Brutal gang-rape in India is a call to everyone, worldwide, to ensure changes
Gerry Georgatos - Inhumanity knows no bounds just as equal to humanity's limitlessness. Recently, in Pakistan a fourteen year old school girl was shot the in head by the Taliban for speaking up for the right of young girls to an education. They stopped the school bus bringing home the children and shot the young Malala. On March 31 a Ukranian teenager died after a brutal gang rape. On December 16 the ugliest inhumanity was broadcast to the whole world when a 23 year old physiotherapy intern was gang raped on a bus in Delhi. She had beaten beyond comprehension, vile acts unbelievable in today’s world of unfolding human rights and social justice languages.
She died on December 29, and she has been mourned the world over. Her death has sparked outrage in India however her death has touched the hearts and souls of humankind the world over.
She lived only 13 days after the brutal gang rape and the horrific violence to her body and soul, thrown from the moving bus after the most vile rape.
She underwent emergency treatment in a Singapore hospital, after the Indian Government controversially flew her there for apparent expert treatment. She underwent emergency surgery for gastrointestinal damage from the horrific brutal assault. She also underwent brain surgery.
On the evening of December 16 she and a male companion, after watching a movie, boarded a a party bus of joyriders in south Delhi after being lured on to it as the joy riders promised them a trip home, that they were heading ‘in their direction’. Five passengers who were joyriding, one of them the brother of the bus driver, would later assault both of them. They would beat her companion with a metal rod, knocking him out unconscious, and they would tie him up. They would then rape her and beat her to a pulp. They would then throw both of them off the bus for a passer-by to later find them.
The dying young lady was taken to Safdarjang Hospital where in the space of one night she underwent surgery after surgery, and in then in the coming days she underwent further surgeries because being controversially whisked to Singapore, with surgery required mid-air and again in Singapore.
The whole time she was being kept alive by mechanical ventilation, her family distraught, Indians right across the sub-continent distraught, the world’s humanity in a state of shock at the ferocity of the violence.
India has been accused of sexism, misogyny, that the streets of its cities, towns and villages are not safe at all times for women, young and older, and that the Indian Government and its public institutions and agencies have failed to legislate protections and policing for the rights of India’s women. This despite the advancement of women in other areas of Indian life, including Indian Prime Ministers – Indira Gandhi.
Today, India cries out for its streets to be made safe for
Six men, including the bus driver, have been arrested. Every major organisation – legal and human rights oriented – around the world has condemned the assault, and many have indicted India’s indicted and slammed the Indian Government and its historic and contemporary failure in ensuring the rights of women, not just to advancement however also to safety and security. Presidents and Prime Ministers have expressed their outrage.
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women have expressed their shock and called on the Indian Government to act, at long last. They have called upon the Indian Government to honour the tragic and horrific of this young lady by making the streets safe for everyone, “to make women’s lives more safe and secure.”
The Indian Government has been called upon to improve the wellbeing and lives of women, and to ensure every opportunity for its female children. It has been called upon to initiate the commencement of adequate legislation towards eliminating the rampant segregation against women. India has been called upon to ensure legislation encourages young girls and women to report rape rather than be tainted or ostracised.
India has one of the world’s worst rates of rape, especially of young women. Delhi has one of the world’s worst rape rates, and with a woman raped every 15 hours.
A young Indian lawyer Bela Rana said, “We are aware this is not the first case, nor will it be the last case of gang-rape in India, but it is clear that we will not tolerate sex crimes anymore.”
The young woman’s male companion had apparently become quite disturbed, as one would, when the party bus deviated from the promised direction homeward bound, after the young couple’s night out at the movies in Saket, South Delhi. It has been alleged that when he raised his concern that the inebriated joyriders attacked him.
It does not matter that these young men were inebriated or that some may have been less inclined than others within the group to deviate the bus and cruelly rape this young man – there was consciousness despite inebriation – good people do not do what these young men despite inebriation, theirs is one now for them to be held accountable. Their actions bespeak of people long dead of humanity before this encounter, and of any silence by anyone of them during this cruel ordeal as utter for fear of recrimination is unacceptable, all are as guilty as the other.
The male companion was unconsciousness having been struck wildly by an iron rod.
It is alleged the young men dragged the woman to the rear of the bus. The bus driver had pulled the bus in a dark quiet, out of the Delhi’s fanfare and throngs of people. He had locked the doors. The young lady was beaten the metal rod. It is alleged that at times during the gang-rape the bus driver drove the bus. It has been reported widely that the doctors attending this young woman have spoken of insufferable wounds to her abdomen, intestines and genitals, that only 5 per cent of her intestines remained in her body. It is alleged that the rusted L-shaped metal rod, possibly a wheel-jack, was forced into her – and with such ferocity was pulled at times that it ruptured her intestinally, dragging with it her intestines. What monsters were these young men in their transformation from the innocence at birth to this hostile climate of hellish inhumanity?
