Posts Tagged ‘Delhi rape’

India’s daughter let down by government stupidity

March 9, 2015

The documentary film about the Delhi rape victim by Leslee Udwin and which was banned by a Delhi Court and the Indian government, was shown on Swedish TV tonight (available here till 7th April with Swedish text). I thought the authorities were being rather stupid in their knee-jerk reaction in imposing the ban. Now after seeing the documentary, it is apparent that I was being too kind. The stupidity was multiplied by idiocy. The ban does no service to India’s daughters.

The ban was for having “objectionable content” and because it might cause a “public outcry”. There should instead be a public outcry against their ridiculous ban. I found nothing derogatory at all about women in the film. In fact the attitudes displayed by the rapist (and his lawyer) were what I found most revealing. Their attitudes are no different to what is displayed by most of the male politicians (of all political hues). The argument made by the government that the film provides a platform for the condemned rapist does not hold and could only be put forward by someone who has not seen the film.

As a documentary, the film itself was a little patchy but very good in parts. But where it worked very well was in exposing the ingrained nature of the attitudes of people – male and female – when they have been brought up to see women as chattel.

It ought to be compulsory viewing for Rajnath Singh, all members of the BJP and the Delhi Court which banned the film. (Of course what ought to come first is that they all be required to exercise their minds before opening their mouths).

I was glad to hear that NDTV which was scheduled to screen the documentary today did not replace the film but just showed a slate with the film title for the scheduled duration of the banned documentary:

Screen grab from NDTV of a slate featuring India's Daughter titles

BBC: 

India’s NDTV has halted programming in protest at the banning of the BBC documentary India’s Daughter.

The network ran a slate referring to the film’s title, during the hour-long slot when it should have aired.

The film, which features an interview with one of the men convicted of the Delhi bus rape, was due to be broadcast by the channel on Sunday night.

But it was outlawed by the Indian authorities on the grounds of “objectionable content”.

Explaining its decision not to broadcast an alternative show from 21:00 to 22:00 local time (15:30-16:30 GMT), editorial director Sonia Singh said in a tweet: “We won’t shout, but we will be heard.”

 

Idiotic – but expected – Indian government ban on BBC rape film

March 5, 2015

The banning of a BBC film by the BJP and the Court in Delhi, because it reported on an interview with one of the Delhi rapists, is – at best – idiotic. Leslee Udwin had received all necessary permissions to interview the rapist in jail – from the government and from the jail authorities. The film is banned in India but was broadcast in the UK last night.

Of course the real reason for the knee-jerk banning (with little or no exercise of mind either by the government or the Court) is that what the rapist/murderer said is no different from what the male members of the BJP think. He showed absolutely no remorse and contended that if his victim had not struggled and had accepted being raped she would not have been killed. The BJP – and especially their spiritual leaders – all firmly believe that in every instance of rape it is the behaviour of the woman which has invited the rape. And it is not just the BJP of course. It is the mind-set which still prevails in most of rural India (and especially it seems in northern India where the male-female ratio is heavily skewed towards males). It is exacerbated when droves of macho young men migrate to the urban areas and continue to treat women as prey – just as they do with women of “lower caste” in their villages. And the so-called god-men with their fossilised minds don’t help.

DNA:

Mukesh Singh is a man without remorse, retelling in staccato, precise detail how he and his friends raped and grievously wounded the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern on a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, and why they were not in the wrong. She was.

His lawyers are equally blasé, men who have little compunction in echoing the view that a girl who goes out at night has only herself to blame — or words to that effect — with one going on to say that he would burn his daughter alive in public were she to have premarital sex. 

The death row convict is the unrepentant, boastful face, the defence lawyers the brazen reflection of a deeply misogynistic society that views as brutal a crime as rape as a consequence of something wrong that a woman has done. And the twin mirrors have found currency in the documentary India’s Daughter by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin that will be telecast by BBC on International Women’s Day on March 8; the chilling testimonies being played out on television prime time, the likes of Mukesh Singh and lawyers ML Sharma and AP Singh, who are not forwarding legal points in a client’s defence but just articulating their views, entering our homes as channels replay the interviews.

