“Hearing that he will face the gallows, Vinay started crying in court…”

Why did Vinay Sharma start crying?

Hearing that he will face the gallows, Vinay started crying in court while the other three convicts-Mukesh, Pawan, Akshay-started shouting for pardon, with one of the defence lawyers A P Singh also joining them in seeking mercy.

Perhaps he did not expect to be sentenced? What did he expect then? 

 He had no doubt perhaps, that it’s the rape victims who are ruined and become zinda laash and are hence Honor killed. (He did his best to achieve that in this case, and maybe this was not the first time either).

These six rapists (like most other Indian rapists) expected the tradition, culture and society to come to their support by shaming, blaming and silencing the victim. From what I understand they still wanted to take no chances, they attempted to destroy forensic evidence with an iron rod, and by running the young couple over and by washing the the bus.

Here is what this conviction will achieve,

The girl’s mother said that no such victim should remain silent and must come forward to lodge a complaint.

Conviction of these men will not, in one moment stop rapes altogether (obviously), but it is a definite and much needed step towards a society that questions shaming of the victims instead of condemnation, conviction  and quick sentencing of the rapists.

In a way this case and the  is a small but powerful step towards ending the culture of the entire society advocating for the rapists (mainly by blaming, shaming and silencing the victims)

Defence counsel A P Singh said he will move high court only “if no other rape takes place in next two months after this verdict”.

“If the country wanted this case to be a deterrent, I will wait for two months to see the crime scene. If no rape takes place due to death being given in the instant case, I will give in writing that my clients be hanged,” he said.

[Link: Delhi gang-rape case: Death sentence for all four convicts]

The conviction and sentence also brings to notice our ideas of what makes us view Indian men as good or bad.

What is Vinay’s mothers’ idea of ‘a good boy’?

Spare my son, he is a good boy, pleads a mother [link]

… her son and friend and fellow convict Pawan Gupta were “good boys”. 

“They are hard workers. Not one complaint against them,” she said…

“The judge should give them a second chance to reform themselves. Even God gives every person a second chance,”

Note: I do not think all rapists should be hanged and here is why  [Read more]

“Punishment for the rape should be structured i.e. categorized and graded with severity of the injury to the victim & additional factors”

Gradation of the Punishment may help to limit severity of the cases; as any additional injury caused to the victim may attract more stringent punishment to the accused. In reverse of it abrupt terminal punishments although may act as deterrent but once incidence has been committed, accused may try to kill the victim to escape identification, so severity of the cases will increase & it will an undue risk to the possible victim caused by inherent fault in law. [link] 

Related Posts:

No second chances for an Indian daughter.

“A clandestine, and irresponsible, affair may prove dangerous. A city girl learnt it the hard way,”

When a rape victim chooses her life over her ‘Honor’.

“The same man who rape a girl… respect his mother…so please go ahead and teach them what you want to…”

Don’t let off rapists on flimsy grounds, SC tells courts.

This is what rapists do when there is no fear of punishment.

How Victim Blaming confuses rapists, police and the society about when exactly does non-consensual-sex becomes a crime.

The rapists often don’t see their actions as crimes, the police said, and don’t expect the victims to report them.

“I am safe because I’m very careful in the way I behave and dress in public, on the streets.”

 More links to the news:

Court sentences 4 men to death in New Delhi gang rape case

Delhi rape: Defence lawyers blame Braveheart, her friend, and government

The offence committed by Mukesh (26), Akshay Thakur (28), Pawan Gupta (19) and Vinay Sharma (20) falls under the rarest of rare category warranting capital punishment, the judge said.

