India

Women in India are not safe until their Government wakes up

by Samantha Ritchie

At the Jahawarlal Nehru University (JNU) a young woman was attacked after she ‘hurt’ her classmate’s ego.

Roshni Gupta was attacked while in a classroom at the JNU in New Delhi. Aakash Kumar, a class mate of Roshni’s, walked into the class with an axe, knife, pistol and poison in his bag pack. Aakash asked Roshni to leave with him. After she said no he went into his bag pack and pulled out an axe which he started hitting her over the head with.  He then went into his bag and swallowed rat poisoning.

After the attack, police looked in his bag only to find a note. The note, which was in Hindu, stated “… she has hurt my ego… but I don’t want to reveal the reasons for which my ego has been hurt…”

Aakash Kumar has died in hospital. But, Roshni is still alive and fighting for her life.

The violence against women in India has been evident more than ever since the rape of a young woman on a bus in Mumbai. Moreover, last month a 10 year old girl was gang raped. She was attacked by boys who are from the ages of 14 to 16 years old.

In March of this year, a new law was passed which stiffens the punishment in sexual violence cases. But, this hasn’t addressed the issue of violence against women in India. Last year there were 330 reported rapes in New Delhi. In the first six months of this year there have been over 800 reported cases of rape.

There needs to be a change in culture. Education in schools, colleges and universities of what rape can do to a victim, their families and relationships. There also needs to be more victim support services available for women.

I hope Roshni pulls through and the Indian government wakes up to the fact that ‘harsher’ punishment is not enough to address this epidemic in the country.

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