…….. there is a degree of voyeurism in a film which has a rape convict expounding at length before a TV camera on his crime and saying that the girl should have just “submitted herself quietly to the rape”. There is also the uneasy question of whether a filmmaker would be given similar licence in Britain to get a rapist’s views out in the public domain. And that, too, when the appeals of three of the convicts against their death sentence are still pending.

There’s another point to ponder — how Udwin got permission to interview a death row convict in Tihar jail when rights activists are consistently denied access to prisoners while probing a case.

…. The various arms of the Indian establishment have reacted true to type — with home minister Rajnath Singh declaring that the government would take all steps to stop the telecast, Delhi Police registering an FIR and a court stepping in on Wednesday to restrain the broadcast of the film.

And that is really no answer.

The knee-jerk ban culture, as we have seen repeatedly, is short-term, ill-advised and serves little or no purpose. The freedom of expression, however uncomfortable, cannot be selective. India’s Daughter may have touched a raw nerve and putting the how and why in question, but seeking a blackout is not the way out.

The simple reality is that Udwin should never have been given permission to interview a rapist/murderer awaiting execution. The BJP as the party in government is responsible for such permission being given. Just bureaucratic and administrative incompetence I think rather than any sinister conspiracy. The subsequent banning both by the Delhi Court and the government however, is a typical reflex, reactive action of guilty consciences with no exercise of mind.

Friday 13th, seven sentenced to death and Narendra Modi chosen as PM candidate

September 14, 2013

In Delhi, 4 of the 5 adults accused of the Delhi rape were sentenced to death. The 5th died earlier in custody. It waas as uicide according to the authorities and an “execution” according to the defence lawyers. The 6th accused – a juevenile – received tham maximum 3 year sentence. The odds oh his surviving his sentence must be considered far from certain.

In Madhya Pradesh a court sentenced 3 to death and a 4th to life in prison. Thry were bus employees who in a dispute with another bus driver torched that bus driver’s bus. That bus was packed with passengers and the accused barricaded the doors. 15 died.

And the BJP announcd the selection of Narendra Modi as their PM candidate for the 2014 elections over the opposition of LK Advani. I suspect Advani may be correct in thinkng it a strategic mistake and too early. I think Modi would have been better served by a few more months of speculation without offering a clear target for the Congess and other parties. The opposition to Modi now has time to mobilise.

It was Friday 13th September 2013 yesterday.

it remains to be seen if it was a Black Friday.

Delhi rape victim was moved to Singapore for political – not medical – reasons

January 8, 2013

Jyoti Singh Pandey, the victim of the horrendous rape and violence in Delhi on 16th December, has not been served very well by the Indian Government – in life or in her dying. Just to avoid having her die in the heart of Delhi she was thrown away by a cowardly government to die far away. It was Pilate all over again as the government tried to wash their hands of her death on their watch.

From Safdarganj Hospital in Delhi she was flown to Singapore on Boxing Day to the Mount Elizabeth Hospital which specialises in multi-organ transplant. The 4,000 km journey in an ambulance flight was made even though the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) is just one street-width away from Safdarganj Hospital and has itself a well deserved reputation for excellence. At the time I thought that it was a caring Government which had made the decision to take every possible action to try and save Jyoti’s life – but it appears that this was not so at all. It now begins to become clear that this was the action of a cowardly administration which just did not want her to be in the heart of Delhi when she died. Her life was already forfeit. It was an attempt at damage control. It was almost as callous an act of “throwing her away” to die far away in Singapore as that of the 6 rapists who threw her off that bus. It was entirely a political decision of an embattled and scared Government.

There was no real medical expectation that any intestinal transplant could even be contemplated to be done in Singapore. That was just a theoretical possibility and the cover story for political purposes. She had been written off before the move was made. The decision to move her was apparently made after a Cabinet meeting but I wonder which cowardly Minister(s) came up with this damage limitation plan?

