Thoughts on the Continuing Assault on Women’s Rights and Progressivist Gaslighting in Kerala

After the atrocious indifference and trivialisation of domestic violence displayed by the sneering alpha-male brigade of the CPM during the discussion of the Hadiya Case, nothing surprises me. However, it appears important to point out how such callousness is indeed becoming normalised here alarmingly. It seems that the gains of women’s movement which made violence against women at home something beyond an intimate private affair, a ‘family quarrel’, are being steadily depleted. Of course, we did see how so many smooth-talking liberal CPM-oriented or purportedly-rationalist young male intellectuals went ballistic at the mere suggestion that they are blind to the domestic violence in Hadiya’s imprisonment. Also intriguing was their persistent defense of the father’s right to keep an adult, mentally fit, educated daughter immobile and imprisoned because he feared for her safety. Continue reading “Thoughts on the Continuing Assault on Women’s Rights and Progressivist Gaslighting in Kerala”

The True Bargain : How Dr. Ram Rahim Singh Insaan Defined His Time

[ Random notes made in the wake of the conviction of Dr. Baba Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insaan of Dera Saccha Sauda for the offense of rape in Panchkula, Haryana, with some attention paid to the testimonials of his close friends. ] Continue reading “The True Bargain : How Dr. Ram Rahim Singh Insaan Defined His Time”

The Mahmood Farooqui Rape Conviction – A Landmark Verdict: J Devika & Nivedita Menon

This post is jointly written by J DEVIKA and NIVEDITA MENON

Bitter arguments rage within the community that we may term as broadly secular, leftist, even feminist, around the Farooqui judgement – in many ways, this judgement and the case itself, may be to Left politics in India with regard to sexual violence, what “Nandigram” was with regard to the question of land, agriculture and environmental costs of industrialization. That is, the dismantling of an older framework of ethics and politics and the painful emergence of what one hopes will be a new consensus on what constitutes rape, but more importantly, on what the harm of rape and sexual violence is.

The authors of this post have read the judgement and followed the case closely, and that is the basis of our analysis here.

We believe that the judgement and verdict in the Mahmood Farooqui rape case indicates an unmistakeable and important shift in the way in which rape is viewed in a courtroom.

“She was bitter against the accused for committing a sin and taking what was most precious to her i.e her control over her sexuality.”

Judgement in the Mahmood Farooqui rape case

This is a radical break from the dominant discourse on rape. It does not focus on loss of honour or physical hurt as the most deeply felt loss by a rape survivor. It recognises, instead, that “sin” of rape is that it robs a woman of what is most precious to her: control over her own sexuality. Continue reading “The Mahmood Farooqui Rape Conviction – A Landmark Verdict: J Devika & Nivedita Menon”

जिशा, मेरी दोस्त, दलितों की जान इतनी सस्ती क्यों है? चिंटू

अतिथि पोस्ट : चिंटू

Josh
जिशा

जिशा, मेरी दोस्त मेरी यार, क्या कहूँ यार तुम्हारे साथ जो दंविये बर्बरता हुई उसके लिए मुझे  शब्द नहीं मिल रहे हैं कुछ कहने को. ये देश ये समाज हर रोज़ ऐसे झटके  देता रहता है और इतना देता है, इतना देता है, की हमारे लिए वीभत्स से वीभत्स घटना क्रूरतम से क्रूरतम घटना साधरण बन गई है और इन घटनाओं को पचाने की क्षमता में भी हम माहीर हो गए है. देखो न दोस्त, असाधारण कहाँ कुछ रह गया है. बचपन से आज तक तो यही सब देख- देख कर पले बढे हैं हम सब की, जो कुछ हो अपना हक़ मत मांगना, पढने लिखने की बात मत करना , बाप या भाई लात घूंसे  मार- मार कर तुम्हे अधमरा कर दे लेकिन एक शब्द भी उनके खिलाफ बोलने की गुस्ताखी मत करना, गाँव के उच्च जाति वर्ग के सामंती तुम्हे अगर छेड़े तुम्हारा बलात्कार करे तो उसका बहिष्कार मत करना कियोंकि ये तो उनका जन्म सिद्ध अधिकार है.

तुम्हारे लिए जो लक्ष्मण रेखा खिंची गई है उससे बाहर जाने की कोशिश की तो तुम्हारी शामत आना पक्की है. और शादी? ये तो दूसरी जात में तो दूर की बात अपनी जाति  में भी करने का अधिकार या आजादी की बात मत करना ये तय करना घर के बड़े पुरुषों के कंधे पर छोड़ो. सती सावित्री बनो, एक सद्गुणी बेटी, बहु और पत्नी बनो इसी में तुम्हारी भलाई है.

 

Continue reading “जिशा, मेरी दोस्त, दलितों की जान इतनी सस्ती क्यों है? चिंटू”

The Difference between What They Tell Us and What We Know: Shehla Rashid

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.

Continue reading “The Difference between What They Tell Us and What We Know: Shehla Rashid”

Response to Shantanu Guha Ray’s Mumbai Mirror Article on Tarun Tejpal: Anonymous

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]

To

The Editor

Mumbai Mirror

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.

Warm regards,

XYZ

Sexualized workplaces, predatory men and the rage of women

Listen. Can you hear it? That low growl on the horizon, coming closer, growing louder? It’s the dam bursting its bounds. It’s the quiet shriek of convivial silence being ripped apart.

The silence around the normalizing of a range of behaviour from the apparently casual to the outrightly violent. The laughing sexual innuendo; the misogynist jokes; the well-known ‘displaced squeeze’ of the upper arm, the shoulders; the repeated, relentless expression of romantic or sexual interest despite clear NO’s; the grabbing of the breast, the unwanted kiss, the out-of-town work trip ending in physical assault, presented as flattering interest; and through it all, the clear invocation of the power relationship.

You look great, Sir, retirement suits you, says a younger female colleague to a Professor visiting his former institution. Really, he smirks. Two other people told me this, and they are both women. What do you think it means? She smiles uncomfortably and hurries out of the office of the male head of the institution in whose presence this comment is made.

Continue reading “Sexualized workplaces, predatory men and the rage of women”