Mamta Sharma , NCW Chief is worried about dwindling child sex ratio , because MEN will be without BRIDES #WTFnews


2 crore men may soon be without brides: NCW chief

, TNN | Apr 18, 2013,

NAGPUR: Marriageable men in India would soon face difficulty finding brides. Female infanticide in the country has led to skewed gender ratio, National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma said here on Wednesday. “What is more alarming is that gender discrimination is more in urban centres that are supposed to have higher literacy rate than in less literate rural areas,” said Sharma.

“The situation is worse in north Indian States like Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. In South India, the ratio is better but in those states the incidence of domestic violence is high,” NCW chief said. “In near future, NCW is apprehensive that the country will have around two crore bachelors who will face difficulty in finding a suitable match if the trend of female infanticide continued,” Sharma said quoting data with NCW.

The male-female ratio would drop to such a level that it would be difficult to bridge the gap, Sharma said. NCW was intensifying its awareness campaign to stop female infanticide and killing of female fetuses which was rampant in some parts, particularly north. “The practice continues in most state across the country. Even in Maharashtra, it was rampant in district like Beed,” she added.

Asked if recent stringent law against rape would make any difference, Sharma voiced her reservations saying: “A new set of laws would hardly make a difference. Strong laws were already there. What matters more is implementation. There is need for sensitizing the police force as well as judiciary for faster trials and better conviction rates. Victims, mostly from economically poor background, suffer as the police fail to press correct charges and a weak case does not stand in courts,” Sharma remarked.

The NCW chief noted that after the recent awareness campaigns by social organizations have been effective. “But there is a long way to go and there is need for change of mindset to give women the respect they deserve,” Sharma noted. NCW would soon sign an MoU with Western Railway for creating awareness among railway staff on suburban trains in Mumbai on how to treat female passengers and commuters while travelling and also how to protect and help them in distress.

Sharma, who was here for the inaugural function of “Padharo Rajasthan” festival, said NCW was also initiating steps to curb trafficking from Pakistan, Nepal, China and Bangladesh borders. She said NCW would hold meeting with heads of security forces manning borders to discuss measures to check trafficking.

 

#Hyderabad -Condemn the inhuman incident of blast, Demand to stop Media trial


Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee. India

 Amberpet, Hyderabad, A.P. India 500013

Contact Nos: 09391051586, 09347853843 Fax No: 040-27427860

Webwww.civillibertiesindia.org Email: clmci@hotmail.com

21st February 2013

 

 

Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee strongly condemns the blasts which took place in Dilsukh Nagar area of Hyderabad .It is an inhuman act and it should be seen as crime against humanity. This committee expresses its grief and conveys its solidarity with families of victims of these blasts. It is a matter of deep concern that state administration and its agencies completely failed to maintain law and order situation and to curb the anti social element who are involved in this blasts strike from time to time.

 

This Committee demands Govt. to investigate bomb blasts cases in fair manner by keeping in view all the angels so that real criminals should be brought to justice.

 

This Committee strongly believes that present political situation in Andhra Pradesh is so worst that any thing worst would have been expected. Whenever a political turmoil occur in congress party this kind of gruesome incidents do get crop up.

 

One thing can be said clearly that due to this blasts mind of general public is being diverted from the real important issues. Separate Telangana movement which was going to be started from 24th February by “Sadak bund” has suffered a big setback.

 

CLMC urged media to be sensitive in reporting the blasts, halt their self investigation and stop targeting particular community in their media room trail.  CLMC strongly condemn irresponsible reporting of media quoting unnamed Intelligence sources’ jumping to conclusions. CLMC believe that this kind of reporting is also an act of terror which is aimed to targeting Muslim community.

 

 

Lateef Mohd khan

General Secretary. CLMC

 

 

#India- #Acid attacks: the warped face of love #Vaw


Illustration: Rishabh Arora

It was probably just another day for techie J Vinodini as she walked home in Karaikal in South India at 10.30 pm on November 14 with a friend. Seconds later, life as she knew it would change irrevocably. A crazed stalker, a construction worker she had turned down and who had been stalking her since, accosted her and flung acid into her face.

