17 April 2013

Rape-Plagued India Becomes Apathetic

Apathy in India
A few months ago, India was put into the limelight after the brutal attack and gang rape of a 23-year-old Delhi physiotherapy student on a moving bus. The student died 13 days later from massive internal injuries.

The horrific incident was followed by another sexually-motivated attack last March when a Swiss tourist was raped in front of her husband by eight men in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The attackers also stole a camera, mobile phone and about 10,000 rupees (US$ 185).

This April, India is again at the center of public criticism after a video was released online showing passersby ignoring the pleas of a desperate father after his wife and daughter were killed in a road accident.

The CCTV footage surfaced on 15 April 2013 showing the man cradling his injured son next to his overturned motorbike and calling for help from other motorists as his wife and eight-month-old daughter lay bloodied on the road.

Police say he was ignored for 40 minutes inside a newly built tunnel in the city of Jaipur, 250 kilometres (150 miles) south-west of the capital, with a stream of cars, buses and motorbikes driving past.

"That kind of failure is very, very common on the roads," said campaigner Mridul Bhasin who works for the Muskaan road safety group.

"This is happening day in, day out every minute in our country. People die and we turn blind eye and go where we need to go," Bhasin told cable channel CNN-IBN.

The Mail Today tabloid daily headlined "Callous India drives past mishap victims," while The Hindu newspaper said the incident had "brought to life civilian apathy".

"It's the duty of all people to take such victims to hospital because lives could be saved," Jaipur traffic police chief Lata Manoj said in a televised interview.