After 200 years, Paris lifts ‘ban’ on women in pants #womenrights #Vaw


paris trouser ban

Feb 05, 2013 |

Women in Paris can finally wear trousers without fear of criminal prosecution after the government said a ban imposed over 200 years ago no longer had any legal effect.

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, French minister for wom-en’s rights, said the ban, imposed on November 17, 1800, was incompatible with modern French values. The municipal order required Parisian women to seek permission from the police if they wanted to “dress like a man” by wearing trousers. It was modified in 1892 and 1909 to allow women to wear trousers if they were “hol-ding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse”, but had officially remained on the books.
Answering a question in the Official Journal of the French Senate, Ms Valla-ud-Belkacem said while it had not been formally struck down, the order was in effect abrogated. “This order is incompatible with the principles of equality between women and men,” she said. Pari-sian women had demanded the right to wear trou-sers during the French Revolution, when working-class revolutionaries were known as “sans-culo-ttes” for wearing trousers instead of silk-knee bree-ches (culottes) favoured by the bourgeoisie.

According to the Connexion, a campaign to scrap the outdated legislation was launched in 2010 however it was not deemed a government priority.

France’s minister of women’s rights, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, took up the case last year and announced the lifting of the ban this week.

#India-A dalit’s family on brink of extinction #humanrights #torture #Vaw


Inline images 1

Ms. Chintamoni Mondal & her son

1 February 2013

 

To

The Chairman

National Human Rights Commission

Faridkot House

Copernicus Marg

New Delhi

 

Respected Sir

 

I want to draw your attention on our complaint dated 20.4.2012, about  ghastly torture perpetrated upon Mr. Bharat Mondal, belongs to Schedule Caste community, by posted Border Security Force personnel at Murshidabad district.  The background of the incident; Mr. Bharat Mondal was an agrarian laborer before losing his lands to erosion by the river. This is a problem also faced by many of Bharat’s neighbors, and like them, Bharat had no means of livelihood or income to support his family of six. Although Bharat has a job entitlement card under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 scheme, he did not get any work, and so had to allegedly resort to cross-border smuggling of cattle for income.

 

It is revealed in our fact finding that around 8am on 30 December 2011, Bharat attempted to smuggle seven or eight head of cattle across the border when the Border Security Forces (BSF) jawans apprehended him. They roughly handled him, stripped him naked and assaulted him severely. The BSF hit him repeatedly with wooden sticks and rifle butts and also kicked him with boot clad feet. Bharat’s left arm was broken as a result of the violent assault. Bharat bled profusely and lost consciousness, whereupon the BSF jawans left him to die.

 

When Bharat’s wife, Ms Chintamoni Mondal, heard about the torture and critical condition of her husband, she rushed to the scene with a few neighbors and brought Bharat to Godhanpara Block Primary Health Centre for treatment. The doctor who attended to Bharat at GBPHC referred Bharat to the Domkal Sub-Divisional Hospital and Baharampur New General Hospital because of the severity of Bharat’s condition. We also informed the Commission that though his family desperately needs the income, Bharat’s condition precludes the possibility of returning to work.

 

The BSF personnel subsequently warned Bharat’s family and neighbours against registering a complaint at the police station or disclosing details of the incident to others. Yet the aggrieved family somehow plucked up the courage to make a written report before the Superintendent of Police of Murshidabad on 23 March 2012 and forwarded a copy of that complaint to the Officer-in-Charge of Raninagar Police Station. Individuals who had witnessed the incident include Mr Sri Nath Mondal (son of Mr Amir Chand Mondal), Mr Panchanan Mondal (son of Mr. Dhananjay Mondal), Ms Sumitra Mondal (wife of Mr Sri Nath Mondal) and other residents of the Char Sahebnagar Village, Harudanga Post Office under the jurisdiction of Raninagar Police Station in Murshidabad. Despite the effort to pursue the matter through established branches of the justice system, the police have not taken any action to investigate and prosecute the BSF jawans responsible for the senseless, unprovoked and violent attack on Bharat which forced his wife to make a complaint before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate; Lalbagh’s Court under section 156 (3) of Criminal Procedure Code against the perpetrators.