She lies in hospital, with 40 percent burns, “severe burns to the head, chest, hands and stomach,” according to the news report. Apart from the disfigurement, she has also lost vision in both eyes. Numerous surgeries will be needed to reconstruct her face to some semblance of what it was before the attack. When acid hits the skin, the initial sensation is that of icy coldness. An instant later, the burning begins as it eats through skin, cartilage, hair, and even bone, depending on the concentration. Within seconds, the acid can burn and destroy body tissues on contact. Skin, hair, cartilage and bones dissolve, the nose becomes a hole, the vapours burn the respiratory and the digestive tracts, fingers get fused together, gaping holes can remain where eyes once were and the ears get damaged. The lungs can fill up with fluid which can often be fatal.

If a victim survives, she spends a lifetime undergoing reconstructive surgeries, being a social recluse with loss of vision and also, because of her appearance, loss of a normal life with a family and a job. I say ‘she’ because a majority of acid attack victims are women. The incidents seem to be on the increase. In Mumbai, my city, in January this year, IT firm employee Aarti Thakur was attacked by a person, hired by her spurned lover, who flung acid at her in public at the Goregaon railway station, burning her face, chest and arms. Shockingly, this was not the first time she had been attacked. Her face had been slashed by attackers on two previous incidents.

In early November this year, filmmaker Jerrit John went to physiotherapist Aryanka Hosbetkar’s home and flung a chemical into her face in the presence of her friends and mother. It was not the first time he had attacked her either, according to newspaper reports. In a previous incident, he had caught her head and banged it against a wall. She had refused to file a complaint against him because she was terrified of his temper. Jerrit was finally apprehended in a lodge on the outskirts of Mumbai. He stated after being arrested, “I wanted to destroy her future.” What shocked everyone, was that this was “someone like us, someone I knew,” as a friend stated, in disbelief.

Someone like us; not someone from a socio-economic section distinct from us, the educated middle class, as the popular perception goes. Someone like us; someone we knew. Arti Shrivastav was attacked by the District Collector’s son, Abhinav Misra, in January 2000, when she was just 18. In 2009, Abhinav was sentenced to 10-year imprisonment with a Rs 5 lakh fine. In 2011, he was out on bail. He went on to do his MBA, got married and had a family. A district collector’s son: someone like us. A boy from a decent family with educated parents.

Shirin Juwaley, founder of the NGO Palash, was attacked by her own husband – someone like us. There isn’t a particular type of attacker but there is one kind of victim: a woman, a girl. More often than not, a girl who has rejected sexual advances, declarations of love, who refuses to get into a relationship with the perpetrator, who has turned down an offer of marriage. A woman who must be put in her place, a girl who would never be able to get married or lead a normal life because she had the temerity to reject the perpetrator.

Sonali Mukherjee, an acid attack victim from Jharkhand, recently brought the topic into the limelight when she demanded justice or be permitted to end her life. Her case was taken up by the media and reconstructive surgery was offered to her. She had been through as many as 22 surgeries in the nine years since the attack and this was the first of many surgeries she would now undergo at a multi specialty hospital in a bid to get a face as close to normal as possible. Not only did Sonali lose her face in the acid attack that happened when she was barely 17, she also lost her vision. Her crime? She rejected the sexual advances of the perpetrators.

Acid attacks are not just used as a weapon of revenge by obsessive or jilted lovers; they’re also, more horrifically, being used as social controls to make women adhere to a code of conduct decreed by the self declared custodians of our morals. In August this year, posters from an organisation called the Jharkhand Mukti Sangh warned college girls of acid attacks if they wore jeans and tops. Also in August, a pro-Al-Qaeda group in Kashmir pinned notices in mosques in Shopian district warning women that their faces would be disfigured with acid if they were seen unveiled in public.

