The horrific Delhi gangrape, in which a 23-year-old medical student was subjected to horrific injury and assault, resulting in her eventual death was widely seen as a wake up call for India on how unsafe women are in India. Even as the 23-year-old girl succumbed to her injuries, people were outraged. The country was suddenly up in arms, politicians shed tears in the Parliament. People wanted justice.
And justice was served. Of the five accused – one was a juvenile – four were given death sentences. Experts on television said that this would serve as an example, a deterrent for rape in country where most sexual assault cases go unreported.
But did the land mark case prove to be a deterrent? No. Instead of being the rape that would end other rapes, it turned out to be more like the opening of the floodgates.
Since then, we have had the Shakti Mills gangrape case, the horrors of Badaun and most recently the Uber cab rape case, and the horrific Rohtak rape case – one of such brutality that it rivalled even the Delhi rape.
And the biggest example of the fact that quick justice is not the only solution, can be found in a documentary titled India’s daughter by Leslee Udwin.
Udwin traveled to India following the Delhi gangrape, moved by the protests, that she said she perceived as a watershed moment. In her documentary, she tried to answer the question, “Why do men rape?”
“Why do men rape?’ I discovered that the disease is a lack of respect for gender. It’s not just about a few rotten apples, it’s the barrel itself that is rotten”, she told the Guardian in an interview.
One of the people Udwin spoke to was Mukesh Singh — one of the perpatrators of the gruesome Delhi gangrape.
He is on death row, but he is not repentant. Singh, who reflects the mindset of many men in India, blames it on the girl. “A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy. You can’t clap with one hand – it takes two hands.”
And if that is sick, be prepared for more. He says, “A decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy. Boy and girl are not equal. Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20 percent of girls are good.”
The Delhi gangrape victim died after 13 days of battling for her life. The media began calling her a ‘braveheart’. She had resisted the rape. And the price she paid for it is well documented. They had inserted an iron bar into her body and pulled out most of her intestines while she was still alive. She underwent five surgeries, where the doctors removed most of her intestines. They said she had suffered serious to her abdomen, genitals and intestines.
Most people in their senses would call what the men did to her inhuman. But according to The Telegraph, Singh described her killing as an ‘accident’ and said such a situation wouldn’t have happened if she didn’t resist. “When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they’d have dropped her off after ‘doing her’, and only hit the boy,” he was quoted as saying.
Let alone remorse, Singh thinks that the death penalty would make rapes worse in India. He warns that now rapists will surely kill the victims. The Telegraph quotes him as saying, “Before, they would rape and say, ‘Leave her, she won’t tell anyone.’ Now when they rape, especially the criminal types, they will just kill the girl. Death.”