#India – shocking child rape – time to re-examine exactly how we’re bringing up our youth #Vaw


Second sight

Syeda Hameed | April 27, 2013, Times Crest

 

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The shocking rape of a child in Delhi must force us to re-examine exactly how we’re bringing up our youth

We are all numb with the events of the last five days, when the five-year-old child’s cries were heard by a neighbour in New Delhi and her small bloodied form was discovered in the basement, forty hours after the heinous deed. Manoj and Pradeep, the two alleged perpetrators of bestiality on the five year old ‘Gudiya’, were migrants to the city from Muzaffarpur and Lakhi Sarai in Bihar.

Around 15 years ago I had gone to these two districts in Bihar. Manoj and Pradeep must have been five or six year olds at that time, growing up in their hometowns. What schooling, what upbringing, what values were being imparted to them? Did they or their families ever imagine this tragic scene in their lives 15 years later?

In Muzaffarpur I had gone to see the work done by an activist, Viji Srinivasan, with the children of sex workers. Muzaffarpur has a famous red light area called Chaturbhuj Sthan where a certain congested row of houses has nameplates bearing names like ‘Neelam Kumari, dancer’ or ‘Pooja Kumari, dancer’. On entering the houses I discovered that all these sex workers, were Muslim girls with ‘concealed identities’. Viji’s organisation was training their daughters in skills which would help them escape the pressure of entering the sex trade.

Lakhi Sarai was another story. I had gone there to a large girls school for their Class 12 farewell function. The place was filled with girls of all ages performing around the theme ‘Beti ki Bidai’. They had used the metaphor of marriage to say goodbye to the outgoing students. Songs and dances were mostly tearfilled;the message given was that they were now ready to be married, hence the bidai. No one spoke of higher education, careers, jobs and freedom for the graduating girls.

From this intensely patriarchal society these two young men had found their way to a metro. All their supports were left behind in the village. A grandmother, an aunt, a sister;people with whom they had shared life and who were there to offer help. The city is too large, too impersonal, too cruel. Their only friends were young (and not so young men) from their own cluster of villages with whom they could speak in their own tongue.

They learnt their lessons on coping with the city from these ‘old timers’. If they were sodomised and brutalised in the process, it was part of the deal. To forget their own pain they had easy access to alcohol and pornography. They were thus hammered and hardened just as their teachers had been hammered and hardened during their own initiation.

Then there was easy access to Bollywood films in which their icons and heroes showed them the ropes. Bollywood lyrics gave then the lessons on playing havoc with a woman’s body. Examples abound;such as a song from Akshay Kumar‘s Khiladi 786 which puts words to their mouths: Chhad ke mein aaya voh tang galiyan / Aya mein aya vekhan teri rang raliyan/ Long drive pe chal pe chal mere nal soniye. (I have left behind my narrow lanes/ to feast my eyes on your fun and games/ Come for a long drive with me, Babe)

Against this black hole of a life in a big city, these two men had consumed alcohol, watched porn on their cell phones, bought chocolate bars and gone out in search of prey. That is when they saw the little child playing outside the building.

What values we are imparting to our children ? Are we teaching them to respect women and girls from the word go? What are they learning from their mothers and fathers, from families, from their schools, from their peers? Do they have the wherewithal to cope with the pressures of moving from rural to urban? We cannot stop the movement;we have not created livelihood opportunities in their native places. We have taken away their traditional livelihoods;we have opened up the world before their astonished eyes. This cohort of boys and men will grow monumentally in the years to come.

Nirbhaya is gone. Gudiya is struggling to stay alive. Media has started placing stories of sexual violence as centerpieces. Life in the cities is being disrupted by political parties and others who are using this event to make a political killing or grab media attention for two seconds. If only there were quick answers to the anguish that is pouring out from all quarters, they are very often at the wrong targets.

In Gudiya’s pain or Nirbhaya’s sacrifice we are not seeing our own failures. The road is long and arduous but it is a road that must be taken: the road to healthy values, better life and hope. Regardless of the colour of politics, it is this slow bandwagon to which all political parties need to hitch themselves to. We, the people, challenge them to do so.

The writer is member, Planning Commission, New Delhi 

 

#India – MGNREGA activist gangraped, murdered in Bihar #Vaw #WTFnews


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

Author(s): Alok Gupta, downtoearth.org
Date: Apr 3, 2013

Victim had angered influential landlord community of her village

A 45-year-old activist, who had been protesting against irregularities in the implementation of the rural employment guarantee scheme, was gang raped near Mandai Khurd village in Muzaffarpur on the night of March 27, the day of Holi festival. The victim died the next day while she was being taken to a local hospital.

The victim had reportedly became an eyesore for the influential landlords who have allegedly “hijacked” the rural employment scheme in the village using fake job cards. The activist (name withheld) was popular for her protests against the liquor mafia. The gang rape took place in a corn field when the victim was returning with her husband after meeting relatives.

Her husband was tied to a tree while she was forcibly carried away to a nearby field. The rapists reportedly tormented the victim for nearly half an hour. The victim’s husband was later untied by the assailants and threatened with dire consequences if he approached the police.

Enraged by the gang rape and subsequent death of the victim, villagers blocked the highway for nearly four hours. Rinku Devi, district secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Janwadi Mahila Samiti, alleged that activists protesting peacefully against the incident were beaten by goons and that three female activists were injured in the protest on March 28.

“The tormentors stuffed bamboo and pebbles in the private parts of the victim. There were deep teeth bite marks on her entire body,” Rinku said.

Villagers are also suspecting the role of police in the entire incident. Villagers claimed that police is not taking action to nab the criminals. They also blamed police for focusing on maintaining law and order in the village instead of arresting those who committed the crime.

