Home / Robert Farley / Delhi Agony

Delhi Agony


If you haven’t been following, this unbearably horrible story has come to a tragic conclusion.  We can only hope that this will provide activists with momentum and focus for demanding significant legal and social change.

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  • Leeds man

    “If these girls roam around openly like this, then the boys will make mistakes”

    Yeah, bloody girls eh? Jesus wept, but not nearly enough.

    • ema

      “Had the girl simply surrendered (and not resisted) when surrounded by six men, she would not have lost her intestine.*

      *Comment made by a female scientist, Dr. Anita Shukla, at a “Women’s Empowerment” conference organized by police.

      • Leeds man

        “The victims are almost invariably young, educated working women who are enjoying freedom unknown even a decade ago.”

        I wonder about that. How many “uneducated” women do we not hear about, simply because they are not as visible?

        • DrDick

          Gang rape has long been used as a weapon in India, both to punish women seen as violating cultural norms and as revenge for injuries committed by their families. It has become a more prominent issue now as there are more educated, modern women working and living more independent lives. We are seeing a brutal backlash against change by cultural conservatives.

          • LeeEsq

            A couple of years ago, the NYT ran an article about Hindu nationalists protesting the celebrating of Valentine’s Day in India by rioting at venues hosting events for singles and couples. They apparently felt that modern courtship had no place in India.

            Part of the problem is that a lot of people view modern social mores as inherently Western and the infliction of an alien social system on their society. Combined with lingering resentment from the Imperial Era and you get everything you need for a violent, reactionary response to modernity. Its the Tariq Ramadan school of thought that states its imperialist to expect non-Western cultures to adopt Western ideas concerning humans rights, freedom, and how society should be organized.

            • DrDick

              I do not think it is all that much different from what we are seeing among our own Talibangelicals, actually, though the specific manifestations are somewhat different. They do not blow up abortion clinics and assassinate doctors in India.

              • LeeEsq

                I think that our reactionaries are a bit more careful in how to act because they usually know that there is a very good chance that the law is going to hit back hard. It doesn’t deter the most fanatical but the best way to deal with reactionaries is to subject them to the full force of the law. It might not change their minds but it will prevent many of them from acting out.

                I also think that reactionaries lash out less when the change is seen as coming for from within the society than from outside society. The backlash to the societal changes in the 1960s and 1970s could have been a lot worse. This also might be wishful thinking on my part.

              • JL

                Indeed. Backlash against women’s rights exists in many places, in different forms.

                Rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment are certainly manifestations that exist all over, though to different degrees. As some of my activist volunteering work is as a rape crisis counselor…they are certainly manifestations that are common in the US.

      • JL

        And on the other side, you find many people (in the US, no idea about India) who think that it must not really have been rape if the victim doesn’t physically resist, even though the victim may be doing so to avoid further injury.

        • STH

          Yes, whether she fights back or not, she’s always to blame.

  • cpinva

    i wouldn’t bet money on things changing anytime in the next century. india’s government is one of the most openly corrupt in the world, and their society one of the most openly mysogynist, so the prospect of the legal system doing anything soon is pretty damn low.

    • Icarus Wright

      An ugly & brutal reminder that the War on Women isn’t restricted to US conservatives.

      The woman, whose intestines were removed because of injuries caused by a metal rod used during the rape, has not been identified. She was flown to Singapore on Wednesday night after undergoing three operations at a local hospital.

      And why, exactly, was she flown to Singapore?

      • Hanspeter

        Supposedly they have a better transplant hospital than what was available in India.

      • Hanspeter

        Though as posted below, that explanation is not without its flaws.

      • swearyanthony

        Its pretty clear at this point that it was done against medical advice. Seems likely it was an attempt by the Indian govt to defuse the situation.

        They failed.

      • STH

        I did wonder what kind of care she was getting in India; the doctors in Singapore said she had multiple internal infections.

        I understand 6 men have now been charged with her murder.

  • p

    Thanks, Robert Farley, for this post. It is interesting, isn’t it, to see how the image of the police changes from the first article (2011) to the second article (Dec. 2012). NYT, trying its best, in the first article, to bolster support for the establishment and being totally unable to do it by the end of this horrible episode.

