Authorities in India have taken the unusual step of fast-tracking rape and murder charges against six accused in the horrific gang rape and subsequent death of a 23-year-old Delhi woman on a bus on December 16.
The decision to fast-track the case shows the dilemma in which India is now firmly rooted.
For far too long, police, judicial authorities, politicians and male members of society have failed to adequately protect the rights of women in society. A mere 26 per cent of all rape cases brought before courts in India actually end in conviction. All too often, perpetrators are freed with the victim victimised again for bringing the complaint in the first place.
Sadly, it has taken this sad incident to highlight the plight all too many face — violently assaulted, stigmatised by the ordeal, victimised in court and ultimately left without justice or resolution.
And now authorities say they will fast track this case. Regrettably, this decision smacks of political opportunism at a time when popular protests demand better protection for all women.
This case is but one of countless thousands before the courts, where women have been attacked, brutalised and cast aside as mere collateral damage in the need to satisfy men’s need and greed. And what of those cases? Why is the conviction rate just 26 per cent?
If Indian officials are serious about seeing justice done, then every rape case needs to be treated with equal gravitas.