India’s Daughter (No place for Women)

Yesterday I watched a film that changed my life. A film that made me sob, scream, and yell. A film that left me feeling sad, scared, disgusted, confused and enraged!  A film that empowered me to write.

Jyoti Singh

On December 16, 2012 Jyoti Singh, a 23 year old medical student in Delhi, went to a movie with a male friend. Jyoti had just finished college exams and was excited that her struggles and hard work had paid off. Her parents were very poor and they sold their ancestral lands to send her to school to become a doctor. She worked nights at a call center and spend every waking hour working to become a doctor. Her dream was to establish a hospital in her village where no medical treatment was available. Her parents encouraged her to follow her dreams. They saw the potential in their daughter. When millions across India viewed daughters as a wasted investment, Jyoti’s parents spent everything they had to help their daughter succeed.

Jyoti and her friend went and saw Life of Pi. When the movie was over they boarded a bus to return home. That joyous occasion was soon transformed into a living nightmare. On the bus the male companion was beaten with an iron bar. Joyti was dragged to the back of the bus where she was brutally gang raped, mutilated and disemboweled while the bus traveling around the city. Six men ( I hate to use the word man because they are not human ) took turns raping Jyoti. The youngest of the group a 17 year old boy used the iron bar to brutalize her internally. When they were done with her they threw the two young people from the bus and left them to die on the streets of Delhi. Doctors did everything they could to save her, but her injuries were so gruesome and her body could not recover. 90% of her intestines had to be removed because of the damage that was inflicted. She passed away fourteen days after the attack. 

India’s Daughter is a documentary about these horrible events. It is also a beautiful film about a beautiful soul that was taken too early and killed in such a horrible way. The documentary has touching interviews from Jyoti’s parents and friends. There are also chilling interviews of the murders telling their story with no remorse. Footage of the protests that resulted in India and the beatings from the police and military. There were also interviews from the attorneys representing the murders.

I beg my readers please take the time to watch this documentary and to share it. I will not lie to you,  it is not easy to watch. You will cry! You will feel sick! and you will feel enraged!! I am writing this blog because this story needs to be told. I am writing this blog because the dangers are very real! I am writing this blog because it is NEVER the victims fault!!!!! I am writing this blog because I demand change!! 

Watching this film changed my life. It had filled me with a passion to share this story.

Mukesh Singh

Mukesh Singh, the bus driver and rapist

I am outraged and disgusted with how these men brutalized this poor women! I am taken aback by the fact that they have no remorse. The documentary interviewed Mukesh Singh from prison. Mr Singh he was the driver of the bus and who also participated in the rape and murder of Jyoti. These are some of the comments he had to make about his actions!

“A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy,” Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20% of girls are good. When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they’d have dropped her off after ‘doing her’, and only hit the boy,” he said. “The death penalty will make things even more dangerous for girls. Now when they rape, they won’t leave the girl like we did. They will kill her. Before, they would rape and say, ‘Leave her, she won’t tell anyone.’ Now when they rape, especially the criminal types, they will just kill the girl. Death.”

The killers Lawyer

Honestly I am most disgusted by the attorneys in the case!!!  Who openly argued that it was the was Jyotis fault for being out at night, and that it is the women responsibility to keep from being raped. Watching these men talk and defend their clients right to “punish” Jyoti filled me with RAGE. I screamed at the laptop! How could he blame the victim! How could he treat women with such little respect!!! How could he be proud of his views!!! These were educated men! Lawyers! Yet these men saw women as less than animals. Listening to these men talk filled me with such anger that I felt like vomiting! 

“You are talking about man and woman as friends. Sorry, that doesn’t have any place in our society. We have the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman.

“A female is just like a flower. It gives good looking…very softness performance, pleasant. But on the other hand, a man is like a thorn. Strong, tough enough. The flower always need protection. If you put that flower in a gutter, it is spoilt. If you put that flower in a temple, it will be worshiped. 

The other lawyer, AP Singh, had said in a previous televised interview:

“If my daughter or sister engaged in pre-marital activities and disgraced herself and allowed herself to lose face and character by doing such things, I would most certainly take this sort of sister or daughter to my farmhouse, and in front of my entire family, I would put petrol on her and set her alight.”

There is a petition to take action against bow lawyers ML Sharma and AP Singh, I urge you to take a moment to click on the link Petition against the Attorneys.

It is time for a change!

The documentary forced me to see how women are viewed in much of India. In many Indian homes girls are seen as less than boys. Girls are seen a curse, a burden. They are used for child bearing, cooking, and cleaning! They are seen as submissive and obedient. These men that raped and murdered Jyoti did not see her even as a human being! She was treated worse than an animal. I dare say that if a cow was being beaten as Jyoti was , these same rapists would have stopped the attacker of the cow.

Women and girls have value!! Jyoti parents saw their daughter’s value!

India’s government has BANNED this documentary, afraid of the reaction of the people! This is an injustice to women and Jyoti! This further shows India’s lack of commitment to women’s rights and equality!

Imagine if this was your sister, your daughter, your niece, your friend! Imagine the pain she went through! Imagine the pain of her family! It is time to stand up. To speak out! To lay blame where is belongs, with the attacker! To end child brides, To educate girls! To teach boys that it is not their ” right” to possess women! Lets make Jyoti death mean progress!




15 thoughts on “India’s Daughter (No place for Women)

  1. Thank you, Tina, for bringing attention to this crime against Jyoti and all women. I remember when it happened to her, and I was hoping she would recover. I honestly don’t know if I can watch the documentary as I was raped years ago when I was on a summer exchange program in France. I blocked it for many years and wasn’t even certain if it really happened because there was a big black gap in my memories of that night, but I’m certain that was what happened. I wish for a day when women don’t have to live in fear, and will be fully valued. Slow, but hopefully steady, progress.

