#India – Muslim women question community leaders with a public protest #Vaw


June 29th, Doolnews

Muslim women question community leaders with a public protest

On Saturday, Kozhikode, Kerala witnessed a first of its kind protest with a group of Muslim women burning an effigy of Kanthapuram A. P. Aboobacker Musalyar, General Secretary of the All India Sunni Jam-Eyyathul Ulema for his recent comments which supported the reducing of legal marriage age for Muslim women. This is the first time that the women from the community are coming out in protest against their own community leaders and opposing their regressive opinions.

The women not owing allegiance to any party or organisation said that they were forced to protest after the many regressive comments from Muslim organisations and clerics supporting the recent circular to legalise marriage of Muslim girls who have completed 16.

Kanthapuram had on Friday said that girls should be married off by the time they are 16 to prevent them from going wayward. The Jamaat-e-islami said that it is not right to fix the age for marriage in a democratic country like India. K. Alikutti Musaliar, the General Secretary of the SYS EK group had said that girls who have reached physical maturity can be married off. The Siraj newspaper owing allegiance to the AP Sunni group had published all their comments on Saturday, which led to the protest.

The women raised slogans that went – ‘Girls are not pieces of meat. Religious leaders should apologise for their comments’. They said that this is just a symbolic protest and if the leaders make further comments questioning the individuality of women, wider protest programmes will be arranged.

“The stand taken by these clerics and leaders is not just against Muslim society but against the whole of humanity. They are trying to see women as pieces of flesh and not as independent citizens. Marriage at such an age will only curtail the mental growth of these girls. It is also an age when they should be gaining better education and widen their horizon. The religious clerics do not want the girls to see the outside world. They are making such comments because they fear that educated girls who will be aware of their rights will question their authority,” said V.P. Rajeena, one of the protesters.

They criticised the UDF Government for acting according to the diktats of the religious organisations and coming out with a circular which is against the laws of a country where child marriage is illegal.

“The circular was issued keeping in mind the interests of a few people in the community. They are citing the recent moves by the Central Government to reduce the minimum age of consensual sex to 16. That is just a ploy to save some political leaders who are entangled in cases of raping minors. This is nothing less than child marriage and will only tarnish the image of the community as a whole. There should be strong opposition to such trends which will only help in taking Muslim Society many centuries backward. This community leaders should withdraw their comments and apologise to the people of Kerala,” said A. Seenath, another of the protesters.

 

Socio Economic Profile of Muslims in Maharashtra- A Study


An Overview By-Prof. Vibhuti Patel

 

Maharashtra’s multicultural milieu is marked by crucial contribution made by Muslims. The Sachar Committee Report, 2006 stated that the condition of Muslim in Maharashtra demands special attention of the state where the Muslim members are the biggest religious minority. Seven surveys commissioned by the Maharashtra State Minority Commission to Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) , Nirmala Niketan’s College of Social Work of Mumbai University and Research Centre for Women’s Studies of SNDT Women’s University that were submitted in 2011 discovered that a very large proportion of Muslims live in very dismal economic conditions. Nearly 1/3rd of the respondents in the TISS research reported an annual household income of less than Rs.10,000, 24.4% between Rs. 10,001-Rs.20,000, 7.5% between Rs.20,001-Rs.30,000, 3.8% between Rs.30,0001-Rs.40,000, 1% between Rs.40,001-Rs.50,000 and 5.6% above Rs.50,000. In the 21st century, limited occupational diversification is noticed among educated middle class Muslims in the cities of the state due to new openings in IT and construction industry.
As per the census 2011, Maharashtra’s Parbhani and Nanded districts had 30% Muslim population and Malegaon and Bhiwandi were Muslim majority Cities. Mumbra and Kashi Mira in thane district are emerging as new hub for economic activities, technical education institutions and community work among Muslims. In Malegaon block of Nashik district, highest percentage of Muslim community is to be found (42.5 %) as a proportion to the total population followed by Bhiwandi in Thane (35.8 %), Nanded (26.5 %), Aurangabad (25.5 %) and Parbhani (25.1 %). Marathwada as a region had a late integration and betrays a story of neglect. In Malegaon of Nashik district Muslims are mainly concentrated in the urban area (70.96%) as compared to rural areas of Malegaon (3.6%). Among the tehsils, highest percentage of Muslim community is found in Shrivardhan tehsil of Raigarh district (20.26%),and nearly similar in percentages in both the rural and urban areas. In Vidarbha region, in Akola, Yavatmal and Amaravati Muslims constitute 8.3% of the total population.

