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

Supreme court -Police Brutality is gross Human Rights violations #Vaw


SC castigates Punjab, Bihar cops for violation of rights

, TNN | Mar 7, 2013,

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of Punjab police assaulting a woman in Tarn Taran and Bihar police caning contractual teachers in Patna saying the governments had failed to safeguard people’s right to life and dignity from “wholly unwarranted” police action

 

Initiating proceedings on its own in discharge of its mandate to protect fundamental rights of citizens, particularly women and weaker sections, a bench of Justices G S Singhvi and Ranjana P Desai said, “We feel that it is proper for this court to take cognizance of the gross violation of human rights as well as the constitutional rights of the people.”

On February 4, television channels showed two Punjab policemen abusing, slapping and caning a 25-year-old dalit woman and her ex-serviceman father in Tarn Taran. The woman was complaining to police against some taxi drivers who allegedly molested her. Though Punjab government ordered a magisterial inquiry, state police chief Sumedh Singh Saini defended non-registration of FIR against the two cops involved in the incident.

The other incident related to lathi-charge and tear gas firing by Bihar police on February 5 against contractual teachers who were demanding wages. Referring to news reports, the bench said, “Contents of the news items revealed that members of Punjab police and Patna police have mercilessly beaten an unarmed woman and teachers. Both the incidents have shocked the conscience of the entire nation.”

The bench faulted the Prakash Singh Badal and the Nitish Kumar governments for failure to take “adequate steps for protecting the people against the wholly unwarranted action taken by the police at Tarn Taran and Patna”.

“These incidents raise important constitutional issues relating to Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution and dignity of individual,” the bench said and sought assistance of attorney general G E Vahanvati and senior advocates Harish Salve and U U Lalit to help the court as amicus curiae in the matter. It posted further hearing for March 11.

Long before the Justice J S Verma panel, appointed in the aftermath of Nirbhaya’s gang-rape, suggested that judiciary must initiate suo motu action against blatant violations of fundamental rights of citizens, the Supreme Court and high courts have from time to time initiated proceedings on their own, taking cognizance of reports of gross violation of human rights.

The Supreme Court of India may not match its counterpart in Pakistan, which has in the last five years initiated 86 suo motu actions, but it did not remain a mute spectator when citizens’ rights were targeted by those tasked to protect it.

Justice Verma panel had in its January 23 report to the government said, “The judiciary has the primary responsibility of enforcing fundamental rights through constitutional remedies. The judiciary can take suo motu cognizance of such issues being deeply concerned with them both in the Supreme Court and the high courts. An all-India strategy to deal with this issue would be advisable.”

Last year, the Supreme Court had initiated suo motu proceedings in a number of cases, including VVIPs flaunting red beacons on their vehicles and travelling with a large security detail, inconveniencing citizens.

On November 21, the court had taken suo motu cognizance of private guards using firearms, as was alleged in the shootout at a farmhouse killing liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother, and asked the Union government to frame a regulatory mechanism for private security agencies.

In another PIL which sought an end to discrimination of women and their protection by police, the apex court had on January 2 suo motu made all states a party to the petition and sought response in four weeks.

 

Mumbai- Medha Patkar and 20 arrested @ Golibar: Demand Justice


English: Medha Patkar in Sasthamkotta

 

NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS

 

 

 

National Office : A Wing First Floor, Haji Habib Building, Naigaon Cross Road                                                                                  Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014. Phone – 9969363065;

 

Delhi Office : 6/6 jangpura B, New Delhi – 110 014 . Phone : 9818905316

 

E-mail: napmindia@napm-india.org | Web : www.napm-india.org

 

—————————————————————————————————————————–

 

Action Alert and Update on Golibar Arrests

 

 

 

Medha Patkar and 20 others arrested at Golibar, Mumbai

 

 

 

Demand Immediate Release of Detainees:

 

Halt to Demolitions and Inquiry into Illegalities and Corruption

 

Seek action against police and Shivalik Builders 

 

 

 

Mumbai: In a series of illegal actions against the urban poor in Mumbai, the city police today came down heavily on Medha Patkar and a group of people resisitng the illegal evitions at Golibar, Khar (East). Other active local residents including Prerna Gaikwad, Ajit and 20 men and women have also been arrested today afternoon. Those protesting have been beaten up very badly by the police and goons on behalf of Shivalik Builders, in the presence of MHADA engineers and officials. The latest information is that at least ten houses have been demolished at Golibar (Khar East). A posse of police vehilces and JCB machines are still at the place and the demolition drive is still on.

