Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Is it safe for foreign women to travel in India?

(The photo is from Aljazeera)

"Rape" is a terrible crime.  It is when a man forces himself on a woman sexually.  "Gang rape" is when several men attack a woman sexually.

There have been many stories in the news within the past year about India and gang rape.  The New York Times, for instance, published an article back in October 2013 in which it stated that rape, to one group of young men who were finally caught by the police, was "routine." In this case, routine means that this group committed this crime often and with little thought about the consequences to the women - it became a habit for them. The Times also pointed out that the women who have been raped in India do not seem to have received very much justice in the past - the rapists often got away with it (were not punished).

Most, if not all, of the stories published about gang rape in India during the past year involved Indian men attacking and raping Indian women.  A couple days ago, however, a Danish woman who was travelling through India reported being gang raped.

Based on various stories that I have read about India since starting this blog, it seems as if this country has significant social problems that its government does not seem to be changing. There is wide-spread poverty (poverty all over the place - poverty is when people do not have enough money to live up to acceptable standards) and it was revealed (shown) last year that half of the world's 'slaves' are in India (a slave is a person who is 'owned' by another person).

Here is an article about this story:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2014/01/danish-tourist-gang-raped-new-delhi-201411563355374885.html

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

a suspect - someone who is thought to have committed a crime. Please be aware that we often use the verb 'to commit' when we talk about a crime. He committed murder. He is accused of committing rape. I heard he committed suicide.  --> Please remember that 'suicide' is not a verb. You can't say: he suicided.  He committed suicide.

to be arrested - to be taken by the police because they feel you have committed a crime

allegedly - you see this word a lot in the newspapers.  You cannot say that a person really committed a crime until the person has had a trial and has been found 'guilty.' So before a person's trial the person who has been arrested is said to have 'allegedly' committed a crime. This means he has been accused of committing a crime - someone has claimed/stated he committed a crime and he/she has been arrested but it has not been proved.

losing her way - getting lost

has alleged - has claimed, has stated

a high-profile case - a case/situation that is brought to the public's attention; a low profile case would be a situation that nobody is told about or that nobody really knows about

an assault - an attack

touristy sites - sites that most tourists go to; technically, 'touristy' is not a real word. The writer should have just written: tourist sites

a crowded locality - a crowded place

affordable lodgings - cheap, inexpensive rooms; a lodging means a place to stay

to be accosted by: if someone accosts you, he approaches you aggressively or forcefully and stops you

vagabonds - basically a vagabond is a homeless person that travels from place to place

cause for alarm - this article is basically saying that there is reason for people to feel worried about all of the rapes that are occurring in this country. "cause for alarm" means reason to be worried

metros - metropolitan areas, cities

brutal - very severe, showing no mercy, very rough and cruel

protesting - coming together in large numbers of people in public areas to express anger

stringent laws - very severe laws, very tough or strict laws

fast track courts - a court is a place where a person who has been accused of a crime can be brought to have a trial to see whether he/she is guilty or innocent.  A fast-track court would be a court in which the trial would occur quickly and the punishment would happen quickly as well.

a perpetrator - someone who commits a crime

to assure someone of something - to promise or guarantee someone of something
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The article I posted today was relatively easy to read.  I will sometimes post easier articles and sometimes post harder ones.

Here is a more difficult article (that I mentioned above) from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/world/asia/gang-rape-in-india-routine-and-invisible.html?_r=0

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