Sobhi Mohanty

Sobhi Mohanty grew up in India and came to the United States for her undergraduate studies at Yale University. She did her masters in political science under Dr. Elinor Ostrom, analyzing institutions of governance in India and other developing countries through an interdisciplinary lens that primarily included new institutional economics. At present she is returning to India to gain further insights into Indian policy reforms and to work on economic-development projects targeting the urban poor. To read more of her writing, visit her blog.

Recent Articles

To Stop Rape, Fix the Police Force First

AP Photo/Manish Swarup

In the past few weeks, the brutal murder of a young woman in New Delhi has consumed international media and fomented a social rebellion in India. The victim, a 23-year-old medical student, was gang raped in a public bus, then mutilated with iron rods and thrown out onto the street; she died on December 29.

As a woman born and raised in India, I can attest to the ubiquity of sexual violence. I myself avoided being gang-raped by a group of drunk men through sheer providence. I was 20, a junior in college here in the United States, and doing a field project on rural cooperatives in India. My guide—a local girl my age—and I had decided to stay overnight at a one-room guesthouse in a village hosting a traditional, all-night festival. Sometime in the middle of the night, we awakened to what sounded like a mob trying to break down our door. Through the window, we saw half a dozen drunk men talking excitedly about how they had seen two girls come up to this guesthouse. They surrounded the shack, broke the windows, and tried to kick down the front door. We were saved only because the men were too drunk to sustain their efforts all night, too drunk to notice the broken back door; we found some of the men slumped by the entrance the next morning.