#India – Every Move She Makes. They’ll Be Watching Her #moralpolicing #Vaw


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Rising hemlines lead to rising TRPs. Aradhna Wal examines a commercial news industry committed to sleaze, to lechery and to shaming young women

There’s something rotten in the states of  and . And it seems the Kannada and Telugu news channels have identified the problem — girls gone wild, fuelled by alcohol. On 14 May, Karnataka’s leading regional news channel, TV9 Kannada, ran a programme, Olage Serideru Gundu (literally, ‘once alcohol is inside’), a fine assortment of video nasties from across the country, showing the great evils of girls drinking — the ruckus on the street, clothes askew, clashes with cops.

For some years now, the disapproving cultural policing of a class of girls — ones who can afford to go out to drink — has become a staple on regional news in both states. There is massive viewership, particularly of sleazy ‘true crime’ reports, and so editors and programming heads encourage reporters to follow women and young couples, to stake out pubs, nightclubs and make-out spots. A cursory search on YouTube reveals the many news reports with such eye-catching titles as ‘Drunk women causing hulchul’, ‘Drunk women causing hungama’, or ‘How to ban rave parties to save the youth’.

“We show boys too, but a girl being daring on screen instantly catches the viewers’ attention,” says Shreeti Chakraborty, senior producer with a leading Kannada channel. One clip was of an altercation between four female students of NALSAR University of Law and reporters from the Telugu news channel ABN Andhra Jyothy, outside Rain pub in Hyderabad’s Banjara Hills on the night of 11 April. Shruthi, Megha, Prachi and Adwitiya angrily confronted a drunk man filming them on his phone. The confrontation attracted a mob and reporters from ABN. Apparently, the drunk man was a reporter who had telephoned his colleagues. The footage was picked up by other news channels. Several of them branded the girls immoral, drunk and half-naked and even questioned the pub’s licence.

Watching the ABN footage is instructive. The camera pans up and down the women’s bodies. It is exploitative; consent is not an option, probably not even worth a thought. The viewer is implicated by the camera’s roving eye, a fellow voyeur leering at barefoot girls in short dresses. The cameraman follows the girls to their taxi, thrusting his camera through the door, his taunts provoking the girls to shout insults. Their expressions of fury at being cornered were circulated on primetime news as the faces of unacceptable modernity, of aggressive young women out at night, women who must be checked.

One irate senior journalist with a leading Telugu news channel described the girls as “public nuisance”, and launched into a tirade about “minors” getting drunk, abusing reporters and partying late into the night. He blames this “anti-social behaviour” on both NALSAR and the students themselves: “They even shot a promotional video for the ‘daaru party’ on campus. Look at the things they say in that.”

Confronted by this (self ) righteous indignation, the students launched an online campaign on change.org to prove that they had been harassed by the media. They compiled evidence to show that they were neither minors, nor drinking after legal hours (11 pm), and the leaked video that the news channels broadcast was not a promo for the party. Raj Singh, the owner of Rain, has stated that the ages of everyone at the party were checked and the girls left around 11 pm, not past midnight as the reporters alleged.

“The police raided us at 11.45 pm after the incident was over,” says Singh. “At 12.45 am the reporters barged into my club, beat up my security guard and placed bottles on the bars to suggest that the pub was still open.” His decision to stand up for the girls has meant that his pub “has been raided almost nightly by every department imaginable looking for some illegal activity”.

In response, Andhra Pradesh’s Electronic Media Association of Journalists put up a counter petition on change.org, asking for the girls who “assaulted reporters” to be condemned. It garnered over 5,000 signatures. But during routine checks, change.orgtraced the bulk of these signatures to one IP address, proving that most were fake. After they removed those signatures, only 132 were left.

The girls’ determination to stand up for themselves sets them apart in a state where reporters looking to manufacture lurid stories appear to operate without any kind of sanction. “We had to fight back,” says Shruthi Chandrasekaran, one of the girls involved in that now infamous April incident. “What’s happening is just wrong and too many people seem resigned to it. We don’t even know what motivates the media’s malice towards us.”

Andhra Pradesh has some 16 regional news channels. Sevanti Ninan, editor of The Hoot, an online media watchdog, has written about how corporate ownership sets the terms and how the need to be profitable means a redrawing of the lines between public and private. In a market exploding with money and fierce competition, no channel can afford for viewers to switch off. Thus, there’s little distinction between what channels define as eyeball-grabbing reportage and salacious entertainment. News seems to essentially mean reality TV served with an indigestible side dish of hypocritical, moralistic commentary.

GS Rammohan, associate editor with ABN Andhra Jyothy, accepts that TV news has gone insane, driven by ratings and profit. According to the , what sells is sex and crime. “People enjoy watching other people’s private lives on TV,” he says. As long, apparently, as the “other people” are comely young women. The same senior journalist who denounced the NALSAR students stated matter-of-factly that channels look to show beautiful women onscreen as de facto policy. Local media in Hyderabad and Bengaluru, Rammohan says, are similar in this regard. Though Karnataka has six regional news channels as opposed to 16, its crime news coverage is famous for stings, both successful and attempted, on bars in Bengaluru, Mangalore and Manipal. Many of these stings are the work of reporters employed by Suvarna News 24×7 and TV9 Kannada, the two most popular regional news channels in Karnataka. Both blame the other for lowering the tone of the public conversation with leering, tabloid journalism.

