#India – Tribal Woman raped in bus, helper arrested #Odisha #Vaw


Odisha Tribal woman raped in moving bus

PTI : Bhubaneswar/Cuttack, Wed Jun 19 2013, 1


A 25-year-old tribal girl was allegedly raped by the helper of an air-conditioned luxury bus in which she was travelling, police today said. The accused identified as Susanta Hembram has been arrested for allegedly raping the tribal girl, resident of Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, in the moving bus on Sunday night when other passengers were fast asleep, they said.

In her complaint, the victim alleged that Hembram raped her in the rear seat of the private bus en route Jagatpur near Cuttack, between 3 to 3.30 am when there were only few passengers and all of them were asleep, City DCP S Praveen Kumar said.

Hembram is believed to be an acquaintance of the victim,who works as a domestic help in Jagatpur, on the outskirts of Cuttack city. The incident came to light when the girl was rescued by some people at Gatiroutpatna, about 5 km from Cuttack on Cuttack-Jagatsinghpur road yesterday.

The Mahila police station of the city after registering a case sent both the accused and the victim for medical examination on the day. A police scientific team is also assisting the city police in investigating the case.

The State Transport Commissioner Surendra Kumar informed that the permit of the passenger bus in which the crime was committed has been cancelled. “It is one of the primary duties of the bus staff to ensure that the passengers boarding the buses travel safely and reach their destinations unharmed,” Kumar said. Meanwhile, the Private Bus Owners’ Association condemning the incident has demanded that stringent punishment should be given to the bus helper and urged the bus owners to ensure that the credentials of the persons are verified properly before they are recruited to perform duties in the buses plying at night.

#India – Woman brutally assaulted with iron rods in Ludhiana as people look on #Vaw #WTFnews

IANS | Apr 17, 2013, 04.00 PM IST

READ MORE Ludhiana Assault|Iron Rods
Ludhiana: Four men beat up woman in public

Ludhiana: Four men beat up woman in public
LUDHIANA: A woman was brutally assaulted with iron rods and sticks by a group of men in Punjab’s Ludhiana district – people watched as she cried for help but little help was forthcoming.The incident, which once again demonstrates societal indifference, took place on April 3 and was captured on camera. It comes close on the heels of last month’s incident of Punjab police officers brutally thrashing a young woman in Tarn Taran district.

The victim filed a complaint, leading police in Ludhiana to register a case and launch a hunt to arrest the accused.

Police officials said the woman had gone to meet the accused and demanded that they return the Rs 20,000 that they owed her. She insisted that her money be refunded. At this, the men assaulted her with iron rods and sticks.

Though there were other people present on the spot, none came to the rescue of the helpless woman.

An elderly man and another woman seen in the video trying to stop the men were also attacked and shooed away.

The victim was not only beaten but pushed to the ground and thrashed even as she cried for help.

“We have identified the men involved in this crime. We will arrest them soon,” a police officer said.


Mumbai–Woman gang-raped in front of male friend throughout night #VAW #WTFnews

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

By, TNN | Mar 15, 2013, 01.07 AM IST

MUMBAI: A 23-year-old woman was raped by four men through Wednesday night in the presence of her male friend at his home in Vile Parle (E). Her torture continued for more than five hours till her friend managed to hoodwink the accused and call up an acquaintance who led the police to the spot and got the four arrested.The accused, Rajesh Varma (21), Ramchandra Humbe (30), Krishna Kevat (31) and Mahesh Kewat (20), were produced in the Andheri magistrate court on Thursday. The court reprimanded the police for handling the case casually as they had not mentioned any strong point in the remand application. The officers had reportedly asked for the four’s custody stating that during the recording of witnesses’ statement, they wanted the accused in their custody to prevent them from threatening the witnesses. The court said such a request should have been made while opposing their bail application and not while demanding their remand. The magistrate subsequently remanded the four to police custody till March 20.Around 1.30am on Wednesday, a tourist taxi driver brought over his female friend to his chawl room at Sahar in Andheri (E); his wife and child were away to their village and he was alone at home. As the two walked towards the driver’s room, the four accused, notorious in the area for creating trouble, followed them, said the police.

