ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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EPW Responds

EPW Responds

EPW has always emphasised the need for study and reflection before expressing an opinion. The editorial of December 29 sought to emphasise that sexual violence against women is a common phenomenon in Indian society, which women’s groups first brought to the notice of people’s movements in the mid-1970s. (These campaigns led to the emergence of the women’s movement by the end of that decade.) The editorial highlighted in particular the commonplace – the sexual violence by security forces, employers, rural landlords, and the family. The burden of the argument was that we need to understand the Delhi gang rape in terms of its extreme brutality so that the struggle against the commonplace is not lost sight of. No comment was implied nor should anything be inferred in the reference to the accused’s claims of anger at the woman’s defence of her male friend. However, in retrospect, the use of the terms “primitive” and “bestial” in the editorial of 5 January could have been avoided. The journal seeks a continuing discussion in its pages on how to understand and combat sexual violence. – Ed.

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