Raoof Kadavanad, a crime reporter with a leading English daily in Hyderabad, watches the tactics of TV reporters with some bemusement. He describes how crime reporters seek out couples in public spaces and film them with hidden cameras. The footage is then screened to bolster the argument that the behaviour of young women in the city is deplorable. After the NALSAR incident, TV5 aired a segment about Hyderabad’s nightlife that deplored what was “happening to our sisters and daughters”

In July 2012, Tonic, another pub in Banjara Hills, was raided for having a party long after legal hours. The media filmed the raid, focussing largely on the women in that familiar, creepy style. Depressingly, this behaviour is typical. In January 2012, Suvarna broadcast a ‘sting’ on illegal bars in Bengaluru. The ‘illegality’ of said establishments was, of course, of less concern than filming the girls on their cameras. In 2011, a medical student was photographed at a party in Le Rock Cafe in Bengaluru. Her picture was published in a Kannada newspaper belonging to the Telugu channel Sakshi TV as an example of the malign influence of western culture on the present generation.

The combination of sanctimoniousness and aggression is visible. Girls are hunched over, hiding their faces, surrounded by baying men. The footage is edited insidiously, with strategic blurring implying nudity when a girl is wearing a dress deemed insufficiently modest. Shame is thrust on the girls. “It was terrifying,” remembers Shruthi, “to be chased by this man with a camera, who won’t even let you shut the car door.” Her fear has been felt before by innumerable women running away from cameras, desperately covering their faces with dupattas, scarves or their own hands.

Another popular tactic used by reporters is to wait around with traffic police conducting its weekly drunk-driving tests at various checkpoints around Hyderabad. Every Friday and Saturday night, a small group of reporters armed with lights and cameras film these checks, waiting for women who might be stopped. “Channels use that footage in different packages to say different things for months. People enjoy it,” says ABN Andhra Jyothy’s Rammohan.

In Bengaluru, Ajit Hanamakkanavar, the Crime Bureau Chief of Suvarna, acknowledges that “news has crossed over the line to  and reality TV”. “In the TV business, the remote control is your biggest enemy. No one watches serious, investigative stories,” he adds. The channel has a “legal team at the ready” to deal with accusations of slander and defamation. The reporters are often tipped off about the bar raids by the police. “A commissioner will not be my source,” says Hanamakkanavar, “but a constable will be.” A senior police officer confirmed that the constabulary and reporters often share information.

Both Rammohan and Hanamakkanavar put the blame squarely on upper management. The top brass have cynically turned moral policing into a lucrative business. Many of the reporters, who often come with their own cultural baggage, actually believe they are making a valuable difference, providing a much-needed check to out-of-control youth. It is not enough for them to observe society; they feel the need to become enforcers of a particular, usually imaginary, cultural code. Sampath Kumar, a crime reporter for ABN, earnestly tries to explain how “these people” can be kept in check “through fear of the media and by being made to understand that their behaviour is wrong”. He claims the reporters have the public on their side and that tip-offs come just as often from their audience as from the police.

In Karnataka, there is also a penchant for blaming the outsider, or the ‘foreign hand’ — students and professionals, who flock to cities from other states and countries, and bring money, decadence and loose morals. The pressure to make the money to lead extravagant lifestyles also results in crime, say reporters. Rajesh Rao, the Mangalore crime reporter for TV9 Kannada, says that he’s “seen what goes on in these pubs, what drugs are exchanged. These petticoat parties where girls wear short clothes”. Suresh Kumar Shetty, the Mangalore crime reporter for Suvarna, worries about the effects the “lavish lifestyle” of rich students from outside the state have on locals.

Like Rao, Shetty admits that his channel has attempted to smuggle cameras into popular bars. He once asked two friends of his, who were not reporters, to enter a bar as a couple and film the goings-on. To validate the rightness of the cause, he refers to the tragic suicide of Sneha, an 18-year-old Mangalore girl, in February this year. A drug addict, she reportedly killed herself because she couldn’t afford the next fix. Her parents spoke about a girl who used to top her class at school until she started going to parties in hotels and pubs and was introduced to drugs.

This story fits conveniently into Rao and Shetty’s argument that local youths are tempted into vices they cannot afford and that the media must protect them. Naveen Soorinje, the Mangalore reporter for Kasthuri TV, disagrees. With vehemence. He made national headlines last year after the 23 July 2012 homestay incident in which activists from the Hindu Jagarana Vedike attacked boys and girls at a birthday party. Soorinje’s coverage shed light on what had happened, yet he was named as an accused in the case by the police. Released on bail in March this year, all charges against Soorinje were dropped by the Karnataka government on 14 June. Having consistently reported on cultural policing, he points out when right wing groups such as the Sri Ram Sene go on one of their periodic moral policing jaunts in Mangalore, the media, tipped off by these groups, is close behind. It’s a cosy relationship. The media gets political backing for its own occasional hand-waving about decadent modern culture and the right wing groups get the soapbox and spotlight they so desire. “When the right wing groups are not around,” says Soorinje, “TV channels film young people in pubs and ask ‘what is the Hindu sangathan doing now?’ When TV9 does something, Suvarna tries to catch up by doing something more sensational.”

This role of social responsibility is championed by TV9 Telugu’s executive editor Dinesh Akkula and Input Editor Arvind Yadav. According to them, the story of Telugu media is one of transformation — from a cutthroat business to responsible journalism that is the hallmark of the likes of TV9. “Maturity is coming in slowly,” says Akkula, “we stick to the guidelines recommended by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA). We don’t target specific people or groups, but we show what’s in the public interest.”

