Poo’ poo’ Dilip is an effect of the discourse on the Malayalam cine actor Dilip , who is facing trial for his alleged involvement in the conspiracy behind the despicable attack on a young woman actor in Kochi in February 2017. Now, as his next bail plea (thrice refused) draws near, there seems to be a concerted effort to produce public sympathy for the jailed actor – which has produced its own discourse, much to the distaste of those who feel that the wronged actor, and not the one accused of wrong-doing, needs to be supported. Poo'(r) Poo'(r) Dilip is a direct (and feminist) translation of the funny distortion of the piece of sentimental shit going around social media on his behalf – Dilip paavamaa, eda (Dilip is a nice guy, bro). Continue reading Poo’, poo’ Dilip and his Valiant Knights
Guest Post by Shehla Rashid. Based on a Status Update on her Facebook Page.
They tell us that the military is meant for fighting the “terrorists”; But most of the time, it is the civilians who are killed.
They tell us that “special powers” for the army are necessary for national unity; But the army only teaches us how to hate India.
They say the University is anti-national because it wants to break India; But it’s the University that teaches us to love Indians.
Then, who is anti-national? Those who teach us how to hate India, or those who teach us how to love Indians?
Yes, we see the difference between India and Indians; India is at war with Indians throughout India.
I wish the Indian state could also see the difference between Kashmir, which it claims as its own, and Kashmiris who belong to no one; They claim to love Kashmir but hate and kill Kashmiris.
Guest post by ANONYMOUS
[The letter below was sent to the Mumbai Mirror by the woman journalist who has accused Tarun Tejpal of rape. The paper is yet to issue a clarification on Mr Guha Ray’s connection to the rape accused Mr Tejpal, or to carry this letter on its website, or paper. As per Indian Law the identity of a victim of sexual assault is protected. We are thus carrying the letter below without disclosing her identity]
This is to draw your attention to the article printed in your newspaper titled “Rape Charges Against Tarun Tejpal: Over Two Years On, Trial Yet to Begin” dated March 21, 2016 by Shantanu Guha Ray.
Having long admired the Mumbai Mirror, I was disappointed to note the factual inconsistencies and biases evident in the article. To begin with, Mr Guha Ray, allegedly a senior journalist (and therefore, one hopes, familiar with at least a few journalistic tenets) fails to mention in his piece that he worked under the rape accused, Tarun Tejpal, for several years at Tehelka magazine, and was also the head of Tehelka’s sister venture, Financial World – indicating that he had significant financial interest the magazine.
Further, Mr Guha Ray mentions that the complainant in the case is “working on a book on the complicated matter of sexual harassment at the workplace” to be published by Harper Collins. As the complainant, I would like to clarify that I am not working on a book about office harassment, have never been contacted by Harper Collins, and that the only thing complicated about sexual harassment at the workplace is the management bending over backwards to protect abusive employers responsible for their pay cheques.
If any further evidence of Mr Guha’s bias and professional ineptitude was necessary, let me also point out that while he liberally quotes the rape accused as saying the case is “a matter of life and death for him”, he fails to even get the state prosecutor’s name right, and has never contacted me for an account of how the delay in an allegedly “fast track” and high profile rape case has affected my health or professional prospects.
A basic fact check, or a few phone calls to lawyers and editors in New Delhi would have alerted the journalist in question, as well as you to the fact that Mr Tejpal and his family have repeatedly screened sub-judice CCTV footage for anyone that asks to view it. In fact, no one except the police and Mr Tejpal’s defence even have access to this footage, so perhaps Mr Guha Ray can next train his newshound instincts to finding out how story after story defending Mr Tejpal based on this footage appeared in publications like Outlook, The Citizen and the Facebook page of Mr Anurag Kashyap.
Finally, Mr Guha would do well to remember that not only does this delay in proceedings give “some reprieve” to Mr Tejpal, but combined with his slanderous media campaign, it also affects every single witness in the case, and constantly delays the moment I can present my truth and evidence in court — a moment I have patiently waited for for over two years.
