“She was crying but she told us she wants to live…”

Many of us can’t even bear to read or hear about what the six rapists did to the 23 year old woman in a moving bus on Sunday night, and these men were able to go back to work the next day. What kind of people would do this?

The damage to the intestine is permanent. With the intestine removed, she will be on intravenous fluids for life.

The woman’s younger brother said: “I met her this morning. She was crying but she told us she wants to live… this was just before she was being wheeled in for another surgery. It is our worst nightmare… to see her in so much pain. We are still not in our senses.”

Dr B D Athani, medical superintendent of the hospital, said, “A large part of her intestine had been damaged due to the injuries she sustained… Today, we decided to do an elective procedure to explore the wounds in her abdomen and examine the damaged organs. We had to remove almost the entire residual intestine.” [Link]

The rapists clearly intended to kill them both.

They were naked, not one from crowd helped, cops got sheets

Stripped and thrown out of the bus after the gangrape and assault on Sunday night, the 23-year-old woman and her friend lay by the roadside in Mahipalpur.

Not one from the crowd that had gathered there — police said there were at least 50 people there when they reached the spot — came to their help. No one even bothered to cover them. Cars pulled up, people rolled down windows but the woman and her friend lay there naked till policemen arrived, got two sheets from a nearby hotel, covered and carried them to hospital.

Why didn’t anybody from the crowd react? I think they were too shocked to do anything? Maybe, along with fast track courts, we also need awareness about what to do if we come across crime victims or crimes. Here’s a link, http://www.911rape.org/home

I am not aware if we have any such Indian sites for rape victims, or for those who are trying to help them, in fact this is the first time we are hearing about what a rape victim and her family are going through without any subtle or blatant attempts to pass moral judgment on her.


50 thoughts on ““She was crying but she told us she wants to live…”

  1. I read your posts. None of them make any sense to me to be honest and I am not even going to try defending this statement with any gargling mumbo jumbo.

    What prompted me to write here is that statement ” for the first time we hear the pain the victim and her family is going through”. What struck me is why now? Is this outrage having a section that has an undercurrent frustration of intolerance towards the lower strata in this society. How dare they? What gives them the right to drive around? Merry make! Is it?

    911 helpline- it was subtle. The problem with people who lived aborad and return always remain the same be it Nehru or you ( not to dare compare), you cannot extrapolate what you see back home.

    Maternity hospitals are an example of my far fetched argument. Ask the nurses who work night shifts on the queries and calls they get from perverts. Now to have 911 replica needs a strong foundation to sustain it. Else it will be anther number that will keep ringing ‘la nobody home from pink floyd.


    • jgopikrishna,
      Congratulations! In a masterstroke, you have added the social strata angle in the whole story. What next? Religion? Have you heard of the fact that a large % of rapists are known to the victims?
      And why now? Why not now? Is there a yardstick by which we should protest? All or none? Since you haven’t protested for a,b,c then you should not protest for x,y,z?
      Frankly speaking, your comment did not make much sense. You do not like IHM’s posts and still read them? Why are you making such a sacrifice?

      //this is the first time we are hearing about what a rape victim and her family are going through without any subtle or blatant attempts to pass moral judgment on her
      What this line meant was that this time people are not asking questions like what was she doing with that boy? Why was she watching a movie at night? What was she wearing? Why did she board an almost empty bus? For once, people have shut their mouth up and want the rapists to be hanged.


      • I dont understand why people divert the topic and talk some thing else here. No wonder there r many out there . THe meaning of this //this is the first time we are hearing about what a rape victim and her family are going through without any subtle or blatant attempts to pass moral judgment on her is very straight forward and theres no confusion in it. Thanks Amit for replying back and Thanks IHM for this post.

        When I see replies on blogs I understand the insensitivity . If just a virtual world has many insensitive people the real world is much bigger and actually real.