In TV9 Telugu’s infamous Planet Romeo sting (February 2011), a reporter posed as a gay man on the site Planet Romeo and befriended other members, eliciting intimate details while recording his conversations. The ‘report’ was broadcast with lots of hand-wringing about how Hyderabad was falling prey to the fashionable gay culture. The conversations were played on TV, revealing identities, personal sexual preferences and histories. Prominent gay rights lawyer Aditya Bandopadhyay filed a complaint and the NBA fined the channel 1 lakh, a piffling sum for a network of TV9’s size.

That appalling piece of reporting shows that it’s not just middle and upper-middle class girls in the firing line, but all manner of easy targets. The Telugu news channel NTV 24×7 once filmed transgenders at an LGBT awareness event held by the NGO Suraksha and then aired that footage in a completely different context, when a man was murdered at a popular cruising spot. TV9 Kannada did a major expose in 2009 on the “Devdasi tradition” among sex workers of Kudligi in Bellary district. The story’s fallout, as documented in a fact-finding report by Vimochana, a women’s organisation, and Nava Jeevana Mahila Okkuta, a Dalit Women’s Collective, was that these sex workers, previously accepted by a wider community, were now ostracised. They had lost their only source of livelihood, couldn’t send their children to school and were shunned by the neighbours. The TV9 journalist, Prakash Noolvi, went on to win the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award in January 2012. “The reporter didn’t hide the faces of these women,” says Akkai Padmashali, the media coordinator of Sangama, an LGBT organisation. “They cheated these women by posing as clients. One had even been visiting them for sex.” She angrily recounts the many times reporters secretly film sex workers to extort money from them.

Activists and intellectuals point to how a large section of society gives legitimacy to the media and other self-appointed moral police. People will be outraged by a girl being beaten up, but will also say that she should not have been out drinking in the first place. Conservatives who might be of completely different backgrounds find common ground when setting limits on women’s behaviour. Shaming is a cultural reality. Madhavi Lata, a scriptwriter and former reporter for NTV, is honest about the fact that truth is often warped to fit viewers’ preconceptions. But even she asks why “these girls give people the chance to say something about them. They could go out for a drink in more decent clothes”.

Hyderabad-based activist Tejaswini Madabhushi recalls media reaction to the 5 January ‘Midnight March’ in the city, an attempt to take back the night from sexual predators and the moral police. “Vernacular news reporters,” says Madabhushi, “kept asking us why we wanted to go out in the night and provoke men like them.”

Pop culture too reflects this attitude. Audiences cheer when Telugu heroes verbally and physically abuse heroines. It’s part of a nationwide acceptance of . Sandhya, a leading gender rights activist in Hyderabad, says people “want to see women as sex objects. Studios call us for panel discussions and pit us against someone from the right wing. We tell them to leave the girls alone and start telling the boys how to behave.” R Akhileshwari, a senior print journalist, points out that it’s “always the woman’s body” that is the locus of censure or dispute. “Why do these channels not look at the liquor shops on the road, where men buy drinks, enjoying a session right there by the roadside?”

Perhaps legal challenges will force TV channels to modify their intrusive behaviour. “It is a violation of privacy,” says Bengaluru-based lawyer Akmal Rizvi. “It can be interpreted as stalking, which comes under Section 354D of the IPC.” One of Hyderabad’s eminent lawyers says, on the condition of anonymity, that some reporters “blackmail people for money by threatening to show their faces on TV”. The NALSAR students cited the reporters’ violations of the NBA’s regulations concerning stings and media ethics. The reporters argue that roads are public areas.

“Moral policing on TV goes back to the ’90s when crime shows started,” says Deepu, a Bengaluru- based documentary filmmaker with Pedestrian Pictures. He reiterates the point that journalists are part of the social fabric that consumes these shows. But the very morality these channels pretend to is hypocritical. “Why would you want to see that picture of the skimpily dressed girl if you are so moral?” asks Nisha Susan, freelance journalist and writer, who began the ‘Pink Chaddi’ campaign in 2009 in response to Sri Ram Sene goons beating up women in a Mangalore pub. Thousands of people around the country responded to her call to send the thugs the aforementioned items of women’s underwear. She adds that each generation must push the boundaries for acceptable female behaviour and be prepared for the inevitable friction.

As of now, vernacular media is working hard to play to its audience’s prejudices. An audience that tunes in repeatedly to be scandalised. Perhaps one day, these channels will be overtaken by their viewers as they’re forced to adapt to changing times. One day, the audience will note the rage on a young girl’s face as she is backed into a corner by a reporter wielding a camera. And then they’ll no longer listen to the reporter’s claims that it is the young girl whose behaviour is immoral.

aradhna@tehelka.com

(Published in Tehelka Magazine, Volume 10 Issue 27, Dated 6 July 2013)

 

