Subtitle: Three Tragedies And The Call To Reform In India

Book Cover Description

As 2012 came to a close, news of gang rape of a young woman in India’s capital generated headlines around the world. Her assault on a moving bus with a metal rod, and her death two weeks later from her injuries, focused attention o the dark side of the world’s largest democracy: the struggle that faces many Indian women in a country where chauvinistic and misogynistic attitudes prevail.

The Wall Street Journal’s India burea explored this horredus crime and others that explore the experience of Indian woman in 21st century. The reporting in all stories stands out for it’s gripping detail and it’s emotional pull.  In many cases central figures involved in these everyday dramas were speaking for the first time.

The book begins with a story of a Catholic nun murdered in rural India as she tried to preserve ancient tribal ways in the face of mining expansion, while also coming to the aid of a woman who had allegedly been raped.

Next is the reveting account of a young woman from rural Bihar who was duped into moving to Delhi, where she was forced to marry or go into prostitution- and the disaster for her and her family that ensued. The woman broke her long-held silence to speak to the WSJ about what happened.

The book ends with the WSJ’s world-beating coverage of the New Delhi Rape case, including intimate potraits of the victim and her friend who tried to save her but couldn’t. He granted the WSJ intimate and exclusive access to his side of the story.

In this book, we are brining togather these stories- in many cases updated with fresh details of the individual’s lives – to show the hopes and the  catastrophies, the bravery and the abuse that are the daily lot of millions of India’s women.

My Thoughts:

I had earlier applied for a book from Harper Collins and was disappointed when they did not send me one 😦 So this time around when I applied for this book, I had no hopes of ever having it in my hands, and was quite surprised whe all of a sudden I received this book! Thak you Harper Collins, you made my day!!

This book did a commendable job in bringing to light the human side of the crimes. Normally i news we see sensasnalization, the distorted facts all to generate interest. But WSJ delves deep into the crimes, to understand the mindset of the bravehearts, what they did, how they were abused and how to stood up to their abusers.

When the crimes are put in this light, victim blaming becomes non-existant. People are forced to see that those they considered victim, those whom they thought were ‘asking for it’ were infact no different than themselves, and then instead of thinking ‘she must have asked for it’ they would start thinking ‘What a terrible crime the abuser has done’.

This book is a good read to understand the lives of people, people just like us, who were wronged because of the misognistic society. If people who pick up this book THINK why this happened, how did traditional patriarcial mindset of the abusers made them do what they did, and what can I do about it, then we might be able to feel the winds of change.