December 16 was the night where a massive “wake-up call” has run nationwide across India. That night, one of the most brutal acts of rape took place. The victim was a 23-year-old medical student who went through a horrifying ordeal of rape and other acts of violence at the hands of six males with one of them armed with a metal rod. She was taken to Singapore to be treated at Mouth Elizabeth Hospital; but, the victim succumbed to her injuries. While she struggled to stay alive, the victim succumbed to her injuries and passed away. Her actual name wasn't given out; but, she went by the following names: “Nirbhaya,” “Ananat,” and “Braveheart.” These were the names that the people of India had given her. Another name she was given was “India's Daughter.”
Since that night until now, the victim's real name wasn't given out. Authorities have not yet disclosed the name of the victim; it's unknown if or when they will. Currently, Nirbhaya's father is pressuring the authorities to release the daughter's real name
. His reasoning is that by giving the name that she will be an inspiration for rape survivors.
Her father said that his daughter did nothing wrong and died while trying to protect herself from danger. He said that he was proud of her. Then, he said that giving out her name as a means to give courage to current survivors and future survivors. Even though there have been public outrage and calls upon stricter laws against rape & harsher punishments against rapists, the number of reported rape cases continues to grow. In short, there are plenty of rapes still happening.
The main reason Nirbhaya's real name is still secret is due to Indian law. Under Indian law, the ID of victims in such cases are not disclosed is to protect their privacy and keep them out of the eyes of the media.
Nirbhaya's boyfriend, who was also brutally assaulted in the attack, spoke out on the subject.
He's not the only one who's calling for his daughter's name to be disclosed. Also calling for her name to be disclosed is Shashi Tharoor, India's junior education minister. Tharoor wants Nirbhaya's name to be disclosed to name a new anti-rape law after her
. By giving out Nirbhaya's real name, Tharoor feels, she should be honored. If her name is given out, it shows that Nirbhaya was a real human being with a name and not just some sort of symbol.
While there are plenty of men speaking out against rape, there is an op-ed letter
on The Hindu said that it is a wake-up call to them. In this letter, it says that there is much more the men of India can do. This doesn't just focus on making a stance against violence let alone rape against women. It calls forth India's men to champion equality such as helping out with domestic work, allowing female family members to go out late at night, and so forth.
These are examples of the gears being set in motion for possible changes to India's law and society.