On December 16th 2012, Jyoti Singh, a physical therapy intern, was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi and later died from injuries suffered during the attack. To mark the anniversary, Singh’s mother, Asha Devi, has said she intends to sit at the Jantar Mantar monument in protest. Writing for Feministing, Reina Gattuso paid tribute in her own way — by highlighting the advances and setbacks that have come in the wake of the brutal attack.
Responding to nationwide protests after Singh’s murder, an Indian government committee issued the Justice Verma Committee Report, which identified “failure of governance” as the principal cause of sexual crimes in the country. The report offered practical recommendations such as the criminalization of marital rape and the elimination of military impunity in cases of sexual violence — neither suggestion has yet been made into law.
In the meantime, Gattuso wrote, anti-Muslim politicians twisted the conversation from “women’s safety” to “love jihad” — the notion that Muslim men kidnap Hindu girls. Meanwhile in Delhi, Gattuso noted, the movement Pinjra Tod, or “break the cages,” has been working to change policies at universities so that women are no longer locked up in their accommodations after 8pm “for their own good.”
With sexual violence prevalent on college campuses and victims being blamed or even taken advantage of by police, America too must look in the mirror, added Gattuso. Especially since the country’s “soon-to-be president,” she noted, is himself “a known sexual assailant.”
A documentary, India’s Daughter, focusing on the tragic attack and its aftermath was subsequently banned by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leading to further controversy. Leslee Udwin, the filmmaker who directed India’s Daughter, has appeared on the stage at Women in the World events to discuss the problem. At the 2015 Women in the World New York Summit, Sunitha Krishnan, the activist behind the #ShameTheRapist campaign, Udwin and journalist Barkha Dutt appeared on a panel to discuss the fight in India against sexual violence. Watch the full discussion below.
Read the full story at Feministing.