 

 

 

The bulldozers at Golibar, a 50 year old slum are once again out to demolish and evict the slum dwellers who have been fighting the corruption and land grab by Shivalik Ventures in which the 2G Spectrum scam ridden Unitech has a stake. In the past the slum dwellers have repeatedly opposed and exposed the illegal acts of the private developers who are all out to grab the land. It was only after the expose that the Chief Minister of Maharashtra scrapped the two 3K projects.

 

 

 

Even now, as usual, no notice has been served on the people before the demolitions. The Mumbai High Court had directed that the residents must be reloacted at good transit camps that are in a completely livable condition and also directed that indiviidual agreements with the residents must be registered. However, without follwing this directive of the High Court, the demolitions are continuing in a totrally illegal maner. It is also significant to note that as recently as on 18th January, the CEO of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), Mr. Nirmal Deshmuk ordered a halt to the demolitions, but the same has started once again, with MHADA’s intervention.

 

 

 

It is shameful that instead of initiating action against the illegal builder-encroacher ‘Shivalik’, the administration continues to demolish and destroy hundreds of the dwellings of hundreds of hard-earned poor, along with their properties.  Thousands of basti dwellers across Mumbai under the banner of Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan are united with the detainees and aggrieved and have been raising slogans of ‘Buildershahi band karo”; ‘Gareebon ka shram kitna, haq kitna, hisaab karo, hisaab do’.

 

 

 

We all request you to kindly call the Chief Minister, Maharashtra-Office and request them to stop the forcible eviction of slum dwellers.

 

 

 

Demand:

 

·        Immediate release of all the detainees

 

·        Immediate suspension, disciplinary and criminal action against all police officials and personnel involved in the demolition drive and force on the people.

 

·        Legal action against Shivalik Builders for all the illegalities and encroachment committed by it.

 

 

 

A string of protest calls from across the nation are pouring in at the Nirmal Nagar Police Station (26471306 / 26470931) and to SPI Bagade (9821600134) for immediate release of the detainees.

 

 

 

Do also call the Chief Minister, Maharashtra at 022- 22025151 and 022- 22025222.

 

Fax the CM @ 022-22817068

 

Send an e-mail at chiefminister@maharashtra.gov.in

 

 

 

In Solidarity,

 

 

 

Sumit Wajale           Madhuri Variyath           Meera               Seela      

 

9892727063              09820619174          09179148973             09212587159

 

 

 

International Women’s Day- Light a candle for Soni Sori #Vaw #1billionrising


“Huge cheers to friends at Barduari Studios for creating these wonderful online action in which several, who for some reason, could not join offline actions were still able to express their solidarity and resolve to right the wrong.”

sonisori

 

Professor Ania Loomba on why Narendra Modi was stopped at Wharton


A Conversation With: Ania Loomba, Professor at University of Pennsylvania

By NIHARIKA MANDHANA, in India Ink, nytimes
Ania Loomba.Courtesy of Ania LoombaAnia Loomba.

On March 23, when students and prominent Indians meet at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania for the India Economic Forum, one person will be conspicuous by his absence: Narendra Modi.

The chief minister of Gujarat was invited to join the conference via Skype to discuss Gujarat’s development model, but student organizers of the annual conferencewithdrew their invitation on Sunday after a few University of Pennsylvania professors circulated a petition opposing Mr. Modi’s invitation.

Their letter accused the right-wing politician of not doing enough to prevent riots in Gujarat in 2002 that led to the death of over 1,000 people, most of them Muslims. Mr. Modi has consistently denied these allegations, but the United States has refused to provide him with a visa over concerns about these accusations.

India Ink contacted one of the professors who helped mobilize opposition to Mr. Modi’s speech, Ania Loomba, who teaches English at the University of Pennsylvania. In an e-mail interview, Professor Loomba explained why she objected to Mr. Modi’s participation in the conference.

Q.

What were your main objections to the Wharton India Economic Forum’s invitation to Narendra Modi to speak at the conference?

A.