The four, carrying alcohol bottles, barged into the room and accosted the man; brandishing a knife, they threatened him into silence, said the police. Even as three of the men pinned the driver down, one allegedly raped the woman.

After the first accused committed the crime, the four sat down and had a drink following which the remaining three took turns to allegedly rape the woman. The assault on the woman continued till morning when around 7am, the driver made an excuse of visiting the bathroom. From there, he called up his acquaintance. The friend approached the Vile Parle police who sent a team with him to the chawl. The four, who were still in the chawl room, were arrested and booked for gang rape, wrongful confinement and robbery.

The accused have confessed to have followed the victim and the driver to his room in the chawl.

Punjab Cops beats women after she complains sexual harassment #Vaw #WTFnews

Punjab police assault woman

Tarn Taran, March 4: Policemen in Punjab were seen clearly on camera hitting a young woman who allegedly tried to complain about harassment by a truck driver. The shocking footage was shot on a cellphone by a witness.

Four policemen have been suspended for the brutal assault. The 23-year-old woman says she was harassed by the truck driver while returning from a wedding party.

Her family then decided to approach constables who they spotted on the road at Tarn Taran near Amritsar.

But, the woman says, instead of helping her, the policemen took a bribe from the driver and started beating her.

Despite the footage, a senior police officer tried to defend the cops involved. “I don’t think our cops did anything (wrong)… they were actually trying to intervene and stop the fight between two sides,” said Sukhbir Singh, who heads the local police station.

Some policemen said that the altercation began when constables tried to arrest the victim’s father, who was allegedly drunk and was misbehaving. They say the woman tried to stop her father from being taken away by the policemen. However, they agreed that even if that were the case, there was no justification for the police hitting her in retaliation.

The 23-year-old woman says she was harassed by the truck driver while returning from a wedding party.

Her family then decided to approach constables who they spotted on the road at Tarn Taran near Amritsar.

But, the woman says, instead of helping her, the policemen took a bribe from the driver and started beating her.

Despite the footage, a senior police officer tried to defend the cops involved. “I don’t think our cops did anything (wrong)… they were actually trying to intervene and stop the fight between two sides,” said Sukhbir Singh, who heads the local police station.

Some policemen said that the altercation began when constables tried to arrest the victim’s father, who was allegedly drunk and was misbehaving. They say the woman tried to stop her father from being taken away by the policemen. However, they agreed that even if that were the case, there was no justification for the police hitting her in retaliation.


#India- Cop fired for beating Dalit woman on camera #Vaw

Sultanpur: In uniform, inside a police station, a cop slapped a young woman repeatedly. The 26-year-old Dalit gasped for breath, and tried to stop him, but he wouldn’t let her speak. A woman constable stood by watching.

This was what was captured on tape inside an Amethi police station. A freelance journalist who says he was in no position to help decided to film the incident so he could later use this as evidence against the policeman, Kailash Dwivedi. The tape has led to Dwivedi being sacked.

The woman’s husband was found dead on Wednesday. The police believes she is involved with his murder. Dwivedi, the Station Officer, was trying to extract a confession from her. Even if, during this assault, she did make any confession, it would not hold in any court. None of this seemed to matter to Dwivedi whose rage seemed unstoppable.

The National Commission for Women or NCW has asked for a report on the case. It also wants to know why a criminal case has not been filed against Dwivedi.


#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

I oppose #deathpenalty, #bobbitization, #chemicalcastration for #Rape will you KILL me ? #ShameonTOI #Vaw

Dec 21, Kamayani Bali Mahabal

Shame on you TOI. Take  down the Advertisement   the Poll  and apologize.

And  you have kept barabaric options of  bobbitization and chemical castration ?  




Parliamentarians should shout for  JUSTICE and Convictions , instead of saying things like ‘zinda lash’ (living corpse) and asking for death penalty.

