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    Posted on 31 March 2012
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    Illustration: Samia Singh

    Like last week, each time a woman is raped, there is a peculiar kind of ‘us’ and ‘them’ that stories around it take on. As if the 23-year-old girl who worked for a pub in Gurgaon inhabited another universe. In which these things happen. The precise way in which news of the rape is received by a society and the way it is discussed are often a fairly accurate and disturbing gauge of its people and how they think. Why are the conversations around a rape focussed on the victim rather than the perpetrators? Do we care to know anything about the seven men from Rohtak in Haryana? Why is the way a woman dresses important to this discussion? Or questions raised about women being out at night? These are the conversations that do come up. The ones that do not are far more disturbing. For those, turn to Nishita Jha’s conversation with a rape victim who was asked repeatedly in court to describe the number of times she was penetrated and the size of the rapist’s erection. Turn also to Brijesh Pandey’s candid conversations with a policeman, and with a village elder of a hamlet in Noida who believes that if a couple is dating, then the girl is asking for trouble. Or Revati Laul’s conversations with the chairperson of the National Commission for Women who believes what a woman wears is not the primary, but definitely an issue in a rape. All of these conversations dovetail into one large question underlying this special report — when will we change the way we talk about rape? The woman in Gurgaon and thousands of others who have been raped know something we don’t. If we continue to talk the way we do, we are all part of the ugly anatomy of rape and changing our conversations around it is the only way it can actually begin to change.

    THE VICTIM
    ‘You have to live with your violated body, you have to live with the memory of what was done to you’
    Divya*, 23 spoke to Nishita Jha about the nightmare that never ends Read More >

    THE COP
    ‘We are an 18th century force operating in the 21st century’
    KS Ram*, 40 tells Brijesh Pandey that a couple of faux pas can’t be used to portray the police as an insensitive institution Read More >

    THE MEDIA
    ‘A rape victim I knew was shattered by the media’s character assassination’
    Deepak Bajpai, 38 spoke to Revati Laul about the pressures faced by reporters to dig out the juicy details Read More >

    THE LAWYER
    ‘Court proceedings ensure a complete loss of dignity’
    Rebecca John, 48 tells Nishita Jha how the legal system is unfair towards rape victims Read More >

    THE ELDER
    ‘When you project yourself as a sex object, you will be treated like one’
    Dusaundhi, 72 of Bisrakh village, tells Brijesh Pandey that scantily-clad girls are inviting trouble Read More >

    THE WATCHDOG
    ‘Women should take their Indian culture along when they go out’
    Mamta Sharma, 62 spoke to Revati Laul about why women should be ultra cautious Read More >

    THE NGO
    The majority of rape victims in India see no justice
    Kavita Krishnan, All India Progressive Women's Association
    By Nishita Jha
    Read More >


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    Posted on 31 March 2012
 

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