The Mise en Scene
The Nationalist is angry. He wants to kill, maim and rape for his Mother’s honour. From the lawyer criminal who has a Rs 45 lakh fraud case against him to the extortionist television anchor – all are bellowing with rage. Another anchor, Mr Nation himself, whose publicly declared annual salary is Rs 5 crores, is suddenly choking with emotion at the death of the hapless army jawan, Hanumanthappa (who earned less than 120th of Mr Nation’s monthly salary and for whom the Nation never shed a tear till this collective arousal). Blood lust has taken over the land. In this scenario, the hysterical television anchor takes on the role of a lynch mob instigator and the cheer leader combined into one. He exhorts while the lynch-mob runs amok threatening, attacking and demanding that all anti-nationals – students, teachers and intellectuals in general – be shot, killed or sent to Pakistan. We have seen, as a consequence, all manner of angry nationalists offering prize money – Rs 5 lakhs for cutting Kanhaiya Kumar’s tongue and Rs 11 lakhs for killing him. More recently, he has been issued another death threat along with an ultimatum to leave Delhi by the end of March. Fellow Kafila-ite and feminist scholar Nivedita Menon has, for the last few weeks, been openly threatened with nationalist rape and more.
The Nation’s collective fantasy is orgiastic. And the current object of this collective fantasy is Jawaharlal Nehru University. Witness the BJP MLA who spends his free time (which is perhaps most of his time), not only showering money on dancing girls, but even more, fantasizing about the orgy that he believes is JNU. According to The Indian Express:
In perhaps the most bizarre comments on the JNU controversy so far, BJP MLA from Ramgarh in Rajasthan’s Alwar district, Gyandev Ahuja, on Monday said that daily 50,000 pieces of bones, 3,000 used condoms, 500 used abortion injections, 10,000 cigarette “pieces”, among other things, are found at JNU, where girls and boys dance naked at cultural programmes.
This is a guest post by ARYA RAJE
The Indian Judiciary is often perceived as a progressive institution, perhaps one of the few in which Indians still retain some measure of faith. A recent case in the Supreme Court was lauded for asserting that there cannot be any compromise in a rape case, after the Madras High Court had suggested mediation between the victim and the accused. The decision may be sound, but what passed under the radar was that the judgement was couched in deeply problematic language:
“These are crimes against the body of a woman which is her own temple. These are offences which suffocate the breath of life and sully the reputation. And reputation, needless to emphasise, is the richest jewel one can conceive of in life. No one would allow it to be extinguished. When a human frame is defiled, the “purest treasure”, is lost. Dignity of a woman is a part of her non-perishable and immortal self and no one should ever think of painting it in clay.”
This is not particularly unusual. Continue reading Honour in the Court Room: Arya Raje
Guest post by KASTURI
Time flew fast. Over the last two days and sleepless nights. A girl I knew, a cheerful bubbly college first-year, eyes wide open with dreams, has been subjected to sexual violence. We had walked together in many marches against injustice, oppression, gender violence. I remember the day I first met her, several months back. It was opposite the Indian Coffee House on College Street. She had become an activist of the radical left students’ organization AISA by then. After that I met and chatted with her on many occasions. On the very day she was raped, she had participated in a students’ demonstration against the corporate-communal onslaught personified by Narendra Modi. She was slated to participate in another program the very next day. When night struck.
The night that rolled on to dawn
Continue reading Anatomy of a Rape and Its Immediate Aftermath – A Report from Kolkata: Kasturi
आखिर खुर्शीद अनवर ने ज़िंदगी से बाहर छलांग लगा ली.यह असमय निधन नहीं था. यह कोई बहादुरी नहीं थी. और न बुजदिली. क्या यह एक फैसला था या फैसले का अभाव? अखबार इसे बलात्कार के आरोपी एक एन.जी.ओ. प्रमुख की आत्महत्या कह रहे हैं. क्या उन्होंने आत्महत्या इसलिए कर ली कि उनपर लगे आरोप सही थे और उनके पास कोई बचाव नहीं था? या इसलिए कि ये आरोप बिलकुल गलत थे और वे इनके निरंतर सार्वजनिक प्रचार से बेहद अपमानित महसूस कर रहे थे? Continue reading खुर्शीद अनवर की आत्महत्या और कुछ सवाल
All photographs by the author, or sent by the author (in the original post)
Around 5pm on 17 October 2013, within the Jaffna municipality, one of our friends (a male youth resident of Jaffna) came to our home (a few friends were gathered there) looking very disturbed.…
This is a guest post by AMEYA NAIK
[On the 26th of August 2013, Newslaundry carried a piece by Rajyasree Sen titled “White Woman’s Burden“. This post is offered as a rebuttal of the views expressed in the essay.]