Chemical castration breaches the physical intrinsity of the human body. As we have abolished physical penalties (chopping off hands, beatings etc), why would we re-introduce . Since castration is irreversible, should this penalty be allowed, especially as our judicial  system has been proven to be wrong every now and then. And tell me how will it work ? you will have to give injections fo depo vera— every time a rape is committed,  there will  someone  running behind the rapist on road to inject him ???

WITH THIS WHOLE CLAMOUR OF DEATH PENALTY, All the  Politician sitting in our parliament  are superficial people , the media wants more eyeballs and suddenly we have this knee jerk reaction to gang rape coming out in form of REVENGE and not JUSTICE. What a twisted logic is that  capital punishment will be an effective deterrent to potential rapists. The quantum of punishment does not deter crime. In fact, the higher the punishment, the lower the conviction rate.is required is speedy trial. Ensure speedy trials. That would deter would-be rapists.

If rape and violence against women are not rare but occur within every class, and at a variety of junctures, making the offense itself almost ordinary by nature of its frequency of occurrences, then to accord the death penalty for such cases would simply reduce convictions .Before the death penalty get the convictions right. 

The convictions against cases of violence against women, especially rape cases are themselves extremely complex and pivot around the nuanced issues of consent/force.  It is never a simple and straightforward matter to determine whether the woman had consented.  From the beginning? At what point otherwise? To what extent was she willing to have physical relations with a man? But at which point did it become force or coercion?  The entire issue of violence against women is not easily amenable to legalistic jargon that makes claims to truth “based on a binary logic which sets up oppositions like truth/untruth, guilt/innocence, consent/non-consent.  This binary logic is completely inappropriate to… the ambiguity of rape.

Women’s bodies as the new reason to kill ?

The point is “Death Penalty” to rapists is a reinforcement of the same “honour-shame” syndrome. Moreover why will the rapist not get rid of all possible evidence, which might take him towards death penalty? Yes, I mean why will he not kill the rape survivor in the end of the day? Moreover why should we go by the Sexual Hierarchy set by our patriarchal society? A sexual assault is a sexual assault and can’t be judged by the parameters of “penetration” alone. A Trauma is a trauma and can’t be judged by the parameters of “Honour” and “Shame”. In the end no woman loses her “honour” when she is raped. She loses it when she allows her mind to believe it.

The ideological underpinnings of the demand for the death penalty for rape reflect the traditional patriarchal and reactionary view of women as property.  Rape is seen not as an assault on the integrity of the women as assaulted, but far more as an assault of the community, of society, of the nation.The demand for death penalty  hides  certain power relations and assumptions made by those advocating the death penalty.  Furthermore, they point to the fact that bringing in the death penalty for rape will not in anyway increase convictions, but may lower the already very low-levels of convictions because of fear to convict any rapist incase of error. 

 The death penalty weighs the scales of justice heavily in favour of the state by giving the state legally sanctioned power over the life and death of its citizens.  Such power all too often is used arbitrarily; it is applied neither uniformly nor fairly, even in cases of the same nature and severity.  In many cases, the decision to apply the death sentence is driven by issues other than the crime itself.

By playing to the desire for revenge in individual cases, states in which the death penalty is used ignore difficult questions about the relationship between crime, the criminal and the state.  A fake sense of moral superiority is thus sustained as culpability is shifted from formal and informal social, political and economic structures of domination and oppression, solely to the accused.

  Hence for  me , a FEMINIST ,  these promises of security, better safety and liberty have been questionable and problematic.  It hides the strong link between justice and the state and how justice may operate to benefit certain parties only.  The  use of women’s bodies and the category of violence against women to insist on the death penalty is a manipulation of the feminist agenda and its concern for women into a tool by others (including but not exclusively the state) to control and discipline its citizens further.

