Your rapists and ours

Two interesting articles:

Emer O’Toole in the Guardian CiF:

There’s something uncomfortably neocolonial about the way the Delhi gang-rape and subsequent death of the woman now known as Damini is being handled in the UK and US media. While India’s civil and political spheres are alight with protest and demands for changes to the country’s culture of sexual violence, commentators here are using the event to simultaneously demonise Indian society, lionise our own, and minimise the enormity of western rape culture. [Full article]

And Ananth Krishnan in The Hindu:

The rape case was one of the most discussed topics in Chinese microblogs over the past week, prompting thousands of posts and comments. By Sunday, however, the authorities appeared to move to limit the debate: on Monday, a search for the topic triggered a message on Sina Weibo – a popular Twitter-equivalent used by more than 300 million people – saying the results could not be displayed according to regulations. The message is usually seen as an indicator of a topic being censored by the authorities. [Full article]


6 thoughts on “Your rapists and ours”

  1. I agree that the coverage of the incident could have been more informed by journalists in other countries . Information regarding the lack of education of the rapists and their poor backgrounds should have been included. The whole Indian society cannot be demonized and held accountable for lack of judgment of a few men. However, Ms Toole may have gone a bit further by claiming that the articles resembled ‘a misplaced sense of cultural superiority’. Libby Purves piece for the Times merely depicts the ignorance of one person not the whole Western society. While the second BBC article mentioned by Ms Toole only mentions rape statistics which are true while highlighting the fact that New Year celebrations in the country are put on a hold (which is also the title of the article).


  2. Thanks for these links. There is no comparison between the West, India, and China.
    What I often tell people is that atleast in India the good, the bad, and the ugly is visible. Not hidden away in pockets. Every culture has some crime. Unfortunately, the law and its enforcement is weak, but then atleast people can take action and talk back to the individual or State.
    Its part of image building where govt. censors media to make its public feel safe and proud of the Good. Moderate Bad, and no Ugly news unless its about the classified third world.
    Lets hope India can set an example to the world, through effective action in real life, not just inspirational Bollywood storylines.


  3. Exceptionalist belief tends to dress down problems such as rape, enabling complacent dispositions towards it


  4. Our English speaking elite, including even many of those who write on kafila, are so focused on what is written about India in the West that they cannot think independently. Most Western countries have much higher figures for reported rapes. Under reporting is a problem in most countries. So even if you multiply the figure for India by 3, you will end up with a figure which is far lower than for the US, UK, Finland and Sweden. This is a timely reminder that we have to look for solutions to our own problems. We want our cities to be safe for women, and we should not lose sight of the main issue.


  5. Good work KAFILA! The Western woman living in a sexually less tabooed society than the Indian, is also subjected to sexual violence of sorts and is not able to expose her real feelings, nobody would care for it in the public. As against that our young men and women have made me feel proud for their solidarity with this young girl and that too in such a peaceful manner. The Western as well as the Arab youth can learn a lesson from this. Also the Chinese govt does not seem to understand that life is not a uniform and orderly thing it is instead mostly chaotic and the Indian society too . it is more natural that way. The Chinese public are correct in protesting against their govt in so far.


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