In India, the gang-rape of a young psychology student last December which ended in the girl’s agonizing death 13 days later has come to symbolize everything that is wrong with the country today. The crime that took place on a bus commandeered by the 6 culprits, one of which was the actual bus driver, proved to women that they cannot rely on the government to look out for them. India’s booming middle-class, which emerged following economic liberalisation in the early 1990s, is demanding change.
Today, despite a new anti-rape bill, which has toughened sentencing and expanded the definition of rape, few are optimistic that a new era of safety for women has begun. The public remains as sceptic as ever, especially after numerous other high-profile rape cases have emerged since December. That might be why citizens are looking for other solutions.
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