        I pray for the victim

        I really pray that the girl lives and fights . The intestinal damage shudders me though


    • I am not sure I understand what you are trying to say. Can you please clarify?

      //What struck me is why now? Is this outrage having a section that has an undercurrent frustration of intolerance towards the lower strata in this society. How dare they? What gives them the right to drive around? Merry make! Is it?//

      Are you saying that the public is outraged because the perpetrators were bus drivers, etc from the lower class? If so, does it take away the right of the general public to be outraged?

      I’d also like to draw your attention to other high profile cases where the perpetrators were not necessarily from lower class – Amar Jyoti Kalita of the Guwahati Molestation case, SPS Rathore who molested and drove Ruchika to suicide, Manu Sharma who put a bullet through Jessica Lal’s head. All these cases led to public outcry and some sort of justice was done in some cases.

      //Ask the nurses who work night shifts on the queries and calls they get from perverts.//
      So, whats the solution? Nurses shouldn’t work night shift? Telephone lines should be cut off during night? The callers should be traced and booked and punished?

      //Now to have 911 replica needs a strong foundation to sustain it//
      What foundation is that?


    • Indeed your entire argument is far-fetched, and I’m being polite. You seem to be offended that people don’t like rapists. But “merry-make” is the word you used for rape; are you sure you’re in your right senses?


    • jgopikrishna, WTF are you trying to say???? What lower strata?? what nehru?? what maternity hospitals??
      so u think rape is a crime only if it committed by an uneducated person? don’t u see the brutality of the crime?? how can u call a gang rape and torturous assault merry make?? are you crazy or just heartless??
      what is wrong with pointing out how things are done efficiently abroad and trying to make that a positive example?
      and if you think, perverts make fake calls to helplines, isn’t the solution as simple as getting a caller id? even if that doesn’t work, pervert calls are no reason not to help people who need it.
      your entire comment is gargling mumbo jumbo. seriously, you way of thinking is as much a threat to women and humanity as a whole as the rapists themselves. if i were you, i would go to a psychiatrist ASAP and get help.


  2. As much as I am appalled on how nobody helped the victim, isn’t stressing on how nobody covered the victim again putting the valu of modesty and shame on being naked?

    I understand it is winter in Delhi now, but then nobody is talking of the guy being naked or how nobody covered him either.


    • Everybody is talking about both the victims being naked and injured and how no one covered either. Secondly, the “shame” of being naked is something that one can’t and shouldn’t decide for another. However, I wouldn’t imagine anyone (girl or buy) wanting to flaunt nakedness after being physically assaulted, raped, and thrown out of a moving vehicle. Considering that the victims’ state of nakedness was not voluntary, it’s natural that someone would want to cover them. The people of Delhi seem to think differently though!


      • Yes, but shame of nakedness voluntary or not is a social and cultural construct. Animals do not wear clothes nor did humans millions years ago. Since when did clothes change from protection from cold to honour and protection from shame. That means we are ashamed of our bodies. These kind of deeply ingrained ideas and guilt and shame associated with nudity and sexuality are what have been used to control humans and make them follow dictates of certain people (cue victorian era or christianity).

        I would argue that shame of being naked is something that one can’t decide for another, but society and culture ingrained it in people already. It was decided by them and insisted upon that there should be shame in nakedness.
        Nobody is shamed of being naked when they are babies. Do babies cringe and cry with shame when we are changing diapers? Bathing them? Nor do adults when we are viewing their genitals because to us babies are asexual. But adults or young kids is another matter.

        The system shames and controls people through guilt and shaming. We shame nudity because it is associated with sexuality. We shame sexuality.

        When incidents like these keep happening again and again, we need to go back and examine, where we get our collective views and psyche come from. Views that women should be controlled, that teaching a lesson to a woman means doing something to her vagina, that a woman’s honour lies in her vagina, to shame a woman completly, we must strip her naked in public. This is not a one off incident. It is a problem of the psyche of the nation, of its people and the institutions ( government, law, judiciary, police …) that has to be worked on.

