Loyola panel explores violence in India

candle_cc_RE[1]By Kristen Kaczynski

A professor of philosophy and women and gender studies organized a round table discussion on Women, Violence and India on Thursday at Loyola University Chicago.

Three professors including Tracey Pintchman, professor of theology and international studies, Shweta Singh, professor of social work and John Pincince, professor of history and Asian studies took part in the discussion at the university’s Lake Shore Campus in Rogers Park.

“I organized this event in response to the tragic event that happened in New Delhi in December. I became interested in it because it seemed to be a pivotal moment for India in terms of the reaction it caused and the movements that have taken place since” said Julie Ward.

A 23-year-old woman was brutally beaten with an iron rod and gang-raped on a public bus on Dec. 16, left to die.

In response to this event, thousands of people in India and around the world have gathered together in an effort to protest against this and similar crimes of sexual violence in South Asia.

“Indian women want more reform, legally and socially in terms of how they are treated in their country, especially among rape victims,” Singh said.

Despite sexual violence being a worldwide concern, India in particular seems to be struggling legally, politically and socially when facing this issue.

“The laws are not necessarily the problem, but rather the lack of implementation and enforcement of them within their political system remains the larger problem at hand,”  Pintchman said.

Rape victims should not be blamed for the rape either, yet this is often the case in India.

“It’s quite wrong how women are blamed and told it is because they are not modest enough or because they specifically put themselves in that situation,” Pincince said.

Although, people around the world remain hopeful that in India change for a better future is possible.

“As an Indian-American woman I am especially happy in the way people in India are reacting and making progress for the betterment of the country so that events like this one will not continue to take place forever,” said Sreeruppa Dey, 20, a junior international studies and history double major.

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