Interestingly, for the first time ever, acid attacks have got a standalone provision under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The proposal is that two sections — 326A (hurt by acid attack) and 326B (attempt to throw or administer acid) — be added to the IPC Section 326. This is a non-bailable offence. If this law is passed, the attacker could be jailed for anything between 10 years to life with a fine of Rs 10 lakhs under Section 326 A (with the fine being given to the victim) and from five to seven years imprisonment with a fine for imprisonment under Section 326B. Acid attacks had no separate law so far. The sale of acid, even more horrifically, is still unregulated, with no checks in place. Anyone intending to disfigure someone’s face can procure a bottle of acid from the local kirana store. Anyone who had committed an acid attack could get out on bail and lead a regular life.

There are no exact statistics available for the number of acid attacks annually in India, none that I could find despite extensive googling. All I found was this: “There is no official statistics for India, but a study conducted by Cornell University in January 2011 said there were 153 attacks reported in the media from 1999 to 2010.” These are women who are not even a statistic, women whose lives, dreams, hopes and aspirations have melted away with their flesh, who are condemned to live lives worse than death.

We could learn from Bangladesh which introduced the death penalty for acid attacks in 2002, along with strict laws controlling the storage, transport and sale of acids. And most importantly, we need to bring up our boys to realise that women are not commodities, to learn to accept rejection, to know that they have no right to disfigure a woman in a warped display of “if I can’t have her, no one else will” or to “teach her a lesson.” The only lesson here is that a young girl’s life can be ruined for as little as a few rupees and that ruin, is a blot on our collective conscience.

– Kiran Mnaral – (The views expressed in this column are the writer’s own)

 

Sunday Reading-Three sisters and Kabir


Mar 17, 2012, Women Feature Service (WFS) :

Kamayani Bali Mahabal meets three sisters who took their interest in the weaver-poet, Kabir, to a new level.

So just what is common between three sisters from South India: Archana Sundararajan, a classical dancer from Madurai; Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy, a graphic designer from Bangalore, and Jaya Madhavan, a writer from Chennai? The poet, Kabir.

During the Kabir Festival held at Prithvi House in Mumbai last month, the trio staged a unique and thought-provoking presentation on the great poet-weaver, entitled ‘Ankath Kahani’, which translates as ‘Unsaid Story’. The Kabir festival is a voluntary effort by people from different walks of life, drawn together by their passion for the poetry of Kabir and the music of folk singers.

The performance of the sisters threaded story, song and dance into a unique “word-sound and movement” dramatisation, punctuated by personal sharing, excerpts from Kabir’s work and dance movements for selected couplets. But the pivot on which ‘Ankath Kahani’ rested was a song which they sang as an impassioned plea to the great weaver-poet, to evoke a sense of Kabir, the sensitive, sensible and spiritual being that is present in all of us.

Archana danced to Kumar Gandharva’s ‘Ud jaaega hans akela…’ even as Bindhumalini’s singing took audiences to a level where being is “just to be there”. The beautiful interpretation of the song, in dance form, mesmerised the 100-plus listeners as they chanted Kabir’s couplets with the sisters. Soon there seemed to be no difference between the performers and the audience — both entities had merged in the bliss of Kabir’s verse.

How did the women choose Kabir? It was Jaya who first took the plunge when she wrote a book on him seven years ago. She says, “Kabir was a fortuitous encounter, a life enhancing one for me.” Describing this journey she reveals that it was Linda Hess’s translations of Kabir’s work that first opened her eyes to the poet. “I was so enraptured by the man’s courage, vision and well — insanity — and the fact that there was so much drama around him, that I decided to record my responses to him as a play.”

She then wrote a short skit with just two characters — a warp and a weft — with her sister Bindhumalini and herself playing the two roles. The play was shot through with Kabir’s couplets, his ideals and anxieties; not as his admirers and protégés saw them but as an outsider who loved Kabir. The warp and weft became many things in the play: Hindu-Muslim, India-Pakistan, Mullah-Pundit — but never was Kabir evoked in his entirety. Looking back Jaya confesses, “I think he still had shades of grey in my mind then.”