India should not delay enacting a Privacy Act #mustshare


It is time the government stopped twiddling its thumbs and took action
First Published: Mon, Jun 10 2013.
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Illustration: Shyamal Banerjee/Mint
By modern standards of civility governments snooping on citizens is considered abhorrent behaviour. The admission by the US government that it has been collecting billions of pieces of information world-wide, especially personal data and emails, has thus been greeted by shock and anger. Indian citizens, too, have been subjected to this sweep, carried out under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or Fisa.
It is time the government of India stopped twiddling its thumbs and took strong measures such as enacting a Privacy Act to protect the rights of citizens.
An 8 June report by The Guardian suggests that 6.3 billion reports were collected from India. The investigation followed reports that the US has been monitoring communications between US and foreign nationals over the Internet for years under a project called “prism”. The Guardian said it has acquired classified documents about a data-mining tool called “boundless informant” that was used by the US National Security Agency that details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks.
Reacting to earlier reports on the same issue, US director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper, issued a media release on 6 June, stating that The Guardian and The Washington Post articles “contain numerous inaccuracies”, but acknowledged that, “section 702 is a provision of Fisa that is designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-US persons located outside the US…” The US government simultaneously clarified that the usage of such information or metadata (analytics of the humungous amounts of data intercepted) is used only after a due legal process.
Nevertheless, this assurance provides little comfort given that around 40 countries filter the Internet to varying degrees, including democratic and non-democratic governments. YouTube and Gmail (both from Google), BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd, WikiLeaks, Skype (now a Microsoft product), Twitter and Facebook have all been censored, at different times, in China, Iran, Egypt and even India.
In April, the Union government began rolling out a central monitoring system, or CMS, which will enable it to monitor all phone and Internet communication in the country. Human Rights Watch in a 7 June media release described CMS as “chilling, given its reckless and irresponsible use of the sedition and Internet laws”.
Cybersecurity experts caution that while US and European Union citizens have recourse to law under their own domestic privacy policies, India has no such safeguard. The obvious agency to take a lead in the design, framing and enactment of such a law is, of course, the Union government. But it is hard to expect the government to take any initiative in the matter as—like any government—it would want to have the capabilities to intercept private communication of citizens. On 25 April 2011, the government in a media release admitted that provisions for authorization of interception are contained in section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, read with Rule 419 (A) of the Indian Telegraph Rules, 1951, as well as in section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, read with the Information Technology (Directions for Interception or Monitoring or Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009.
The release also pointed out that the Supreme Court, in its order of 18 December 1996, had upheld the constitutional validity of interceptions and monitoring under section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, but added that telephone tapping would infringe the Right to Life and Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression enshrined in articles 21 and 19(1)(a), respectively, of the Constitution of India, unless permitted under the procedure established by law.
However, these guidelines are implemented more by way of an exception rather than as a rule.
The trouble here is that while the law is clear, it has multiple exceptions built into it that allow the government to do as it pleases. The safeguards thought of by the judiciary are not sufficient to protect the privacy of citizens. It is too much to hope that the government will adhere to privacy norms on its own. Three things need to happen in case India is ever to have a reasonable chance at a decent privacy law. One, citizen awareness and activism have to assume a much higher level than what prevails now. Two, public representatives—legislators, especially in Parliament—have to realize that privacy is a right that is at par with other rights and should not be trampled at will. Finally, at an appropriate juncture, the higher judiciary should take a look at the issue carefully once again. Continuous judicial scrutiny of the government is, for now, the only viable option to check abuses of privacy.
Does India need a privacy law? Tell us at views@livemint.com

Age limit relaxed for financial assistance to institutional deliveries #Goodnews


AARTI DHAR, The Hindu

Move expected to reduce neonatal, maternal mortality in young mothers

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has relaxed eligibility parameters for the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), which provides financial assistance to mothers for institutional deliveries. Now, Below Party Line (BPL) women can access JSY benefits irrespective of their age and number of children.

All women from BPL category, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in all States and Union Territories will be eligible for JSY benefits if they have given birth in a government or private accredited health facility. BPL women who prefer to deliver at home can also get JSY benefits.

Launched in 2005, the JSY is the government’s main scheme to enable women — especially those from vulnerable sections — to access institutional delivery. This was done to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality.

“The decision was taken after it was realised that a majority of women, who needed JSY benefits, remained out of the purview of the scheme because they had to prove they were 19 years of age and had no more than two children,” Anuradha Gupta, Additional Secretary and Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), told The Hindu on Tuesday.

The highest maternal mortality is reported among girls aged 14-15; the majority of these were out of the purview of the JSY as they were unable to produce proof of age or verify the number of children they had, Ms. Gupta explained.

Till now, the scheme provided assistance for institutional delivery to all pregnant women who give birth in a government or private accredited health facility in Low Performing States (those with bad health indicators, such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Assam). A woman gets Rs.1,400 for delivery in a government facility or accredited private facility and Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) gets Rs. 600 in rural areas. In the urban areas, the amounts paid are Rs.1,000 and Rs. 400 respectively.

However, in High Performing States (those with good health indices, such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka), assistance for institutional delivery was available to women from BPL/SC/ST households, aged 19 or above and only up to two live births for delivery in a government or private accredited health facility. The financial entitlement was Rs. 700 to the mother and Rs. 600 for the ASHA in rural areas and Rs. 600 and Rs. 400 in urban settings.

Further, in all States/Union Territories, the scheme provided Rs. 500 to BPL women — aged 19 or above and who deliver up to two live births — who prefer to deliver at home. With the amendments, all women who deliver at home will be entitled to this amount, basically for nutrition.

The government claims that as a result of the scheme, there has been an increase in institutional deliveries — from 47 per cent in 2007-08 to 72.9 per cent in 2009 (Coverage Evaluation Survey) and, most recently, to approximately 79 per cent — as per Health Ministry data.

 


  • Henceforth, all BPL women will get JSY benefits
  • Many were excluded for being under 19

 

#India – Five steps to becoming a successful spot-fixer !


 Firstpost

Rajyasree Sen

I’m neither Chetan Bhagat, nor am I Hansie Cronje, but here’s my five-point plan on how to be a successful spot-fixer and not get caught.
1. Communication is key.  What is with this Chandila and Chawan? Who discusses which ball you’re going to drop over the hotel phone? Buy an iPhone and Face Time with each other.
Not only will nobody be able to track your scheming conversations, you’ll also get to see each other’s cheating faces. It’s also way more cosy than those strange stilted chats. Did Rajat Gupta and Rajaratnam not teach you anything? Oh sorry, to learn anything from them you’d need to read the newspapers and do something beyond throwing lavish parties.