49 thoughts on ““Hearing that he will face the gallows, Vinay started crying in court…”

  1. IHM, I have spoken to rape survivors, and without exception, all of them think life is precious. What happened to them was brutal, but they were glad to be alive. Society is changing, the sense of shame, the self blame has gone done. The girl said her tormentors should be burnt alive, she wanted revenge, she was not blaming herself. People like these rapists, their lawyer A.K. Singh, and such minded people have to learn that the society is changing, slowly but surely, and so is people’s opinion

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  2. I am relieved – not happy – to see that the death sentence has been handed out to the criminals. Here is why. http://showersandpetals.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/should-they-be-hanged/ In the absence of harsher legislation, this is the least that we could get. I do hope that they do not reverse this judgement. They can certainly make it more torturous for the criminals by delaying the date – each time for a few days – while keeping them on death row.

    I really think it is very unfortunate that we do not have more stringent punishment for rapists. Castration of the criminals is the one sure shot punishment which will act as deterrent. Reading the new guidelines for gradation of punishments I did not agree with castration only for serial killers (if I have understood what I read right). Does that imply men are allowed one rape without very serious consequences?

    As for the contention that death sentences or other harsh punishments would lead to rapists killing their victims, I think this very case should prove the reverse. Without such harsh punishments being handed down in the past, the rapists had mauled the girl inside out. So do they really need a reason? For that matter one can even go to the extent that fear of being caught or arrested might lead them to silence the victim for ever. So does that mean we don’t punish them at all?

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  3. That lawyer A.K. Singh, made a beautiful comment that was floating around on one of the microblogging websites I frequent. Something along the lines of, “Why don’t people first control their daughters? I’d burn my daughter alive if she was having pre-marital sex,roaming around with her boyfriend at night.”

    Everyone is welcome to look up the veracity of this statement, since I’m not liable to trust everything on the internet. But if this happens to be true, well, this makes me doubly happy for the verdict. This is a defense lawyer who sees nothing wrong with killing, maiming and injuring a woman for making her own decisions, but is protesting the death sentences of the men who have done all of the above.

    As for the verdict itself–I’m definitely in two minds over it. I’m not a fan of the death penalty. But I definitely think that thanks to this verdict, the complacency of people in society with regards to rape will surely diminish. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the first such conviction for rape in India, right? It will definitely set a precedent. But it does not sit well with me that we needed to go as far as a death sentence for people to realize that men should not rape. People need to be taught that they shouldn’t do harmful things because they are harmful, not because they need to be fearing the consequences. But, nevertheless, it’s a start, and things will surely evolve from this point on. So I’m glad that the severity and the wrongness of the actions of these men have been acknowledged at least. But I just hope that people will be taught to not rape because it is wrong, not because the consequences of that crime is death.

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    • Unfortunately this is not the first time a rapist will be hanged. Remember Billa and Ranga who had raped Geeta Chopda in the 1970s? They were hanged too. What about Dhananjay Chatterjee? Obviously rapists have not learned their lessons and they have lawyers justifying and supporting their misdeeds and we need something much more brutal.

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    • The quote from defense lawyer A P Singh referring to the gang-rape case in front of national mediapersons.-
      “…If my daughter was having premarital sex and moving around at night with her boyfriend, I would have burnt her alive. I would not have let this situation happen. All parents should adopt such an attitude,”

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  4. I have a couple of problems with the attitude of people regarding this conviction.

    For one, I’ve heard so many people say that this case is exceptional, so justice must be more severe. Well, it’s exceptional only because the media chose to highlight it. Does this mean that the cases the newspapers and TV don’t focus on can receive less severe justice?

    Death penalty is not going to solve any problem. It’s been proved that it does not change society, neither does torture (which many people are calling for). Now if it’s merely revenge, then that is different and not something I want to express an opinion on. But if it’s supposed to be a deterrent, it’s not going to work. The fact is that hundreds of women are brutally assaulted all over India. Do we prescribe death to all the rapists? We would have a death count as high as China or USA then.

    STILL, no one is talking about changing society and giving women simple rights like eating what they like or not having to change their names, or as discussed in the previous post, right to basic gynecological assistance. If this debate isn’t happening at the national level, how are rapes going to stop? Rape is only a manifestation of seeing women as inferior or property.

