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Rape in the world's largest democracy (nytimes.com)
25 points by sid6376 1575 days ago | hide | past | web | 24 comments | favorite



I, as an Indian, am deeply ashamed by what has happened. But what saddens me even more is that while our culture teaches us to respect women, we worship several goddesses, refer to our country as "Mother" India; we rank highest among the nations where women are the worst abused.

This has nothing to do with democracy, I believe it is a pure case of rising economic inequality and decreasing sex ratio in India.

The protests that we are seeing in the country are just a sign of how frustrated are people with the current political environment in the country. Rather than focusing on development in the country and taking care of law and order, our current politicians are way busy arguing over trivial things.

Its even sadder that this case represents the current mentality of an Indian male. And I am not sure how to change that. I am sure new and tougher laws will be made, but how do you teach respect and compassion that our country seems to be missing so badly now.

It seems we as a nation are making progress but sadly at the cost of our values.


Thank you for an Indian perspective. The broader problems of inequality and poverty don't help, but raping someone to death with a steel bar seems a touch too much to blame on Indian society and a decreasing sex ratio. There are clearly some big problems around sexual abuse in India, but I think that some individuals could be receiving some more condemnation and a society a bit less.


There's tons of rape going on in the good ol' US of A. Why not fix it here? then we can go ahead and be a shining example for other countries to follow.


How is this relevant at all? Not that the article is great but how is rape in country X relevant to a horrific incident in country Y? Or is this supposed to make the shit that happens in a savage third world country better just cause it happens here?


Good point, however I do understand how it happens. People have a perception of how safe/unsafe their own country is, so adding in the US numbers allows a mental comparison to occur. The recent spate of gun violence related articles had this as well, with people comparing and contrasting Australia, the UK, Switzerland and a host of other countries. I wondered why these places mattered - I concluded that it provided context.


Are there really "tons of rape" in the United States? Are they really as bad or as systemic as the gang rapes occuring in India?


Yes:

> According to United States Department of Justice document Criminal Victimization in the United States, ... 1 of 6 U.S. women and 1 of 33 U.S. men have experienced an attempted or completed rape.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics#United_States


While not contesting the assertion, one should be careful to note what denotes 'rape' in different countries, and the divergence from de jure and de facto. It's not interpreted or recorded the same way in all places. Even in the US what constitutes rape today may not coincide 100% with that it constituted 50 years ago.

For a starker contrast compare say Romania with Sweden. Which one might one theoretically feel safer in, in which one might one feel psychologically safer, in which one would one be physically safer?


Sweden has a much higher (3-4x general crime rate) and an even higher violent crime rate (about 12-14x) than Romania. (http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index....). I don't see anything surprising here.


According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics

In 2010, police reported a rate of 27.3 per 100,000 people in USA. According to that document, in India it is 1.8 for 100,000 people. However, very few people report rape in India. It could be 5% or even less than that. Taking this into account the true numbers in India could be higher than in the US. While higher, it may not be order of magnitude worse or systemic than other countries.

The much bigger problem is the slow justice system and very low conviction rates.


Have a look at prison rape stats for the US if you feel the need for some shocking data.


There are definitely more rape in the USA than in many other developed countries.


This isn't a problem with just India and the US. A lot of the world's countries don't even have laws against rape.


This really isn't hacker news.


Upvoting you, though I commented on this thread.

Maybe when people submit articles to HN they should be asked to select a category (Tech, News, Science etc). The app could restrict the number of non-hacker news.


"India, a rising economic power and the world’s largest democracy, can never reach its full potential if half its population lives in fear of unspeakable violence."

I think this sentence about sums up most of the reasons I can't take mainstream American media seriously.


And why is that? I am not sure about the American media, but the point about "half its population lives in fear of unspeakable violence" is very true.

I have lived 23 years in India (26 now) and I know for a fact that people are really scared of the police and some crazy people who can shoot you for no reason and are out of the hands of law.


Democracy does not mean civilized society. On the contrary, the same goes for other "democracies." Sad indeed.


Indeed, democracy is nothing more than a tool. Without proper built-in safeties, it can be used for evil just as easily as it can be used for good; that is why the constitutions of democratic countries are all longer than "Vote on stuff, majority wins." The US constitution, for example, has a built-in safety to ensure that a mere majority cannot vote away freedom of speech (changing amendments has a much higher bar).

It shouldn't surprise us when shitty things happen in democratic countries. Merely being democratic implies next to nothing about a country.


Democracies (republics) are flawed because the citizens control stops at the voting booth. Platform policies politicians get elected on are non binding. They don't legally have to follow through with anything they said to get elected. Once elected the only test for the politician (in legal bounds) is to get elected again in 4-6yrs.

Politicians know that they can win elections on allegiance to parties, platitudes and sound bites.

This creates a detachment where the political system is no longer based on data and real results of improvement of the citizens life or the countries well being - and turns into a game of marketing and party cheerleading.


Voting isn't about getting the best candidates into office, its about being able to get the worst ones out.


And in the US, it's about nothing at all because unfortunately one of the protections against voters and one of the most ill-conceived ideas of government has been the electoral college. If you're not in the small percentage or so whose vote might count (read "swing-state), or whose state primary / caucus comes so late it's irrelevant, walking into a voting booth (or filling out a vote by mail, email or whatever insecure thing they do these days) is a waste of time.

Then there's the matter of the compromised voting machines ...


Yes indeed. Easy fix: every elected official who doesn't make good on his or her promises gets executed at the end of the term.

Guarantee there will be no more false promises. Period.


I keep saying, about marriage equality mostly, that minority rights should not be put to majority vote. That doesn't diminish how happy I was when my fellow Washington State voters approved same sex marriage last month.




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