As is well known, Narendra Modi is a very controversial figure. We were concerned that this conference would help contribute to his efforts to sanitize his government’s record. Specifically, his government’s actions and inactions during the communal violence in Gujarat in 2002, which devastated the state’s Muslim population, and whose worst excesses have still not been redressed.

Mr. Modi has increasingly attempted to recast himself as a “developmentalist” with a strong economic record in Gujarat. This has been his campaign agenda both in recent state elections, and in his current bid to be projected as a major prime ministerial candidate in India’s next general election. We are firmly opposed to any attempt to de-link development from human rights: the kinds of atrocities minority communities suffered and continue to suffer in Gujarat are not neatly separable from economic development.

Moreover, there is mounting scholarly evidence that Gujarat’s economic growth has not yielded improvements in human development. Specifically health and educational outcomes, such as child nutrition, where the state remains among the worst performers in India.

In this troubled context, providing Mr. Modi with a plenary position to speak on economic development is a deeply political act. We should also note that the Adani Group was a platinum sponsor of the event –they have since refused their sponsorship after the student-organizers of the Forum rescinded their invitation to Mr. Modi. Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Group, is a well-known Modi supporter, and his pulling out is a reminder that his sponsorship was part of an attempt to re-launch Mr. Modi in the U.S.

Mr. Modi’s proposed plenary address fit very much with his sanitizing campaign. He was due to speak on his state’s economic record, and there was no forum for questioning his human rights record. While the Wharton conference organizers say they do not ascribe to any political ideology, we felt that providing an opportunity that so closely fits the campaign agenda of a controversial politician is inherently political, particularly since it repressed any attention to Mr. Modi’s record on human rights and justice.

Q.

Would it have been better, as some have suggested, if Mr. Modi had been allowed to speak, followed by a question-and-answer session, where he could have been questioned about human rights and Gujarat’s human development record?

A.

No. I doubt that any substantive debate could have been part of an event like this. If the organizers wanted a debate, they could have invited someone opposed to Modi and staged the dialogue. This was not set up to be a dialogue. Moreover, a man who has prosecuted whistle-blowers and activists who had tried to bring the guilty to justice in Gujarat is hardly someone who is open to a debate and dialogue. As we wrote in our letter, the Supreme Court has criticized the Modi government for using trumped-up charges to harass activists fighting for justice.

Q.

In 2007, Columbia University invited President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, a highly controversial international figure, to address its students, amid protests by a host of groups. In a culture that embraces free speech, some have asked, should Mr. Modi’s address have been boycotted?

A.

It is part of a vibrant democracy to dissent and indeed to boycott speakers. Our letter to the student organizers of the Forum simply expressed our objections to their invitation. There is a big difference between shutting down free speech and raising principled objections to inviting a man with a sordid human rights record.

Let us be clear: we are not opposing his right to free speech. He has those rights, and avails of them on a daily basis: he has full and immediate access to the news media in Gujarat and India. What we are opposed to is the Forum, which is an element in a larger institution of which we are a part, granting him a position of honor to increase his personal legitimacy, and thus further a political agenda which we find reprehensible.

Finally, the media has been presenting it as a few professors shutting the desires of students. But many students were signatories too. As well as doctors, lawyers and concerned citizens. We did not speak from a position of any authority because student groups at Penn have the right to invite anyone they want. And, of course, anyone has the right to raise objections to that. Why did the organizers change their mind? Was it only because of us? According to the organizers, there were several “stakeholders” whose opinions influenced their views, including members of the alumni.

The reason Modi supporters are turning this into an issue of free speech is that the whole event has coincided with the massive effort to project Modi as a viable prime ministerial candidate. And this shows why he is not.

Q.

Narendra Modi has earned a reputation as an incorruptible politician and a good administrator. To that extent, many say, his insight and inputs are very valuable in any discussion on India’s economic promise. How would you respond to that?

A.

As I said earlier, this is precisely what needs to be contested; in the emergency imposed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, many extolled the efficiency of her regime. Many terrible regimes have come to power the world over in the name of economic development. How can Mr. Modi be considered a good administrator if he presided over a carnage and has refused to address or remedy its consequences for over a decade now?