    I’d also like to add that if the defense lawyer has indeed made such a statement about his daughter, it must be taken as a public threat and investigated by the police.

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    • “STILL, no one is talking about changing society and giving women simple rights like eating what they like or not having to change their names, or as discussed in the previous post, right to basic gynecological assistance”

      THIS. THIS. I cannot stress this point enough to the people who don’t get it. Am I happy that justice is served? Yes. But is this justice, in the truest and most complete sense? No. There is still no dialogue about why and how men rape, and what attitudes society must adjust so that rape does not occur again. The usage of the death penalty in this case still does not address the root cause which lies in patriarchy. Unless patriarchy is dismantled, even if men cease to rape women, it will not be because they view them as actual human beings (which is the true problem), but solely because they fear the death penalty. The attitudes that make rape permissible are still not erased.

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    • Why I think the death penalty in this case makes sense:

      – One, I think it WILL serve as a deterant. This particular case has gotten so much attention, it has become symbolic of the problem of women’s safety on our streets. The nation overall, the general public see the connection – girl got raped brutally, men got hanged. The majority will not be analyzing and weighing the finer points. They need to get the big picture – crime = > punishment. I think this case makes that simple point.

      – Two, I don’t trust India’s jail system. If given life, these guys will find a way to get out sooner or later. We know how common corruption/bribing is in our country.

      – Three, I’m personally against the death punishment, yes reformation is the better route, IN THEORY. However, we are struggling to take care of basics like electricity and water, we certainly don’t have the resources to reform hardened criminals.

      – Four, these guys haven’t shown a drop of regret yet for the girl they brutally tore apart. There is NO SIGN of remorse. Their defense lawyer is blaming the girl, their parents are pleading for their release. They are SURROUNDED by people finding excuses for their crime. How can one even begin in think of reformation when criminals have such an excellent support system?

      Yes, attitudes much change toward women. Yes, it begins with small everyday things. Yes, we can try to change ordinary people, humane people, not psychos who torture a woman and dump her and then desperately try to walk away scot free. If you pulled aside the average misogynist on the street and lectured him on why girls have the same rights on boys, chances are he will spit in your face, laugh at you, or cop a feel. What guys like this will react to is the law taking their crimes seriously. Punishment is the ONLY language they understand.

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      • Absolutely… especially 3 & 4. I too have my reservations against Death Penalty. But I think India only resorts to that when it comes to the most heinous crimes- when its sooo obvious that any reformation attempt would jus be a joke.

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      • I think the death penalty was warranted in this case because the crimes against her were SO much more than rape. Murder, more like. I know the guilty raped her, and that’s what the media has highlighted, but the legal system took cognisance of all her other injuries as well, including her death.
        I don’t think extrapolating anything about rape punishment from this verdict is useful, to be very honest.

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  5. The penalty given to the Delhi gang rapists is going to be a deterrent.These vagrants thought that they would get out of it like Indian politicians ( long trial and nothing coming out of it, like bofors?). The statement of defense lawyer a.k singh is ludicrous. Who is he to give in writing to hang somebody.? No wonder he failed make any impact on the judge and lost the case. He is typical of Indian male who is like Uttarakumar of Mahabharat.

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  6. I feel in the absence of proper legislation, hanging is the next best alternative for them. This serve them right though I would prefer life-long imprisonment so that they are tortured in jail. Sorry human rights activists, in such cases I strongly feel there should be no rights for such kinda people. I feel sorry for the medieval attitudes of their lawyers and family members.

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  7. Death penalty is not going to solve anything. As if people are not committing murders in countries where a murder calls for sure death penalty. But then I am against death penalty ( or torture ) as a punishment in principle and fail to see why I should make an exception in this case.

    BTW do any of you believe a death sentence could be carried out if they belonged to well to do or influential classes? If not, then whats the point of all this hypocrisy.