 

In this given context, Mr. Bharat Mondal’s family is living under severe distress and penury. His wife; Ms. Chintamani Mondal made an appeal before the Block Development Officer of Raninagar II Block on 8.10.2012, copying it to the District Magistrate of Murshidabad district where she narrated her woes and requested for an early respite but till date no action has been taken. Mr. Bharat Mondal lost all his physical ability to work and more or less in a crippled physical condition due to torture perpetrated upon him by the BSF. His family consists of his wife and four minor children; all aged between 5 to 15 years, and out of school. Though, Bharat’s wife made subsequent request to local Panchayet for enlistment in BPL category but unheeded. Her dwelling (a hutment) is in dilapidated condition and during the last monsoon she with her minor children and ailing husband forced to spend nights on open fields. She is in very week physical condition and worried about very physical existence of her family. She visited the said BDO in number of times and requested for governmental deliverances but without any respite.

 

I am requesting your Commission to direct the relevant authority to extend the livelihood options (i.e. BPL card, NVNG, Annapurna, etc) to this tortured family who are living in brinks of extinction.

 

 

Sincerely Yours

 

 

 

 

(Kirity Roy)

Secretary- MASUM

National Convener- PACTI

Indian Govt’s sell off plan may hit Vedanta


 , TNN | Feb 4, 2013, 05.06AM IST
NEW DELHI: In what may come as a setback for Vedanta Group, the government is considering offloading its stake in Balco and Hindustan Zinc (HZL) in the stock market instead of selling the shares to metals tycoon Anil Agarwal. The discussion comes at a time when the Centre is keen to sell shares in companies such as HZL and Balco, where the government disinvested its stake during the NDA regime, and monetize value from other assets in a bid to raise resources to bridge the widening fiscal gap.

Sources privy to the discussions said that talks have been held at the highest level in the government and one view was that sale of shares in the market will not only help the government realize better value but also avoid controversy, especially related to pricing.

In 2001, the government had sold a 51% stake in Balco to Sterlite Industries, leaving it with 49% holding. It holds a tad less than 30% in Hindustan Zinc, while Sterlite has close to 65% stake.

The share sale has been held up for several years as UPA-1 cited provisions of the Companies Act to deny the share sale.

In both cases, the shareholders’ agreement provided for the acquirer to exercise a call option or gave Agarwal’s outfits the right to buy the shares after a specified period. But UPA-1 decided against selling shares in every company where call options were provided for but has now woken up to selling residual stake as it faces an acute cash crunch.

Coupled with its inability to cut down on wasteful expenditure, it has already missed the fiscal deficit target of 5.1% of GDP and stares at the prospect of a sovereign ratings downgrade, which will put Indian securities in junk grade and hamper investment into the country.

As a result, it is pursuing an aggressive disinvestment programme with a target to mop up Rs 30,000 crore by selling stakes in several public sector companies such as NMDCOil India andNTPC through the public offer and auction route.

Sources said an offer for sale or auction of HZL shares was one of the options that was being pursued.

 

High court issues notice to Congress, BJP on taking donations from #Vedanta


IANS | Feb 4, 2013, 03.42 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court issued notice to the Congress and the BJP on Monday on a plea seeking directive for a CBI or SIT probe for allegedly taking donations from subsidiaries of Britain-based Vedanta Group.

A division bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Indermeet Kaur sought response from both political parties within three weeks and posted the matter for March 19.

The court earlier sought response from the home ministry and the Election Commission saying it will go through their responses before asking the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to respond

 

#India- The Criminal Law Ordinance on Sexual Assault – Cut, Paste and Shock #Vaw #womenrights


 #India- Chastity, Virginity, Marriageability, and Rape Sentencing #Vaw  #Justice #mustread

FEBRUARY 5, 2013

Guest post by PRATIKSHA BAXI 

Once the Criminal Law Ordinance 2013 was uploaded, circulated and read many times, an overwhelming desire to mark the ordinance to all one’s students as an example on how not to frame laws has grown. Yet, explain one must, why the current law on sexual assault is so bizarre, even if we do not bring in the so-called controversial elements and keep to the text of the ordinance.

