Sunday, March 08, 2015

Woman's Day 2015



This Woman’s Day was left bleeding in the morning with the latest rape statistic:
A six year old raped and an iron rod thrust through her by a security guard.
The thought that came to mind  was:
Was he inspired by the dastardly interview of Nirbhaya rapist Mukesh who said on BBC that  there was no place in our culture for women apart from the house; that girls should allow themselves to be raped if they didn’t want to be manhandled as Nirbhaya Jyoti had been;  and that if his death sentence was carried out, all future rapists would ensure that they killed of their victims so they wouldn’t live to tell.
His defense lawyers backed him, along with the Tihar psychologist, who said on camera that he had prisoners who had confessed to 200 or more rapes but not sentenced to death; and held that the Nirbhaya rapists were desperate as they came from deprived backgrounds.
So deprived  that they procured liquor at night and went to party and raped girls?
Jyoti came from a similar deprived background, but she was making good, wasn’t she?

The run up to this has been grisly:
The excitement over the feminist speech of Best Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette at the Oscars had barely died down, when a series of events clouded our horizon:

= in Bhopal,  Sita Sahu, a mentally challenged winner of two bronze medals at the Athen Special Olympaid in 2011 is selling gol gappas in a slum settlement, victim of sports politics and CM Chivraj Chauhan  ‘forgetting’ his promise of a one lakh reward for further training.

= in Hyderabad, Sunitha Krishnan posted videos of a gang rape on Facebook identifying the rapists.  The police have yet to track them down despite the evidence.

= in Ahmedabad, a victim of dowry harassment and violence to her and her mother could not get her complaint registered at the police station because the police were adamant that ‘samadaan’ (compromise) was possible – ignoring the tragic reality that women die a thousand deaths before venturing into a police station.  A return home after that would be roasting in Hell.

=  the interview of the Nirbhaya Rapist, Mukesh Singh revealed how little attitudes have changed despite all the activism since Nirbhaya’s death … the rapist and his lawyers insist that women should submit quietly to gang rape if they go out in the evening and that a death sentence would ensure all future gangrape victims will be killed so they don’t speak up or identify the rapists.  What counseling has happened in  3 years in jail?

=  at a pre-Holi function for women, a speaker was heard advising the ladies that all religious instructions were meant to be followed to the letter, without asking any questions!

Where is the silver lining to this big black cloud over Womanhood?
Perhaps a spunky woman like young Induja Pillai whose matrimonial ad, couched in graphically un-matrimonial ad terms, is viral:
a short hair walli who will not grow her hair,  chashmish,  travel minded tomboy who is  “not a software engineer, does not like working for MNCs,  is a start up girl, who is not even remotely mainstream and is not interested in getting married at all.
Hats off to Induja Pillai and others like her, for holding up our end of the sky!

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