Violence, Protest and Change: A Socio-Legal Analysis of Extraordinary Mobilization after the 2012 Delhi Gang Rape Case
Posted: 9 Jun 2014 Last revised: 22 Aug 2014
Date Written: May 16, 2014
On December 16, 2012, a 23 years old woman was brutally gang raped in a moving bus in Delhi. She eventually died after 13 days. Her death sparked a nationwide protest and grabbed the attention of the media resulting in endless debates, effusive speeches and unending vows by political parties to ensure safety of women. As a result of the uproar, a fast-track court swiftly tried the case, convicted and awarded the death penalty to the four accused persons which was confirmed by the High Court on March 13th, 2014. Of the two other accused, one died in custody while the other received three years sentence in a reform facility on account of being a juvenile. Though, this was not the first case of gang rape in India, yet, it compelled the government to take measures which it hadn’t taken before. A committee, under the leadership of Justice Verma, was created to suggest changes in the Criminal Law, which were soon implemented. The voice of dissent made a dent in the legal system though the multitude of prevalence has not yet declined. The unrest also made an impact on the public discourse relating to violence against women. This paper aims at exploring the changes in the discourse on gender violence that took place in the broader socio-legal context.
Keywords: Delhi gang rape, protest, social change, Nirbhaya case, dissent, violence against women
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