Sreesanth and his cronies' spot-fixing modus operandi leaves a lot to be desired! AFP

Sreesanth and his cronies’ spot-fixing modus operandi leaves a lot to be desired! AFP

2. Diaries are a no-no.  If you must record what payments are going to come your way and keep accounts, must you use a diary? That too, one with bilingual entries. Get with the times. Start a fake Gmail id. With that id, create a Google doc. Use these Google docs to tabulate and record your earnings. Basically, keep it simple because you’re stupid.

3What kind of idiot deposits money from illegal transactions in his bank? Frankly, if you do that you should be jailed. For being an imbecile.  Instead, use the cash – since it’s hardly a fortune by cricketing standards or even by Delhi-standards – to make ticket/hotel/clothes purchases. Spend the cash, you fool. Don’t collect it for a rainy day.
And definitely don’t collect it in your own bank account. Or ask for payment in cash. Maybe a gold brick? It is Sunil Dubai after all. His bathroom must be lined with gold bricks. Or tell them to send diamond earrings for your mum.  Nothing says “I care” as much as gifts from the Dubai underworld. Be creative. It’s not that difficult.
4. Don’t forget to signal the bookie. Now this is of key importance. Even if your IQ is 25 or running in single figures, signal your bookie that you’re going to drop that over. What’s the point of giving 14 runs on an over, if no one pays you for it?  And forget no one paying for it, because you’re a super imbecile and have struck an idiot deal, you end up paying the bookie. Doesn’t that just make you feel like an arse? Do you really want someone called Sunil Dubai to be mocking you at his next spot-fixer’s reunion party? The answer is, no. So keep a beeper on your watch which reminds ye-of-little-brain of the fact that big brother is watching and you have to twist that wristband now.
5. Grow some balls. At least hold your own for more than 30 minutes before singing like a canary. Nobody likes a crook who gives up so easily. And keep in mind, this is the Delhi police. Not known for their great investigative skills.  Sulking, bawling and then spilling the beans are recipes for disaster. Not only is your cricketing career over, you’re not going to win any brownie points with your fixer friends.
Take a leaf out of Monica Bedi’s book. She stuck to her guns and kept repeating that she didn’t know anything about Abu Salem’s dealings. If you do that, even you’ll get to dance inNach Baliye. Nobody likes a crybaby. Really.

 

Vulgar Song Case: FIR Filed Against Punjabi Rapper Honey Singh


 

 IBTimes Staff Reporter | May 17, 2013 =

Just days after High Court questioned the inaction by Punjab police against Honey Singh, a First Investigation Report (FIR) has been booked against the pop singer on Friday.

A case has been filed with the Nawanshahr police against Honey Singh, accusing him of singing vulgar songs laden with sexual violent content directed at women.

The singer was booked under Section 294 (singing obscene songs at public place to the annoyance of others) of Indian Penal Code and the song “Main Hoon Balatkari” (I Am rapist) with its lyrics has been included in the complaint.

Based on the section of crime, a person can be put behind bars for three months maximum, fined or be subjected to both.

Confirming the case, Nawanshahr senior superintendent of police (SSP) Dhanpreet Kaur told Hindustan Times, “We have registered a case against Honey Singh and started further investigations.”

The complaint was filed on behalf of Nawanshahr based NGO, Human Empowerment League of Punjab (HELP), by its general secretary Parvinder Singh Kittna for prohibiting songs laden with lewd contents. Honey Singh’s name was mentioned among others in the petition.

The Punjab and Harayana High Court had rapped the Punjab police for not taking steps against the rapper on 15 May asking, “Why the Punjab government has not taken cognizance of “Main hoon Balatkari” song sung by Honey Singh, even though it attracts the provisions of Section 294 IPC, which is a cognizable offence?”

The rapper was in a fix just when the Nirbhaya gang rape protests rocked the nation. Honey Singh was condemned for his songs which carried derogatory content.

The High Court also questioned as to why the song was still available to the public via YouTube when a song of such stature should have been banned at the earliest.

The court has fixed the next hearing for the case on 4 July.

To contact the editor, e-mail: editor@ibtimes.com

 

80- year- old raped and 2 -year- old sexually assaulted #Vaw #WTFIndia


RAPE

80-year-old woman serious after rape in Salem

, TNN | May 12, 2013, 03.28 AM IST

 

An 80 year old women was allegedly brutally raped by a 41-year-old man in a village in Salem district late Friday night. The woman, who was seriously injured in the assault, is undergoing treatment at Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital in Salem. Doctors treating her said her condition is serious but stable.

 

Police arrested the accused, S Palanivel, a vegetable vendor from Veppilaikuttai village in Salem. The incident took place in Gopalapuram area in Malliyakarai village. The woman’s husband V Narayanan had died a few years ago and she was living alone at her house.

At around midnight on Friday, Palanivel came to the woman’s house and asked for water, police said. She shouted at him as he was drunk. “Angered by this, Palanivel pushed her into the house and raped her,” said deputy superintendent of police P Veliappan. “He used to come to her house to sell vegetables and usually met her in the night before returning to his village,” he said.

The neighbours, who heard the elderly woman’s cries, rushed to her rescue. They caught Palanivel, tied him to post and informed police. DSP Veliappan, inspector A Arumugam, sub-inspector Veeramuthu and other police personnel reached the spot immediately.

