You read the news and its almost a given that a woman or a child has been raped somewhere in the city - either in broad daylight, or late at night, either in the heart or the outskirts of the city.

I see police vans everywhere, sirens going off every now and then, and I don't want to say they're not doing their job without having substantial evidence to say so - is this evidence that the police is not doing its job, or does this 'rape rate' indicate that the crimes against women are just completely beyond the control of the administration? Does it mean that we should re-think the punishment for rape? I don't know, but these were some of the questions I was asking myself.

December 14, 2010 at 12:50:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Anonymous Donovan Roebert said...

The important thing right now is to hand over very severe sentences to these miscreants, and to publicise the judicial procedure in the media. In my view, rape should carry a sentence of life imprisonment, at least.

January 4, 2011 at 10:02:00 AM GMT+5:30  

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