But even if we set that aside, a recent Planning Commission report noted that Gujarat has slipped in its ranking in terms of the human development index among Indian states, and has made lower-than-average progress on crucial indicators such as infant mortality, child malnutrition, and maternal mortality. We are troubled with the exclusive focus on particular indicators of development, to the exclusion of others, particularly those most relevant to the “capabilities” — to quote the Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen — of Gujarat’s poorest citizens.

(The interview has been lightly edited and condensed.)

 

Narendra Modi’s supporters should stop using #FOS argument because they don’t understand it


It’s the Great Wharton Dustup

 

English: Image of Narendra Modi at the World E...

 

Dilip D’Souza, HT. March  7, 2013

 

A few themes emerge, if confused, from recent happenings at Wharton: freedom of expression, a possible insult to the nation, horrible regimes that the US is friends with. All worth addressing.

 

The insult, first. I accept that Narendra Modi feels injured by Wharton’s action. After all, how many of us get the chance to address some of the brightest business students in the world? Modi must have been looking forward to that. No doubt it came as a slap in his face that Wharton was persuaded to take back its invitation.

 

But let’s understand: it’s no slap in my face. The world over, institutions issue invitations, withdraw some, confer awards, annul some, and so on. They have their reasons, some of which I may agree with and some I may not, most of which I am not even aware of. (Why, for example, did Saginaw State University award BS Yeddyurappa an honorary doctorate in 2008?). I feel no particular emotion about any of these events: they just happen, that’s all. Just because a fellow-Indian, even a fellow-Indian named Narendra Modi, feels insulted by one of them hardly means that I feel or should feel the same.

 

Though I realise Modi has long learned the value of labelling criticism of him as insults to Gujarat’s “asmita”. For a decade we’ve seen him do it to any questions about the massacres of 2002, reaping the electoral rewards such rhetoric is designed for. Now that he nurses wider political dreams, the labelling gets correspondingly wider too: it’s not just Gujarat, but, as the Shiv Sena’s Suresh Prabhu announced, “Wharton has insulted India.” Look, Mr Prabhu, I’m Indian and I’m not insulted. Please don’t presume to speak for me.

 

Regimes close to the US, next. Chetan Bhagat summed this up with this comment: “Dear Wharton, the country you belong to routinely makes friends with dictators and military govts who used guns to be in power. Remember that.”

 

This is so shaky an argument that it’s a wonder someone as erudite as Bhagat even tries to make it. For one thing, Wharton is a thoroughly private, independent institution that has nothing to do with its country’s government. For another, that country also makes friends with democracies. So?

 

But above all, let’s understand what this argument amounts to: “So you say Modi did these horrible things? What about your pals in country X, Y and Z? They did equally bad, maybe worse things!”

 

Note that there isn’t, as you might expect, an emphatic claim here that Modi did not do horrible things. There is merely fingerpointing in different directions. Thus what this argument boils down to is an implicit acceptance (“equally bad”) of exactly the criticism of Modi that got his invitation withdrawn. Point made: by Bhagat, no less, and no doubt plenty more Modi supporters.

 

And finally, freedom of expression. The extent to which this straightforward concept is misunderstood always mystifies me. What it means is, I’m free to express myself, just as you are and just as Modi is.

 

But let’s understand: so are those who don’t want to hear Modi. Here’s the absolute essence of free expression: views we find annoying or offensive enjoy just the same freedoms our own views do. Presumably there were people who wanted to hear Modi, and they asked the Wharton organisers to invite him. In just the same way, there were people who didn’t want to hear him, and they asked the Wharton organisers to withdraw the invitation. Freedom of expression applies equally to both those groups.

 

Of course it left Wharton with a dilemma, but that’s what freedoms can and must do, when strictly upheld. They are never easy to enforce, because they will invariably displease someone. That Wharton chooses to come down on one side of the dilemma is, by itself, no indictment of free expression. After all, Modi gave a talk at Delhi’s Shri Ram College of Commerce not long ago. That time too, those who did not want to hear him protested. Did Modi’s supporters mourn any trampling of free expression then? No, because their man actually spoke. But SRCC’s choice of the other side of the same dilemma is also, by itself, no indictment of free expression.

 

If Modi’s supporters want to persuade the country that he should be PM, that’s fine with me. But let’s see them use reason and some logic, not handwaving about insults and freedoms they don’t understand.