The Criminal Law Ordinance 2013 begins with the definition of sexual assault as a gender-neutral offence. It does not make an exception to state that women do not rape men in everyday contexts under s. 375. Since such an exception is not added, and the ordinance specifies that ‘sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under sixteen years of age, is not sexual assault’, we are faced with a confounding and deeply misogynist legal consequence. Wives, we are told cannot prosecute husbands for sexually assaulting them. But since sexual assault is gender neutral without any exceptions and the marital rape exemption is not extended to husbands, now husbands can accuse wives of sexual assault but wives can never prosecute husbands for sexual assault!

To retain the marital rape exemption strikes at the heart of women’s bodily autonomy and integrity. However, to limit the exemption to wives, and allow husbands the legal remedy to file criminal complaints against their wives on the ground of sexual assault is absolutely absurd, if not totally misogynist.

The Justice Verma Committee (JVC) report had come up with a clear formulation of rape and sexual assault. Rape in everyday contexts was not gender-neutral viz., perpetrators. It specified perpetrators of rape as men, and identified victims as gender plural (any person irrespective of gender or sexual orientation). In the instance of sexual assault, gangrape and aggravated rape [under s. 376 (1) & (2)], were constructed as gender-neutral offencesviz, perpetrators and victims. Furthermore, the marital rape exemption was deleted and it was recommended that marriage should neither be the basis for presuming consent nor should any third person than wife be allowed to lodge such a complaint (to address the misuse issue). In everyday contexts, especially in intimate relationships and marriages, this definition is sensitive to the power dynamics between men and women; while recognising that in prisons, police stations, custodial homes, hospitals, in fiduciary relationships and gang rape women may be perpetrators. It is critical to understand why this definition is important breakthrough in the debates on gender neutrality so far. This definition not only recognises the bodily autonomy of women but also recognises the bodily integrity of men (irrespective of sexual orientation or gendered identity) and transgendered persons. It does not split the victims into distinct categories based on identity and therefore avoids the medicalization of sexual identity. Given the heated debates on gender neutrality, the JVC managed to define rape as a crime of patriarchy, which is not limited to women as victims, although women have predominantly the target of sexual violence.

Some may argue that this definition still leaves out certain forms of violence, which find place in intimacy of a same sex relationship, or essentializes women. But remember, the JVC does not recommend the deletion of s. 377 IPC, nor do other forms of criminalisation of same sex relationships find redress. For instance, Modi (2011) describes lesbianism as tribadism and says “lesbian women can be so morbidly jealous of such woman with who they are inverted in love, that they are sometimes incited to commit even murder” (Modi 2011:684). These are statements of prejudice, which construct lesbians as a “criminal type”. And these find no redress.

The Criminal Law Ordinance 2013also juxtaposes gender neutrality with the retention of s. 377 IPC. To retain unnatural sexual offences in the IPC means to blur the distinction between consent and lack of consent, to validate the damning judicial discourse on sodomy and validate heterosexist bias against sexual minorities. Not to include the repeal of s. 377 in the ordinance, just because the JVC does not do so, and even though the 172nd Law Commission recommended such a deletion in 2000 is a scandal. It is unintelligible since s. 377 IPC characterises sexual assault as unnatural sex and does not allow any person to consent to “unnatural” sex. If the prime concern is with expanding the definition of consent; and ensuring bodily autonomy or providing protection from sexual assault to all persons, naming the experience of sexual violence as unnatural sex, or calling consensual sex, unnatural is illogical, if not ideologically violent.