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  8. The Delhi Rape Victim was not just raped. She was raped, tortured, her body parts were ripped apart, rods where inserted. Her injuries were so grave that she DIED in spite of the best medical treatment and care. She DIED in spite of support from friends, family and the country. She DIED in spite of having a will to live. According to the media reports the victim had told her brother, “Mujhe bacha lo…main jeena chahti hoon (Save me…I want to live),”. She wanted to LIVE and wanted to PUNISH her rapists contrary to the common belief that rape victims feel death is better than living as a survivor. She was in no denial about what happened to her. She wanted a chance to fight. She wanted to LIVE. But she didn’t. Why? Because of severity of her injuries which ultimately lead to her death.

    She was MURDERED. Killing her may not be their intention but she did DIED as a result of their torture besides the rape. This amounts to MURDER. Her life was cut short. It was more than rape. So death sentence is justified.

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    • That’s besides the point. There are many murders taking place – all not not given death sentences. Many people are literally beaten to death, the criminals get life sentences. I think it is a very serious issue that media highlighted cases ONLY get the death penalty. Justice must be consistent, and focus must be on prevention, not revenge.

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      • I agree that all murder convicts are not given death sentence. It is given depending on the degree of murder. But capital punishment is well within the lines of law when it comes to murder in this country. One can always file an appeal and challenge the court’s verdict. Death sentence given to anyone is always challenged, argued and debated. And rightly so because it is not a solution and human rights etc etc.. Also a verdict influenced by media attention, pressure and vote bank politics is unfair.

        But in this case many are debating the severity of the verdict and demanding leniency because they feel ‘rape’ as a crime doesn’t deserve this punishment. It is being called as a ‘rarest of rare case’. But how can we overlook the fact that it is not just rape. It is kidnapping, inhumane torture, physical abuse (the guy was beaten up too), and murder. Charges slapped on accused changes with the nature of crime(s), degree of crime(s), intent, mental health of the accused and the final repercussions (Her death).

        So this case shouldn’t be treated as just a RAPE case. As I said earlier it is more than that. The punishment shouldn’t be harsh because it is well-publicized and media driven rape case. Nor it should be lenient because it is ‘just’ a rape case. It is rape, torture, abuse and murder case. Punishment should be appropriate considering all the charges and circumstantial factors. And I personally think life sentence sounds too less. If not death, then it should be castration along with life sentence.

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        • Fair enough, this is not merely a rape case. That much is understood. I’m not too fond of the death penalty myself, but that’s a different debate. My main problem is that people are considering this kind of verdict a deterrent and that is taking the easy way out, somewhat like banning sex determination tests. It won’t work.

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        • @Fem, I get what you are saying. But I think the ‘inhumane torture’ that went on does put this firmly in ‘rarest of rare’ territory. Ofcourse, it’s impossible to predict what the judgement would have actually been, had the media not blown it up. I

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  9. “Gaurav, the brother of the victim, said it had been hard to watch the accused men “laughing” during the trial and that the family were “very happy” with the sentencing.”

    From-
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/13/delhi-gang-rape-men-sentenced-death

    Laughing to crying?
    I’ve heard absolutely no remorse from any of the convicted men towards the victims or their family.
    Clearly the convicted men thought they were going to ‘get off’ easy.

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    • I agree with you samsara. As humans, aren’t feelings such as remorse are what set us apart from animals? How can you not feel terrible when something that gruesome is happening to a fellow human?

      The one thing that always nags me about gang rapes and group crimes in general is the lack of humanity from even one person in the group. In this instance, all 5 men took equal part in the rape and murder. Did not even one of them have an ounce of empathy or semblance of humanity in them to stop the others? Or even try? The same thought goes through in the gang rape case that came up in Steubenville, USA where a group not only raped an unconscious girl but filmed her on their cellphones. Yes, teenagers can be stupid. But are we as a society teaching them so poorly that they think it’s “just fun” to brutalize someone like that? Are there any psychologists that can explain this? Is there something about being in a group that makes people commit crimes with less fear?