 

Dilip D’Souza is a Mumbai-based writer

 

 

 

For the women of India, Parliament must speak #Vaw


FARAH NAQVI, The Hindu

The question Parliament must ask is, as it considers any new Bill, is which key Committee recommendations got left out.
The HinduThe question Parliament must ask is, as it considers any new Bill, is which key Committee recommendations got left out.

The House must ensure that the new Bill to replace the Criminal Law Ordinance consciously upholds the provisions and spirit of the Verma Committee report

A brave young woman died a brutal death in the heart of the nation’s capital. And Parliament must speak. Today. Tomorrow. Or, the day after. But speak it must. And in a unified voice of conviction and certitude, rising above the cacophony of political difference say No to violence against women. Not in mere words, howsoever strong and impassioned, but in deeds, in crafting into our statute books laws on fighting sexual violence that are overdue, that the nation demands, and that are truly just to women. After decades of slow momentum on women’s rights, India is poised on a cusp of change. It is now in the hands of parliamentarians to make that a reality. Let a voice reverberate from the halls of Parliament, sending a signal to India and to the world that our democracy is alive, that our democracy is good for women, and that this time the ramparts of patriarchy shall give.

History is littered with lost opportunities for change. Let this not be one of them. Today, scores of women across India, protesting on the streets, watching from their homes, writing in their blogs, alert with angry chatter on e-groups, speaking loudly in press conferences, strategising in quiet huddles — are saying the same thing — uphold the Justice Verma Committee (JVC) Report!

The task before Parliament is not simple. First there was the Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2012 (CLB), tabled in the Lok Sabha on December 4, 2012, and sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee. The CLB 2012, crafted before the JVC was even constituted, was flawed and reactionary, flying in the face of repeated demands by women rights groups across the country. It was soundly opposed through scores of submissions to the Parliamentary Standing Committee. But even as the Standing Committee was considering its response, it was overtaken by events — the brutal gang-rape of the young woman on December 16, 2012, the constitution of the JVC on December 23, 2012, the quick submission of its report on January 23, 2013, and then, ostensibly, in response to national sentiment, in an act of haste and stealth — an Ordinance which was signed into law on February 5, 2013.

Now the Parliamentary Standing Committee, which officially considered the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012, (and the Ordinance, 2013 as well), has submitted its report. And the Government of India is poised to craft a new Bill to replace the Ordinance. Sadly, the Standing Committee report does little to push the boundaries of our collective conscience, and one only hopes that the new Bill will.

While both the SC report and the Ordinance 2013 can claim to have incorporated parts of the JVC recommendations on points of law, the question Parliament must ask is, as it considers any new Bill, is: which key JVC recommendations got left out?

The list of omissions is illuminating. Both the Ordinance 2013 and the SC Recommendations not only retain the core of impunity for sexual crimes, they actually add to it.

ACCOUNTABILITY

What is impunity? A simple Thesaurus search will show up the following words — license, exemption, freedom, liberty, latitude and immunity. Centuries of impunity emboldens those who commit violence. It emboldened the men who mauled a young woman’s body. Yet, the Ordinance 2013, which is today the law of the land, has created laws on sexual assault, harassment and rape in which the accused is “gender neutral,” i.e. both women and men can be accused of these crimes. Does this sound right? Can we sweep away the painful, historical and contemporary reality of masculine violence against women in India — of women, stalked and raped by men in fields, homes and streets? Yes, in custodial situations, women can be perpetrators of sexual violence — no one who has seen images of Abu Ghraib should believe otherwise. But not across the board. Given the brute nature of gender-based inequities in India, the huge imbalance of power between men and women, the realities of rape across our towns and villages, is this the law that the women of India deserve?

For every complaint made against an offender, there now arises a real possibility of counter-complaints that will silence women even more than they are today. Which woman will brave the sceptical stance of the police and judiciary to seek justice when she herself stands to be in the dock, accused of the same crime as the offender? These are the questions Parliament must ask.

The SC report and Ordinance also uphold impunity of the police, keeping intact their licence to refuse to lodge FIRs, to smirk and scorn women who seek its help. The JVC report had recommended creating a new offence (166A) for public servants who disobey the law and proposing a mandatory minimum sentence. The Standing Committee supports inclusion of this offence but says ‘no’ to a minimum sentence. So, a rap on the knuckles is the only real deterrent we offer erring police. Parliament must demand full accountability from the public servants of this country — to ensure that they provide protection and ensure prosecution if women are violated; and Parliament must ensure that any new Bill on sexual assault and rape proposes a minimum sentence for erring public officials.

