#India- women coming out on ‘ sexual Abuse ” #Vaw #Torture

Monday , December 24, 2012 at 10 : 55

‘Nice Boobs

Sreemoyee Piu Kundu

This is personal. It has to be. It must.

This is the truth. It’s plain and simple. The way all truths are structured at the core, sans excuses.

This is painful. Not anger. Just the pain… the kinds you feel when the anger dies. Somewhere, after the sense of shame. Somewhere towards the end…a dark, closed ball of rage. The kinds that you see every night. Eyes shut. Lips pursed tight. Lines appearing on your forehead… before they disappear.

I was around twelve. I had my periods early. Or so I was told. I never asked whether that was common. If girls my age bled for four days, clutching their stomachs, writhing in pain, sitting out at the school basketball tournament, walking cross-legged, slinging their heavy satchels over their backsides, hoping to hide a faded blotch of redness. I don’t remember much else. Except that we were on a holiday. Except that my mother had packed a huge, big packet of Angela sanitary pads. Except that I was sore. Inside out. Except that I felt different. Walking slowly to the toilet outside our musty train compartment.

My grand-father had packed a lot of storybooks. In case I got bored on the onward journey. Tales of bravery and bravehearts. Rajkahini. By Abanindranath Tagore – folklore from the land of warrior princesses and dusty sand dunes. Of camels and concubines. Of conquests and caravans. Tall tales. Of handsome, moustached Rajput men saving damsels in distress and bejeweled queens burning on the funeral pyre of their slain warlords.

I was singing. It was almost dark. The toilet was occupied. I stood outside, staring at the smudged evening Sun. The way everything was just moving away too fast. On the inside that is. The world from a tiny train window.

He wasn’t very tall. But, he had a moustache. And had a pot belly. He was wearing a kurta. It’s corners damp. He was elderly. Younger than grand-father.

I don’t know why I smiled. Moving aside. The Sun set just then. It was the last day of my periods. I was carrying an Angela in a plastic bag. He grabbed it from my hands, placing his hands over my mouth, pulling me deftly into the bathroom. I tried screaming. I was shell-shocked.

He was stronger, overpowering me. At first. All the while moving his mouth in a strangely insidious manner, his chest heaving up and down. I tried reading his lips. It was also the first time I’d been touched by a man. Facing an Indian style commode. Stained in parts.

With one swoop, he lifted up my sweater. It was winter. His one hand still covering my mouth. I was gagging. I tried saying something. Screaming.

I don’t know how many times I tried, before I failed. Before he won. Maybe it doesn’t even matter. Now.

‘Nice boobs,’ he kept muttering, squeezing my breasts up and down, his yellowed nails digging in through my simple cotton bra. My first undergarment. Called Peter Pan. Bought from New Market in Kolkata.

Ironical, isn’t it? As I often tell myself now, whenever I recall that day. That moment. Those few minutes in a train to Jaisalmer, when a man I knew not fondled my breasts in a discolored train loo. His front pressed to mine. His stale after breath covering my face as he grinned lewdly, his hands fidgeting with my bra strap.

‘Nice boobs,’ he said again. And again. And again.

I’ve never spoken about this incident to anyone. Before tonight. I tried once. Telling a cousin sister I was very close to. A year or so after the ugly incident. ‘You’re lucky he didn’t shove his thing into you,’ she smirked, sucking on raw mangoes on our terrace.

I was crying a lot. Mosquitoes circled over our heads. An odd buzz. Like the mechanical drone of a train, perhaps.

‘Oh stop it. You know how many women get felt up in crowded buses, huh? Or in market places? You know I once had a family friend flash me his private. He was quite old. These things are normal. I mean… I know you feel dirty and stuff. But really, thank your lucky stars that there were others waiting outside the loo that evening. Imagine if the guy outside wasn’t dying for a shit! Get used to this – it’s what being a woman means. In India,’ she stated sternly, pulling me up by my shoulders.

As I sit watching the city of Delhi shudder in shame and cry itself hoarse, as I stare at women carrying placards and shout angry slogans, as I hear dozens of panelists shake their grim faces and propose ways to make this nation rape free, as I flip channels, moving from one press conference to the next. The same dialogue. The same police officer.

A woman this time. Defending an impotent system. A lawless country where the sons of ministers and rich film stars get away with molestation charges by stuffing wads of cash into the right pockets, where justice delayed is norm, where most often the police force is a mere political pawn acting at the behest of their high command, where women are still burnt for dowry and hit by their husbands.

