Photo Essay – Women of Delhi, Around Town
Delhi’s lucky women.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Is Delhi India’s rape capital?
In December 2012, a 23-year-old girl was gang-raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus in South Delhi. She died within two weeks.
According to a report in BBC, 572 rapes were reported in Delhi in 2011. More than 600 rapes were reported in 2012.
But Delhi is not India’s rape capital. India is. Thousands of rapes in India’s villages and its various conflict zones (like Kashmir, Manipur, Chattisgarh) remain unreported because the women who are assaulted in those parts do not represent the mainstream society. They are either Dalits or adivasis or secessionists. Since our society is built on inequalities, their rapes fail to evoke outrage. Neither the media, nor its consumers, are interested.
Responding to the Delhi bus rape, author Arundhati Roy was quoted in the media, saying, “The real problem is why is this crime (Delhi bus rape) creating such a lot of outrage is because it plays into the idea of the criminal poor, like the vegetable vendor, gym instructor or bus driver actually assaulting a middle class girl. Whereas when rape is used as a means of domination by upper castes, the army or the police it is not even punished… I think it will lead to some new laws perhaps, an increased surveillance, but all of that will protect middle class women. But in cases of the army and the police as perpetrators, we are not looking for laws. What do you do when the police themselves burn down villages, gang-rape women. I have personally listened to so many testimonies of women to whom this has been done.”
Being a woman anywhere in India is terrible, although women in Delhi have a voice.