        And if we were to examine most crimes against women, it is a result of ideas that women are not meant to be independent, their honour lies in their sexual organs, a woman is nothing beyond her sexuality and baby making, shaming women’s bodies (that’s why they are inferior) and shaming sexuality.


      • And again, people of delhi think differently though? Since when has this become bad delhi vs. good india issue? I can assure you, rape and sexual assaults are equally common in rest of the country, though not widely reported. i have watched interviews of doctors working in government hospitals on how they get a minimum of 3 rape cases daily from like 5 villages.

        And before anybody even bothers telling me I defend Delhi coz I am from there, I am from nowhere near delhi.

        But I believe it is an utter and complete failure of the Indian government which cannot even secure its capital city.


        • For what it’s worth, the conviction rate for rape and related crimes in Delhi is over double the national average.

          Delhi is certainly an unsafe city, but the media does go a bit overboard.


        • I agree Praveen, take a look at this,
          //Away from the kind of media glare that Haryana found itself facing after a string of rapes committed recently, in Madhya Pradesh the crime continues unabated and with impunity.

          Over the last two decades, the State has led the country in the number of rapes committed, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data (1991-2011).

          Only last year, it recorded 3,406 cases of rape, which means nine women were raped here every 24 hours.

          In the first six months of this year (January-July 2012), there were 1,927 cases of rape — an increase of 6.11 per cent over the number of rapes committed during the same period in 2010 and 2011. Overall, the State accounted for 14 per cent of the rapes committed across the country in 2011.

          Among cities, the State capital, Bhopal, with 100 rapes, was second only to the metropolises Delhi (453) and Mumbai (221), while the State’s industrial capital, Indore, stood fifth, registering 91 rapes. //


      • They were both very was brave, the police said he was strong enough for two. He is the one who described the bus and identified one of the rapists in the identification parade. He also said anybody would have tried to do what he did because what they were doing was so horrific, his father said he was traumatised too.


  3. “Why didn’t anybody from the crowd react? I think they were too shocked to do anything?” More than being shocked, I think, IHM, it must have been the ‘kaun is jhameley mei padega’ attitude. I maybe wrong, but this could have been a line of thought in the minds of people present there. This is our reaction, always to such incidents, isn’t it,? whenever we witness an injustice or a crime, most of us detach ourselves for the fear of getting drawn into the legal entanglements and such. WHY? Why cant we just gather the strength to stand up to injustice, to cruelty? We are just weak meek spectators! Shame!

    I wish the rapists are punished, be it capital or castration or whatever, publicly for everybody to see so that such punishments and laws manage to plant some kind of fear in the minds of potential rapists and assurance in the minds of victims that the laws will not be just on paper but stringently enforced come what may.


    • Deeps,

      Although the ‘stay out of it’ mentality certainly exists, there could have been a more benign reason. Both victims were savagely beaten with a metal rod, and by all accounts, their injuries (and especially the woman’s) were extensive. In such a scenario, a passerby would probably be afraid to touch them, simply for fear of making things worse. They did not know that they had been victims of such a crime. For all they knew, it could have been a hit-and-run incident. Touching a mangled, bloodied body isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, especially if there is a large group and responsibility is highly diffused.


      • Agreed. Personally, I tend to be very wary of getting into conflicts or crime that involve strangers, because I have walked that road in the past and its not pretty. Also, one of my friends was almost in for an accident charge, by the police overeager to arrest someone, after he helped a accident victim in the streets.
        Not to mention, helping a rape victim is always a risky – given that the woman (or women) in such a situation might be so traumatised that she mis-identifies the man who tried to help her as the perpratator (there is a psychological base involved, that would take too much to explain in lay terms).
        Given our over eager media when it comes to rapes (compared to other serious crimes, such as street attacks, murders, etc.), once the police names a suspect, I am sure the good samaritan would be as good as the rapist in public opinion. Not a pleasant scenario.