A country of Sita, Kali and Durga, where women are often objectified and defiled and yes, in the same breath. Where a mother-in-law and a mother still forbid a woman from entering the kitchen or participating in a puja because she’s having her periods, for fear of contamination. Where women are married to trees to get rid of planetary infliction, where she is made to follow rigorous fasts every Tuesday to aid in contraception. Where witch doctors and God men and women still control a woman’s fate. A country of contradictions where mothers are still heard telling their daughters, ‘Beta dhang ke kapde pehno’. Where words like izzat and aabru shelter a woman’s soul, instead of setting it free, instead of celebrating her female form. A country where in arranged marriages, prospective in-laws still ask the parents of the girl to send her side profile and full profile shots. Where fair and lovely is what sells. Where a woman who is single, by her own choice is often crucified as being fast. ‘Uska toh character dheela hai,’ you say.

A country where the national capital has registered a whopping 17% rise in rape cases this year with 661 such incidents being reported till December 15 as compared to 564 during same period last year. A country where female fetuses are still aborted. A country of superstition and secrets. A country of corny Kamasutra brochures, where sex is still taboo. Where something as banal as Valentine’s Day still draws fanatical political ire in some regions. Where prime time soap operas thrive on venerating the suffering, silent, pativrata bahu whose biggest battleground is predominantly the kitchen. The lakshman rekha of her womanhood. After which a ghunghat must be neatly drawn. Head covered. Eyes lowered.

As the night draws and the dust settles over Raisina Hill, I’m left wandering is sloganeering and demanding the death penalty for rape enough? Is blaming the Congress Government or Sheila Dixit or Sonia Gandhi the solution? Is social activism a sure shot cure for a malaise in the system? A largely parochial, patriarchal order, where for generations, women have been treated like fodder. Pleasure givers. Baby makers. Forbidden to seek pleasure, in the same measure. Sometimes even from the same master.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for outrage. But, I can’t help cross referencing my own personal history here. About how I hid for all these years. About friends I have seen and strangers I have listened to – especially while researching my third book Sita’s Curse who were raped daily in the privacy of their bedrooms, behind closed doors. Tied to bedposts, asked to make MMS videos, whipped by hairy husbands, paraded to family gurujis who touched them, inappropriately. How so many women… how someone like me, just chose silence, delineating ourselves to a mere statistic? Becoming in that moment the women without a voice, the ones who sold out. Sold out fast.

Why do we chicken out when it comes to ourselves? Why don’t we raise our voice when a male colleague at work sends us dirty texts after work? Why do we not walk into the HR department at once when an ageing boss makes lewd, suggestive remarks? Why do we allow our perpetrators to think they can get away? That it’s easy enough. That this is India. Yahan pe sab chalta hai.

Could it be the low conviction rate for rape? As low as 10 percent declares a recent news report if you count rapes that are not reported. This despite rape being a punishable offence with 7 years jail, or 10 years to life for gang-rape. What are we so ashamed of? Our social terra firma? Our conscience? Our moral fabric? Our gender inequality? Generations of abuse? Unreported? Unnoticed? Untouched?

‘Let’s face it, if a rape victim lives, will our narrow minded, hypocritical society ever allow her live a normal life? Will she ever get married? Will her family ever be spared the snide remarks and the cruel stares? And what about counselors and women and child shelters? Are there enough here? And what about the Police? Are they even sensitive to the victims in such cases? And don’t even get me started on our judicial system… man… that torture for the victim and her family tantamount to another rape probably,’ claims a friend who is incidentally a Supreme Court lawyer.

‘But there is talk of fast track courts to speed up justice for rape case victims,’ I try interrupting when she adds firmly, ‘Listen we are just shouting hoarse right now, getting so emotional because of the enormity of the crime that was just committed. The scale of cruelty and torture… the way the girl in the school bus has shown a mirror to our own social impotency. Would the same reaction be witnessed if such an incident had occurred in a small village in the heart of India? Something the media would have not even got wind of. Then what? Who would we blame then?’ she quips in.

Her question gets me thinking. One last time. I wander what would have happened had I run back to my mother and pulled the chain to stop the train. I go back in time.

And just when the frustration rears its familiar head, I tell myself that this time… this time I will not look for someone to blame. That like the India unfolding before my eyes, I must look outside now.

To not see rape and abuse as the man who groped my breasts, but the person who made me into a woman. Making me grow up. Making me know that I had something that needed to be guarded and fought for. That I was worth that – an iota of dignity and lots of self respect. That I wasn’t too young back then. Just too ashamed. Thinking that what I had could be taken away by someone. By a stranger with eyes the color of night. Someone with some power over me.

