Screaming woman in van ignored in India social experiment (w/ video)

Published: June 13, 2014

In this photograph taken on September 13, 2013 Indian students of Saint Joseph Degree college participate in an anti-rape protest in Hyderabad. NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images

VANCOUVER DESI

A YouTube video of a social experiment in India that placed a screaming woman in a locked van mainly garnered an apathetic reaction from the country’s residents, despite recent outrage and protest against the subcontinent’s series of horrific rapes and murders.

In the video, posted to YouTube on June 6, a white van with blacked out windows is is stalled on a dirt road in New Delhi at night. Although the sounds of a woman screaming can be heard coming from the van, most people passing by only stop for a moment and look in the van’s direction before continuing on their way. The video has been viewed more than 1.2 million times.

According to Agence France Presse (AFP), experts and activists claim the video points to “a general apathy in India about violence against women despite outrage in some quarters over the gang-rape and lynching of two girls in the country’s north.”

“There’s still an apathy about what’s happening to women, an insensitivity on the issue, although attitudes are changing,” women’s activist Ranjana Kumari told AFP.

In the nearly three minute video, only a couple of people try to intervene in the ‘staged rape,’ including one man who tries to smash a window with a rock and another man who tries attacking the vehicle with his cane.

The video was posted by a YouTube channel called YesNoMaybe, which claims to post videos of social experiments to “capture the public reactions to situations.”

The video was posted in the wake of last month’s horrific attacks on two girls, aged 12 and 14, in northern India. The attacks reignited Delhi protests over violence against women and the media has since highlighted a number of alleged rapes and hangings of women in Uttar Pradesh.

According to AFP, Kumari also said many passers by didn’t intervene because they feared the possible police investigation, or even facing charges themselves.

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