In the days after the Delhi gang rape of a woman on a bus last December, India’s media were flooded with stories of rape cases being investigated.
Rape is a serious crime in India, where the justice system has often been weak and has not punished rapists and other criminals who sexually assault women.
However, the number of rape allegations against politicians and public figures is high, particularly those against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Congress Party (CPI-M).
Rape cases in India are often ignored or dismissed as part of a “politically motivated hysteria.”
The Indian government is under pressure from international community to crack down on sexual violence.
But it has resisted such calls.
The Indian law is a mess, and India’s laws have not changed since the mid-1990s.
Some countries have made changes to rape laws in recent years.
But many states, especially the southern states, have remained stubbornly in the dark.
The rape statistics have been largely ignored by the media, the police, and politicians.
In the wake of the Delhi rape, some Indian politicians and the public have demanded reforms.
This article is based on a chapter from Rape in the Indian Penal Code.
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Read more about sexual assault in India.