    • Not to excuse the people who didn’t help, but I think a reason for not helping is the fear of getting entangled in the long drawn out legal battle. If the the legal procedures were faster, more people might come forward to help. As it is now, people involved in legal battles have to put their lives on hold. A witness who is otherwise not connected to the victim would be wary of getting involved.


  4. I know this is off topic, but I am so SO glad to see those words – “She told us she wants to live.” It made me well up.

    After hearing news channels say – “What will make this girl human again?”, people arguing that rape is worse than death, (although this case also involved extreme torture, when people say that, they are usually not referring to the torture but the rape), and even our esteemed Courts saying – ““A murderer destroys the physical body of the victim, a rapist degrades the very soul of
    the helpless female” (Supreme Court, State of Punjab v. Gurmit Singh)

    What’s worse is that even in Parliament we have such statements being made, with Sushma Swaraj saying – “Death penalty is the only punishment for rapists. The victims in such cases never live again. Even if she survives, she’ll never be truly alive again,” Congress MP Giriaja Vyas has also described rape as worse than murder, “since the victims of sexual assault die again and again”.

    Rape victims are NOT DEAD. They have not lost their humanity. They are not living corpses. She is as human as any one else is. She was a victim once, but she need not be a victim forever. We say that because of society’s attitudes, the woman is treated so badly that it would be better for her to be dead… who needs to change then? Woman /= vagina.

    One of the reasons men rape is to teach women a lesson, and to take revenge. We need to stop this attitude of thinking that rape victims are worse than dead. Yes, rape is a heinous crime and deserving of a stringent punishment, but that does not mean we simply assume that women should rather wish to be dead than to be raped. This attitude only serves to perpetuate the crime and give an incentive for men to rape women as revenge.

    I hope this girl recovers to the fullest extent possible, receives counseling and therapy, and moves on to lead a happy, fulfilling life, as a giant “Fuck you” to those men who thought they could destroy her, and to everyone in this country who wondered what could make her “human”.


    • I’d like to give you several thumbs up. Please post this somewhere and I will be glad to share. You just hit the bull’s eye. As a society, I agree with you that we need to rethink our views on rape. A girl doesn’t stop living just because some asshole decides to physically overpower and torture her. A girl need not be branded a victim for life, soul-dead or anything because of a crime committed by someone else. We need to teach our kids, ourselves and our parents, that rape brings shame to a man, not the woman. And legislation, not drama is what I’d want from our elected representatives at the Parliament.


    • Damn straight.

      That’s a point which needs to be made over and over until it is drilled in the head of every self-proclaimed expert on what constitutes ‘murder of the soul’.

      If a person gets beaten up to within an inch of their life, and then recovers and goes on to lead a relatively normal life, they are described as a strong person, a fighter, a survivor.

      With rape, on the other hand, society never lets the victim forget that she is a victim, even if she does not want to be treated as one any longer. Everyone just writes her off as a basket case for life.

      I was talking about this with my parents the other day, and when they went down the predictable ‘soul murder’ road, I (ill-advisedly) pointed out that as bad as it is, the incident doesn’t mean her life is over. I was then accused of being insensitive, ‘too legalistic’ in my approach, and ‘ignorant of the realities of life’.

      I don’t know what’s worse – the frenzied demands for violent revenge after every incident like this, or the shrill assertions that the victim might have been better off dead.

      In any case, I’m stoked to learn that she doesn’t subscribe to that ideology. The damage to her body may be permanent, but clipping that spirit is something that no one in the world, criminal or otherwise, is capable of.


    • Exactly, well said. This truly is equating a owman’s life, honour everything to her vagina, like women are nothing beyong their sexual organs. Rape vicitms can recover, they can have a life and they can go onto enjoy sex too *gasp*


    • I cannot stop appreciating your comment. Very very well written! The girl will survive and will have a bright future ahead. And I think people like Sushma Swaraj should stop making those unwanted statements. The young lady was a victim once but she need not be a victim forever. The entire nation is praying for her recovery. She will recover soon and live life to its fullest. Amen!


