News / Asia

Parents of India Rape Victim Decry Fashion Shoot that Evokes Attack

Reuters

An Indian fashion shoot depicting a woman being sexually assaulted on a bus has stirred memories of the fatal gang rape of a young woman in 2012, outraging the victim's parents and activists who have demanded action against the photographer.

The December 2012 attack on the woman on the bus created upheaval in India, triggering days of protests over pervasive violence against women and raising questions about the place of women in the world's largest democracy.

The woman, a 23-year-old physiotherapist, was lured onto an unlicensed bus in New Delhi and repeatedly raped and tortured by five men and a teenager. She later died of her injuries.

Of the six accused of her rape and murder, one committed suicide in jail and four were sentenced to death. The teenager was remanded in a juvenile reform center.

The pictures for the fashion spread were taken by Mumbai photographer Raj Shetye and posted this week on the photography site Behance.

The series of pictures, called "The Wrong Turn", showed a young woman in different outfits, fending off a group of young men on a bus. The pictures have been removed from the site.

The mother of the women killed in 2012 told Reuters Television the photographer was mocking her daughter and trying to hurt her parents.

“It has once again brought us face-to-face with the incident and he has done it for his own publicity and to make money,” the mother said. “He has tried to hurt the sentiments of parents and has mocked a girl's struggle. He has no right to play with anyone's sentiments.”

The woman's father said he would appeal to the courts to take action against Shetye.

“They should be ashamed of it. What is he trying to show to the juveniles and youths of the nation? He should be punished. I will appeal the Supreme Court to punish him and the photo shoot should be banned,” he said.

Under Indian law, the name of the victim or her relatives cannot to be published.

Art or cheap publicity?

Shetye was quoted on Buzzfeed news site as saying he was merely trying to depict the plight of Indian women and denied attempting to depict the exact scene of the Delhi gang rape.

“But being a part of society and being a photographer, that topic moves me from inside,” he was quoted as saying. “I stay in a society where my mother, my girlfriend, my sister are out there and something like this can happen to them also.

“Being a photographer, the only medium I can communicate in is photos. For me, its as simple as that. It's art.”

Shetye was later unavailable for comment.

Lawyer and women's rights activist Abha Singh accused Shetye of seeking cheap publicity by glamorizing rape.

“The gang rape brought many people on the streets. It was such a horrific incident that cannot be justified. But if Mumbai's celebrity photographer makes a photo shoot and models enact that gruesome incident to make money, this is cheap publicity for a commercial venture,” said Singh.

The Delhi gang rape forced the government to amend laws and put in place stricter punishments. It also brought greater public awareness about crime against women.

The number of rapes in India rose 35.2 percent to 33,707 in 2013 compared with the previous year - with Delhi reporting 1,441 rapes in 2013, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

Police said the outcry over the 2012 case made women more willing to report rape. 

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid