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Gay Rights

India's privileged youth caught between old and new [Commentary]

India's privileged youth caught between old and new [Commentary]

One by one, my students sat down to discuss their topics for a feature story assignment. A quiet and thoughtful young woman in her mid 20s — call her Veena — proposed an article about the lasting damage inflicted by child sexual abuse, a rampant problem in India that tends to get swept under the rug. It didn't take long for Veena to reveal that she, herself, had been a victim of rape by a relative, as had, I later learned, several of her classmates.

But Veena's story could go no further than the classroom. Coming forward to loved ones and the authorities would tear her family apart and sully her own good name, she said. Instead, Veena was destined to live in secret shame and cope on...