India’s Reporting on Rape

Friday, November 08, 2013


In December of 2012, a brutal rape in Delhi, India started a fractious debate about crimes against women and--among Indian journalists--about how crimes against women should be reported. Jamie York went to India last summer and spoke to journalists Meena Menon, Meenal Baghel and Shoma Chaudhury and to attorney Vrinda Grover about how India’s female journalists are using this moment to inform a discussion they care deeply about.


Music: “Amar Sangeet” by Kashinath Mishra & Prabhakar Dhakde


Meenal Baghel, Shoma Chaudhury, Vrinda Grover and Meena Menon

Produced by:

Jamie York

Comments [8]

Shweta Raj Kanwar from Punjab

Time and again there have been reports on the cases of violence and molestation against women. similar is the case here too, but the question is "what does it lead to?". The matter is reported in almost all the news channels for over a month or so and then what? it all still remains the same!
what impact have the journalists been able to make in this context as their profession? people are been made aware, fine, but how safe are women even after the awareness? It's not all about awareness, it's about "what does it lead to?".
A report that only makes people aware and does not aid in the alteration of society is worth questioning.

Nov. 19 2013 08:12 AM
Ray from Bloomington, IN

I understand Vrinda Grover's frustration by the "there are some bad men" narrative. However, she does not qualify her criticisms by saying "Let's find out who these bad men are and the context that drives them", and so the rejection of the "some bad men" narrative implies a "men are doing this" narrative, which is equally problematic.

Also, Shoma Chaudhury prefaces her analysis of the larger context by saying that performing such analysis may appear to exculpate the perpetrators. She then goes on to exculpate the perpetrators via class analysis and blames society (i.e., what "we are doing to our cities, to our country"). Seriously?

I know that this is an important story to share, but I'm disheartened that you guys would allow such a disingenuous bait-and-switch on air. The perpetrators are liable for their actions, not Indian society. If socioeconomic changes might reduce the incidence of gendered violence, that would be great, but "society" is not to blame for this act. Ultimately, the perpetrators are to blame.

Nov. 11 2013 06:02 PM
Matthew Chapman from St. Louis, Missouri

No doubt the vicious attack on the female victim was horrific and her death an unbelievable tragedy.

But you started the story about the incident by telling us that the couple got on a private bus, and the man was first attacked and beaten unconscious.

I have heard no further discussion about the violence toward this man. Sure, what happened to him was "better" than what happened to his female partner, no doubt, but he was still a victim of vicious unprovoked violence. Is the man fully healed? Did he suffer any brain damage? Has anyone interviewed him? Does anyone care about him?

More to the point: where is the discussion, the protests, the call for action about this sort of violence against this man? Or are only our women worth the concern?

Nov. 11 2013 08:11 AM
Martyn from Grand Rapids

One of the thrusts of this article - that there is problem in presenting rape stories if there is no consequent change in cultural attitudes to rape - reminds me of the presentation of news stories on mass shootings in the USA. While the details differ the talking points are invariably the same each time. Such an event takes over the media for several days with detailed reporting, shock/horror of the nation, analysis, blame, solutions - and then nothing. Nothing much really changes in gun law and gun culture.

This single rape case does not and should not represent the whole cultural attitude to women in India just as mass shootings in the USA does not speak to the whole gun-culture in the USA. But as we in America try to deal with gun issues, this interesting article made me feel that the reporting of mass shootings can become "engrossing" for all the wrong reasons if the culture never changes.

Nov. 11 2013 08:03 AM
Michael Blank from Chattanooga, TN

I feel you did a disservice to not provide at least a reference to the crime involved in the contetxt of the story. It was so horrific. I will not post it here, but just reading the details of it made me sick at my stomach. There is NO cultural situation that would make that ok and your report seems to make the claim that the culture is to blame. I really want to post at least one detail but every single one of them make me so disgusted that I refuse to inflict that on another person.

Nov. 10 2013 02:05 PM
Bryant from Salt Lake City

Thank you, Brooke, for your tribute and goodbye to Jamie York. I was awed by the excellence of the reporting in this piece and then you reminded me of his other great work. I'm trying not to gush, but Jamie has set a benchmark to which all budding journalists should aspire. I'll miss his stories on OTM.

Nov. 09 2013 11:08 AM
Genevieve from New Jersey

Tim, the term is eve-teasing.

Nov. 09 2013 10:44 AM
Tim Beard from San Diego

Excellent story but I couldnt understand the term you used regarding reporting--eve something?

Nov. 09 2013 09:16 AM

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