  5. I’ve been a lawyer for nearly two decades now, and although I’m not a criminal lawyer, I’ve had opportunity to meet violent criminals of all stripes, from murderers to child molesters to armed robbers, to spree killers. But I’ve NEVER, in my entire life, seen behavior so incredibly brutal towards absolutely innocent people. Never.

    The sheer malice involved in this incident boggles the mind.

    What kind of society, what kind of environment, what kind of culture, what kind of genetic makeup, produces someone so easily willing to inflict such terrible damage on a fellow human being? How can anyone do this?

    When I first heard about the injuries inflicted upon this woman, I felt like crying, not just for her sake, but for where we are heading. If this is what it takes for a victim to not be judged, I don’t believe there can be any sadder a commentary on the state of this society and on the manner it oppresses half of its population.


  6. I read the article in the IE. Intravenous fluids for life!!!!!! God!!!! – Does a legal punishment for these goons exist that will even remotely be sufficient?

    Just can’t stop thinking about it. The girls got to be a terrific fighter – ravaged completely – conscious and still fighting. Hope she comes out of it in as best form as possible.


  7. these maniacs, death penalty too easy a punishment for them.
    These men thrusted an iron rod into the woman’s anu$ and pushed her intestines out. Brave girl she survived the torment and kept herself alert for nearly 3 hours until she reached the hospital.

    This torture, it makes me puke… it makes me cry…these are the men that roam our roads…

    No I dont want death punishment for them,…too easy…. too easy for a crime like this.

    I swear if I ever see a women assaulted/molested, I wont stay quiet and wont ever let that happen-in-front-of-my-eyes. NEVER.


  8. People are sharing it continuously on Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. They are changing their profile pictures in support but how is that going to help ?

    I am sorry IHM, but I can only wish that the govt comes up with a better law with this incident in site. Or it will be like the other cases, gone and dusted.

    I live in Indore and a very similar case happened here 6 months back. A couple was returning back to the city when they were stopped at the highway. The wife was gang raped by more than 10 men while the husband was brutally beaten. What made it all worse was that the people who saw it actually joined in with the culprits instead of stopping them !
    Ministers and polices officers gave their statements and sympathy but no one really took a stand.

    If they dont take a step now, introduce stricter laws, it will just happen to some other girl in the next 2 moths


  9. Only the crime here is not appalling but also the immediate reactions to it.In Delhi if unfortunately you are beaten,hit and run,robbed,raped or killed on the road or in a public place the chances of having even one of the thousands of people gathered at India Gate,stopping by for help are still faint.
    We need to ask ourselves What if this was me,my daughter,my loved one ?

    Have quoted this post in my post http://poojasharmarao.blogspot.in/2012/12/doomsday-prophecies-among-fairy-tales.html


  10. I would not move a injured person too, in case i cause more damage , do something permanent to the spine etc.,but they culd certainly have protected them fromthe elements and covered them with a blanket, called the ambulance,cops and been there for them.
    we’ve become very selfish is all i can say. either that or fear .
    A long time ago, i had a brush with a chain snacher.. our car broke down and since i was just 10 min from home i decided to walk. and 3 guys on a bike came close by whistling. so i assumed it was one of those harassing morons and tried to move towards the shops, they circled back and tried for my chain and got my arm instead, sliced thru the sleeve and went quite deep. god the pain was terrible and then they circled back and tried for the chain again…. a v v think chain which i would have given if i knew thats what they were after !!!
    they got my back this time and i was hysterically screaming in pain or shock or whatever adn they took off, i just sat and sobbed bleeding , i remember one older gentleman who sat next to me, took his towel from his yellow bag and put it over my arm and neck ( he said so dust won’t go in ), got a limca from the store behind, made me drink some of it, hailed a rickshaw and took me home. when my husband came rushing out he told him what happened and left .. that’s it, we never found him but i never forget that face.there were atleast 20-30 gawkers standing around bemoning what mumbai was coming to and ‘ yeh bacche be na…’, ‘ dupatta se chain cover na ‘,
    ‘ andhere me kaha ja rahe yeh ladkiyan’… type dialogues…..
    not one thought to help or stop the culprits or even offer water . so nothng has changed , we’ve gotten worse but that’s it.