At that point Jaya realised that she knew only two things about Kabir: One, that he was a poet, and, two, that he was a weaver. “The poet I seemed to know, the other I didn’t. So I took up weaving classes,” she laughs. That experience changed her view of the poet. As she puts it, “Frankly, it is the loom that showed me a glimpse of Kabir, and taught me creative introspection.

It is the ‘thakli’, the dye, the loom, the warp and the weft, which spoke of the image of the poet for me. I married the weaver and poet as the warp and weft to draw a fuller picture of Kabir. I really believed, like the much loved Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar (also a weaver), Kabir’s ‘dohas’, or couplets, were born out of the material at hand and his vocation. This may be the reason why the loom features so strongly in my book. It is as if it bears witness to his bursts of poetry,” she elaborates.

It was not just Jaya’s work that got influenced by Kabir, her life changed, too. “For a while I even did drastic things like trying to fit all my needs into a small bag and living out of it. I wanted to distinguish between needs and wants. I began reducing my needs, meditating regularly, walking to my destination, and so on. The man does that to you. Unlike other Bhakti poets we know, this man wants to take you along. He wants to share his truths with you,” reveals Jaya.

But how did her sisters get roped in? Says Bindhumalini, who is also a trained singer in Carnatic and Hindustani music, “What attracted me was that Kabir touches every aspect of life. Happiness, bliss, renunciation. He becomes the ultimate being, the guru, the formless one that speaks. And his special poems, called ‘Ulat Bansi’, really made me fall in love with him. He is abstract no doubt, but somewhere something will catch you and the insight hits hard.”

As for Archana, a trained Bharatanatyam dancer with an M.Phil in French, she discovered Kabir through the French language! “That was the catalyst. I got attracted to him when I started translating Jaya’s book into French. Later, I started to dance to Kumar Gandharva’s music on Kabir,” says Archana with a twinkle in her eyes.

Explaining their unique style of presentation — they just sit, read, sing and dance — the sisters say almost in unison, “Kabir, we felt, could be reached only through simplicity and with no pretension. He is someone you cannot claim to know. But we know ourselves and we know how we are impacted by Kabir. The lesser the distractions in the presentation, the better the focus.” In other words, the less the audience looks towards the performers, the more they look inwards so there is nothing visually distracting about the presentation.

What are their favourite Kabir couplets? Archana says, a touch philosophically, “My favourite is ‘Maya Maha Thugni Hum Jaani’ (Maya is the biggest thug, I have come to understand the power of illusion to be a great thug). It perfectly suits my life. Everything is bound in ‘maya’, illusion. I totally believe that.” Jaya finds solace in ‘Dheere dheere re mana/Dheere sab kuch hoi/Mali seenche sau gade/Ritu aaye phal hoye (Slowly, slowly O mind/Everything happens at its own pace/The gardener may water with a hundred buckets/fruit arrives only in its season). “We are leading such fast lives and want everything to happen immediately, but we don’t realise everything has its own time,” says Jaya.

Humming the couplet, Bindhumalini indicates her choice: “Haman hein ishk mastana/Haman ko hoshiyari kya/Rahe aazad yeh jag se/ Haman duniya se yaari kya” (I am bursting with love/ Why do I need to be careful?/Being free in the world). Says she, “This is a beautiful poem in which Kabir talks about the blissful state of absolute love, supreme and unconditional love towards oneself and the world. Here, when everything becomes one, there is no waiting. When the lover is within oneself, why befriend anyone else? And so on. It talks of a happy state and the happiness in this song makes these seemingly difficult concepts or experiences really possible. When we are blissfully happy, don’t we lose ourselves as we merge with the world?”

The sisters now hope to keep sharing Kabir with more and more people. Says Jaya in conclusion, “We have kept our performance simple so that it fits all contexts. It is entirely up to the listeners on how they should interpret it. We are ready and willing to go anywhere. We operate within the spirit of sharing. We have performed in drawing rooms, conference halls, balconies and, well, now Prithvi House, too! It is Kabir and the listeners that matter to us. As long as the sharing continues, the journey will materialise on its own.”

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