Work and Employment Profile

In a state level survey by the Minority Commission in 2011, it was found that nearly 32.4 per cent of Muslims reported as being ‘a worker’ as compared to 42.5 per cent of total population in the state. Among Muslims the work participation rate was reported higher among men (49.97 %) as compared to women (12.67 %). Muslims in rural Maharashtra reported nearly 38.12 per cent as worker as compared to 29.97 per cent in urban areas. Among Muslim men not much difference was observed in rural and urban areas as compared to Muslim women population. Nearly one forth of Muslims women living in rural areas reported as workers, while it was only 6.3 per cent in urban areas.
Among Muslims in Maharashtra, nearly 70.7 per cent engaged in category of work activities such as semi skilled and skilled informal sector work such as carpentry, masonry, electrician, plumber, mechanic, manual labour, coolie job, solid waste management, butchery, weaving, beadwork, jari and embroidery work, tailoring, hawking, petty trade, pulling cycle rickshaws and handcarts, driving four wheelers and heavy vehicles ; nearly 8 per cent as cultivators, mainly small and marginal farmers; 17.6 per cent as agricultural labourers and 3.6 per cent in household industry. The proportion of Muslim population involved in cultivation and agricultural activities is lesser than their counterparts in Hindu as well as total population in Maharashtra, however, Muslim’s involvement in household industry and other category of activities is higher than them. In rural areas a higher percentage of Muslim population has reported as agricultural laborers as compared to Hindu population, while the proportion of Hindu population reported as cultivators is more than double than the Muslim population.

Nearly 44 per cent of Muslim women workers reported as agricultural labourers, and their proportion in rural areas is 61.6 per cent. Among Muslim population, the involvement in other category of activities is higher among men as compared to women, in both rural and urban areas. It should be noted that nearly 70 per cent of Muslim population in the state of Maharashtra is found in urban areas where non-agricultural activities dominate.

Unemployment:

Census collects data on persons seeking or available for work among non workers. In 2001 census, those who reported as marginal worker were also asked about seeking or available for work. About 39.9 per cent marginal workers among Muslim community in rural areas reported as seeking/available for work. Among Muslim non-workers, nearly 6 percent reported as ‘job seekers’ in rural areas. The age wise job seekers were highest in 20-24 years followed by 15-19 and 25-29 years. Thus unemployment among Muslim youth is a most challenging problem faced by the state. In urban areas, Muslim job seekers among marginal and non-workers were little higher as compared to rural areas. The age specific rate of job seekers among marginal workers was observed much higher level as compared to non-workers. Muslim men were found to be actively seeking /available for work in higher percentage than their women counterparts.

As per NSS 61st Round in 2004-05, unemployment rate was found much higher in urban areas with wider difference by gender and community. Muslim men reported nearly two times higher unemployment than their Hindu counterparts. The unemployment rate was higher in urban areas for both men and women as compared to rural areas.

Pattern of Landholding

In the NSS 60th round in 2004 in which information on land cultivated was collected revealed that ‘having no cultivable land’ percentage was much higher among Muslim household in Maharashtra as compared to their situation in the rest of India. From 1993-94 to 2004-05 the situation remained similar. In 2007-08, land possession data showed that Muslim household possessed less land or no land in higher proportion than Hindu households. In urban areas possession of land was much less.

Housing:

In Greater Mumbai (NFHS 2 and NFHS 3) and Nagpur (NFHS 3) data were collected from slum and non-slum areas. Both survey clearly show that Muslim household in these districts were living in much higher percentage in slum areas as compared to Hindu and Christian households. Large majority of Muslims in Bhivandi, Mumbai, Malegaon and over 40 towns declared as minority population concentrated, live in ghettos without basic amenities such as safe drinking water, electricity, toilets, proper roads, closed gutters. The ghettoization is detrimental to the long term well-being of the community as well as for national integration. Very small percentage of other minority groups lives in slums. It indicates that majority of Muslim in the cities in Maharashtra is mostly engaged in the low paying skilled, semi skilled or unskilled jobs owing to their low educational qualifications.

Migration

As per NSS data of 2007-08, 84.5 per cent women in rural areas and 65.7 per cent in urban areas reported marriage as reason for their migration. The family migration in urban areas is second most dominating reason among females. Among men, economic reason was most dominating reason for migration as reported by nearly 53 per cent in rural and 73 per cent in urban areas. Migration due to education was reported by little higher percentage in urban areas as compared to rural areas. Migration among Muslims women due to economic reasons was reported by about 1.5 per cent in rural areas and 3.5 per cent in urban areas. Bank loans
The reluctance of banks to grant loans to Muslims is another factor for their economic backwardness. In all studies commissioned by the Minority Commission, the respondents have stated that in most cases, banks are biased, and there are no well-defined and objective criteria for rejecting loan applications of Muslims resulting into arbitrariness, bureaucratic bungling, corruption and leakage. The average amount of loans banks disbursed to the Muslims is found to be lower than the one given to other minorities, especially Buddhists and Sikhs.