      I apologize for the rant, IHM but I really needed to vent. As much as this death penalty is a closure in terms of this case, this is not even the first solid step to correcting the mess that our society is, in terms of treating it’s women.

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  10. I agree with you, IHM. I believe most rapes happen because the rapists believe they can get away with the crime, not because the punishment (if caught) is not severe enough. Life in prison should be deterrent enough as a punishment. As I said in my post a few days ago, I even worry that if death sentence is the punishment for rape, it would only spur some people to try to hide their tracks by murdering the rape victim – given the punishment for both (if caught) is the same. The key to decreasing rapes is to catch these criminals quickly and punish them consistently – whether or not the case is in the news.

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  11. I don’t believe in the death penalty, but that my personal opinion. You can bring one back to life means you can’t take it away.
    However I’m all for tormenting these guysand imprisoni them for life. Their crime is not one where they can be given a chance to reform. You simply identify them as bad to the core and put them away.
    Again my personal opinion, but if it we my child who was tortured and murded then Maybe nothing but death to the animals would satisfy me I don’t know. But all I know is such hard crime merits no second chances.

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  12. IHM,
    I do not think stringent laws and imposing the death penalty for rape is going to deter anyone if ground reality and abuse against women continues.
    It isn’t just about the legal laws of the land, in our country, so called societal laws often have a larger than life reality and presence than the legality of any situation. If we continue to look at women as possessions, objects to be controlled. Objects to be given away and taken. Objects to be used and abused. Looked at but never heard. Paraded abut always invisible. If we don’t as a society, collectively bring about change, no matter how strict the laws, or its efforts at honest implementation, NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE.
    I don’t honestly know how I feel about the verdict. As I have said earlier in this very forum, I think we are so desensitized towards gender violence that only the most depraved and gruesome gets our attention. EVerything else is chalta hai, ho jaata hai or this is how it is.
    Of course, our attention also depends on who was raped, and whether it was horrific or not and whether the victim died or not, what she was wearing or not wearing. Who she was with or not. Whether she was married or not. ANd above all, was she upper caste? Or a Dalit/ tribal woman.
    This verdict only has me thinking about the Khairlanji massacre. A whole family massacred – raped, burnt, drowned and a sea of eye-witnesses. But no case built for the longest time, no court proceedings. And when it does happen most are acquitted, then the death sentence passed and appealed and moving back and forth between the courts.
    Justice delayed is justice denied. But what about selective justice? Would we even be talking about the Delhi case if she had survived? If she was a poor girl from the boondoocks of our country? If she was a prostitute?
    I only feel a terrible sense of foreboding that things will get worse. But maybe they have to get worse before they get better.

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  13. I don’t believe the sentence will act as a deterrent.

    However, I think this is the most merciful and practical sentence they could have been given. Assuming the sentence is carried out, they get a clean death. Life in prison would either mean they won’t live very long because either the guards or the inmates will kill them in a spectacular fashion. Solitary confinement would drive them insane. Being out on the streets means a high risk of a mob dispatching them as well as anyone they’re with. (IOW, juvenile’s days are numbered, mark my words.)

    All of this is more than than the victim got.

    Notice the mummijis aren’t saying that their good boys weren’t fingered by mistake or they were innocent and coerced into confessing — they just “need a second chance”. Disgusting.

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  14. I was watching timesnow and the anchor saying that We cannot show certain things on TV where we asked the convicts when they were initially caught and were presented in court. They said , ” See what more we can do when we comeout”
    That says all , they think they will get off , they think wow what a “manly” thing they did , something like pure pleasure ,
    More over the This judge has been famous for acquittals in rape cases … Must be media pressure on him and police , So the Lawyers are quiet shocked…and not expected

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/delhi-rape-case-judge-convicted-rarely-but-fingers-point-at-police/article5129701.ece

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  15. IHM,
    This case is not a deterrent. There have been hangings in rape cases earlier. We will need at least another 20 such examples to drill some sort of a fear in potential rapists.
    Just count the number of rapes that have happened since Decrmber 2012 and you will understand what I mean. These convicted rapists got unlucky because they were caught in the media glare and an upcoming election. That is all.

