As 2012 came to a close, news of the gang rape of a young woman in India’s capital generated headlines around the world. Her assault on a moving bus with a metal rod, and her death two weeks later from her injuries, focused attention on the dark side of the world’s largest democracy: the struggle that faces many Indian women in a country where chauvinistic and misogynistic attitudes prevail.
The Wall Street Journal’s India bureau explored this horrendous crime and others that explore the experience of Indian women in the 21st century. The reporting in all the stories stands out for its gripping detail and its emotional pull. In many cases, central figures involved in these everyday dramas were speaking for the first time.
The book begins with the story of a Catholic nun murdered in rural India as she tried to preserve ancient tribal ways in the face of mining expansion, while also coming to the aid of a woman who had allegedly been raped.
Next is a riveting account of a young woman from rural Bihar who was duped into moving to Delhi, where she was forced to marry or go into prostitution -- and the disaster for her and her family that ensued. The woman broke her long-held silence to speak to the WSJ about what happened.
The book ends with the WSJ’s world-beating coverage of the New Delhi rape case, including intimate portraits of the victim and her friend who tried to save her but couldn’t. He granted the WSJ intimate and exclusive access to tell his side of the story.
In this e-book, we are bringing together these stories -- in many cases updated with fresh details of the individuals’ lives -- to show the hopes and the catastrophes, the bravery and the abuse that are the daily lot of millions of India’s women.
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