The Delhi Bus Gang rape victim died in Singapore.

The doctors said the brave young woman fought very hard, but the injuries were too grievous. The rapists intended for her to die, they did not expect her to get medical help or any kind of support (What made them so confident?) Since this is a case of a rarest of the rare horrific murder, I think some of them might be awarded Capital punishment.

There is only one way to honor her courage and her memory, by making sure the protests remain focussed and rational and force a change in Indian legal and social attitudes towards women, which make such brutality, a crime not against a woman, but against her honor. It’s possible, because for the first time in India (in my memory) a rape victim’s trauma is being seen as painful not shameful.

I also wish her family would ask for this brave 23 year old’s name to be shared – why should this courageous woman not be remembered by her own name? I send them my deepest condolences. Their daughter has the love and respect of millions in this country. She will not be forgotten.


27 thoughts on “The Delhi Bus Gang rape victim died in Singapore.

  1. I hope this is the rock bottom, and we will only see things getting better from here…I honestly cannot imagine anything worse…or rather am scared to even think of what these men do not hesitate to do!

    What a bunch of hypocrites our society is 😦 They worship rivers calling them “maa”, but are not sensible enough to give basic human rights :((


  2. woke up to this heart-wrenching news IHM. And totally numbed. The nation must hang its head in shame and no words of solace can bring relief to her family. Like you say,it would be an honour to know the girl by her name. My thoughts along with so many others worldwide are with her family. Let her death not be another statistic. Hope the society wakes up !


  3. Saw somewhere that her name was Damini (no source, so I’m not sure). I hope her memory and her courage are never forgotten. She deserves that much, at least. I pray for her family and friends, and hope she has now found peace. NO ONE deserves to suffer like she did.


  4. What a heart breaking tragedy. The faceless victim. After this I sincerely hope all the 6 men are hung. They should not live when they have killed this poor girl.


  5. Heard the news in the morning.

    I am deeply sorry for her death, and like you, I do wish that she (and her friend) were identified. This, not just so we could do something as trivial as sending flowers, but also so we could honor the memory of a person who, in life as in death, who in the space of just a few days, who while displaying glorious strength of will and spirit, galvanized a nation right out of a slumber much older then herself.

    There is no shame in this, apart from the shame deserved by the people who did this to her. There is no loss of honor, no loss of family reputation, no social stigma, in having raised a daughter such as her, a daughter who proved wrong all those who tried to write her off as a living corpse, who showed the highest will to survive in an environment where everyone said she’d be better off dead. Fearless as she was defiant – her spirit touched us all.

    May you rest in peace, brave one. You deserve to be known by more than a moniker. Your name must lie in the mind of every rapist who thinks he can stamp out a woman’s spirit. Your name must flash in front of every criminal who thinks the victim would be blamed for his perversion. Your name must be a precedent in the courts and in legislation, in the very collective breath of the country, for you were brave and you, in your own way, in a way greater than most of us ever will, changed this place for a bit better.


  6. And this may not be the best place to say it, but capital punishment is still unlikely.

    Except in cases of child murder, ‘Rarest of the rare’ takes into account both qualitative and quantitative factors, which means a person would be unlikely to be hanged for committing a single murder.

    I do not want the death penalty to be administered in this case, not just because I oppose it on principle, but also because the process is so long and tedious in practice that all hopes of a speedy trial are almost sure to be dashed if that option is pursued. Let’s put these perps in jail as quickly as possible, and then focus on making sure that she did not suffer in vain. Rather than looking back, let us look forward, and take the first steps towards making this country safer for women.


    • Perhaps you know the legal system much better than I do, but the whole point of the agitation is to change the way this legal system works. Look at your own statement: “a person would be unlikely to be hanged for committing a single murder”. While you may want to differentiate between the punishment meted out for single and multiple murders, how would you address the question of circumstances of the murder, motive behind it, and the manner in which it was done?
      I’m not fond of the death penalty either, but what would a society want to do with creatures as base as these men? Would you rather have them spend their lives behind bars and put ideas into the heads of fellow prisoners while living off taxpayer money? Or are you not aware that cold-blooded rapists and murderers escape (of course with police complicity) from lock-ups or are pardoned by the President? Would you like to see these six men back in mainstream society one day?
      Perhaps you will not understand the sense of fear pervading us – we are women who go out to work and often board public transport at 9.30 pm in various cities of India. I have already had friends who have called up on their way back from work, saying they’re afraid. We’re scared because while crimes against women keep happening everywhere with alarming frequency, nothing is done to punish these criminals. And this emboldens others.
      We cannot afford to sit back and explore the options within the existing legal framework. We need a paradigm shift in the way we see and punsh rape.


