Men and women have been filling India's streets for weeks, demanding that government officials and police take rape more seriously. Last month, a 23-year-old woman was brutally gang raped on a private bus. The unnamed woman later died of injuries sustained during the attack. As Reuters reported:
"I'm going to stand here until the government actually decides to give women some safety," one young woman told journalists. Other protesters brandished placards that read "First of January is a black day."
The attack revealed deep fissures in Indian society, where staunchly chauvinist views clash with a fast-modernizing urban culture in which women play a growing role in public life.
The case also cast a spotlight on an epidemic of violence against women in India, where a rape is reported on average every 20 minutes. Media coverage of such crimes has intensified in the wake of the outcry over the Delhi attack.
The region’s “chemical genies” of the early 20th century were heralded as reaching into the future to create a more abundant life for all. Instead, they deprived future generations of their health and well-being.