    For those interested in more about this, I would recommend this website: http://kafila.org/

    Scroll down a couple of articles and you all will read a number of essays detailing this story and the protests and the responses to the protests by the police and the politicos.

    • poco

      oops that is poco–not p.

  • Bitter Scribe

    What I don’t understand is, how and why did those rat bastard pricks of Indian officials who shipped her 1,500 miles out of the country, to Singapore, “for medical treatment,” get away with that? There is absolutely no medical reason to evacuate anyone with injuries and infections that severe, that far away. Did they think this whole thing would just go away if they whisked her out of the country?

    • poco

      Well, twitter rumors are already circulating that the poor girl was dead before the transfer–I am not sure whether the rat bastards thought that having the death announced outside of India might quieten the protests.

    • Pseudonym

      Doesn’t the U.S. ship its Iraq and Afghanistan casualties to a hospital in Germany? That’s not directly comparable, but it does suggest it’s possible to move very sick patients.

      • That’s not remotely comparable. India has first-rate hospitals, medical schools, and health care facilities (provided one can afford to use them), while any such facilities in Iraq were rendered inoperable by war and sanctions. Afghanistan has never had reliable tertiary-care surgical facilities. It is very possible to evacuate severely injured people to a higher level of care; it just makes no sense to bypass local sources of advanced care to do it.

  • somethingblue

    Delhi: so spelled.

    • Robert Farley

      Cheerfully corrected!

  • OmerosPeanut

    Words fail me. Is the likelihood of any meaningful change coming from this in India any greater than that in the U.S. after Sandy Hook?

    • Phoenix Rising

      I for one would pitch in my pennies for a fund to impound Bushmaster products and ship them to random women in India. With plenty of detachable magazines for crowd situations.

      • Speak Truth


        As we all learned in recent threads, guns are totally ineffective as a defense.

        That’s why police don’t carry them…..

        Ummmmm….wait a minute…..

        • DrDick

          I see that you have a severe irony deficiency. You should seek help from a medical professional immediately.

    • Leeds man

      I don’t know. How many thousands are clashing with riot police in the US?

      • L.M.

        This whole sickening thing has given us a remarkably unsubtle example of what we talk about when we talk about patriarchy. The Indian state deploys hundreds of police officers to attack those marching against rape culture, while it purports to remain helpless against rape culture itself.

    • DrDick

      I think it may. There has already been a growing and increasingly militant women’s movement that has specifically been targeting this kind of thing (which is not all that uncommon, though this was particularly brutal).

  • The events are fresh but the general climate has existed for a long time.

    “Countries like India and Saudi Arabia fell to the bottom of TrustLaw’s list due to harsh restrictions on women’s mobility, high rates of infanticide and child marriage.”

    I have a young female relative who traveled to India with her Japanese husband, intending to go to Nepal as well. She left mid-trip from India due to constant harassment. They travel regularly to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam staying at local homes they rent, so she’s no sheltered neophyte.

  • Jeremy

    Well, now I feel sick.

  • Vishal

    Actually, the first link is about an altogether separate gang rape than the one whose victim died yesterday. The one that brought about the mass protests occurred just two weeks ago, not in 2011. But it was just the most recent in a string of rapes that have been getting increasing attention from the Indian media and public.

    • Yes, I was also going to point out the problem with the first link, which was about a different rape entirely, but it also is a good article about the rape culture in general, especially the “town vs. country” angle, and provides background to these later, even more terrible events.

      It’s like that horrifying story of the other Indian woman who was allowed to die in the Irish hospital because of an unresolved miscarriage. What is the matter with these–jeeze, I even hesitate to call them people–that they consider women so gauddam DISPOSABLE?

      • poco

        Yeah–the Savitha angle (in Ireland) makes an interesting linkage. Just read in AJE re reported rape cases:

        South Africa – 277,000 reported cases.
        United States – more than 84,000 rape cases were reported.
        India – reported a little more than 22,000 cases.

        These round up the top 3. I would guess the ratio of reported vs. unreported cases is highest in India.

        Also going to re-post my earlier comment in this thread:
        It is interesting, isn’t it, to see how the image of the police changes from the first (linked in the OP) article (2011) to the second article (Dec. 2012). NYT, trying its best, in the first article, to bolster support for the establishment and being totally unable to do it by the end of this horrible episode.

