India: Brutal Gang Rape Pushes People into the Streets
Thursday, December 27, 2012 1:30 PM

People flowed into the streets of New Delhi, India after a violent gang rape on a moving bus on Sunday night. Authorities in New Delhi shut down roads to stop protesters for women's human rights from marching to the presidential palace. Another group of protesters gathered closer to India’s parliament to press the government to ensure women’s safety in the city. Police have used tear gas, water cannons, and batons against protesters who were criticizing authorities.
A young woman who was repeatedly raped by four men on a bus is hospitalized in critical condition. Last year, New Delhi recorded 572 rape cases but the real number of such incidents is likely to be higher, as many women remain silent to avoid social stigma attached to such crimes.
Protesters are demanding justice and harsher punishment for rapists. Despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s promise to "make all possible efforts to ensure security and safety of women in this country" they believe that the government’s response so far has been too narrow and does not address the broader problem – a widespread patriarchal mentality that does not value women as equals.
While protesters are aiming "to jolt people awake from the cozy comfort of their cars … to feel the pain of what women go through every day,” Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said his “department is introducing measures to improve the safety of public buses and other commercial vehicles.”