Michaela Cross, aka RoseChasm’s CNN blog piece about her experience of India is, as you say, currently unavoidable on the internet. It does seem to be provoking a dialogue on women and safety in India – at least in social media circles. If the result is that Indian girls and women acknowledge and share their own negative experiences, perhaps thereby to make some Indian men re-examine their perceptions and behaviour, it would still be a step forward.
Unfortunately, some responses represent two steps backwards instead. Your writing (“White Woman’s Burden”, 26 Aug, 2013) is one such; it made me profoundly uncomfortable. The gist of your argument appears to be this: Michaela was not suitably prepared, and she *SHOULD* have known better. Indeed, given her account of her actions and experiences, and the trauma she has experienced therein, it is surprising (to you) how unprepared she was.
Did I just read a young, educated Indian woman entrepreneur – from the hospitality industry, no less – say that an exchange student left traumatised after experiencing molestation (and worse) because she was unprepared? I describe myself as a cynic, but surely this is a new low!
What, pray tell, would suggest she was sufficiently prepared? That she came here, had the experiences she did, and considered them “par for the course” in India? Or that she came here aware of (what you call) the skewed psycho-sexual dynamic between Indian men and women in all its rich and diverse forms, behaved in the most conservative and appropriate fashion – only dancing in “safe places”, avoiding public transport entirely, staying only with trusted hosts or in one of Goa’s five star hotels – and left having experienced only milder forms of violation, like the persistent gaze (which she would know to expect)?
This assertion of yours does have one unexpected benefit – it lets us ignore the fair skin debate. If complexion plays no role, she should still be at least as careful as any Indian woman. If complexion does play a role, she should be even more careful! As silver linings go, though, this is pewter on a thundercloud.
How, pray tell, would the students or the University prepare for their visit to the land of the skewed psycho-sexual dynamic? With little docu-dramas of all the kinds of harassment you can expect, and how to be safe at all times? Would you not seed the most pernicious mistrust in your potential visitors? In fact, why would any of them come at all? Surely the University would simply cancel the trip!
And, while you seem to suggest that this is precisely what the “easily traumatised” should do, we would be the first to protest. Already we cry ourselves hoarse over travel advisories saying India is unsafe for women. That, apparently, is an insult to our national pride. And that seems to be the source of this article: “how dare this unprepared white girl write about India this way?” Only Indian writers can suggest that India has a skewed psycho-sexual dynamic, right? (An interesting dynamic which, of course, makes some – but not all – lechers or potential rapists. And on current evidence, I shudder to ask you who these corrupted ones are, and why only they succumb to this taint.) Because Indian women are prepared for such behaviour, and they know – even when they face it abroad – that it is only an aberration.
Too many responses, too many comments, seem to be in this vein. Why this parochial-with-my-fingers-crossed-so-as-not-to-offend-gendered-perspectives reply at all? My thesis is that it is because Michaela’s account makes us ask a few uncomfortable questions. Such as, how many aberrations to make a norm? How much preparation is enough?
Answering those questions is not a White Woman’s Burden – the onus to answer to them lies on us. Discrediting the person who asked them as “easily traumatised” – and really, as someone who says she has lived through incidents enough of her own, how dare you! – is a thoroughly inadequate reply.
[Ameya Naik is currently in a graduate programme in Boston. A psychologist and lawyer by qualification, he worked in New Delhi across 2012-13.]
A five year old girl is now in a critical condition in a Delhi hospital after being brutalized and raped by a neighbour. The Delhi police, which has dealt with the situation with its characteristic incompetence, first refused to file an FIR when her parents went to the police station, and then, tried to bribe the girls parents with two thousand rupees so as to ‘hush them up’. Subsequently,a young woman who tried to protest against the behaviour of the police at the Dayanand Hospital were the girl was initially taken for treatment was slapped by a policeman, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, in full public view. His actions have been recorded on video. It is believed that the policemen who tried to bribe the victim’s parents and the policeman who slapped the young woman have been suspended.
