|India’s mindset not changing, says researcher after gang rape of a Danish woman in capital
Despite and doubling of prison terms for rape to 20 years and criminalizing voyeurism and stalking, not much has changed in India, researchers lament after the latest attack on a helpless woman.
(Pictured, the yard of the SE Road Railway Officers Club, where a Danish tourist visiting India was allegedly raped in New Delhi).
In yet another attack at least six Indians are suspected to have gang raped a Danish tourist near a popular central shopping area in the capital New Delhi. She had lost her way and asked for directions back to her hotel, police said.
The 51-year-old woman was also robbed and beaten up, AP reports.
In India, for many women, particularly the poor, daily indignities and abuse continue unabated and the new laws have not made the streets any safer.
Ranjana Kumari, Director of India's Center for Social Research, said India's conservative, patriarchal traditions lead men to use rape as a tool to instill fear in women.
“This mindset is not changing,'' she said. “It's a huge challenge.''
Tuesday's gang rape is the latest case to focus international attention on the scourge of rape and violence against women in India.
The attack happened Tuesday afternoon near Connaught Place, police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said. The woman managed to reach her hotel Tuesday evening and the owner called police. No arrests have been made.
“When she came, it was miserable,'' said Amit Bahl, owner of the Amax Hotel. He said the woman was crying and “not in good shape.''
“I am really ashamed that this happened,'' said Bahl, who sounded shaken.
The problem of sexual violence in India has gained widespread attention since the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a bus in the capital in December 2012. Public fury over the case has led to more stringent laws that doubled prison terms for rape to 20 years and criminalized voyeurism and stalking.
Experts say the rapid growth of India's cities and the yawning gulf between rich and poor are exacerbating the problem of sexual violence, with young men struggling to prove their traditional dominance in a changing world.
Cultural stigmas, police apathy and judicial incompetence have long made it difficult for women to even report rapes.