As suggested by Foucault, the prison itself maybe a new way of ordering society, of disciplining it and creating new forms of docile bodies constituted in such a way as to make the power of the state and certain groups more effective.  It is important then to rethink forms of correction and punishment to ensure that those convicted of crimes are not merely placed in another institution in which power is even more insidious than even the death penalty or public executions.




Borivli woman was in no affair with John G Jerrit : Kin

, TNN | Nov 11, 2012, 05.44AM IST

MUMBAI: Film professional Jerrit John , 46 , was not having an affair with the Borivli woman he tried to target after his early morning attack on Aryanka Hozbetkar at Worlion Wednesday , according to a relative of the woman . The relative said that John was merely a distant relative of the Borivli woman and was angry with her because he felt she had destroyed his relationship with Hozbetkar.Earlier , it was reported that John , a married man with a son , was in a relationship with Hozbetkar as well as the Borivli woman , who is herself married and with a child. It was reported that after Hozbetkar and the Borivli woman found that he was two-timing them , they confronted him.After throwing a chemical on Hozbetkar , John went to the house of the Borivli woman to target her . But Hozbetkar alerted the Borivli woman , who didn’t open the. The Borivli woman’s relative said , “He was ringing the bell and hiding from the door camera . She opened the window of the safety door , saw him and shut the window . He threatened her for spoiling his relationship with Aryanka . The woman reported the matter to the police to avoid further trouble.”

The Borivli woman’s relative contacted TOI on Saturday to say that she was in no relationship with John , but just a distant relative . The relative said Hozbetkar had begun to doubt if she should continue her relationship with John and got the contacts of people who knew him . She then began contacting those people and in the process contacted the Borivli woman . The woman sent Hozbetkar a message back in which she discouraged her from continuing the relationship . Recently , John called the Borivli woman to ask if she had said anything about him to Hozbetkar . She denied any such communication , the source claimed.

“After Jerrit snatched Aryanka’s phone (on Wednesday morning ), he must have gone through her SMS es and call details and seen the SMS of the Borivli woman . So after attacking Aryanka , he went to Borivli and threatened to malign the woman’s image in media and in court for spoiling his relationship with Aryanka ,” said the relative . The Borivli woman is reportedly upset as she is not close to Jerrit , who is a cousin of her mother’s sister-in-law . The relative said , “They met sometimeduring a family function , but there was no relationship between them as reported in the media .”

The source said the Borivli woman is shocked and depressed . “Everyone started saying she had a relationship with Jerrit , which is not true . She is married and happy and has a child.”


HC judge tells abused wife to ‘adjust’ #WTFnews

Justice K Bhaktavatsala cites example of ‘wife-beatingactor Darshan to advise the 28-year-old woman to reconcile with her husband

S Shyam Prasad

Posted On Sunday, September 02, 2012 at

The victim refused to live with her
husband because he beat her

Justice K Bhaktavatsala of the High Courtof Karnataka is clearly cut from a different judicial cloth. Where other judges may well see an abusive marriage as sufficient grounds for granting a divorce, he considers it a moral obligation to play peace-maker in the matrimonial cases that come before him.

On Friday, he went out of his way to counsel a young woman whose stated reason for not living with her husband was that the latter used to beat her.

The 28-year-old woman’s 37-yearold husband had approached the High Court, stating that she had deserted him and taken their two sons. On August 17, both the parties were asked to be present before the court on August 31.

The bench of Justice Bhaktavatsala and Justice BS Indrakalaweretoldthat the woman’s husband used to beat her and had thrown her out of the house. Upon this, Justice Bhaktavatsala said, “Women suffer in all marriages.

You are married with two children and know what it means to suffer as a woman. Why are you still talking about his beatings? I know you have undergone pain. But that is nothing in front of what you undergo as a woman. I have not undergone such pain. But madam (Justice BS Indrakala) has.”

The court asked the woman if her parents were present, at which her father walked up to the bench. The judge remarked, “Ask your father if he has never beaten your mother!” When the woman’s advocate produced photographs showing her swollen face, the court said, “You have to adjust.