But can the suspension of a few individuals address what is obviously a deep rooted culture of misogyny and class prejudice (what else is it but class prejudice – would a policeman in a thana, say in an affluent South Delhi colony be able to offer two thousand rupees as ‘hush money’ to parents of an assaulted child with the same ease with which they could in Gandhi Nagar in East Delhi) within the Delhi Police? Is more severe and strict action that goes right to the top and to the source, not necessary in order to send a signal that this kind of behaviour within the police force cannot be tolerated? Must Delhi’s police commissioner not be compelled to resign, for his abysmal failure in terms of dealing with sexism and for failing to address the contempt for citizens who are not affluent that is now clearly endemic to the Delhi Police’s work culture?
ARVIND NARRAIN has an op-ed in today’s Hindu about the Justice Verma Committee. This is a longer version of the article
The public discourse post the brutal rape of Nirbhaya has witnessed a persistent degrading of the public discourse. Having been subjected to crudely offensive remarks by members of the political establishment, right from belittling a serious movement for equality as led by ‘painted and dented ladies’ to ostensibly sympathetic responses which belittle women who have suffered a serious violation of their bodily integrity as nothing more than ‘zinda laash’, we finally have a document authored by a Committee set up by the state which honours Nirbhaya.
The Verma Committee Report most fundamentally alters the public discourse on crimes against women by placing these crimes within the framework of the Indian Constitution and treating these offences as nothing less than an egregious violation of the right to live with dignity of all women. What is particularly moving and inspiring about the Report is that it does so by placing the autonomy and indeed the sexual autonomy of women at the very centre of its discourse.
Guest post by RAHUL ROY
I have been sitting quietly trying to finish my new film and had promised myself that I would not get side tracked and concentrate on the task at hand. But enough is enough. I am shocked and disappointed at the way men high jacked a protest that could have been and probably still is the most significant pouring out of women who may never have thought in their wildest dreams that they would be facing water cannons and cops giving them a chase with iron tipped sticks. I am sure it is a coming of age moment for many young women of the city of Delhi.
I am aware that there has been a fair bit of cynicism about middle class women running up and down Raisina Hill and whether it adds up to anything. It damn well does. The next time they see adivasis being chased down by the police in Chattisgarh or in Orissa a penny will drop. It already is, today there is an article by a 19 year old student form Lady Sri Ram College narrating her brush with Delhi Police at the Parlaiment Street Police station and quite significantly she adds that if they are capable of behaving the way they did with a group of ‘well connected’ college students in Delhi then what must be happening in the more remote areas of non metropolitan India. Continue reading What Do Men Have To Do With It?: Rahul Roy
This press release was issued on 23 December by BONDITA and ANJUMAN of WING and WSS, Guwahati
Aggravated sexual violence in Guwahati in July 2012 and gang rape in Delhi this month have led to public outrage and anger, compelling the media and the government to take serious note of the rampant sexual violence against women. Even as the current attention on sexual violence on women raises several questions over laws, their enforcement and policing, there continues to be absolute silence and complete denial about sexual violence by the Army and the Central Armed Police Forces. It is high time to review and repeal laws and practices that promise complete impunity to the armed forces for sexual assault in counter insurgency conflict areas. Continue reading Stop Shielding Criminals in the Army and Security Forces in Assam: Bondita and Anjuman
Guest post by ANONYMOUS
Rape is allowed because most people don’t know what it is.
To say that victims understand it is assuming too much. The immediate affect will be a deep, invisible wound. After years of counselling it will still hurt and terrorise. All the strength in the world, at the individual and existential levels, will fall short. Very often the crime will remain unreported. Rather than empowering women, the legal system will manage so few convictions that it will itself be the greatest perpetrator.
The perpetrators, as in the actual rapists, know as much or as little as the victims. They will go unarrested, unnoticed, unashamed, and this will fuel their psychopathy. They may or may not realise that rape is not about sex but power.