Socio -economic Infrastructure

Muslims in Maharashtra are a highly deprived community in terms of several socio-economic indices. Their employment pattern is highly skewed towards lower level activities in the tertiary sector with hardly any occupational mobility. The access of Muslims to bank credit is low and inadequate; the community has one of the lowest monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE), and lowest representation in the public sector employment. In response to persistent exclusion of Muslims from development efforts, the Ranganath Mishra Commission Report (2007) had asked for 10% reservation for Muslims in central and state government jobs and 6% within OBC quotas for Muslim OBCs, and the inclusion of Muslim and Christian dalits in the scheduled castes list and Equal Opportunities Commission to be set up expeditiously. But these recommendations are yet to be implemented. Muslim communities throughout the state have complained that to avail any government scheme, agents charge Rs. 1000/- for fulfillment of formalities/paper work and if the amount is granted by the state, they disappear with money. Hence it is important to monitor the implementation of the schemes thro’ voluntary organizations/NGOs/potential beneficiaries. The Muslim community lags behind severely in political representation. The number of Muslim MLAs is 5. The number of Muslim MLCs is 11. Representation of Muslims in Indian Administrative Services has been less than 1% for the last three decades. The number of Muslims in Maharashtra cadre IAS in 2011-12 is one among total 288 IAS officers. One Muslim officer resigned in July 2011. The sanctioned strength for IAS officers is 350 – there is a shortfall of 62 officers in the cadre. In 2010-11, there were 2 Muslim officers out of total strength of 350. In 2009-2010 also there were 2 Muslims out of 340 IAS officers’ posts. The number in the IPS is 4 out of 203 officers in 2011. The sanctioned cadre strength for police officers in Maharashtra state is 302.

Head if Department of Economics, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai-400020
E mail: Vibhuti.np@gmail.com

Download Full Study here

#Delhigangrape- Many more Nirbhayas #Vaw #Riots #impunity


Sexual violence against women has been a feature of many riots and conflicts but a culture of impunity prevails

