A sad day

Horrified and sad to read about this.The Mumbai gang rape that happened last night really hit home. While working as a features writer I have gone on assignments alone. I have taken autos to areas of the city I was not familiar with, I have even taken autos alone past 9 pm. I have female friends and colleagues who do the same. They are passionate about their jobs, work hard and travel for their stories. This rape victim could be any one of us.

Every day I read and hear about crimes against women in my country. It frustrates me, it angers me. Will this situation ever improve? Sure it gets reported more and there is media publicity, but have the number of rapes decreased? Fast-track courts to try rapists have been set up and there have been calls for harsher punishments for convicted rapists, but how much of a difference is all this actually making? I don’t think the situation will improve anytime soon. The problem is deep-rooted, we are a country where there is lack of education, disparity in wealth and corruption. Not respecting women and their bodies is just one issue in a long, long list.

I judge the progress of a country not by its economy or its strong currency. I judge it by how safe it is for women. I do not feel safe in India. I am scared to take autos, I would not step out alone post 10 pm and I am saddened that this is how I feel about my own country. You might think I am being paranoid and that I shouldn’t judge the entire country based on a few incidents. But, I would rather be safe than sorry. I am pretty sure that young photojournalist didn’t think something so horrifying was going to happen to her as she set off to do a story with her friend.


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