When the monstrous rape had ended, the young men literally the couple out of the moving bus onto the bitumen of South Delhi. One of the perpetrators then allegedly cleaned the bus of the stains of their inhumane improprieties.
After having boarded the bus at 9:30pm the couple were found unconscious on the road at 11pm by a passer-by. Delhi Police arrived and they were taken to hospital, emergency surgery followed. They young lady was found to have only 5 per cent of her left inside, and they had to resect much of her intestines for fear of gangrene. A hospital doctor said, “the rod inserted into her must have been pulled out with so much force that the act brought out her intestines along. This is probably the only thing that explains the severe damage to her intestines.”
She hung in there for dear life, with the trauma of the evening to torment for the rest of her days. The young woman was born and bred in Delhi, her family having moved to Delhi for a better life and for opportunities from their impoverished past in an impoverished village in Ballia in the district of Uttar Pradesh. Her father, from an agricultural caste community, sold his quarter hectare of land so his children could enjoy the educational opportunities of Delhi. The male companion is 28 years old, from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, and is a resident of New Delhi.
Rage poured across India, and people power protests across the subcontinent were met with police force. In the face of sustained protests, cultural waves of dissent, and supported by international outrage, on December 21 the Indian Government appointed a committee of physicians to save the young woman’s life. It has been alleged that by Christmas Day though in a critical state, intubated, her internal bleeding had been controlled. However in a controversial decision by a Indian ministerial meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, it was ordered that on December 26 she should be flown to Singapore’s multi-organ transplant expert Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
The decision to move her while she was still in a critical state has been roundly criticised as political rather than in the young woman’s interests. During the six hour flight to Singapore, while the plane was in high altitude, her body went into shock, her blood pressure dropped, and surgeons aboard the plane had to perform a miraculous arterial line to stabilize her. She would never regain consciousness. At 4:45am on December 29 she died and the Mount Elizabeth Hospital spokeswoman said the young victim suffered brain damage, abdominal infection, immune system breakdown and that her body could no longer sustain the fight for life.
She was cremated in Delhi on December 30 and police security was so intense it had never been paralleled for an ordinary Indian citizen, for a young woman whose name has never been released to the nation and the world however who everybody now knows because of the terror of her hour and a half on that bus and the struggle for life in the 13 days and nights since.
The Government prohibited media from the funeral. She was cremated hours after her body was repatriated from Singapore. The funeral pyre was lit after traumatised family and those close said their final prayers.
She and her male companion were to have been married in February.
“They had made all the wedding preparations and had planned a wedding party in Delhi,” said Meena Rai, a friend and neighbour.”
The tragedy of India is that she was not even safe on its streets even in the company of her male companion. Nor was he safe from the skewed minds and bents of the young men.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon personally urged the Indian Government to take the crucial steps to deter such crimes, to reduce the rates of rape.
Such is the despair of India that vigilantism has reared it demands. The spilling of blood has been called for.
Ram Singh, the bus driver has been arrested. Mukesh Singh, the bus driver’s brother has been arrested. Vinay Sharma has been arrested. Pawan Gupta has been arrested. Askshay Thakur has been arrested. The sixth person is a minor, Raju and he has been arrested.
Most sexual abuse and rape crimes in India go without being reported – there is no trust in the system and recriminations are rampant, fear mongers. Most of the reported sexual abuse and rapes are not investigated and therefore charges are not laid. Where charges are laid most prosecutions fail to proceed to the Courts.
On this occasion it will be seemingly easy for the Indian criminal justice system with Pawan Gupta collapsing in a heap upon his guilt and shame. He has confessed, accepting his guilt and said that he should be hanged, that he should not be spared.
The 28 year old male companion of the young lady provided testimony to a December 19 Court hearing and the young lady had given a recorded statement to a Magistrate while she lay critical at Safdarjung Hospital on December 21.
On December 29, hours after the death of the young woman, the six young men were charged with murder.
Police have met wave after wave of protestors across the nation with police battalions, water cannons and tear gas and arrests. Protestors have marched through barriers, overturned cars and outraged through vandalism.
600 women from various organisations demonstrated in Bangalore. Thousands marched in Kolkata. Thousands march near daily in Delhi. Delhi’s India Gate has been thronged by protestors, and it alleged that police have used 375 tear gas canisters throughout Delhi protests. A a Delhi protest policeman Subhash Tomar collapsed and died. He may have suffered blunt force injuries to his chest.