      • Rhetoric is just rhetoric, even if it is framed in terms of empathy and ‘justice’.

        What society wants to do is up to society. It is not as though I am imposing my brand of justice on everyone else.

        First, I personally detest the very idea of relegating someone as a ‘base creature’, and thereby ignoring the complexity of the factors that led to an act as reprehensible as this. Recognizing and acknowledging that complexity, even while condemning the act, is the first step to the change that you are (and believe me, I am) enthusiastic about.

        Second, I would indeed rather have them spend their lives behind bars, not only on a moral basis, but because I am aware (as you seem not to be) that death row costs close to four times as much on an average as locking up a person for the rest of their life (until their death, not fourteen years). I am also aware that presidential pardons are usually granted only to people sentenced to death, and also that only a minuscule number of fugitives ever escape prison, of which the majority are recaptured within 96 hours. Moreover, I feel that this small chance of escape is a very poor argument in favor of execution. If that is your reason, pray tell, where do we stop? Shouldn’t we simply execute all rapists and murderers, as a precautionary measure? Would you be okay with that?

        I’m sorry for your fear, and I empathize with it. If you feel I will not understand, then I won’t argue with you, but what I do understand (and hope that you do too) is that fear and outrage, especially outrage generated over a single gruesome case, must never be a basis for lawmaking. Creating laws which sanction taking away someone’s liberty (or even life, if your views were to be taken as correct) requires a much cooler head and a much broader debate than that.

        The fact that we need a paradigm shift is not in dispute. I’ve never advocated carrying on with the same legal structure as ever. I just don’t agree with YOUR version of the shift.

        Additional brutality in response to rape (or any violent crime) is worse than useless. Not only is it likely to make convictions that much harder in any practical legal system which exists within a somewhat liberal democracy like ours, but it is also mere fuel for a bloodlust that will do little to destroy rape, but do a lot to destroy all semblance of civilization from our society.

        Rape is a gendered offense for the most part, but even if we were talking about murder, for example (which I hope you don’t think is beyond the realm of my male understanding), my views would not change. For a long time, I thought somewhat similarly to you, but over the years, I’ve come to reject the very idea of building a safe, free society on the foundations of a brutal, overly harsh and ultimately non-functional justice system.

        I’m sorry, but I’ve seen nothing that makes me think that THAT kind of a paradigm shift would make you or your colleagues or anyone else any safer. It would certainly not have helped our victim in this case, and if it can’t even do that, what, pray, is the point?


        • I appreciate your legal speak; however, I must say it’s just that. Going round and round in recognising the “complexity of the factors that led to an act as reprehensible as this” has not done us much good, has it?
          We still have rapes happening every half hour in India, and much of that is either blamed on the victim, or simply written of as a man’s loss of control over his sexual urges. Legal speak dilutes the simple fact that rape is a violent crime; a rapist is a criminal; and if a rape is proven, he/she ought to be treated as a criminal — (and I say) without getting into the hows and whys like were they drunk; were they provoked; did the victim call them brothers and beg for mercy; was there a fault in policing; was it too late in the night for a girl to be out; what she was wearing, etc.
          However, I agree with you that outrage should not be a basis of legislation. I do not agree (much) with retributive justice either. And that leaves us with deterrence or reform-based justice. The current legal provisions we have are neither. They have been there for a long time now, but one look at the rape statistics should be enough to prove that our existing laws neither deter people from raping, nor reform their behaviours.
          I personally don’t believe that a 30 year old rapist-murderer can be reformed, or for that matter, pardoned. And you may disagree with me.
          And hence my call for capital punishment for rape in addition to education from primary school onwards. The change will be slow and painful, but that, I think is the call of the hour.
          However, for all your command on law and justice, I fail to comprehend a single measure or method that you propose to contain this epidemic.


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  8. When I heard the news of this rape I felt so angry and upset. What made these men so beastly, how could they enjoy it? When I heard it happened on a bus I was upset that no-one on the bus tried to stop it, not even the bus driver. All who saw it happen and did nothing should be punished as if they were the rapists themselves.