Let’s face it. It’s hard to be a woman. It always has. It always will and trust me when I tell you it’s never going to get any easier. But as I watch a young woman protester punch a police officer, shoving her hand indignantly in his face, trying to balance her lone poster, falling on the ground and shaking off the dust from her trousers as she gets up on her feet again, I know we will win. In the end.

Women like us. Everyday women. Women in short skirts. Women in high heels. Women without brassieres. Women with streaked hair. Women with naval piercings and tattoos. Women with multiple lovers. Women and children. Women with elaborate ghunghats and pallu trailing. Women in burqas and bazaars. Women in red light areas. Women in discos and nightclubs. Women protestors. Women on Facebook and Twitter. Women on top. Women with scars. Women with stories. Women with stains. Women in bikinis and bikes. Women on poster covers. Women in sports. Women in saris and salwaars. Women with moles and warts.

And ‘nice boobs’.

Women who live on. The women of India.

The fight that never ends. A fight that must turn inwards with the same sharpness that it now defends itself.

more here http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/author/3308/sreemoyeepiukundu.html

Delhi University bans rallies after molestation

, TNN | Sep 2, 2012,

NEW DELHIDelhi University decided to crack down on rallies and demonstrations on the campus after a complaint of molestation during one such event on Friday reached vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh on Saturday. In a terse, one-line order, the proctor imposed a “ban” which is being seen by large sections of the university community as undemocratic.

“In the light of the reported incident of eve-teasing and disturbing harmony in the campus during the student rallies, the university has decided to ban all rallies and demonstrations of any kind within the Delhi University campus till further notice,” said the order.

The complaint was made by an Indraprastha College student. At an interaction with the V-C on Saturday, other students from the college also raised the issue. The student was travelling by rickshaw near the Arts Faculty when she was molested, allegedly by some participants of the rally organized by National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) though the organization has denied that the miscreants were their members.

The “ban” has raised the hackles of both students and teachers. “I condemn the molestation and demand an investigation into it. I also condemn the ban and this behaviour of the university. It is shameful and undemocratic,” said Amar Deo Sharma, president, Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA).

The student bodies seemed to be united in their opposition to the ban. Both Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and All India Students’ Associaion (AISA) declared it undemocratic and asked why campus security can’t be more effective. “The fact is that the administration is inefficient when it come to these situations. Why couldn’t they identify the culprits and take action against them?” asked Sunny Kumar, general secretary, Delhi state, AISA. Rohit Chahal ofABVP wondered why footage from cameras placed on the campus and videos taken by guards and onlookers couldn’t be used to identify the molesters. “the university authorities are running away from their responsibilities. They should’ve taken action only against the culprits,” fumed Chahal.

NSUI denied that the molesters were part of its throng. Its spokesman Amrish Ranjan Pandey said: “Whoever has done it, has done it to ruin our image. We want them punished too.” He condemned the ban.

Apparently, ABVP is planning an “all women” rally on Monday in North Campus to protest against the molestation. And they might even be successful. The police point out – and highly-placed sources in the university agree – that the university has no jurisdiction over the roads. “The students have a right to protest on public roads as long as they do not compromise the law and order situation and have the required permissions. The university restriction is applicable only within the university and respective college premises,” says DCP (north) Sindhu Pillai. “We are trying to build pressure. Security is a great concern and many students have asked us to control these rallies,” said a source.

At the meeting with the VC, the students had said they “wanted such rallies banned”. Prof. Dinesh Singh had said in response that he was trying to work with the police to do exactly that. “I met the police last week and I will meet them again. We want to ban these rallies too,” he had said.

The victim had complained to her college but didn’t go to the police. The case was forwarded to them by the proctor on Saturday. “We have received the DU complaint. This is a serious allegation and we are contacting the victim concerned. We will definitely lodge a case if the girl is ready to file an FIR. We assure her that her safety will be our concern,” said Pillai.

Delhi Police will also be stepping up its presence in North Campus. Besides deploying women cops on bikes, more policemen in plainclothes will be posted outside prominent colleges from Monday. “This is the third incident of criminal instigation ever since the university elections were announced,” said Pillai. “Hence, the hostels too will be well-covered.”

(With inputs from Dwaipayan Ghosh)

West Bengal school principal accused of drugging, molesting students in hostel #VAW #WTFnews


, TNN | Aug 5, 2012, 12.48AM IST

West Bengal school principal accused of drugging, molesting students in hostel
A Bengal school principal-cum-warden has been accused of drugging and molesting students on the pretext of giving them medicines.

MALDA: The principal-cum-warden of a residential school in Kaliachak has been accused of drugging and molesting students on the pretext of giving them medicines. Though many students have been allegedly victimized for years, it came to light when the father of a Class IX girl lodged a complaint against the principal,Najib Ali, last Friday.