Further, sexual assault is defined without any gradation of different offences, in terms of severity of violence or the nature of violence. Section 375 (a-c) defines as sexual assault as the penetration of bodily parts or other objects into bodily orifices without consent. Section 375 (d) holds that a person commits sexual assault if s/he ‘applies his mouth to the penis, vagina, anus, urethra of another person or makes such person to do so with him or any other person’ without consent. Section 375 (e) holds that when any person ‘touches the vagina, penis, anus or breast of the person or makes the person touch the vagina, penis, anus or breast of that person or any other person’ without consent, it amounts to sexual assault[note that the cut and paste job, evident from the word “he” to designate the perpetrator]. These are all forms of sexual assault “except where such penetration or touching is carried out for proper hygienic or medical purposes”.

The use of the word hygienic is totally mysterious, and dangerous—since it allows a crafty defence lawyer to convert the experience of sexual assault into a sanitized lesson in hygiene. Further, to allow penetration for medical purposes and not even minimally mention that a doctor must take the informed consent of the person prior to penetrating or touching is violative of elementary medical ethics. Nor does the ordinance delete the two-finger test. Therefore what it does is, it permits the insertion of two fingers in the survivor’s anus or vagina for medical purposes without seeking the consent of the survivor, which even Modi’s first volume on medical jurisprudence and toxicology would not advocate. The JVC recommends the prohibition on the two-finger test and introduces a whole new chapter on what kind of medical protocol should be introduced to deal with rape survivors sensitively. Rather than moving towards a therapeutic jurisprudence, the ordinance re-inscribes the two-finger as a medical procedure, disregarding what Modi says in the early days of colonial medicine, that a doctor should never insert two fingers in the vagina without consent lest he be accused of sexual assault!

To unravel the costs of cut and paste jurisprudence, we must note that the consequences of clubbing together different forms of sexual assault in the same sentencing structure. Hypothetically speaking, if a person is convicted of an offence under section 375 (e) which holds that when any person ‘touches the vagina, penis, anus or breast of the person or makes the person touch the vagina, penis, anus or breast of that person or any other person’ without consent twice, then such a person could be sentenced to life (natural life) or even death. Assuming such an accused is tried by a “hanging” judge, you have a situation where there is no gradation made between different kinds of sexual assault in relation to severity and nature, viz., sentencing. What is to prevent more severe punishment to a hijra, found to be a repeat offender, given the colonial legacy of charactering certain kinds of bodies as “criminal types”? There are no provisions to provide fair treatment to, and prevent stereotyping of sexual minorities or women in the sentencing structure.

The only instance where such gradation viz., sentencing is maintained is in relation to marital rape. Hence, section 376B IPC holds that ‘whoever commits sexual assault on his own wife, … shall be punished with imprisonment of either description, for a term which shall not be less than two years but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine’. The ordinance is clearly protection of husbands, even those husbands who rape their ex-wives. This is also evident in the section,describing repeat offenders, which clearly excludes husbands.

Section 376E holds ‘whoever has been previously convicted of an offence punishable under section 376 or section 376 A or section 376 C or section 376 D and is subsequently convicted of an offence punishable under any of the said sections shall be punished with imprisonment for life, which shall mean the remainder of that person’s natural life or with death’. So the ordinance is clear that whoever else may get life imprisonment till s/he dies in prison or is hanged by the state, a husband should never be jailed for life or hanged. But the irony is, if a man accuses his wife of sexual assault, and if she is found to be a repeat offender by a court, she is liable to life or death penalty. One may argue that this is far fetched for why would a woman live with a man who has accused her of sexual assault but technically what this ordinance does, it makes wives vulnerable to sexual assault charges by their husbands and exposes them to prison sentences, if not death.

The cut and paste job gets even more bizarre for the JVC recommendations are added to s. 354 IPC rather than displacing the colonial law on outraging modesty. Section 354 (a) describes sexual harassment (gender neutral offence), section 354 (b) describes any person forcibly disrobing a woman, section 354 (c) describes voyeurism (victim is woman here) and section 354 (d) describes stalking (gender neutral). And section 509 IPC, which should be made redundant is retained.

