Friday, December 28, 2012

More Bad News From India

Content note:  Sexual violence

The victim of the Delhi gang rape is extremely ill at a Singapore hospital where she was airlifted a few days ago:

The condition of an Indian medical student whose gang rape triggered mass protests has deteriorated and there are signs her vital organs have failed, the Singapore hospital treating her said.
The 23-year-old, who was severely beaten, raped and thrown out of a moving bus in New Delhi, was flown to Singapore by the Indian government on Wednesday for specialist treatment.

If the woman dies it could trigger new protests and possibly fresh confrontations with the police, especially in the Indian capital, which has been the focus of the demonstrations.
New Delhi has been on edge since the weekend clashes. Hundreds of policemen have been deployed on the streets of the capital and streets leading to the main protest site, the India Gate war memorial, have been shut for long periods, causing commuter chaos in the city of 16 million.
Political commentators and sociologists say the rape has tapped into a deep well of frustration that many Indians feel over what they see as weak governance and poor leadership on social and economic issues.
Many protesters have complained that Singh's government has done little to curb the abuse of women in the country of 1.2 billion. A global poll by Thomson Reuters Foundation in June found that India was the worst place to be a woman because of high rates of infanticide, child marriage and slavery.
New Delhi has the highest number of sex crimes among India's major cities, with a rape reported on average every 18 hours, according to police figures. Government data show the number of reported rape cases in the country rose by nearly 17 percent between 2007 and 2011.

I very much hope that she survives.

A second case of horrors in India:
 17-year-old Indian girl who was gang-raped killed herself after police pressured her to drop the case and marry one of her attackers, police and a relative said on Thursday.
Amid the ongoing uproar over the gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi earlier this month, the latest case has again shone the spotlight on the police's handling of sex crimes.
One police officer has been sacked and another suspended over their conduct after the assault during the festival of Diwali on November 13 in the Patiala region in the Punjab, according to officials.
The teenager was found dead on Wednesday night after swallowing poison.

Which attacker was she supposed to marry?  The solution of marriage for rape is an old one.  It smooths over the crime for everyone else except the victim.  For her that solution is closer to hell.

I cannot say anything useful about any of this.  I'm too angry and too heartbroken.  And these are not problems only in India but in many, many other countries.  The problems in the United States are somewhat different but can still leave a woman or a girl destroyed for life.   Or at least ostracized and isolated.
A postscript:  She has died.  As banal as it may seem, I truly hope that something is learned from her horrible suffering and death.