An Indian court Friday handed the death sentence to four of the six accused in the brutal gang rape and murder of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student in New Delhi last December. (One of the defendants was charged separately in juvenile court where he got the maximum three-year sentence. And another hanged himself in prison.)
The main—if not the only—reason why the wheels of justice moved so swiftly in this case was the domestic outrage and the international headlines this case generated, notes Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia in Time. This episode got the attention of India’s middle classes because they couldn’t hide behind any special biographical detail about the victim or her behavior to tell themselves that this couldn’t happen to them.
"The New Delhi rape victim deserved justice. She got it only because she gained celebrity status," notes Dalmia. "But if that’s the bar that her fellow sisters will have to meet, her case will not just be a tragedy—but also a travesty.
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