  11. Going off topic here, but needed to share these thoughts.

    Like any other human, i was shocked and extremely angry reading about the latest horrifying incident. A lot has been discussed about this, the brutal attack, the men (don’t know an adjective that would do justice to these men and their deplorable deeds) and the victim, who I hope makes a quick recovery. That is the only way to show these men the finger.

    What i noticed while going through the comments on various news sites, were men (i assume) saying things like “Hats off to the 23yo. Prayers are with you sister. Get well soon.” Im sure the commenters’ hearts are in the right place. But the word “sister” in many of the comments disturbed me. Why not “victim”, “friend”, “colleague”…it is as though they felt the need to call her “sister”, as though referring to her as a friend or anything else would be morally wrong. As if a girl can only be someone’s sister, mother, daughter. Not an individual. Even the letter written by Sonia Gandhi says “sensitise police to the danger our daughters, sisters, mothers face every day.” Is it just me, or do others also feel the fundamental issue lies in this very line?


    • Exactly, we need to work on changing the psyche. How would people react, if she had been coming after going to a pub, accompanied with her live in boy friend, wore short clothes, and was known to have had sex with 20 other men?


    • Many worldly-minded Indians refer to women as sisters, daughters and mothers as they consider them their own kin. Is not your own daughter dearer than any other girl ? As for the spiritually minded, they look upon every woman as their own mother…they have no idea of sex in their mind. But they consider so because they know that mother’s love is the highest, next only to God’s, and not just because they fail to recognise and give a woman her individual identity.


    • Praying the 23 yo woman is able to lead a norma life again, at least physically. If she is to survive on IV fluids all her life, it is simply not on.


    • This kind of thing happens all over the world, usually occurs when prison authorities are either incompetent, or choose to look the other way for some reason (usually because they think the victim ‘deserves it’), or both. Either way, it is unacceptable, and if it was a result of deliberate negligence on part of the authorities, I’d say they should be penalized. They have no more right to take the law into their own hands than anyone else.


  12. Why didn’t anybody from the crowd react? I think they were too shocked to do anything?

    This malaise has been studied and is known as the Bystander Effect.


    The whole page is worth reading and even reposting on your blog. In particular, it says :

    The other major obstacle to intervention is known as diffusion of responsibility. This occurs when observers all assume that someone else is going to intervene and so each individual feels less responsible and refrains from doing anything.[6] People may also fail to take responsibility for a situation and therefore intervene for more complex reasons depending on the context. They may assume that other bystanders are more qualified to help, such as doctors or police officers, and that their intervention would be unneeded. They may also be afraid of being superseded by a superior helper, offering unwanted assistance, or facing the legal consequences of offering inferior and possibly dangerous assistance. An example is the limitation of California’s Good Samaritan Law, limiting liability for those attempting to provide medical services as opposed to non-medical (extraction from automobile) services.[7] People may also experience evaluation apprehension and fear losing face in front of the other bystanders.


  13. The media needs to stop referring to her as the ‘gang raped girl’. She has a identity of her own. We don’t need to associate her with the perpetrators.
    I really wish the indian judicial system would wake up from its slumber and castrate the rapists. That’s the least painful thing that they could go through. For once let the perpetrators be ashamed and not the victim!


  14. appalled at the crowd behaviour; the least they could have done is cover the boy & girl up and call the police. Like you say creating awareness is important; but sensitivity is something that comes from within ! What do we teach those people who surrounded and simply gaped/stared ?


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