By Shobha Persaud, Senior Writer
On December 16, 2012, 23 year old medical student, Jyoti Singh, was raped by 6 men on a moving bus in Delhi, India while on her way home from a movie night with a male friend. This incident received widespread media coverage which triggered unprecedented protests and riots throughout India and prompted the first change in mindset. After the assault, both Jyoti and her friend were thrown from the bus and Jyoti was rushed to the hospital where she received emergency treatment including several surgeries both in India and Singapore. Unfortunately, due to the serious nature of the injuries she sustained in the assault, Jyoti died on December 29, 2012.
India’s Daughter is a documentary directed by Leslee Udwin that tells the story of the short life, ruthless rape and murder of Jyoti Singh. The mentality in India is very traditional in that women lack many rights and are seen as shameful for even being friends with someone of the opposite gender. Currently serving a life term in prison, one of the convicted rapists, Mukesh Singh, who was interviewed for the documentary said, “When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape.” He later added, “A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy….a decent girl won’t roam around at nine o'clock at night.” Rape is so common in India that some men have raped over 200 women and many of them go unreported. India’s daughter has been classified as a controversial film and was banned from view in the United States.
This incident prompted many people, specifically women to rise up and fight to change this primitive mentality of the Indian society. The men in India treat women as unequals, A.P. Singh, a defense lawyer in the case, referred to women as a “gemstone”, and “a flower who needs protection. If you put that flower in a gutter, it is spoilt. If you put it in a temple, it is worshipped.” By saying this, Singh is dehumanizing women because he doesn’t say they are humans but instead a “flower.”
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