The woman was lying in a pool of blood after the brutal assault. Police rushed her to Attur Government Hospital in an ambulance. After first-aid, she was shifted to the Salem hospital for further treatment.

“We were sleeping outside our house when we heard the cries. We rushed to her house immediately,” said a neighbor.

Doctors at the Salem hospital said the woman’s condition is stable. “She is suffering from bleeding. But her health condition is stable at present. She was able to converse with others after the initial treatment,” said Dr R Vallinayakam, dean of the hospital.

Malliyakarai police registered a case and arrested Palanivel. He has been charged under Sections 448 (house-trespass), 376 (rape) and 506 (1) (criminal intimidation) of IPC, and Section III of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Act of 1989. He was produced before Attur judicial magistrate and sent to Salem central prison. Police said Palanivel had married twice and had four children.

New Delhi: A two-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a 23-year-old neighbour inside her house, police said on Sunday. The man has been arrested.

The incident was reported from Adarsh Nagar area in north Delhi and occurred when the child was alone at home on Saturday evening. A neighbour, who chanced upon the crime, raised an alarm following which the accused fled.

The girl was taken to hospital where the assault was confirmed. Police said accused Shiva, a labourer, was arrested from his house on Sunday morning.

 

 

Hindu-Muslim And The Facebook War: Online Communalism #socialmedia


  • Posted on: April 29, 2013, Youth Ki Awaaz

By Nihal Parashar:

I wrote a dissertation titled ‘Building of a Communal State in a Virtual World: Hindu-Muslim relation seen through the lens of YouTube and Facebook. I was trying to interrogate the role of Social Media platforms in the ongoing ‘war’ between the fascists of the two religions. While working on the dissertation I stumbled upon various Facebook pages and YouTube videos which propagated violence. The question which comes to mind is shall we try to ban these pages? But the bigger question is how socially relevant these pages are? If there is a hate page on a certain social media platform, it simply signifies that there is hate in the society as well. The spill over of societal issues could be seen on these platforms. The Facebook pages, with numerous ‘likes’, justify that they are only tip of the iceberg. The problem lies somewhere else. This reminds me of a couplet by renowned Urdu poet Josh Malihabadi which says, ‘Zeb ye deta nahin sarkaar ko, paaliye bimaariyon ko maariye bimaar ko’ (This does not suits government when it kills the people affected with a disease but does nothing to eradicate the disease).

social media

A PHOTO SHARED BY THE PAGE ‘KARZ APNA CHUKANA HAI, BABRI MASJID WAHIN BANANA HAI’

Today I came across another such page. The title of the page is ‘Karz apna chukana hai, Babri Masjid wahin banana hai’, loosely translates in English as ‘We need to pay back by building Babri Mosque at the same place’. It was time to revisit my thesis and add few more notes.

The era in which we live is extremely complex in nature. The extraordinary problems are of varied forms which certainly requires extraordinary answers. We did not inherit a peaceful society from the previous generation. The previous generation was also not fortunate enough to inherit a perfect society from their predecessors. It is less likely that we are going to present a better society to the future generations. But this does not mean that we all must stop looking for better answers to questions of the present era.

The Communal aspect of the Social Media platforms is a result of the dissatisfaction in the society. There are few similarities in the pages which claim to represent different religions. The administrator of most of the pages lack sense of humour (they make you laugh at times although for a different reason altogether) and poses a great sense of anger. The posts are written to stimulate a feeling of hatred for the ‘other’community. They use each and every possible mythological symbol for the purpose. The admin and followers do not hesitate to turn most of the current social and political developments into an occasion to revisit the history and look for reasons to criticize the behaviour of the‘others’. They take solace in the religious past to condemn the act of others.

Apart from these, the most common similarity for such pages in India is Narendra Modi. You will find posts related to him on all the Hindutva pages as well as Islamic fascists pages, with obvious love and hate on the respective pages.

fb

SCREENSHOT FROM THE PAGE ‘INDIA IS A HINDU NATION’ WHICH IS STEREOTYPING ISLAMIC COUNTRIES THROUGH THIS IMAGE AND MANY OTHERS ON THE PAGE

The social media gives a sense of pseudo-anonymity to the person on the front end. You are hero for the moment. And fighting is an extremely honourable job, as per our social and religious norms. Are we living in 10000 B.C? What is the importance of civilization if it is not able to generate the basic understanding that fighting is not going to solve any problem. A good hearted soul said that non- violence is older than the mountains and oceans. Seems our civilization has taken wrong route and a peaceful world seems a distant dream.

Rise of communalism on different social media platforms is going to shape many young individuals, still in early teenage, that may come across certain posts which may plant the seed of prejudice in their fertile minds. The human mind is amazing, especially in the early years. It distinguishes right and wrong in a very young age and for the entire life it only justifies the decision of the tender age. It needs to be extremely elastic to revaluate its decision in a later year. If an individual has a certain point of view on a certain issue it is totally related to his personal journey. Social media may act as a tool for the same. But in no circumstance it can be the culprit.

What must be done to take care of the rise of communalism on the social media platforms? Shall we agree with an Indian minister’s idea of asking Facebook and Google to screen the content on the websites? This does not have a very simple answer as well. Like all extraordinary questions it deserves an extraordinary answer.

‘We need an inclusive society’- Is this an accepted statement? We need to answer this. If it is an accepted statement then we certainly need to look for a community of peace-builders who believe in the humanitarian values. There will be the fascist forces to ridicule this idea. But an inclusive society will also accommodate them. No, I am not talking about utopia. I am talking about my society, which rests its hope on you, O reader.