    • I am so sorry to hear that had happened to you. The statistics say 1 in three women have been raped, I honestly believe it is alot higher then that, the vast majority of women I know have faced molestation and rape. It saddens me that so many women have been victims and I also pray for the day that rape is a thing of the past!

  2. I still need to find the time to watch it, and I think it will only happen on Monday when Ishita is in school. I have been living in India, and that kind of victim blaming has been around forever. And frankly whenever I see anybody praise festivals like Karwa Chauth that teach women they are responsible for their husband’s longevity and that a woman is not much without a man I feel super sick to my stomach. India is a ridiculously patriarchal society and it steeps very deeply in the mindset of people. Many women are convinced that girls invite rape upon them and are resigned themselves to being slaves in their household, because that is part of the culture. Too few are willing to question it.

    This week the State of Maharashtra issued a ban on procession of beef meat, it can lend you in jail for 5 years. the Juvie in that gang rape got away with just 3 years simply because he was a few months short of 18. And ironically, nowhere in the Veda is it mentioned that beef shall not be eaten. Early Hindus did eat beef, but the right wingers will want you to believe that beef eating is a Western evil.

    Eating a steak will now land one in more trouble than raping a woman!

  3. I agree so much with you and feel exactly the same way about this and so so many other cases of violence against woman (this case was particularly sickeningly brutal and it seems a lot of India still seems to have the backward idea that women are worth nothing, but truly this is a problem the world over – developed and developing countries alike). Like you I have small daughter who like all little kids is so innocent and joyful of all the world has to offer and I am constantly anxious and despairing of our world and the pointless brutality that exists. I want to keep her always safe. I would love for the world to be exactly as she sees it now but i know that there will come a day where she knows it is not and that makes me so sad. I feel for Jyoti’s parents. I can’t imagine their pain and i am so admiring of their strength and of their daughter. Thank you for writing this post.

    • Since having my daughter I feel like my heart is on the outside of my body. I imagine every news story with her in mind! I hate that I live in a world both in India and USA and everywhere around the world where millions of children and women are molested and raped. I cant imagine what Jyotis parents went through!

  4. It was a very difficult film to watch but it is so necessary. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I felt so bad for her parents. I felt extremely angry to hear the ingrained unapologetic misogyny that many of the men – both rapists and lawyers said. It should be aired non-stop in her memory, until rapes cease altogether. Every time a rape makes the news, the video should be aired again.

    • Alex, I can not get stop thinking about it either. I cant stop thinking about the horrible pain she endured! I cant stop thinking about those monsters. How could they feel pleasure doing those unspeakable things to her! How can them and their lawyers thing they are right in their actions!

  5. Aww Tina, thank you so much for such an amazing article about such a tragic tragic event.

    I am so shocked that India has banned this!! It’s time to talk about things, time to openly discuss… not try to hush up anything that is bad.

    Breaks my heart and hurts my soul 😦 😦

    • India blocking this documentary is the worse part! So many people NEED to view this documentary. To see the victim as a human and not just a story. To see the effects of these actions. To see these rapists as monsters. I have talked to people who literally though Jyoti was a prostitute because that was how it was written in some newspapers. Everyone in India should see it!

  6. Thanks Tina for writing this blog post. It is so important that people around the world know about this and put pressure on the government to make some radical changes. I too felt like throwing up after watching the movie, and was in tears 15 minutes into it. And as I am writing this comment, there’s breaking news on one of the Indian news channel that a 5-yr-old has been raped!!! I am so angry and disgusted. When will this stop?!

    • I completely agree Meghla I feel like its the least I can do. Watching that documentary in all of its horrors I felt driven to do something! I felt so powerless. I wrote because I want everyone to know that rape is never the victims fault and it should never even be questioned. It is the attacker who’s actions must be questioned. I dont know why people rape! It happens all over the world! The problem with India is there seems to be an excuses for these monsters. A culture built around blaming the women instead of the man!

  7. Hi Tina..This is really sad, My heart is so sore I literally have no words I can imagine the pain she went through, I feel for her family thank you for sharing this blog people should know about this incident, hopefully one day Rape will be stopped.

    I can’t believe they blaming the victim on this, She was just an innocent girl catching the bus home. If those men had a little bit of respect for women they wouldn’t do such a thing. I can imagine what her parents are going through it’s worse than a nightmare. 😦 😦

  8. Hi Tina, this is the first time I have read your blog, I live in the UK but have been to India twice, I have people there who have adopted me into their family and I also adopted them. They live in New Delhi and I do worry for them. This is the first time I have ever seen a pic of Jyoti, I would have shared this pic so people knew her, she should be remembered not the scum who did this!!! But I don’t know if this would get you into any trouble so I won’t risk that. I saw that documentary and I was sickened, I love India and it’s terrible that a small minority spoil it for the majority! India got a lot of bad press..and my heart went out to both of her parents, who have not just lost their baby girl but also their income, as she was training to be a doctor. The comments by the driver did not surprise me one bit (he is scum nothing else) But what disgusted me also was the comments by the Lawyers of these men, in my humble opinion they should not be Lawyers! I want to thank you for blogging about this and sharing it, and thank you for blogging about your life too. I wish an awesome day to you, your husband and your daughter too 🙂 p.s you now have another regular viewer if that is the correct word 🙂

    • That is so wonderful your connection to India. I love India so much. The photo was used from CNN so dont worry about using it. I agree, I assumed the driver was going to be a monster, but those lawyers made me sick! I am glad things are changing in India, it just needs to happen faster. My main issue is how common it is for the victim to be blamed. thanks for reading 🙂 Your words were so kind

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