Second murder of activist in a week
This is the second killing of a MGNREGA activist in the district. In both incidents, the role of police has come under scanner. Last week, an advocate, Ram Kumar Thakur, was shot dead in Ratnauli village after he exposed a MGNREGA scam.

Police claim that family members of the rape victim did not report the incident to the local police station. News about the incident reached district police headquarters after protesters blocked the road. “We have constituted raiding teams to nab the culprits. Police would have been able to act swiftly if the victim family had lodged an FIR,” Arvind Kumar Gupta, additional superintendent of police, Muzaffarpur, said.

There is also a widespread rumour that the post mortem report of the victim has been doctored. Protesting villagers said that police are refusing to give a copy of the autopsy report. “Our sources have informed that post mortem report says that victim was not raped,” villagers said.

There was no arrest till the time of filing of the report. Keeping in the view the tension reigning the village, a contingent of police have been deployed.

Press Release: Fact finding raises issue of Police Complicity in murder of Bihar RTI activist #MUSTSHARE


PRESS RELEASE

Date: 24.03.2013

Fact finding Team raises issue of Police Complicity in murder of crusader against corruption in Muzaffarpur

A six member fact finding team of the NAPM (National Alliance of People’s Movements) today visited Ratnauli village of Muzaffarpur district in Bihar, where Ram Kumar Thakur, a lawyer and RTI activist was shot dead yesterday evening, 23rd March. Ram Kumar was returning by cycle from the courts with his nephew early yesterday evening. On reaching Purshottampur village, Jamarua panchayat, at around 4:30 pm they were surrounded by six men who came on two motorcycles. The men who have been identified by the nephew are Raj Kumar Sahni, Brahmanand Sahni, Parmanand Sahni, Rajesh Kumar Sahni, Mahesh Sahni, Sukhdev Sahni. According to nephew, Sujit Kumar, It was Rajesh Kumar Sahni, the son of the Mukhiya who gave instructions to surround them and shoot. Ram Kumar was being rushed to the nearby hospital in a tempo when they were met by the police who transferred ram kumar to a bolero with a missing number plate and told the accompanying people to reach Prashant Hospital, but instead of taking Ram Kumar to Prashant Hospital the police took him to Ma Janaki hospital. Those accompanying Ram Kumar have said that the police caused a delay of two hours as a result of which Ram Kumar was brought dead to the hospital. An FIR stating the above has been filed in Manihari thaana this afternoon.

Ram Kumar Thakur had been actively raising the issue of corruption in his village, Ratnauli, for the last few years. He had filed a number of RTI applications on the implementation of the MNREGA and IAY. In a social audit conducted by the Department of Rural Development in September 2011, Ram Kumar Thakur, among others had raised objections to the inclusion of ‘ghost’ names in the muster roll that were read out during the public hearing. This resulted in an uproar where the Mukhiya and his supporters vociferously opposed these claims as false. The social audit could not be completed because of the disruption which then erupted into a fight where those who had objected to the fudged muster roll were beaten. Ram Kumar Thakur was also beaten by the Mukhiya’s men during this incident. After this incident an FIR was filed against the perpetrators by the district administration, however action is yet to be taken.
>

Most recently Ram Kumar had filed a case with the State Vigilance Commission on the installation of solar lights under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme. The case which was filed along with Sundeshwar Sahni of Lok Jagran Manch, an NGO based in Muzaffarpur raised questions on the allocation of money under the project and alleged mis-management of funds by the Mukhiya, Raj Kumar Sahni. The issues raised by them were even investigated by the Sub-Divisional Officer. The findings of this investigation are not yet available. Following this, in the month of December, Ram Kumar Thakur and his family had received death threats from the Mukhiya’s son, Rajesh Sahni. A letter asking for protection was even sent to the DIG of police by Ram Kumar Thakur asking for protection.

Over three months since Ram Kumar received threats at his home, over three months since the letter asking for protection was sent to the police, and well over a year since the fight that broke out during the social audit in which he was beaten, Ram Kumar was killed by the perpetrators of previous incidents of violence who were well known to the police and district administration. Had the police and administration taken notice of Ram Kumar’s appeal for protection, Ram Kumar Thakur would still be alive. Ram Kumar is succeeded by his wife, two daughters and a son.

Based on the facts that have come to light the NAPM demands that:

Those named in the FIR be arrested immediately
> Speedy trial is undertaken.
> Immediate compensation of Rs. 20 lakhs be given to the victim’s family
> Police complicity is investigated.

A complete investigation into the corruption issues raised by Ram Kumar in Ratnauli Panchayat should be done by the Rural Development Department, Government of Bihar.
This is the fifth case of murder of a RTI activist/ whistleblower in Bihar, making a serious note of this the Government should work towards a comprehensive law for the protection of such persons.

Ram Kumar was also an associate of the Bihar MNREGA Watch, which has been spear heading an unprecedented mobilization of workers in Ratnauli panchayat, and has in the past years spread to other blocks of Muzaffarpur. Sanjay Sahni and others of Bihar MNREGA Watch have been actively raising their voices for securing entitlements under MNREGA and the national and state pension schemes for close to two years through public meetings, demonstrations and application filing.

Members of the NAPM fact finding team included Shahid Kamal (NAPM), Ashish Ranjan (NAPM), Mahendra Yadav(NAPM), Ranjit Paswan (JJSS), Sanjay Sahni (Bihar MNREGA Watch) and Arvind Kumar (JJSS).
>

Contact Numbers : 9973363664/ 9973936658

www.jjabihar.org

 

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