Reuters reports:

… With a deadly infection seeping into her blood from damage done to her intestines during the assault, complicated by a cardiac arrest and damage to the brain, she was just clinging to life when she was flown 2,500 miles from New Delhi to Singapore late on December 26, doctors said.

“It was ethically and morally wrong to have taken her out, given that she was sinking and her chances of survival were next to zero at that stage,” said a doctor at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which was advising the team treating the woman at a sister hospital across the street.

“Such a thing raises false hopes in the minds of the family, the community. No doctor in his right mind would do this, unless you want to get the patient off your back,” said the doctor, who declined to be identified, saying colleagues at the government-run hospital who had spoken out had been warned of consequences in what has become a politically explosive case. ….

….. Another doctor who was consulted during the woman’s care at New Delhi’s Safdarjang hospital, where she was taken following the assault, said she had been getting the best possible treatment in India and the question of why she was shifted should be answered by the government.

Many security officials have said they feared the protests would escalate if the woman had died in New Delhi, but the government has said the only consideration was her wellbeing. …..

…… At the time of the transfer, authorities at Safdarjang said her condition was critical which was why they decided to move her to Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital, which specialized in multi-organ transplant.

But a transplant for her damaged intestine, if at all possible, was months away, doctors said. At the time of her transfer, the woman, unconscious since a heart attack the previous night, was in no condition to go through such an operation.

“One cannot think about intestinal transplant at this moment,” Samiran Nundy, the head of surgical gastroenterology and organ transplantation at the Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi, was quoted as saying in newspapers.

“First, the infection spreading in her should be stopped, then one can think about transplant.”

Within 40 hours of her arrival in Singapore, doctors called her family and told them the end was near, even as millions prayed at home in the hope that she would pull through.

“Sepsis followed by cardiac arrest is a terminal event in 99 percent of cases,” said the doctor at AIIMS, referring to blood infection.

Indian politicians expose themselves in the wake of the Delhi rape

January 6, 2013

The quality of the political leadership in India leaves much to be desired. What is clear is the medieval and feudal fantasy that many of them still live in. Women politicians included. Rape and murder and torture are all perfectly acceptable if inflicted on victims of the appropriate class or caste or sex or religion. In the 2009 parliamentary elections, 6 candidates had been charged with rape while 34 candidates were awaiting trial for crimes against women. In the state assemblies, 42 members had rape or associated charges against them at the time of their election. India has over 300 such politicians in power.

But even though they make utter idiots of themselves they continue to get the votes which keeps them where they are.

What price democracy!

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat“There is a theory of social contract in the universe. A husband and a wife are bound by a contract which says – you (woman) look after the household chores and satisfy me, I (man) will take care of your needs and will protect you. Till she delivers her duties without fail, he keeps her on the contract and if she fails to honour the contract, he disowns her. And if it is the husband who is not honouring the contract, she can also abandon him. One can go for a new contract then.”

Congress MP from Jangipur, Abhijeet Mukherjee (son of the President of India)“This is almost like the Pink Revolution. These women who are protesting have no contact with ground reality. These pretty women, dented and painted, who come for protests are not students. I have seen them speak on television, usually women of this age are not students.”

Vibha Rao, Chairwoman of Chhattisgarh State Women Commission and BJP  “Women, influenced by western culture, send wrong signals through their dress and behaviour and men often take the cue from those signals. Women display their bodies and indulge in various obscene activities. Women are unaware of the kind of message [their actions] generate”. 

Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee President Botsa Satyanarayana: “Just because the country attained independence at midnight, is it proper for women moving at midnight? That particular woman (the Delhi rape victim) should have applied her mind before boarding the private bus. Anyway, it was a small incident”.

BJP, Minister for Commerce and Industry Kailash Vijayvargiya“Only when Sitaji crossed the Lakshman Rekha, she was kidnapped by Ravan… If Sitaji [woman] crosses the Lakshman Rekha, then Sitaharan [abduction] is bound to take place as Ravans are out there.”