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    • you are right Amit , This judgement is part of deterrent , Many things together and not leaving the Rapist on Flimsy Grounds and addition things like Police getting punishment for shoddy investigation will lead to better policing , such things together with Good judgement will be a good deterrent.
      Outcast of such elements in Society for life…

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  16. I am glad that these people got death sentence. Yes, I do not believe in death sentence. I would rather have them in prison for life until they die (not 14 years) and have their will broken and regret that they are missing out on life. Yet, I have not much faith in our jails/police/justice system – they could come out, nobody would know where they are, there could be some clause, they may appeal.

    I think this decision was more in light of dealing with the anger of the nation.

    1 sentence may not do it but consistent punishments – swift, quick (not necessarily death) will definitely be a deterrent. There are so many migrant workers in Singapore from South Asia but I rarely see them molesting people here. Why? Because they know they will be in jail very fast and will be out of the country in less than 6 months time & they cannot risk that.

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  17. Because, his lawyer AP Singh might have convinced him that he will survive and that they will go to the High Court or the Supreme Court to ensure he survives.

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  18. Also, he may have thought an enslaved and devoted wife would have fasted for his long life and saved him from the death penalty (a la Savitri):

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/Nirbhaya-rape-convicts-wife-performs-Teej-for-husbands-welfare/articleshow/22500919.cms

    I don’t entirely blame the wife though. (1) She may be totally financially and emotionally dependent on her husband. (2) She may be blamed by her in-laws or maybe even her own family (not to say relatives and neighbors and all & sundry) for being bad luck and not being pious enough to be able to guarantee the long life of her husband. (3) If Akshay is hanged and she becomes a widow, her life is going to be the most miserable.

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  19. Pingback: In Broad Day Light @ Manesar, Sector 8 Area, Gurgaon | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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  21. Here how to stop rapists:

    1st- Cut their penis off and stick it up their ass
    2nd- dress him in sensual women clothes and throw them in men´s prison

    Like

  22. “The conviction and sentence also brings to notice our ideas of what makes us view Indian men as good or bad”

    Should it be reading “The conviction and sentence also brings to notice our ideas of what makes us view a rapist as good or bad”

    or even

    “The conviction and sentence also brings to notice our ideas of what makes us view a rapist in Indian society as good or bad”

    Why does you refer to all Indian men?

    I started reading this blog with some concern. I am not boasting as a die hard feminist and showcasing my solidarity. I am just a normal concerned Indian man who respects women and try to understand in my own little way the pain women goes through in this stereotyped society.

    Aren’t you trying to catch the same boat as this stereotyped society, by referring to all Indian men?

    You are doing a good work, keep it up. But I request you to be sensitive and don’t stereotype all Indian men. Believe me not all Indian men secretly want to be a rapist and some if not majority of Indian men (as per you), do have respect towards women.

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    • Do read again. I am talking about Vinay’s mother’s reaction – she thought her son was a good boy.
      Take a look:

      The conviction and sentence also brings to notice our ideas of what makes us view Indian men as good or bad.

      What is Vinay’s mothers’ idea of ‘a good boy’?

      Spare my son, he is a good boy, pleads a mother [link]
      … her son and friend and fellow convict Pawan Gupta were “good boys”.
      “They are hard workers. Not one complaint against them,” she said…
      “The judge should give them a second chance to reform themselves. Even God gives every person a second chance,”

      Like

      • Now I understand Madam. Yes, its my foolishness I couldn’t understand properly.

        Every day I feel ashamed for being born an a Man, that too an Indian Man and that too an Indian Man trying to be decent in Social life.

        Might be that being a Man, I can never understand what a women goes through reading all this. It might just be my speculation, but this looks like the scenario of whole human race not just an Indian situation.

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