Four men have been executed after being sentenced to death following the gang rape and murder of a woman on a Delhi bus, over 7 years ago in 2012. The victim was dubbed Nirbhaya – the fearless one – by the Indian press, as she could not be named under Indian law. Whilst the hanging has been scrutinised by the UN, the victim’s family has welcomed the sentence.
The rape of the 23-year-old student took place just before Christmas 2012, bringing thousands of people on to the streets to demand greater protection for women, making global headlines for weeks. The attack became an inflection point, galvanising a national debate on the treatment of women.
Despite the increased scrutiny of crimes against women since December 2012, similar violent incidents have continued to make headlines in India. According to government data released last month, a woman reports a rape every 15 minutes in India, proving there has been little improvement in the last 7 years. Many activists have taken to the streets to say that hanging rapists does not act as a deterrent. Whilst societal change through education is needed, many fail to see this happening under PM Modi.
Listen to our podcast where Dr Adrija Dey breaks down rape culture and the emergence of political engagement in India.