MADHAVI RAJADHYAKSHA TIMES INSIGHT GROUP , Jan 19, 2013

It was in the August of 2008 that a Catholic nun from the Divyajyoti Pastoral Centre in the Kandhamal district of Orissa was allegedly raped and sexually assaulted by multiple perpetrators before being stripped and paraded. “She was forcibly made to walk in the market by a mob, which jeered at her, made lewd remarks such as “hi, beautiful” and commented on the size of her breasts,” states a report prepared by the National People’s Tribunal on Kandhamal in 2010.
The incident occurred in the midst of communal violence and has now been forgotten like many others. Nearly five years later, the nun’s only hope for justice lies in a sessions court in Cuttack where the case has been transferred.
At a time when citizens across India have been demanding better safety measures for women in the wake of the brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old in Delhi, it is essential to spare a thought for women who have been targeted in the course of communal clashes or braved abuse in areas under conflict.
It is the quality of empathy that makes us strive for justice in instances like the Delhi gang rape, observes social activist Harsh Mander borrowing the rationale from development economist Amartya Sen’s Idea of Justice. “But it is also worrying because there are limits to our justice,” he points out, adding that we need to make our empathy and strivings for justice more universal.
Like him, many believe gender crimes committed during communal violence deserve attention all the more because they are perpetrated in an environment of complete impunity. Justice for such forgotten survivors was the demand of a host of public meetings recently organised under the aegis of the ‘Bombay ki kahani, Mumbai ki Zubani’ campaign commemorating 20 years of the Hindu-Muslim riots in the financial capital. Several delegations to the Justice J S Verma committee (studying amendments to the criminal law) have also suggested that sexual violence during mass crimes be regarded as aggravated abuse attracting more severe punishment.
After all, the case of the 29-year-old Orissa nun is no aberration. Women have been raped, violated and abused throughout India’s history of communal conflict be it the Sikh riots of 1984, the 1992-93 Bombay riots or the more recent Gujarat carnage (2002).
The report of the Srikrishna commission which probed the Bombay riots mentions a gruesome incident in Devipada, Kasturba marg where a Hindu mob surrounded, stripped and assaulted two Muslim women. The younger of the two was subsequently burnt alive. “Though the miscreants were arrested and tried by the Sessions Court at Bombay…they were all acquitted on the ground that the panchnamas were defective and that the eye-witnesses were not produced,” states the commission report hinting at impunity typical to such gender crimes. In another instance, the commission says the official explanation about the police firing that killed two Muslim women, Noorjehan and Zarina, in their homes was “hardly believable”.
Court judgments on the Gujarat riots document similar gender-based violence. Teesta Setalvad of NGO Sabrang cites a judgment in the Naroda Patiya trial which observed that gang rapes and rapes took place and says the judge criticised the Supreme-court appointed SIT for failing to make any attempt to investigate the perpetrators of these offences. “During periods of heightened violence, women become a specific target as a symbol of a community’s honour,” observes Setalvad.
The United Nations has acknowledged the accentuated risk of sexual violence in conflict. It floated a separate agency, the UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict, in 2007 to ensure that such crimes don’t go unpunished.
It also underlined the need to create a
knowledge hub about the scale of such sexual violence in conflict, a mandate that needs implementation in India. “One gets the feeling that while riots are written about, sexual violence is not documented,” says Hasina Khan of the Forum Against Oppression of Women recounting how there was no paperwork to explain what happened to a teenaged girl who went missing from Pratiksha Nagar during the Bombay riots.
Saumya Uma, trustee of the Women’s Research Action Group, echoes her concerns. She is part of a group which is trying to track down and record the experience of women during the anti-Christian Orissa rampage. “We found from various sources that almost 39 women had faced some form of sexual violence, but only two to three cases were registered. What happened to the others?” questions Uma. She added that even the people’s tribunal had observed a large scale invisibility and silence regarding “documenting, reporting, investigating, charging and prosecuting cases” of sexual violence.
Justice for riot survivors is an arduous task because of the state’s complicity and shoddy investigations. “Many of us assume it is the failure of justice, but it is the systematic subversion of justice. It is systematically ensured that FIRs don’t mention the name of the accused but say anonymous mob,” points out Mander.
Vrinda Grover, a Delhi-based lawyer, says conflict areas are equally problematic. “While there may be silence and erasure in mass violence, we are dealing with actual denial of sexual violence happening in the state of Kashmir and northeast,” she notes. “Many NGOs talk of patriarchy in homes. But no one talks of patriarchy of the state,” she says.
A case in point is the tribal teacher Soni Sori in Chhattisgarh who was arrested on charges of playing courier between Maoist groups and a corporate. Sori has written heart-wrenching accounts of sexual abuse at the hands of police officials. “On the night of Saturday, 8.10.2011 in the new police station in Dantewada…I was tortured… After repeatedly giving me electric shocks, my clothes were taken off. I was made to stand naked….three boys started molesting me and I fell after they pushed me. Then they put things inside my body in a brutal manner. I couldn’t bear the pain, I was almost unconscious,” she wrote in an open letter to the Supreme Court.
What is now needed is a host of measures to crack this visage of impunity. This is essential as riots aren’t unfortunately a thing of past. The year 2012 was marked with communal clashes in Assam, pockets of Uttar Pradesh, Pachora in Maharashtra and Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.

SILENT ZONE: In conflict areas like the northeast and the Kashmir Valley, the state actually denies sexual violence

 

Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband issues fatwa against tattoo, use of perfume #Wtfnews


Agencies : Deoband (UP), Wed Dec 05 2012,

Leading Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a fatwa against tattoo and use of perfume with alcohol content.

Issuing yet another decree, the seminary said,”Namaz of those, who have tattoo on their bodies or have sprayed perfume with alcohol in it, is not valid.”

A youth had asked a question from the seminary,”One of my friends has a tattoo on his arm and it would cost him a huge sum if he goes for a surgery to remove it.

Is it valid to have a tattoo in ‘sharia’. What he should do.”

In its reply the seminary said,”The tattoo should be removed with the help of a doctor.”

To another question on the use of perfume, the seminary’s reply on its website says,”Namaz (prayers) are not valid if someone is having a tattoo or has sprayed a perfume with alcohol in it.”

One more Islamic seminary, Bareli Markaz has backed the Deoband’s decree saying that,”Marking tattoo on body is against the tenets of Islam.”

Earlier, Darul Uloom had issued fatwa against appointment of Muslim women as receptionists, calling it illegal and against sharia law.

“Muslim women working in offices as receptionist is un-Islamic because Muslim women are not allowed to appear before men without veil,” it said.