        For those interested in more about this, I would recommend this website: http://kafila.org/

        I have no connection to this website whatsoever, but if anyone here is really interested in the issue–this is the best place to get information from academics, activists and activist academics.

  • Speak Truth

    A terrible story and a good example of the terrible culture(s) that exists for women outside of the US.

    So, where is Lindsay Beyerstein and Amanda Marcotte that are so quick to jump in on this blog and complain? Where are the ‘feminists’ when you really need ’em?3

    Answer: If it doesn’t involve self-promotion, profit or America bashing, they’s AWOL time and time again.

    • DrDick

      Riiiiight! Just after a post pointing out that the US has the second highest rate of reported rapes in the world. Get a fucking clue, asshat, and save your puerile jingoism for Red State, Twitchy, or whichever rightard sewer you normally infest.

    • Hogan

      Oh shut up, you horrible little man.

    • ema

      Where are the ‘feminists’ when you really need ‘em?3

      Are you impaired in some manner, unable to read the comments? Feminists galore in this thread.

      • DrDick

        Why yes he is impaired in every way imaginable and completely devoid of common humanity.

    • Amb

      Christ almighty, if you’re going to hijack a horrific tragedy to whine about your personal hangups would you at least choose a stance not so comically fictitious as “feminists don’t care about rape”? There are more important things in the world than your hard-on for Marcotte, Jesus.

      • DrDick

        To be fair, I don’t think Troofy has ever actually had a hard on. His is on the other hand thoroughly repulsive.

    • herr doktor bimler

      You have to admit, it’s flattering of Pancake Boy to assume that two individuals are “AWOL” if they are not participating in a LGM comment thread. Evidently this LGM comment thread is the most effective way to lobby for the cause of human rights in India so anyone choosing to lobby through their own media channels instead of commenting here is “AWOL”.

    • Linnaeus

      Wait, I thought feminism was bad, according to the right? I’m confused.

      • Speak Truth

        Feminism is not ‘bad’.

        Feminism is outdated. The heavy lifting has already been done.
        Women on the Supreme Court.
        Women running for president.
        Women at helms of industries
        Women Governors

        What passes for feminists are malcontents that pick some miniscule American issue, but ignore the plight of women overseas where the horrors actually occur.
        They’re opportunistic assholes that wish to make a living off of their hatetred of men.
        Sorry, but so obviously true.

        • DrDick

          What part of “the US has the second highest rate of reported rapes in the world” did you not understand, jackass? This is not a “miniscule American issue.” Nor is the fact that American women earn about 80% of what men do (even in the same jobs). It is also a fact that while women are 51% of the population, there are only 77 women serving as US Representatives and 17 as Senators. Hardly sounds like “you have come a long way, baby,” to me. Much more like baby steps toward equality.

        • No one suffers like the white man, lemme tell ya.

        • Malaclypse

          They’re opportunistic assholes that wish to make a living off of their hatetred [sic] of men.

          Subtext remaining text, Jennie dearest.

          • Speak Truth

            You’re so gay, you’re so gayYou walk around like you’re oh so debonairYou pull ’em down and there’s really nothing there

            Read more: KATY PERRY – UR SO GAY LYRICS

        • Pseudonym

          With all the feminists out there on the Internets, you’d think you could at least come up with one or two examples of lesbian radical feminists who might plausibly have an actual hatetred of men.

        • herr doktor bimler

          Feminism is outdated.

          It takes a very special mentality to make this assertion in the context of a case of gynocide.

    • Anonymous

      a good example of the terrible culture(s) that exists for women outside of the US.

      Oh look, it’s a Republican troll.

  • Who IS this “Speak Truth” dingus?

    Is he hoping to be crowned Miss The Point 2012? Because it’s the end of the year and all the other contestants have been completely eclipsed.

    Hand him the sceptre and slip that big fat shoulder ribbon over his head RIGHT the hell NOW.

    • herr doktor bimler

      If only there were some way of searching material on the Interlattice, to check “Speak Truth”‘s assertion that feminists are ignoring the New Delhi murder.

    • Leeds man

      “Is he hoping to be crowned Miss The Point 2012?”

      I think he’ll settle for Miss Congenitality.

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