India's Gang Rape Protests: A Nation Maturing
The recent gang rape in India played the same role as did the beating of Rodney King in 1991. People have reacted with outrage to say that enough is enough.
It is about time.
40,000 women die each year in India from domestic violence. Hundreds of thousands of young girls get sold to brothels and are rejected by everyone, including the families that sell them there. I've personally known an Indian woman whose family tried to arrange to get her raped because she had feminist beliefs; and, upon her turning 18, took away all her documents and kept her a slave in the house until they finally broke her down enough for her to accept an arranged marriage. If you treat a cow better than you treat a woman, then you have real problems. And it is time that more people in India and elsewhere understand this.
In 1960s, Indian spiritual thought came to the Western countries and took them by storm. It is a time for a return favor. While Indian spiritual beliefs are profound, the Indian social attitudes are stuck in the stone ages. If India can influence the West with its best, then so can the West likewise influence India with its best - which at this time means women's rights and better treatment and status of women.
The best aspect of global economy and interconnected world is just this. It allows better ideas to stand up to worse ideas, on all sides. Indian spiritual thought reaches people in the West and helps them to grow in wisdom; liberal Western social thought reaches people in India and helps them to create better life for Indian people, especially the women. It was one of Gandhi's unmet goals to do away with slavery for women in India. Gandhi died before he could put this goal into effect; but that doesn't mean that people now living cannot do the same at this time.
The Indian women whom I've known were all smart, strong and ambitious individuals. For these people to be stuck wiping floors for some violent creep and get battered each day is a waste of what they have to offer as well as a vast injustice. Basically, India can do better; and since it can do better it must do better. There is nothing keeping India from being a place that treats women right except wrongful beliefs.
The protests taking place in India right now are rightful, and sign of a nation maturing. It is right that people no longer accept women getting gang-raped. This movement, if persisted in, has the potential to vastly improve life in India and especially to improve the situation of one half of the population that are female. It should be welcomed and celebrated as a sign of the nation waking up and rejecting wrongful ways.