 

Invitation for a Film Treat at TISS- May 8, Block it !!



The School of Media and Cultural Studies invites you to a screening of  a series of five final films by the Class of 2012. The film screenings will be followed by an interaction and discussion with the filmmakers.

Date: May 8, 2012
Time: 10 am to 1 pm
Venue: Library Conference Hall, TISS Main Campus, Opp Deonar bus depot

ENTRY IS FREE AND OPEN TO ALL

The details of the films follow.

BREAKIN’ MUMBAI
2012, 33 Mins, Hindi with English Subtitles
A film by Aakriti Kohli, Sandeep Kr. Singh, Shweta Ghosh, Gin Khan Siam and Sumit Singh

Gani, a 21-year old, has done many things for a living: bag-making, embroidery work and working at a call
centre.18-year old Aman studies in school. He loves eating mangoes and chenna-murgi. He sketches and
plays cricket. The two have very little in common, but there is one thing that binds them- Breaking, a dance form that started back in the 70s in the Bronx, New York. Since then, it has grown popular across countries and has moulded itself to fit into specific cultures.

This film looks at what it means to be a breaker in Mumbai, how breaking becomes a site of expression of
subaltern youth cultures and what it means to win and lose battles. Through the personal lives of Gani, Aman and their friends, the film tries to understand the dynamics of  breaking, and explores questions of space and the avenues for leisure in Mumbai.

NISWAN-E-MUMBRA
The Women of Mumbra
2012, 21 mins., Hindustani with English Subtitles
A film by Shazia Nigar, Sharib Ali and Ufaque Paikar

The riots of 1992-93 changed the spatial character of the city of Mumbai.While some Muslims left the city out of choice others were forced to leave in search of security. It was in this context that Mumbra, a Muslim ghetto, was established. Niswa-E-Mumbra is a film that explores the lives of Muslim women in Mumbra, through two central characters. Shireen Kamal Dehlvi is a journalist working with an Urdu daily. With her stories of struggle she brings to life what it means not just be Muslim but also a woman in contemporary times.

Kausar is an activist working with a women’s organisation called Awaaz-E-Niswan. Through her working on women she throws light on the present infrastructural problems in Mumbra and the struggles they pose for women. The film dwells on questions which attempts to answer weather the life of a Muslim woman is any different from that of other women.

BHARATMATA KI JAI
The story of a single-screen theatre in Mumbai’s mill country
2012, 28 minutes, Hindi, Marathi and English with English subtitles
A Film by Avadhoot Khanolkar, Amol Ranjan, Anurag Mazumdar, Arpita Chakraborthy and Shweta Radhakrishnan

At the heart of Mumbai’s mill country, Lalbaug-Parel, stands Bharatmata Cinema, one of the remaining single screen theatres that plays only Marathi films. The theatre is an iconic reminder of a colourful working class culture which is now on the decline in Mumbai. Through the narratives of Kapil Bhopatkar, the owner, and Baban, one of the oldest employees of the theatre, the film explores the history and development of Bharatmata as a space for articulating the cultural identity of Mumbai’s working class and ponders on its existence and survival. The characters, though from widely disparate socio-economic classes, come together in their passionate love for cinema and their celebration of the main character in the film, Bharatmata Cinema itself.

A HOME HERE
2012, 23 mins, English with subtitles
A Film by Vikram Buragohain, Kaikho Paphro, Joyashree Sarma, Daisy Leivon, Abhishek Yadav

From the echoing hills of the North east to a bustling city of Mumbai by the sea, the film is about the people who have made this journey in search of better life. But does the journey end here?

Amidst the changes and negotiations, the search for familiar faces and flavours of food lead them all to Kalina. In the film, a musician, an entrepreneur, a researcher, a homemaker and a martial art trainer, reflect on their lived experiences and the efforts to recreate their homes and maintain their identity in the city.
The film explores Kalina as a space and the elements of food and music which link them to their homeland and its memories.

TAMASHA– A RUSTIC DRAMA
30 min, Marathi with English subtitles
A Film By Devendra Ghorpade, Manoj Bhandare, Prakash Sao and Raju Hittalamani

This is a film on the performing artists of Tamasha and the changing facets of art form itself. Women have been an integral part of Tamasha contributing on and off stage. Their lives and struggles are a result of the interplay between social constructions, the changing location and form of Tamasha. Kanthabai Satarkar is a veteran Tamashgir. With her first performance at the age of nine, she grew as an artist to manage one of the biggest Tamasha troupes in Maharashtra. With over six decades of experience, her life bears witness to the journey of Tamasha and lives of those associated with it.

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