BJP National Youth chief Anurag Thakur: “The difference between India and Bharat is that India is the place where The Dirty Picture gets a national award. India is the place where Mahesh Bhatt talks about sex with his daughter. India is the place where Sherlyn Chopra gets her picture clicked for the cover of Playboy and says had my father been alive, he would have been extremely proud of me. India is the place where the media celebrates the birthday of a foreign porn star. India is the place where a woman like Poonam Pandey openly speaks about stripping herself naked.”

Vishwa Hindu Parishad International President Ashok Singhal: Talking to reporters here at a congregation of saints and sadhus of Tamil Nadu, Singhal described the trend of youngsters in the country imbibing western culture from the US as “alarming”. “We have lost all the values we had in cities,” he said, demanding that India be renamed Bharat. “Let the real name of the country, Bharat, remain. When we call Bharat, it has the culture of thousands of years of this sacred land,” he said

It is Bharat versus India as Hindu fanatics try to justify the Delhi rapists

January 4, 2013

I have seen the Delhi rape being described as a manifestation of the conflict which arises at the interface between the rural and the urban life-styles. And there is probably some truth in that. There is little doubt that for the young who stream into the cities after leading highly repressed and frustrating lives in rural India it is difficult for them to make the transition from the middle-ages into the 21st century. The concept of women not being chattel is beyond some to grasp. The apparent “anonymity” of life in the city encourages a few to believe that they can prey on other “anonymous” and depersonalised victims with impunity. Most rapes and other crimes against people are rarely given high priority by city police forces struggling against an ever-increasing urban populace.  The speed with which the Delhi rapists have been apprehended and presented in court in this high profile case is the exception – not the rule. But this is not a problem which occurs only when rural meets urban or which only happens in cities. Rural India still abounds with horrendous cases of violence against others – against women,against children, against people of other religions and those of other castes. Most of this rural behaviour goes unremarked and unreported. The Khap Panchayats who use rape as a punishment and support “honour killing” and who are allowed to operate freely by supine politicians is a case in point.

So, I am not sure that this is just an “urbanisation” problem. It goes much deeper than that. The police act (or more correctly – fail to act) as they do in most cases because the political “leaders” give no priority to these. These “leaders” are rarely “leaders” but are mainly parasites. Many are themselves stuck in the attitudes of a few centuries ago and have not made the transition. Many themselves have no wish to make the transition. Many actually still believe that women are chattel. This view of women is not confined to any particular religion. It can be found among Hindus and Muslims alike. But among the Hindus, the parasitic politicians are usually those who continue not only  to believe in “caste” but are mainly responsible for the continued domination of caste politics. And they use the “privileges of caste” or the “perceived disadvantages of caste” to prop up their own out-dated and anachronistic positions. For some it is -paradoxically – the maintaining of the privileges of a “declared disadvantaged caste” which governs.

It is not a case of rural India versus urban India. The transition from rural to urban life and its difficulties could be anticipated by any competent politician or leader. It is surely the job of the leaders to manage and lead this transition. The root cause is a lack of  political leadership and a lack of political management. Fundamentally it is a lack of political competence. For “parasitic politicians” the continuation of a conflict at the interface provides more blood to be sucked out of the masses.

The issue is one of whether to live in a fantasy past or move to the real future. Whether to continue to exhibit the attitudes of  some glorified and completely false view of a Bharat – which never ever existed –  (or of the glorified view of a Moghul Hindusthan which exists only in the Muslim psyche) or to move forward to create the India of the 21st century.

In the particular case of the Delhi rape, the victim and all of the accused were Hindus. It has not taken long for the fanatics of the RSS (who may look utterly ridiculous in their khaki shorts and black caps but are a poisonous influence in the country) and some of the parasitic politicians of the BJP to try and justify the horrific behaviour of the Delhi six.

IBN Live:  Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday kicked up a controversy with his remark that rapes happened in cities and not in the rural areas. “Such crimes hardly take place in Bharat, but they frequently occur in India,” Bhagwat said seeming to indicate that “westernization” in Indian cities was the reason behind increasing cases of rapes. 

The remark follows a similar comment by a MP BJP leader who stated that women who did not stay within their limits, paid the price for it just like Sita was abducted by Ravana after she crossed the ‘Lakshman rekha’.


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