#Mumbai – After sexual harassment at workplace, woman faces online slander #Vaw


MEENA MENON, The Hindu, April 11,2013

 

First it was sexual harassment at workplace. Next comes a slanderous campaign on the Internet.  For this former employee of auditing firm KPMG, life has become hell since 2007. Now Aditi (name changed) is fighting with the Mumbai cyberpolice who are doing little on her 2012 complaint seeking action against websites which hosted offensive and abusive comments against her.

Trial yet to begin

While the sexual harassment case led to the arrest of a KPMG partner in 2007 and the filing of a charge sheet in December that year, the trial is yet to begin. Aditi has little doubt that the defamation in the cyber realm is an extension of workplace harassment. She had to wage a fight to ensure that the defamatory comments were removed by the Department of Telecom after a magistrate’s order in December 2012, three years after her complaint.  The cyberpolice are yet to complete their probe into a first information report registered against Google, a website 498a.org and an individual whose comments appeared on that website.

In September 2007, after a Mumbai daily revealed her name while reporting on the sexual harassment case, she was subjected to verbal abuse on the Internet. She filed a complaint with the cybercrime cell on October 9, 2007. While the comments were removed from public view soon after, they started appearing on other sites like 498a.org and Save the Indian Family (SIFS).  She wrote to Google, which removed the links to websites like 498a.org. Later, when the comments reappeared, Google wrote to her saying it could not block the URLs.

‘Total lie’

A second complaint was filed at the cyberpolice station at Bandra in 2010. The  police closed the earlier complaint terming it a civil one,  without informing her, stating the accused was not identified. Aditi claims this is a complete lie as her 58-page complaint had given details of the websites that carried the comments. She filed a fresh complaint in April and May 2012 against Google and Nabble, on whose websites the offensive comments reappeared, and thereafter the links were removed from Nabble. She sent legal notice to Google for not deleting the links.

Thanks to the extensive cyberdefamation, Aditi now finds it difficult to get a new job and she is being termed a ‘legal terrorist’. “I am only fighting for my right to dignity but such baseless slander with no action by the police created lot of problems,” she says.

Police can block websites

Under Section 69 A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, the police have the power to block offensive websites, but they did nothing. She was made to file yet another complaint in May 2012 on the same issue. The defamatory comments were  removed by the DoT after the Chief Metropolitan Court passed an order in November 2012 directing Cert-In (the Computer Emergency Response cell under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology) to block 10 URLs. The police finally registered an FIR only in November 2012 against an individual whose name and email ID appeared with offensive comments on nabble.com, unidentified persons who wrote abusive remarks on google.com and 498a.org. They were charged under Section 500 of the IPC and Sections 34 and 66 A, B and C of the Information Technology Act. She filed a query under the Right to Information Act on the progress in the case, and the police replied in January 2013 that they could not give any detail since it would impede investigation. When The Hindu contacted senior inspector N.K. More of the cyberpolice station, who is investigating the case, he declined to comment.

The police claim they cannot make headway since 498a.org and other sites are not responding to their summons. However, The Hindu got detailed email responses from 498a.org and an organisation called Rakshak Foundation, which is connected to it. Piyush Singh, a volunteer from Rakshak, in response to emailed questions, called from the U.S. and admitted that the cyberpolice had sent the organisation a letter in July 2012. It called up the police last year to clarify that it would forward the police complaint to 498a.org.

Both connected

Investigations reveal that a link on 498a.org marked ‘donate’ takes you to Rakshak saying: “We need your help and support to keep actively helping falsely implicated and stressed families for free. All Donations are made to Rakshak Foundation (registered NGO at California, USA), which supports 498a.org. Rakshak Foundation is 501(c)(3) certified and hence the donations are tax-exempt. Rakshak Foundation’s EIN # is 71-1033875.”

A phone call to a number listed on the 498a.org website in Mumbai elicited the response that they were volunteers only to help people and all administrative decisions were taken by the Rakshak Foundation in the U.S.  Mr. Singh said Rakshak collected funds for 498a.org since it was a website and not an organisation. Rakshak started public policy research in 2006-07 and found out about 498a.org.

Volunteer’s claim

However, a volunteer from 498a.org who wished to remain anonymous, said in an email interview that the website was not connected to the Rakshak Foundation.  The website relied on volunteers to help those who are aggrieved by the misuse of 498a. Since 498a.org is a website, donations used to be collected through Rakshak. “Rakshak is not funding us. 498a.org and Rakshak are not connected.” At least this volunteer has not seen emails from the cyberpolice seeking information and said 498a.org did not have any interest in defaming anyone.

Aditi managed to obtain, on her own, a lot of details including of the people who had founded Rakshak.  Her poser to the police: Whether a website registered outside India can carry out activities in India through volunteers and get away without complying with the law of the land?

 


  • Thanks to cyber defamation, she finds it difficult to get new job and is being termed ‘legal terrorist’
  • Police claim websites are not responding to their summons

 


 

Mumbai cyber police yet to act on her complaints against websites

 

Mumbai Police gets country’s first ‘Social Media Lab’ #monitoring #privacy


Mumbai Police

 

The Hindu, March 17

 

Bid to understand pulse of citizenry

The Mumbai police on Saturday inaugurated the country’s first ‘Social Media Lab’ to monitor the happenings on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The police have termed this an important step which will help them keep an eye on issues being discussed among youth on the Internet and to bridge the gap between the expectations of the public and delivery of police services.

