India is known for its largest population (1.1 billion), Bollywood, home to world’s 2nd largest film industry after Hollywood, and of course, the so-called world’s largest democracy. What most people don’t know that India is world’s poorest nation and that a woman is raped every 30 seconds in India. In United States, a woman is raped every 70 seconds.
India’s rape culture can be found all over Indian society – among ordinary people to high-ranking officials. For example, The Indian Express, reported on June 14, 2013, that wife of an Indian Navy Lt. Commander had accused her husband with forcing her to get “sexually involved” with his senior officers (as a bribe for his promotion, I suppose). She is holder of a MBA degree.
In November 2012, a 13-year-old “untouchable” girl was gangraped by several individuals in Indian state of Punjab. She remembered the rapists but the local police refused to investigate the incident.
In December 2012, a 23-year-old para-medical student was gangraped by six people in a moving bus in New Delhi. The girl later died of her injuries.
Last month, a 5-year-old girl was abducted, raped and tortured by a 20-year-old Manoj Kumar. He kept her in his room for 40 hours and then left her locked inside the room. Fortunately, a neighbor of the rapist her heard her cries and rescued her.
Early this month, a 20-year-old was abducted from New Delhi. She was beaten and drugged before being gangraped by five unidentified persons for a week inside a hut in Hindu holy city of Haridwar.
Some Indian social experts blame India’s rape culture on country’s gender ratio, imbalanced by distorted by sex selection in favor of baby boys. In 2011, only 914 girls were born per every thousand of newborn boys whereas 30 years ago the ratio was 962:1000. Currently, India has 37 million more men than women.
Violence against women is part of Hindu culture which has existed for many thousand years. There’re over 34 million widows in India who find it very hard to remarry. In 2010, Bollywood actress Preity Zinta blasted Hindu religious teachings and Hindu elites for “the dire plight of India’s oppressed and neglected widows” during a press conference in New Delhi.
India’s Hindu writer, Gita Aravamudan, in her book Disappearing Daughters: The Tragedy of Female Foeticide (2007), claims that over one million female babies are murdered each year in India via abortion and other means.
“What bothered me the most was that women were forced to undergo abortion after abortion. In their heart of hearts, they didn’t want to abort their babies but social and filial pressures, the fear that they would be thrown out of home otherwise, made them do it. It had affected the health of so many women. Women were inflicting such injuries on themselves; they were ruining themselves and nothing was in their hands,” says Gita.