It does not make sense to retain the idea that something amounts to violence only when the modesty of women is outraged, and not the bodily integrity of all women, irrespective of modesty. This is the point behind deleting the past sexual history clause and fighting against the characterisation of survivors as habitués: please do not judge women by whether or not they are modest. What we wear, who we sleep with, where we go, what work we do—is not relevant to proving sexual assault.

And then mistakes of an exhausted and overwrought JVC find their way into the ordinance, yet another cut and paste jurisprudential disaster. In s. 370, which describes trafficking, we are told that:

“The expression “exploitation” shall include, prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, or the forced removal of organs.”

The JVC possibly forgot to add the words “exploitation of” prostitution, while mistakenly dictating the UN protocol 2000, going against the UN Protocol signed in 2011. The trafficking clause, due to exhausted dictating, criminalises all forms of sex work, including in trafficking voluntary and consenting sex workers who are now unionised and been fighting for right to live with dignity. This provision has been enacted in the name of fighting sexual assault—and is totally unacceptable. Perhaps the JVC should issue an erratum—and re-publish its 650 pages after careful proof reading!

What may one say about the absences—those are too many to list! We wanted radical jurisprudence, to emerge from our protests and unending hard work (and unlike others, we don’t need anyone to applaud us). Instead, what we got is amortifying cut and paste jurisprudential disaster. We cannot sleep tonight, wonder how the Ministry of Law finds sleep tonight!

Pratiksha Baxi is Assistant Professor, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University

#India-27 steps to prevent crime against women ? #Vaw #Womenrights


TNN | Feb 5, 2013, 01.14 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Sensing that the Ordinance prescribing harsher punishment for offenders is not enough to prevent crime against women, the government on Monday unveiled 27 measures like setting up crisis response centres in 100 districts, introducing ‘Women Only’ buses in cities and removing jurisdiction boundaries for police in registering criminal cases.It also issued instructions to initiate strict action against police personnel found to be either displaying bias against women or neglecting their supervisory responsibilities while registering complaints of sexual offences.

Putting in place a nationwide three-digit number (such as 100) to respond to all emergency situations on the lines of 911 or 990Emergency Management Systems in vogue in several developed countries and launching a sustained media campaign to stop negative/indecent portrayal of women in movies, TV shows and advertisements are also part of the comprehensive plan comprising 27 different measures to prevent crime against women.

“Government enlisted these suggestions after several round of discussion over the issue under the Union cabinet secretary Ajit K Seth in the past one month,” said a home ministry official.

The measures outlined changes in the police system, a review of theMotor Vehicles Act, measures to make responses to crimes against women in efficient and sensitive manner and greater accountability of enforcement agencies.

The department of women and child development will implement a scheme to provide compensation to victims of sexual assault and also a scheme for setting up Crisis Response Centres in select hospitals to provide psychological and other assistance to sexual assault victims. The proposed scheme will be implemented in a pilot phase in 100 districts from 2013-14.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will compile a database of persons convicted of criminal offences. Details of persons convicted of crimes against women will be displayed on their website. The existing Motor Vehicle Regulations will be reviewed, prescribing for increasing the quantum of fines imposed on violation of permit conditions and to bar compounding of offences beyond a certain number.

It will be made mandatory for a reporting officer to comment upon on the gender sensitivity of the police personnel in the Annual Performance Appraisal Report. Besides, plans are afoot to further develop and promote community policing.

Teachers will be given training in value education. Sustained awareness campaigns on gender equality will be undertaken in all schools and colleges and gender modules to be integrated in the curriculum at every level.

Girls students will also be trained in self defence/martial arts.

 

PRESS RELEASE-Oppose Selective Manner in Implementation of Justice Verma Committee Recommendations #Vaw #discrimination #disability


 

National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled

4, Ashoka Road, New Delhi 110 001

 

February 4, 2013

Press Statement

 

The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled condemns the opaque manner in which the Government has introduced an Ordinance to give effect to some of the amendments recommended by the Justice Verma Committee, to the law governing sexual offences, despite opposition from women’s organisations and some political parties.

