ENOUGH - Stop Rape

image

Image from The Hindu

A 23-year old medical student in Delhi was recently raped repeatedly and beaten within an inch of her life on a moving bus. Crimes like these are terrifyingly common in India’s capital, and if I start posting here about every rape in Delhi (not even in India), I’d be posting several times every day.

It’s terrifying when something horrible happens repeatedly in your society, and you don’t know how to fix it. I’m not sure if capital punishment will stop future crimes. It will feel right, definitely, but I don’t know if its the immediate solution which we need.

Women hiding away is definitely not the answer. Guns are not the solution, god knows we’ve seen that. Surrounding women with guards or pepper spray isn’t it either. It’s exasperating that teaching respect to one half of the world for the other should be so difficult.

The good news is, Delhi seems to have woken up. The bad news is, I’m afraid without coming up with a concrete solution, these will be yet another set of protests which will fizzle out. 

My question is, WHAT is the solution we can push? Is there ANY way for the mentality of rape to be corrected? If we’re asking for better laws, HOW can the laws be made better? 

I know the biggest problem is the extent to which women are seen as property and objects of sexual gratification in India. I’m even up for stopping to talk to every eve teaser in town and explaining to him why he is being a horrible human being, asking him to attend sessions on the subject, anything, really. 

India needs your inputs towards providing a concrete solution or suggestion to the Indian government as well as the populance towards stopping rape. I want to take this through, we as Indians need to take this through, and I need your ideas to formulate something.

We have the momentum to mobilise the masses and make something happen, and we CANNOT AFFORD for these to be yet another set of protests which eventually fade off the streets.

Not again, not this time.

Put in your suggestions here.

That’s right

NIMISHA JAISWAL

'Living history': Gay rights pioneer Lilli Vincenz (R), and her life partner Nancy Ruth Davis (Image from AP).

Mr. Obama sure does know how to evoke a reaction.

The US President’s statement on a televised interview, where he explicitly stated his support for gay marriage, succeeded in causing both an outcry and a celebration. Gay rights activists hailed the statement as a milestone, many celebrating their chance to witness ‘history’. The usual suspects denounced Obama’s words, and political disapproval was quick to the fore. Australian PM Julia Gillard remained politely ‘opposed’, and a Peruvian congresswoman reached the conclusion that the US President is a ‘philosophically confused man’. 

Whatever the kind of reaction, a reaction certainly was due. The US has been seen as a torch-bearer in most streams and issues, and the first time a US President publicly takes a stance on gay marriage is quite a reason to stop and take notice.

The proximity of the statement to the presidential elections, the grinding and sweating over planning the timing to the dot, the rush caused due to Biden’s words, and the prompt ‘Mitt Romney: Backwards on Equality’ video emitting from the Obama campaign centre is another story. So the man had an agenda. What matters is if the agenda was supported by a sincere admission, or a political ploy.

While gay rights activists have praised Obama ardently, they have also wished for a more pro-active stand, to promote the cause further. The significance of Obama’s words, and the potential significance of his actions, would bear great influence on the mobilisation of laws granting greater rights to the LGBT community. His statement has already obligated many to react with a stand, and those who ‘remain opposed’ have been brought back into the limelight for their anti-rights position.

The main trouble, however, lies with the thought processes. Several African countries still punish homosexuality with jail sentences, or even death. China turns a blind eye, and India is struggling. The ‘mental disorder’ or ‘disease’ theory is, unluckily, still not old. As an Egyptian engineer puts it, "God created Adam and Eve. He didn’t create two Adams or two Eves." Religion, of course, the answer to it all and the safest curtain to hide behind, also stands firm in making things difficult, and impeding the path to change.

Read more

Is everybody’s business everyone’s business?

     

Image from flickr.com, by National Media Museum

Look at her. She has a tattoo! And so many piercings. On her ears. But still… She drinks and all, you know? Look at the way she’s dancing. I know it’s with another girl, but still. Doesn’t she care what other people are saying about her?

You mean, people like you?

My body. My rights. Yeah, right. My body belongs to everyone. Everyone but me.

Did you hear? She was SO drunk that night. Do her parents care? I’m sure they don’t. Must be from a broken family. Girls who come from broken homes always end up like this.

And so they talk. I’ve heard it. What I do will never be right. They think they are in a position to judge me. Of course they are. Without a doubt. Everyone is. Because I’m a woman. Female. A girl. So, it’s everyone’s business.

I was told every human being is free to do as they choose. They alone are responsible for their actions, and the consequences of their actions. And every other human being is free to get up on a high horse and pass ignorant judgment.

My body and the way I decide to use it is supposed to be my business. I try really hard to inhibit myself according to my cultural norms and morals, and I think I do pretty well. Not everyone thinks so, though. I try to be honest with my body. I try to be real, sincere. This sincerity has always been mistaken as flaunting. Which, technically, should also be okay. It is my body to flaunt, isn’t it?

Read more

I am not Anna

NIMISHA JAISWAL   

  

Mr. Hazare annoys me.

Saying something like that at a time like this may not be the best move, but I needed to get it out of my system. It’s not that I’ve never said it before - I’ve voiced this opinion quite extensively at several tables, but I’m rarely, if ever, met with anything but disapproval.

The moment I utter an anti-Hazare sentiment, I am in cohorts with Mr. Sibal, Mr. Singh and Mr. Chidambaram, to name a few. I am either against the middle class, or I am sympathetic with corrupt officials.

Anyhow, if I’m making my judgements, I’ll let you make yours. As a matter of fact, you may be right, on a few counts. 

Let me begin by saying that I understand that corruption is wrong - I am against it too. I know the rule is that I should be either with Anna or with corruption, but I’m afraid I may be the impossible wonder who stands in defiance of that one. Also, I’m not the only one.

Let me also restate that the concerns raised by Mr. Hazare are very pertinent, amen to that. He is making it into top 10 newsmakers lists in international magazines, and the West is ‘fascinated’ by how the little people are rallying together, the romantic little concept of a re-enactment of the Gandhi era in their heads - rather the Indian Government than the EIC and Co, anyhow.

What has me annoyed is that the masses, true to their stereotypical character, have gone from mass acceptance of one thing to the mass acceptance of another. Back in the day when corruption was rampant and the one who decided not to bribe was laughed at, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, knew that it was better to pay up than stand up.

Read more