It what has become an all too troubling and common occurrence, in India, a 23-year-old female photographer has been gang raped in India. The attack occurred in the city of Mumbai, considered by its residents to be safer than New Delhi and other cities and towns, due to its standing as the financial capital of India. Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh issued the following statement, “we have made one arrest so far, but all the accused have been identified.” In this incident, a female photography and male colleague were on assignment for a magazine when they were approached by men who asked if they had permission to take photographs, according to CNN. Following that exchange, the attack unfolded, although a full account of the details have not been released.
Why a magazine or any news organization would send a woman, to photograph or cover a story without protection, is fairly reprehensible and unforgivable, given the recent events in that country; the gang rape of a 23-year-old woman who later died and earlier in the month, and a 7-year-old girl who was raped in the bathroom of a train. Let’s not be politically correct when it comes to people’s lives and accept the fact that India is a dangerous place for women at this point in time.
In fairness to the Indian government, they have recently passed stricter laws protecting women, imposing harsher penalties on the convicted but they are too little too late. If anything is going to change in India it should begin with the horrible culture and lack of social mobility. Rape is an act of violence and control. Women, being the most vulnerable, therefore become the prey. I suspect rape and gang rape were always part of Indian life but prior to the age of social media, went largely unreported. Rape is a shame in India and can bring great hardship to the victim and her family when made public.
While India is the largest Democracy in the world, it is not a proper Democracy. It’s stagnant and backwards; certainly not the Democracy of Western Europe or the United States. Both are continually evolving and changing to meet the needs of its people. But not so in India. If it is to reverse the trend of violence against women, it must first take a long, hard look inward. Of course the laws need to be improved and harsher penalties imposed but Indian culture is the true culprit.