 

The Justice Verma Committee had recommended a range of amendments to the criminal law, in order to protect the rights of women against sexual violence. The Committee recommended a number of amendments to the substantive and procedural law specifically addressing the needs of disabled victims of sexual assault. The Ordinance introduced by the Government has included a few of these changes:

 

·        The disabled may not be required by the Police to go to any place other their residence in relation to investigation

·        Specific provisions for the disabled in Test Identification Parades for identifying the accused

·        Assistance to be provided to the disabled while recording statement before the Magistrate and such statement to be considered adequate for the purpose of examination in chief during the trial

·        The phrase ‘dumb witness’ in Section 119 of the Indian Evidence Act has been replaced with ‘persons who are unable to communicate verbally’

 

While these are indeed important changes in the law, which could positively impact the experience of persons with disabilities while dealing with the legal system, we feel the changes are piecemeal in nature and do not address the more substantive concerns that both women’s organisations and disability groups had expressed.

Making the offence of sexual assault gender neutral would harm disabled women disproportionately. There is a widespread belief that disabled women are unable to control their sexual urges and hence make sexual advances on men, who are then wrongly charged with sexual offences. Our experience of handling cases of sexual assault on disabled women shows that even the police and heads of institutions share this belief, and hence do not take steps against the wrong doer. Making sexual offences gender neutral with respect to both the victim and perpetrator would result in situations where the male assaulter would be able to file counter-allegations of sexual assault against the disabled women, which would add to their further victimization.

The NPRD expresses its strong opposition to the selective manner in which the Government has incorporated the recommendations of the Verma Committee into the law. Since Parliament is scheduled to begin its next session shortly, it is inexplicable why the Government should resort to the Ordinance route, in a non-transparent and undemocratic manner, keeping key stakeholders in the dark.

 

#Mumbai- Gang Raped twice Dalit girl is firm in resolve to make it big #Vaw


VINAYA DESHPANDE, The Hindu

72-year-old house-owner had promised to put the domestic help in school; 18-year-old male servant also assaulted her

The 13-year-old came here last year, resolved to study and make it big. Her 35-year-old mother of four, who is unemployed, widowed and illiterate, sent her to the city from a small hamlet in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh, hoping that her earnings would help to sustain the family. But Damayanti Koda (the name changed) is a distraught woman today.

“They promised me that they would put her in a good school if she came here and helped the family. They also got two new dresses stitched for her. I was very happy that my child would be spared the grind of poverty. I thought she would also help me feed the three mouths in the house. But look at what they have done to her. I will not send her anywhere now,” a teary-eyed Damayanti told The Hindu.

Her daughter Saraswati (the name changed) was gang-raped twice by the 72-year-old house-owner and an 18-year-old male servant in December last in the house where she worked as a domestic help. A family friend of the accused had brought Saraswati from the hamlet to Kalyan in Thane district in July, promising the mother that she would be sent to school, given food and shelter in lieu of some household help for the pregnant daughter-in-law of the accused.

Around eight months ago, when Damayanti had come to drop her daughter at the house, she was charmed by their riches. “They have a sprawling house with two floors. They also have land in the area. After their friend offered to pay my daughter Rs. 2, 000 a month and promised to put her in school, I said, what will I do keeping her in poverty here? How am I to feed four children when I myself cannot work?” she said.

Her husband, a daily labourer, died three years ago after undergoing an operation to remove kidney stones. Damayanti has herself undergone an operation to remove stones from her gall bladder. The surgery has left her weak and frail, unable to work, depending on her parents and brother for support. The family has already borrowed money from relatives to pay up the medical expenses.

Her eldest daughter has studied up to Standard X and works as a domestic help in the village. Saraswati studied up to Standard VII before leaving school to go to Kalyan. Her two younger brothers are in school.

“When I came here, I was in awe of the family. They are rich. They kept me well. Bhabhiji promised me that she would send me to school. But two months after my coming here, there were no signs of it. They made me work continuously, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. I did not complain,” Saraswati said.

