India ignores rape
Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 22:03
Every culture has some practice that some other culture may consider odd. We tend to call these oddities, or quirks. You would be mistaken to judge another culture by these quirks because as an outsider to that particular culture, you do not have enough information to form an impartial judgment.
There is a difference between a culture’s quirks and a culture’s shortcomings, however, and India has some explaining to do.
It has recently come to light that India has a serious problem with rape. While more prominent in the northern regions of the country, India has one of the highest rates of rape of any country, and one of the lowest conviction rates for this most inhumane and vile of crimes.
The world first came to know of such atrocities due to the gang-rape of a young woman on a public transit bus.
A shocked and appalled international community began to turn their attention towards India and more of these incidents began to receive media coverage.
As a result of this wave of media attention, India has recently passed a law that doubles the potential prison sentence for rapists and makes the crime of rape punishable by death.
This new legislation is all well and good, especially considering that it comes on the heels of a story in which a British woman leapt from her third-story apartment in India to avoid being raped by the owner of the complex, but why has it taken this long?
Not only should we be asking why it has taken this long, but why did it require so much international pressure? Surely, if anything, rape is something the vast majority of us can (and should) agree should be fiercely prosecuted and punished.
I get the feeling that one of India’s little cultural quirks is that the rape epidemic is not high on their priority list, or at least wasn’t until it began to affect their standings in global politics.
I think it is safe to say this is something that India can be judged by.
And while every culture and country has its blemishes that needs to be dealt with, this is one that should have been taken care of long ago.