AGE OF CONSENT

And where will Parliament stand on age of consent? Will it stand up for the rights of the young men and women of India, who deserve the right to be young, and to not be criminalised? Or should we make them even more vulnerable to self-appointed moral guardians with medieval mindsets, to the khappanchayats, by making sexual contact with anyone between 16-18 years a statutory offence, as the Ordinance 2013 does and the Standing Committee upholds? Statutory offence means any third party can threaten young people with jail-time; it means a judge must convict them, even though the couple may beg and plead and say this was not a crime; it means harassment by police in inter-caste relationships; it means a powerful tool in the hands of the wrong people. If Parliament passes a Bill that criminalises consensual sexual contact with anyone between 16-18, India’s portrait will hang in the international gallery of shame.

There is more at stake — will the new Bill recognise marital rape? Or, make it obligatory on the State to provide reparations for victims? At the time of writing we do not know what the provisions of the Government’s new Bill will be. If it upholds the provisions and spirit of the Justice Verma Committee report, Parliamentarians must pass it into law, and as you thump your tables in approval, women outside will celebrate with you. This time, in memory of a young woman who died as no woman should, Parliament must speak for all the women of India. And this time the ramparts of patriarchy must give.

(Farah Naqvi, a writer and activist, is a member of the National Advisory Council. Views expressed here are personal. E-mail: farah.naqvi64@yahoo.com)

 

POSCO land acquisition halted following naked protest threat #goodnews


 

By Newzfirst Correspondent3/7/13

 

Bhubaneswar – The district administration of Jagatsingpur in Odisha on Thursday temporarily halted the forcible land acquisition process for POSCO steel project after receiving a naked protest threat from the women of Gobindpur village in Jagatsingpur district.

“On receiving information about the naked protest by village women, the district administration has stopped the land acquisition process today,” Prashant Paikray, spokesperson of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), told Newzfirst.

Distressed over Odisha Government’s forcible land acquisition process, women from Gobindpur village had announced on Wednesday that they would stage a naked demonstration before the Police force, and demand complete stoppage to the forcible land acquisition.

“If Government continues with the land acquisition process, our village women will also continue with the naked protest,” Paikray added.

Villagers of Jagatsingpur district have been protesting against the land acquisition for POSCO’s $12 billion steel plant since many years. The proposed steel plant, which will produce 12 million tonnes per annum, is the largest foreign investment in India.

 

Kerala: 3 year old gangraped is fighting for her life #Vaw #WTFnews


 

CHILDRAPE

Vidya Iyengar Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013, 12:31

Thiruvananthapuram, March 7: Even as the government claims to be working on enhancing security for girls and women, a 3 year old girl who was kidnapped and gangraped is battling for life at a local hospital. The girl was found abandoned near the Thrikandiyur following a search launched by the police.

The girl was first admitted to the Tirur District Hospital and later shifted to the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital (KMCH). According to Kozhikode Medical College Hospital (KMCH) deputy superintendent J C Cheriyan, the condition of the girl is improving. According to doctors who have performed two surgeries on her, she will take months together to recover.

The abandoned child was found on Tuesday morning. “She had high fever and was found with ants crawling all over her body,” eye-witnesses said. The girl’s mother who is a rag-picker is in a state of shock. On Monday night, when she went to sleep her daughter was beside her but when she woke up on Tuesday morning the girl was missing.

Although the child was admitted with severe injuries, she is now out of danger. She is currently under observation in the ICU. The medical examination has confirmed it was a rape. The girl has suffered a number of internal injuries. 16 men have been detained for questioning in connection with the rape.

According to district police chief K Sethuraman in the coming day more people will be questioned. “Police will ensure that the culprits behind the incident are nabbed,” additional director general of police N Shanker Reddy said. He visted Tirur and held a meeting with the invetigation team.