Guest post by KETAKI CHOWKHANI
Over the last few days there seems to be sudden explosion in talking about sexual violence and other forms of violence on women. A huge discourse is being created around what rape cultures are and how we are part of these cultures which produce and construct these very acts of violence. Sexual violence has been linked to sexist, misogynist attitudes, remarks and behaviour, and ranging from scriptural affirmations to popular songs. The rape cultures are discussed as existing within the spaces of homes, streets, offices, courts, police stations, public transport, universities and so on. Continue reading Sexual Violence and Sexuality Education – The Missing Link: Ketaki Chowkhani
Guest post by NOOPUR TIWARI
I woke up in Paris last weekend to the news of the Delhi protests. I felt relieved. People are not just watching or suffering quietly anymore, I thought to myself. I wanted to be there too, out in the streets of Delhi. For all those times I had to suffer sexual harassment in Delhi, I want to be part of this churning for change now.
My Parisian friends asked me what was going on. And I told them about the new “national outrage” and the stories that had been stoking the anger. That’s when I realised I needed to make a list. What was informing my idea of what’s going on? These stories making it to the headlines, do they have something in common?
Guest post by NILANJANA ROY
“We want justice! We want justice!”
I went to the protests at Raisina Hill expecting very little. Despite the anger over the recent, brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old by a group of six men, who also beat up her male friend, protests over women’s violence in the Capital have been relatively small.
But the crowds walking up the Hill, towards the government offices of North and South Block, from India Gate are unusual. It’s a young crowd—students, young men and women in their twenties, a smattering of slightly older women there to show their solidarity, and it’s a large crowd, about a thousand strong at the Hill itself. There are two small knots representing student’s politicial organisations, but otherwise, many of the people here today are drawn together only by their anger. Continue reading A Day at Raisina Hill: Nilanjana Roy
Guest post by AYESHA KHAN, Baroda-based journalist
To mine the detritus of the Gujarat pogrom for positive stories may seem like sacrilege. But when memories are dredged up to mark a decade of the horrors of 2002, a little blasphemy could help balance the account books.
Mostly what we recount of Gujarat 2002 is deaths. Yet, more than the murder and mayhem, the pogrom stood out for an unprecedented scale of sexual violence that Muslim women were subjected to. George Fernandese in his capacity as the Union defence minister had explained to the Parliament after a quick tour of Gujarat that women raped or molested during riots was not surprising or exceptional. I will not go here into the polemics of why violating women’s sexuality is considered a means of dishonouring a community,
There’s an untold story about how the community handled sexual violence. If the dominant community legitimised rape driven by its insecurities and politics that stemmed from history and identity issues, it was perhaps for the first time that the persecuted community reacted to rape in a progressive way.
Rape is double-edged sword, first leading to physical violation and second to social ostracisation in most societies. Which is common to mask the identity of rape victims for fear of social stigma. Strangely, during the 2002 riots, Muslim women, some of them burqa clad and most of them from tightly-knit rural communities never betrayed the kind of shame or guilt that rape victims are expected to show. What was their fault? Why should the victim feel shame and guilt? And so it was that many of them did not cloak their identities, and instead chose to come out publicly to demand justice. Continue reading Three Stories of Resilience from Gujarat: Ayesha Khan
Dear Kafila Readers,
Here is a modest proposal to castrate police men and male police officers and security forces personnel in India who come into contact with women in the line of duty. I thought it would be an appropriately thoughtful, and at the same time useful and practical way to end a turbulent year. The context from which this modest proposal emerges is elaborated upon below. In a remarkably forthright statement, the chief of police in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Dinesh Reddy in southern India has recently said that ‘fashionably dressed women’, including ‘women who wear salwar kameez in villages’ provoke and invite rape, as men are not able to control their ‘sexual jealousy’ and the ‘police are not able to control men’. The Indian Express and Asian News International (see below) have carried reports of this statement.
Incidentally, the last few years have shown a high incidence of custodial rape all over India, where police men and security forces personnel have raped women detained by them. According to some reports, these incidents are on the rise. In other words, police men are increasingly unable to control the men that they themselves are. Continue reading A Modest Proposal for the Castration of Male Police Officers