#soldierforwomen

I recently returned to Mumbai, after a month’s holiday in Australia. The trial of the five adults accused of raping and murdering a woman in Delhi in December last year began today, in Saket District Court, in Delhi. The six (a juvenile is also accused, and the case against him is proceeding separately) are also accused of robbery and assault against the woman and the man that accompanied her (and dacoity, a uniquely Indian word for robbery in company). The woman has been rechristened ‘Nirbhaya’, or fearless one, in the Indian media. A review of the laws regarding rape concluded yesterday – harsher sentences will be imposed and the law will make provision for fast-track courts. I think the latter will have a much more meaningful deterrent effect than the former. However, what’s much more encouraging for an outsider like me is to see a conversation about women’s rights starting up again. This Gillette campaign encouraging men to stand up for women, and by doing so to stand up for their nation, impressed me. I’d be interested to know if they are running similar campaigns on non-English-language tv and on the radio, as running the ad on English-language tv will definitely limit the audience to  the middle-class.

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