The Kerala Women’s Commission Chairperson KC Rosakutty visited the girl and her mother at the hospital and said that that all would be given to the child who would be under their protection. OneIndia News

Read more at: http://news.oneindia.in/2013/03/07/kerela-3-year-old-gangraped-1165832.html

 

PRESS RELEASE- Gender Just, Gender Sensitive and NOT Gender Neutral Rape Laws #Vaw #Justice


Parliamentary Committee ignores Verma Committee

 

The report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the 2012 Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill as well as the 2013 Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance not only violates the letter and spirit of the Justice Verma Committee (JVC) recommendations but endangers and deepens women’s vulnerability in this country.

Representatives of women’s groups, democratic and human rights groups and activists are alarmed about the following major lacunae in current legislative protection to women, upheld by the Standing Committee report:

 

The Accused Must Be Male: One pernicious provision of the Ordinance 2013, upheld by the Committee report is blanket gender neutrality of the perpetrator of sexual harassment, assault and rape. Put simply: unlike in existing law where the accused is male, the Committee recommendations if enacted into a proposed new Bill, will make it possible for women to be charged with these offences. This is wholly unacceptable.

  • The Reality of Rape: It is an act of violence that must be seen in the context of deeply entrenched power inequalities between men and woman in our society.  Gender neutral provisions only strengthen those already powerful, silencing the real victims. The police and legal system are part of this inequity and bias against women, evident in the huge impunity for rape in our country. Recommending that these laws be gender neutral makes mockery of this reality.
  • The Chilling Effect: Apart from situations where women hold positions of statutory authority (like police officers, etc), in all other situations,  making the accused gender neutral means that complaints by women can be met with  counter-complaints to get them to withdraw. Given the current odds against women securing justice, the gender neutrality of accused in sexual violence laws, will have a deep chilling effect on women’s ability to even file complaints.
  • Men, not boys: There is no basis to the argument that gender neutral laws allow young boys to be protected from abuse, because all young boys and girls are fully protected by gender neutral laws in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012.

 

Age Of Consent Must Remain 16: The Standing Committee report endorses the 2013 Ordinance, by raising the age of consent from 16 to 18, thus criminalizing the consent of young persons and exposing them to unjust imprisonment by forcing judges to take action merely on third party complaints, including khap panchayats. At the very least, any proposed new law should allow for a Young Person’s Defence, where consent of young persons between 16-18 years is taken into account if there is no more than 4 years age difference between two consenting parties.

 

Rape Within Marriage Must Be Recognized As An Offence: Marital status must not have any bearing on the right of a woman to say no! The law must recognize when sexual assault and rape occur within marriage. Also, current IPC provisions recognizing rape in the context of judicial separation must be replaced by simple separation, given that most separated couples do not get judicial decrees, but simply start living apart. Without this change the law makers are only sending a signal that even while living apart from her husband, a woman can be raped by him without any recourse to justice.

We are also deeply concerned by the Standing Committee’s silence on ending impunity for sexual assault by security forces. The existing statutory immunity for armed forces ‘acting in the line of duty’ surely cannot apply to sexual assault committed on women. No sanction should be required to proceed with prosecution of such personnel in sexual assault cases.

As the 2013 Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance and the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee enter into Parliament for debate, we urge ALL PARTIES aligned with women’s rights to ensure that laws made in the wake of the brutal Delhi gang rape case do not leave women even more vulnerable than they already are.

Date: 6th March 2013, signed by:

– Kalpana Mehta, Madhya Pradesh Mahila Manch, Indore

– Vrinda Grover, lawyer, New Delhi

– Farah Naqvi, women’s rights activist, New Delhi

– Kavita Krishnan, Secretary, AIPWA

– Madhu Mehra, Partners for Law in Development, New Delhi

– Chayanika Shah & Sandhya Gokhale, Forum Against Oppression of Women, Bombay

– Deepti Sharma, Saheli, New Delhi

– Kamayani Bali Mahabal,  Kractivist

– Nandini Rao, New Delhi

– Albeena Shakil

– Lesbians and Bisexuals in Action, Bombay- Lawyers Collective, New Delhi

– Kalpana Vishwanath & Suneeta Dhar, Jagori, New Delhi

– Gautam Bhan, New Delhi

– AALI, Lucknow

– Nirantar, New Delhi

– Karuna Nundy, Advocate, Supreme Court of India

– Seema Misra, Lawyer, New Delhi

– Ayesha Kidwai, GSCASH, JNU

– Prita Rani Jha, Peace and Equality Cell

– Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression

 

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