the attack, fascination focused on her assailants. These were not serial sex criminals,psychopaths or brutalised men from the margins of society. Their backgrounds were,perhaps more worryingly, like those of tens of millions of Indian men.Nor was Ravi Das Colony "the underbelly" of the Indian capital, as one localnewspaper described it. A few hundred homes crammed on to a patch of land flankedby a road, a temple and a recently restored medieval tomb, it lies like an outpost ofanother, poorer India amid the relatively well-off suburbs to the south of the city.Like hundreds of other settlements across the metropolis, all founded by squattingmigrants, who have been drawn to Delhi for decades, its single-room homes areovercrowded and noisy, but its doorsteps are swept clean each night and, thoughpolice venture rarely into its narrow lanes, order is maintained by the knowledge thatalmost every act, even the most intimate, will be instantly known to the entirecommunity.For Ram and Mukesh Singh, 34 and 26 years old, Ravi Das Colony had been homefor most of their lives. Ram earned a living as the driver of a bus that, albeit without thenecessary permits, carried schoolchildren.Ram Singh, who led theattack, according to his fellow accused. He died in police custody. The police said hekilled himself; his family disputes thisRam's brother, fired from a dozen jobs, intermittently drove a taxi.The two had grown up on a small homestead in Karauli, a remote eastern part of thestate of Rajasthan, five hours by train from the capital. They attended a local school with few facilities and an often absent teacher, playing in the fields and dried riverbeds.They came to Delhi in 1997. India was then beginning to boom after the reforms of theearly 1990s injected a new capitalist energy into the sclerotic, quasi-socialist-quasi-feudal economy, and their landless labourer parents decided to try their luck in thecapital.