Within two months, she started facing the lusty eyes of the house-owner, the girl alleged. He would frequent the place where she slept and touch her when she was asleep. He would even grab her when she worked alone in a room. When she complained to his daughter-in-law, she was beaten up and asked to keep quiet, Saraswati said.

Emboldened, the accused, along with an 18-year-old male servant, raped her on two occasions in December. When she cried, begging for help, they threatened her with dire consequences.

“They did not even allow me to call home … I was beaten up and threatened. One day, I was taken in a car, and they told me that the male servant who raped me would marry me after I turned 18. I refused it. They beat me up again and threatened to kill me, so I said yes,” she said. But the feisty girl managed to call up her mother one day and asked her to take her home immediately.

“I sent my nephew from Nashik within two days after I received a call from her,” Damayanti said. While her nephew picked up Saraswati from the house on January 2 this year, she came to the city only by January-end. With the help of an organisation named Hindu Rashtrasena, the family lodged a complaint with the Kalyan police on January 28 against the alleged rapists, the daughter-in-law and the woman who got Saraswati from Madhya Pradesh. While the two men are behind bars, the two women are yet to be arrested.

The police filed a case under Sections 376(2)(g), 506, 34 of the Indian Penal Code; Sections 4 and 12 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act; Sections 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act; and Section 3(1)(xi) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

A medical examination established that it was a case of rape, the police said.

Now Saraswati wants to put the past behind her. The sparkling eyes have turned dull and the smile disappears when someone talks about the incident.

When asked about it, she skirts the topic. “I want to go back to the village and study. I want to do a job and earn well,” she says. She and her mother do not see any point in their staying back to get justice.

“I have four children to take care of. How can I stay back? We want to forget about it. Our family honour has been lost … We don’t want anyone to know about it,” Damayanti said. Getting Saraswati married in the next three-four years is her priority.

But Saraswati is firm in her resolve to study and make a good future for herself.

 

Adrienne Rich`s #Rape- but the hysteria in your voice pleases him best #poem #Vaw


Rape

The main character who the speaker is talking to first is a woman who has been sexually violated. She is a victim of a heinous and very private, embarrassing crime. The officer that she has reported her situation to is a policeman who patrols her area and who her family knows and trust. Her family is very close to this officer, for “he comes from your block, grew up with your brothers.” She doesn’t know him that well though, which makes her telling him about the incident that much more painful and uncomfortable. She gives him all the details of the crime and about her assailant. She has the idea that the cop may have been her rapist. The woman has a certain bit of suspicion about the officer, but she is not sure. “Rape” is a poem about a woman who is reporting a case of rape to a policeman who may just be the criminal responsible for the offense himself. The violated woman isn’t convinced that the policeman is the rapist, but the speaker defiantly suspects him.

There is a cop who is both prowler and father:

he comes from your block, grew up with your brothers,
had certain ideals.
You hardly know him in his boots and silver badge,
on horseback, one hand touching his gun.
You hardly know him but you have to get to know him:
he has access to machinery that could kill you.
He and his stallion clop like warlords among the trash,
his ideals stand in the air, a frozen cloud
from between his unsmiling lips.
And so, when the time comes, you have to turn to him,
the maniac’s sperm still greasing your thighs,
your mind whirling like crazy. You have to confess
to him, you are guilty of the crime
of having been forced.
And you see his blue eyes, the blue eyes of all the family
whom you used to know, grow narrow and glisten,
his hand types out the details
and he wants them all
but the hysteria in your voice pleases him best.
You hardly know him but now he thinks he knows you:
he has taken down your worst moment
on a machine and filed it in a file.
He knows, or thinks he knows, how much you imagined;
he knows, or thinks he knows, what you secretly wanted.
He has access to machinery that could get you put away;
and if, in the sickening light of the precinct,
and if, in the sickening light of the precinct,
your details sound like a portrait of your confessor,
will you swallow, will you deny them, will you lie your way home?
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