    I hope this rape will be a turning point in Indias way of treating women.



  9. The paparazzi wrote down in newspapers that “she dies peacefully”! I wonder if all that was peaceful and I wonder if armchair activism we see on facebook and twitter will be of any use! Isn’t it time to occupy the streets of Delhi and not let her death go in vain! Bring a change for the women, who are humans in all respect, and not let her death go in vain! RIP braveheart! I want Delhi and the whole of India to wake from slumber and stop thanking their stars for not being another victim! I want each one of us to contribute to the judicial changes anticipated, to seethe in rage, to let the administration know that until justice is not meted out we wont rest…


  10. My condolences with her family IHM. I sincerely hope she did not die in vain.
    I would’ve liked her family to allow her name to be revealed, because, personally, I feel the idea of anonymity to the victim in itself reinforces victim-shaming in the larger picture.
    But I’m afraid that, as cynical as it sounds, with her name will come a whole set of ‘tags’ such as class, religion, economic status, background, ethnicity, region and so on. With that there may be a chance of the real issue being trivialised all over again by politicians with their own agenda and a whole set of how that too somehow led to her eventual demise.
    Maybe somewhere the girl is better off name-less/face-less and is immortalised for being a symbol of every woman revolting against regressive patriarchal norms.
    She shall be remembered for the spark she brought about and the national mobility she gave to the once ‘unspeakable’ issue of the condition of women in this country in general. I hope she is the catalyst for change that we needed, and I sincerely hope the girl has not died in vain.


  11. Been away from Indian news and events for the past few weeks and was shocked to hear about this in California.
    Quickly revisited your blog and realised I had missed a lot.
    I am too disturbed to even think sanely and write a sensible comment.
    I can therefore be forgiven if I state that I would be satisfied with nothing less than several years of Rigorous imprisonment followed by hanging for these criminals.
    Yes, any one of them is not enough! This crime is just too shocking. I just caught up with all the gory details and was totally upset and sick to read the news.

    Camp: California


  12. Distressed .. Condolences to her family and a toast to her spirit and resilience….
    We now need to act and start at home. Teach our sons, correct our husbands, dads, grandpas, Uncles nephews and whomever talks about dress, honor etc, etc, tell them it is wrong, teach our sons to respect humans , respect personal feelings, respect all mankind not just men. Teach them young and constantly reinforce.. I don’t know how else we can fix this issue.


  13. RIP, Nirbhaya. I was in tears after reading that she passed away. Media writes ‘she passed away peacefully’. Peacefully? How can it be when she underwent so much of trauma! She did not deserve the ghastly death. A young 23-yr old dies because 6 monsters decided to have fun! I shudder at the thought of how much agony and pain she might have gone through.

    I live in Singapore and the news has been making headlines here as well. They haven’t heard of such a brutal rape.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Nirbhaya’s family. I just read that her mother collapsed and is now in hospital. She is stable.

    And few people are circulating photos of Nirbhaya on facebook. No one knows if those photos are hers or are they false ones. The least we can do is not to circulate and share fake photos. Ya, I also think that her name should now be made known.

    You have awakened a nation, Nirbhaya. Hopefully, the 6 monsters will be sent to gallows. Your soul will probably rest in peace only after 6 monsters are punished.


  14. i feel very sad about this. Is this what it takes for us to stop blaming the woman and look at it objectively? Nevertheless, I am glad at the change this has brought about


  15. Despite everything people say or do, society is still hesitant to reveal the identity of a rape victim. Why? Because this garbled logic of ‘loss of honour’ is so deeply entrenched. By expecting rape survivors to hide behind silhouettes and hide from public eye, we are making a HUGE mistake, i.e. validating that rape means ‘loss of honour’ of the victim and her family, and fulfilling the rapists objective of looting ‘izzat’.

    No one thinks of hiding the identities of victims of robbery or murder, do they? Why must society compel a rape survivor to do so? She hasn’t done anything to be ashamed of. Shame the rapists, not the survivors. Till society stops treating her as though her life is ruined, there is really no hope for fairness or justice.

    I’m telling you, the day people stop linking anything sexual to ‘morals’ and ‘honour’ and ‘izzat’, things will change for the better.


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