Posted in Miscellany

New Delhi

This morning my younger daughter asked me if I was cross. I said no, then yes, and explained why. She told me to blog about it.

In New Delhi women are raped on buses. The chief of police thinks that it’s fine if women are afraid to go out after dark because they should be at home taking care of their children, while men who are out and about can feel relaxed about it.

via CTV news

A 2004 study found the average suicide rate in southern India for women age 10 to 19 was 148 per 100,000, compared with 58 suicides per 100,000 Indian men. Globally, the suicide rate for men is about 24 per 100,000, and about 6.8 per 100,000 for women. Studies show a strong co-relation between suicide among women and violence against them. The woman who was raped and murdered on the bus can’t be named because of the shame attributed to her; for the same reason, another Indian rape victim interviewed on CBC couldn’t show her face.

Because I’m a woman, this is my concern, too. Because I’m the mother of daughters, it is my requirement to voice my outrage at violence against women wherever it occurs, and to voice my support for the women carrying those signs. The shame is not upon any of us who have been raped; it is upon the perpetrators and all those who abide it silently.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

7 thoughts on “New Delhi

  1. It’s very sad that this is what people in the west know about New Delhi, very sad. These are horrible things. But Delhi is soooo much more than this. It’s so heartening to see women (and men) take to the streets in India about this. But as we all know, women are raped everywhere in the world. I’ve traveled a lot, particularly in India. I was not sexually assaulted there. I wish I could say that about other places I’ve been. BTW the telemarketing duct cleaning firms are in Karachi Pakistan according to the show I saw, which is worlds away from New Delhi… just saying…

    1. I figured that someone else would bring another view of India to this. But I also think it’s important to say that just because rape happens here or sexual assault happens here too is not the same as rape on a bus while the bus driver is cooperating, not once but twice, just as a start. Thanks for the correction re location of duct cleaning call centres.

      1. FYI Canada’s sexual assault stats.

        There is no problem with feeling completely livid about rape in New Delhi, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. Sorry I just wasn’t sure what the message about connecting the duct cleaning marketing company was. Every day I see people react and act in very very ugly racist ways to your brown brother. The horrific acts by slum dwelling impoverished men and bus drivers in India doesn’t help, or responses by their lawyers blaming women for being out at night for what happens to them. Unfortunately neither does the non-contextualized media reports or, to be honest, blog posts.

  2. I heard about this story and found it sickening. My only hope is that, having reached public attention, the cultural attitude towards women in India is so clearly unacceptable that something will have to begin to change. Because it clearly is horrific. We need to challenge this sort of sexual abuse wherever it crops up.

  3. I don’t really have a comment to make other than that this story (and the far too many rape stories coming out of South Africa) leave me sad, shocked, numbed. I keep reading the news but it’s pretty depressing. Perhaps if the media continue to report on what society is doing about it, the outrage and sustained action then this will become more of a political issue. Because it should be.

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