On December 22, the Government appointed a judicial committee headed by a former Chief Justice of India, J.S. Verma. The Committee’s burden is to propose amendments to criminal law so as to adequately deal with sexual assault crimes. The Government has given it a 30 day deadline.
Candlelight vigils followed on the day of the young lady’s death. In the last days of 2012 protest numbers grew around India – Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Mangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Thiruvanathapuram.
The shock from the horror of this incident is not limited and its underwriting is pernicious and endemic; it is also the aptitude of the abhorrent violence itself, the extent of the brutality, and the stressors and determinants for this cannot be set aside
Hopefully much changes soon and she is forever remembered, and so to her male companion who would have been her partner come February, and the trauma, multipe trauma, acute and chronic depressions and mental meltdowns that the families will endure life-long. And so too the families of the perpetrators. The trauma is not alone situational, it is both continuing stress and trauma and post traumatic stress. It goes deep into the national and collective consciousness and pscyhes. Hopefully the connectedness of the contemporary world expedites the unfolding of human rights and social justice languages, and that the vocabularies become down pat and the consciousness.
A nation, or a peoples, should be understood by their legislation - the heart and soul of a nation is its legislation. We know the mind of a nation through its parliamentarians and by their legislation.
New Delhi need not be the rape capital of the world - nowhere need that be - humanity's troubled soul has a way to go and we have to make sure, that in the name of the Malalas of the world, in the remembrance of the young 23 year old woman, and similarly in remembrance of the 28 year old male companion, and their families, that we step up the call for changes, and that we get involved in the call for these changes. We must believe that in pursuing humanity we can settle our troubled soul and eliminate inhumanity.
A UKRAINIAN teenager has died three weeks after being set on fire in a gang rape attack that raised doubts about the competence of police.
Oksana Makar, 18, was raped by three men in their early 20s, strangled with a cord, burnt and left for dead in an attack in the southern city of Mykolayiv, investigators said.
A passer-by found Oksana after she was dumped by her attackers at an abandoned construction site. She was taken to hospital with burns over 55 per cent of her body, requiring the amputation of an arm.
SHE died in hospital on Saturday morning, aged 23, with horrible injuries. She was gang-raped, beaten with an iron bar, thrown from a moving bus, left naked in the road, ignored by many passers-by. The death of this unnamed woman in Delhi has galvanised fury across India. Civil unrest, demonstrations and vigils closed down swathes of the city; Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi, was booed when she tried to address the crowds. State and national governments are seriously alarmed.
Good. About time too.
Brother says fight for justice for medical student has just begun, as father describes how family is still in shock after brutal attack.
Speaking to the newspaper, the woman's father added that his family has been consumed by grief.
"It is too painful. I have not gone inside her room. She was born in this house. Her books, clothes they are all here.
"It is hard to believe I will never hear her voice again," he said.
The viciousness of the assault on the young woman has left most Indians stunned and many say they are in no mood to celebrate.
BBC News, Delhi
There has been an unprecedented outpouring of anger and grief in India and on the eve of the New Year, many say they have decided not to celebrate.
Many private clubs, hotels and citizens have decided to cancel or tone down their planned festivities.
Delhi's Gymkhana Club has asked its 7,000 members to come and light candles to show solidarity with the victim, while the Chelmsford Club, the Delhi Golf Club and the Press Club of India have decided to call off their celebrations.
The film industry in Mumbai has also joined the mourners with many Bollywood stars saying they have nothing to celebrate this year.
Reports said Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan and his wife, MP Jaya Bachchan, were extremely upset by the incident and that "all plans in the Bachchan family for the New Year have been cancelled".
`'To change a society as conservative, traditional and patriarchal as ours, we will have a long haul," said Ranjana Kumari, director of the Center for Social Research. `'It will take some time, but certainly there is a beginning."
In the streets and in parliament, calls rose for stringent and swift punishment against those attacking women, including a proposal to make rapists eligible for the death penalty. As the calls for action grew louder, two more gang-rapes were reported, including one in which the 10-year-old victim was killed.
The Indian government failed to stem a wave of furious protest against the gang-rape of a student on Sunday, as a journalist was shot dead by police during a demonstration against another sex attack.
Rape is an occurrence which, according to official statistics occurred approximately 16,000 times annually during the 1980s. By 2006 the official figure for rape was over 55 000 , unofficially, based on the premise put forward by the National Institute of Crime Rehabilitation that only one in twenty rapes are reported, the figure is over 494,000 a year.
This means that on average approximately one thousand three hundred women can be expected to be raped a day in South Africa.