• Mon, Jan 7 2013

The Indian Gang Rape Victim Now Has A Name, But No Voice

indian gang rape vigil

The woman who was gang raped and murdered, as she died from injuries sustained during the assault, has publicly been named: Jyoti Singh Pandey. Her father, Badri Singh Pandey, revealed the name of the woman who has been often called India’s Daughter to The Sunday People.

Sadly, there are many parents who view their daughters that have been raped to be at fault or somehow a disgrace. But Pandey’s father is no such parent, and has gone public to put a face and name to this horrifying crime:

“We want the world to know her real name. My daughter didn’t do anything wrong, she died while protecting herself. I am proud of her. Revealing her name will give courage to other women who have survived these attacks. They will find strength from my daughter.”

He also spoke of how he feels about those who attacked Jyoti.

“At first I wanted to see the men responsible face to face but I don’t want to any more. I just want to hear that the courts have punished them and they will be hanged. Death for all six of them. These men are beasts. They should be made an example of and that society will not allow such things to happen.”

While I don’t condone the death penalty (which, I know, is easy for me to say when I haven’t had a relative murdered), I do think that these men — and all those who commit sexual violence — are being made into examples proving that the Indian people will no longer stand for the maltreatment of females and the continuous insistance of authorities that women are responsible for preventing rape.

You know, when you attend a VDay performance or go to a round table discussion about rape or rape culture, you’re supposed to refer to those who have been assaulted as survivors, not victims. Calling somebody a victim feels like it inherently includes some form of pity, although most people who use the word mean no such thing. As a result, however, I kept almost referring to Jyoti Singh Pandey as the “Indian gang rape survivor” before having to backtrack, delete the last word and type “victim” instead. But every part of me — and millions of other people, surely — wishes I could write “survivor,” but the fact that I can’t is proof that this is an issue that desperately needs fixing. Obviously, it would even if she were still alive, but she’s not because several men assaulted her until she was so injured, she eventually died. Apparently, this level of crime is what it takes to get the world riled up about rape.

The details of the aftermath, as reflected upon by her father, are almost too sad to say:

“Doctors did their best to save her. She spoke a few times but mostly through gestures. She had a feeding pipe in her mouth making it difficult for her to speak. But she did write on some paper that she wanted to live, she wanted to survive and stay with us… She cried a lot, she was in a lot of pain. And as soon as she saw her mother and brothers she cried again. But after that she was a courageous girl, even trying to console us and give us hope that everything will be all right.

I try to avoid being preachy on most subjects — a pursuit I admittedly sometimes fail at — but this one is not something any of us can afford to take lightly. And similar to the Steubenville case and what I said earlier today, we must maintain our collective outrage but channel it into supporting other victims who, like Pandey, are not nameless, but have been left voiceless.

[via Mirror]

Photo: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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  • chinki

    i agree with u death penalty seems harsh and i also agree with u that we cant be judges of that because we never had our children raped to death.
    her father is right such people are not people but beasts. they did it once they’ll do it again. death penalty or life sentence shud b instilled. so that such incidences wouldn’t go unnoticed and guys like those should know that even in a wife-beating society such as india, such criminal activities will not be overlooked.