Ali, who is an influential Trinamool leader, has gone into hiding. It is the latest in a string of crimes in Bengal schools, from a girl being stripped in a co-ed classroom to another being forced to lick her own urine in hostel.

SS Point Residential School of Nazirpur has been running for 10 years and around 100 girls stay in a hostel adjoining the campus. Though only three have officially complained, many more have alleged that Ali, who lived near the school, regularly misbehaved with them.

A few days back, when a Class IX student fell ill, Ali was summoned to the hostel. Instead of giving her medicines, he allegedly drugged the student to make her unconscious and then molested her, says the FIR.

On Friday evening, the girl’s father went to meet her at the hostel and found her unusually quiet. It took a lot of coaxing to get her to speak, says the father. “When my daughter told me about her experience. I was too shocked to react. I rushed to the principal’s room. But he denied the charges and said it was a conspiracy to defame him. Then the other students also narrated their ordeal,” he said.

The victim’s father went to Kaliachak police station late on Friday night and lodged a complaint against Ali. Soon other guardians and villagers joined him and demanded that Ali be arrested. “We could never imagine that the students were put through such torture. The girls kept quiet because they were scared of their future,” said another guardian.

With Ali being a Trinamool leader, the allegation caused the party much embarrassment. The party’s district president, social welfare minister Sabitri Mitra, said: “The police have to arrest the accused teacher without considering his political affiliation.” She even blamed police inaction for the rise in crime against women in the district.

Malda SP Jayanta Pal said that Kaliachak police raided Ali’s house but he was not found. Police teams are out looking for him.The victim’s father went to Kaliachak police station late on Friday night and lodged a complaint against Ali. Soon other guardians and villagers joined him and demanded that Ali be arrested. “We could never imagine that the students were put through such torture. The girls kept quiet because they were scared of their future,” said another guardian.

With Ali being a Trinamool leader, the allegation caused the party much embarrassment. The party’s district president, social welfare minister Sabitri Mitra, said: “The police have to arrest the accused teacher without considering his political affiliation.” She even blamed police inaction for the rise in crime against women in the district.

Malda SP Jayanta Pal said that Kaliachak police raided Ali’s house but he was not found. Police teams are out looking for him.


IMMEDIATE RELEASE-Ethical Questions Raised as Molestation of Young Indian Girl is Captured on Camera

July 16, 2012

Ethical Questions Raised as Molestation of Young Indian Girl is Captured on Camera

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins partners and affiliates in India in calling for full disclosure of the circumstances in which a shocking incident of the public molestation of a young girl by a mob of more than twenty men was captured on video camera by a news channel reporter.

Video images of the incident, which occurred late evening on July 9 in the city of Guwahati in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, soon went viral on the web, provoking mass public outrage and questions over the role of the news reporter in the incident.

The Journalists’ Union of Assam (JUA), a constituent unit of the IFJ-affiliated Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU) has reacted sharply to the incident, and called on all journalists to “adhere to the norms of journalistic conduct set by the Press Council of India and International Federation of Journalists”.

“Journalists are members of civil society and it is their duty to observe decency and not be mere spectators when they encounter any preventable crime”, said JUA President Geetartha Pathak. “Media persons should understand that human lives and honour are more important than increasing television ratings or circulation”.

The IFJ has learned that human rights groups in Assam state have analysed the entire video recording of the incident and concluded that a reporter with the NewsLive channel may have provoked and instigated the attack. There are reports that the video features some of the twenty strong mob striking a pose for the camera and at least one occasion when the camera focuses on the face of the victim and a microphone is thrust forward and inquiries are made about her name and identity. Perpetrators of the crime are also seen brushing the hair off the victim’s face so that her identity could be captured on camera.

The news channel management has defended the reporter’s conduct, on the grounds that his video footage has helped local police in identifying the perpetrators of the crime. The management claims that the reporter happened to be passing by the area at the time of the incident and reacted as any newsperson would, summoning the sole cameraman on duty at the news channel’s nearby office.

The reporter has since resigned from his job with the channel, which is owned by a powerful local politician and minister in the Assam state cabinet.

“We are shocked and distressed at this incident and extend our solidarity to the victim as she seeks to recover from the trauma”, said the IFJ Asia-Pacific. “We call on all concerned journalists to join the public debate that arises from this incident”.

“The pervasive spread of new digital technologies and the rapid and largely unregulated growth of the visual media, make a full and authoritative restatement of the norms of journalistic conduct in situations involving crime and the violation of basic human rights, an absolute imperative”.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific


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