Possibly the worst form of humiliation suffered by one human being at the hands of the most cruel and soulless human beings. A violation. It is the absolute abuse. A girl was raped recently, attacked by savages, and thirteen days later she died from injuries suffered as a result. Her name was Jyoti Singh Pandey, her father wants you to know her name, let us never forget her.

It happened in New Delhi, Jyoti Singh Pandey was on her way home from a night out at the movies with her friend. They boarded a bus which was meant to take them home only, it would be the scene of a most horrific crime against them, carried out by unscrupulous savages on a “joy ride” as the police has described it. They knocked her friend unconscious with the iron rod they used on her. For 40 minutes they drove around, gang raped her at the back of the bus, beat and tortured her friend. And after they were done, threw them out of the bus, naked. It was another 20 minutes before any passers-by stopped to help them and 45 minutes before the police came to their aid.

Jyoti Singh Pandey had dreams of being the first one in her family to attend University and have a career, she had dreams that spanned beyond the confines of the realities that face women in parts of India. She enrolled to study Physiotherapy in The Sai Institute of Paramedical and Allied Sciences and worked nights to pay her tuition. She was a bright student. Before she was born her family moved from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi, in hopes of a better life. Her father worked as an airport loader and was able to afford his children’s education; Jyoti and her two siblings, by selling a small part of his land. They weren’t a rich family, they lived in a populous area filed with small businesses and a community of unskilled workers and labourers.

No family should ever suffer such cruel fate.

Up until the case of Jyoti Singh Pandey, which has sparked an uprising in India and criticism from the rest of the world, Rape in India was seen as an endemic stigma and protection for the victim less forthcoming;

– a woman is raped every 20 minutes, 

-between 2007 and 2011, reported case of rape rose by almost 17% (Toronto Sun),

– Of all the countries in the G20, India is named as the worst to be a woman (TrustLaw, Thomas Reuters foundation).

The law, which should protect them, is hardly ever on their side; in another recent case a 17 year old rape victim killed herself by swallowing poison after being pressured by the police to marry one of her attackers or accept a financial settlement from them. Even the law makers have rapists among them; a politician was beaten by a group of villagers in the village of Santipur for raping a mother of five. If these are the people in power charged with protecting the citizens, especially the more vulnerable, what does the future hold? And now all eyes are on the Indian government to act.

Looking from the outside in, the authorities seem more interested in protecting the savages who perpetrated this crime, covering their faces with head sacks and offering protection as they arrive and leave court, than they are in helping the victims. They have been accused by Jyoti Singh Pandey’s friend, who was badly beaten, of being lackadaisical in their response to the incident. Efforts were made by the same authorities to prevent demonstrators from taking to the streets in protests against the abohorrent treatment they have suffered at the hands of those who should protect them.

Incompetence perpetrated by idiocy

The ignorance attached to Rape is not just limited to developing countries; a self proclaimed guru who said Jyoti Singh Pandey was just as culpable in her attack as her rapists because “had she been religious she would not have boarded just any bus…she should have called the culprits brothers and begged for them to stop” is just as ignorant as Rep. Richard Mourdock who not too long ago informed us that pregnancy as a result of rape “is something God intended to happen” because “life is a gift from God.” or Rep. Todd Akin who justified his opposition to abortion by differentiating between legitimate and illegitimate rape, claiming in the case of the former pregnancy hardly ever occurs because a “woman’s body  can shut the whole thing down…” In 2010 Margot Wallström, Special Representative to the UN on Sexual Violence in Conflict, described The Democratic Republic of Congo as the “rape capital of the world’ with more than 8,000 women and young girls raped in 2009 alone, more than half a million were raped in the last decade of the conflict torn region. In the Eastern Congo, 60% of rape cases were gang rape carried out by armed men. Rape is weapon of war.

With attitudes and realities like these the future looks bleak.

A girl was raped and murdered, her name is Jyoti Singh Pandey, she was only 23 years old, she had hopes and dreams. She wanted to live. Let us not forget her. Keep her dream alive; protect the future of our children.

May her Soul Rest in Peace.