Inaugurating the 24X7 lab, Commissioner of Police Satyapal Singh said its purpose was not to invoke censorship on discussions of various subjects, but only to analyse them.

“The youth protest at India Gate after the [December 2012] gang rape in Delhi was mainly fuelled by discussions on social networking sites. Taking a clue from that, we thought that the traditional sources of information do not sometimes give the correct picture of societal needs and misgivings and hence we decided to set up the country’s first social media lab.”

Dr. Singh said the lab’s primary work would be to understand the pulse of the citizenry and to prepare “ourselves for it.” “Till now, we haven’t ever tried to understand what is happening on the Internet, but now is the time to change that.” The lab would assimilate relevant information from all open sources in the public domain and 20 specially trained officers would work in shifts.

The project is supported by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and is funded by Reliance Foundation. Actor Abhishek Bachchan, who was present, called the formation of the lab a proactive step from the police.

 

 

 

Air India rapper pilot , Anjum Chabra remains grounded


While 30 of his 787-trained colleagues will go back to flying other Air India aircraft, Capt Anjum Chabra won’t

 Aditya Anand, Mumbai Mirror , March 7, 2013

Posted On Thursday, March 07, 2013 at 09:41:04 AM

Air India pilot who uploaded a rap video of himself on YouTube will remain suspended while 30 of his colleagues, who were also trained to fly the airline’s now-grounded Dreamliner fleet, will go back to flying other aircraft after a gap of almost two months.

Air India has said that the 30 pilots can go back to flying other aircraft, such as the Airbus 320 and 321, and Boeing 777, which they flew before the Dreamliners was inducted. However, Captain Anjum Chabra, who uploaded the rap video in which he criticised the airline and its staff, is not among them.

“Chabra does not figure among these pilots. He has not been given any flights right now, though a suspension is technically not punishment,” said a senior pilot from the Indian Commercial Pilots Association.

Chabra, a first officer with Air India’s now-grounded Dreamliner fleet, was served a gag order and warned that he could be suspended during a meeting with Rohit Nandan, Air India‘s chairman and managing director, last week.

“We have asked the general manager of the north region to look into the matter and take action if needed,” Nandan told Mumbai Mirror yesterday.

Late last week, Chabra responded to the airline’s show cause notice over his rap video with an apology. “I did not mean to insult anyone or demean the company. I did it as a hobby without any wrong intention,” Chabra’s letter to Nandan reads.

Now, his colleagues are keenly waiting April, when it will become clear if the airline will pay Chabra his protected 72-hour allowance. “Under an agreement between ICPA and the airline, even if a pilot does not fly, he will be given 72 hours worth of flying allowance ($100 an hour). It remains to be seen if Chabra will get his dues,” asenior pilot said.

While Chabra refused to speak about the latest developments, pilots in the know said that he had writen to YouTube to withdraw the video, but without success. The video has received close to 17 lakh views so far.

On February 13, Chabra posted a five-minute rap video on YouTube, criticising the management for not giving him alternative flights and delaying his salary. He also took a dig at the pilots’ union.

 The air india rap song by capt Anjum Chabra 

What do I say to people, what kind of a pilot I am

who sits at home most of the time and never gets to fly

It’s been over 5 months since I haven’t got paid

time and time, again and again, I have been betrayed

ain’t no flight for me here, ain’t no Singapore

ain’t no casino for me, so there is money no more

what do i do man, where do I go

I am so sick at home that I feel so low

where is the union, have they fallen sick?

happy with no money, or is this some kind of a prick

why show too much patience, why are they f***in quiet

why don’t they f***in get up, why don’t they f***in fight

I work with Air India as you all know

I am working in Air India, in India, but not in the air

Is there anyone here who has got extra money to spare

They don’t give me leave, they don’t give me NOC

Please tell them it’s not air force, I ain’t at LOC

How the f**k man, why you guys are keeping quiet

How you guys are running home, do you have another

business by your side

I am filing bankruptcy and I am getting broke

I am finished with all my money and lost all hope

Why don’t we punish those who f***ed up my airline

Cause of them I got no money, I got no fu**in wine

People work here for their lifetime, they never retire

See old faces everyday gets my a** on fire

How do I fly with women in their 60’ies

They call them airhostess’ we call them aunties

So let us all get let us all fight

Big guys are killing us they are taking all our rights

I don’t wanna sit at home n I wanna f**ing fly

If I don’t touch my stick soon I’m gonna die

I work with Air India as you know, they give me no money,

so got no place to go

Change the f***ing system …

Fight for it

Get me out of this s**t

I work for Air India and call myself a maharaja, but maharaja

is getting f***ed with all the band bajaa

When I joined my company it made me fell so proud

I used to say it all and I used to say it loud

Now when my folks look at me they give me sympathy

I hate goin out in public I hate publicity

The news is everywhere that the airline is in a mess

I hate to listen to that news I hate the bulls**t press

Coz everyone knows pilots of my airline have done a

good job

It’s few people at the top who’s f**ed us up and robbed

I just wanna say the truth for once now

I still believe we I get out of this mess somehow

I am he lucky one in the airline do you know f***ing how

Coz I get all the time to make music now

Coz I am on dreamliners it made my dream come true

I get to ride this beauty I am one of those lucky few

I am gonna serve you, Air India, this aint a lie

Coz I hope to see you out of this mess before I die

I work with Air India as you know………..

Love my company there is nowhere else I can go

I am on dreamliners as you have known

It is he best aircraft I have ever flown