There is nothing in your case to argue on merits. Have you read about actor Darshan. He spent 30 days in jail after beating his wife. But they are living
together now.”

The case was to be heard again in the afternoon, but was adjourned to a later date.

Whiter, tighter and what else? Diamond-encrusted vaginas ? # Vajazzling #WTF advertising

Feel like a Virgin

Shrabonti Bagchi | August 11, 2012, Times Crest

In a country that places an illogically high value on virginity, can a gel that promises ‘vaginal tightening’ be sold as a sexually empowering idea? A new advertising campaign for a product that promises to give Indian women tighter vaginas is headed for probable YouTube superstardom.

In a household straight out of a Priyadarshan film set or a Tamil TV weepie, where various family members keep appearing on screen, urging you to play a kind of spot-the-relative game (guy shooting the proceedings on camera phone is the pesky but cute brother-inlaw;young girl in jeans and kurta is the college-going sister-in-law ), a shapely young wife in a pink sari is about to hand over a steel dabba to her headed-to-work husband (who is touching his parents’ feet). But instead of leaving the scene after exchanging the mandatory coy look full of sexy promise with the husband, she grabs him by the hand and starts dancing the salsa, crooning “I feel like a virgin”. “Oh yes you do, ” replies hubby encouragingly.

The other V-word at the core of this little drama – vagina – doesn’t come into the picture till the end, when a sophisticated voice announces that the product that has made this revirginated woman and her husband so happy, 18 Again, is a “vaginal tightening and rejuvenating gel”. In a country that places an illogically high value on virginity, a product that promises to make women “feel like virgins” is quite likely to have them queuing up outside medical stores to buy something they believe will miraculously restore their hymens. Feminists and web commentators are already questioning the ‘women’s empowerment’ argument put forth by the company behind 18 Again. While it may enhance sexual pleasure for both men and women, isn’t it feeding the patriarchal view that women need to be perfect and ‘virginal’ – because actual virginity is frustratingly for one-time-use-only, curse it – for men to find them attractive? It’s a toss up.

On the one hand, if you believe the stuff about tighter vaginas making sex more pleasurable for the woman, it’s easy to go with the empowerment argument and say this is a product women can buy for themselves to enhance their sex lives, and what’s not to like about that? On the other hand, the ‘virgin’ bit is clearly aimed at men.

Ultratech India Ltd, the Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company that has launched this patent-pending gel after three years of research, clinical trials, market studies and an FDA approval, is convinced this is a revolutionary product that falls in the feminine hygiene category. Rishi Bhatia, chairman and MD, Ultratech India, is firmly taking the good-forhealth route. He believes 18 Again is a “vaginal health” product that addresses several needs like preventing infections and toning vaginal muscles, which in turn has health benefits like preventing adult incontinence and vaginal prolapse. “We are not saying this will restore virginity. The name indicates that this will make a woman feel young, as she did at the age of 18 when she was just entering womanhood. Our market research, including interviews with gynaecologists, shows many women want non-surgical vaginal tightening, ” says Bhatia.

Priti Nair, director of ad agency Curry Nation, who created the TVC, has a lighter take. “We didn’t want to take a negative route, showing a woman cringing and crying over her husband losing sexual interest in her. We wanted to show a woman celebrating her sexuality and revelling in her womanhood, ” says Nair. Yet, coming right after a certain muchdiscussed product that claimed to create fairer vaginas, 18 Again is definitely in for a hard time from those who believe there is much too much pressure on women to have perfect bodies.

“Leave our vadges alone!” says Nikhila Sachdev (name changed on request), a 32-year-old Bangalorean who just gave birth a year ago. “First you’re supposed to be really thin. Then you’re supposed to remove every bit of hair from your body. Then you’re supposed to do something about those sagging boobs. And now you have to get whiter, tighter vaginas? What’s next? Diamond-encrusted vadges?” she asks indignantly. You’re not too far out, babe. Kim Kardashian, that possibly plastic goddess of frivolity, has already been heard boasting about her Swarovski-studded labia

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February 2023
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