A Modest Proposal
By Afaq Danish for New Age Islam
10 Jan 2013
The All India Rapists Welfare Association wishes to submit the following facts in support of their claims for getting legal immunity against their conduct:1. Rape and murder should not be equated as unwanted conduct.2. Rape should be treated as a form of "entertainment" for politically robust and sexually alive pubic leaders.3. Rapists should be treated as great entertainers and well wishers of morally unsound spectators and great contributors to the national economy with out any monetary investment at all. The beneficiaries are politicians, multimedia, story writers for Bollywood films, security agencies and the like.4. In such a case the Rapist India Private Ltd. definitely contributes much to the welfare of the members of this great country which has got a name as The Free Rapistan instead of Sare Jahan se accha Hindustan.5. On the basis of these well recognised merits the Rapists welfare association calls for an immediate withdrawal of all criminal F I Rs lodged against its "honourable" members in the courts by the highly partisan and insensitive police who is not paid properly when it is illegally necessary.6. Yesterday the Malaysian Bar Association, as the news goes, has supported the chemical castration of rapists on the condition that the government will take all care for the health of such unfortunate victims of brutal public opinion.7. In support of such downtrodden stigmatised semi unfortunate women and girls the morally very sound males of the Rapistan have suggested that to save their "tribal "vanity "from further masculine attack, publicly or privately, they should be sent to an island where all such affected females will lead a life free from the social stigma ever as nobody else will be allowed to visit the island without the official permission of the Women's welfare ministry of the honourable country.
Dr Afaq Danish is M. A. in English Literature from AMU. He has been a teacher in AMU, Kashmir University and Jamia Millia Islamia. He served as a Senior Education Officer in Nigeria for eight years. He has also travelled many times to Europe, America and Pakistan.
Insensitive remarks add to India's rape shame:
Politician calls anti-rape protesters "dented and painted women" in latest sexist remark to offend Indians.
Sudha G Tilak Last Modified: 28 Dec 2012 17:25
India boasts some powerful female politicians but women in the world's largest democracy are often subjected to taunts, insults and sexist remarks both on the streets and by powerful male politicians.A wave of protests aimed at ending crimes against women have swept the country in the past fortnight, but demonstrations have not stopped some of India’s male politicians from continuing to make tasteless remarks.Abhijit Mukherjee, the president’s son and a Member of the Indian Parliament, dismissed the current anti-rape protesters in the capital Delhi calling them "dented and painted women" who frequented discos, implying that the protests smacked of tokenism.
On Christmas day, a senior West Bengal state Communist leader, Anisur Rahman, shocked many with his indecent comments against the state's Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The Chief Minister had made a public announcement that the West Bengal government would offer compensation to women who are victims of crimes like rape and trafficking.
At a public rally in a village, Rahman ridiculed the chief minister for her government’s decision. He demanded to know, "What is your fee? If you are raped, what will be your fee?"
Communist Party leaders offered apologies and the leader was also asked to offer an apology for his shameful conduct.
Even before the furore over Rahman's remarks had subsided, a fresh uproar was triggered after a member of parliament from West Bengal, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, dismissed on Friday the infamous rape case in Park Street in Kolkata as a "misunderstanding between a lady and her client and not a rape".
The Chief Minister, like Dastidar too had called the rape a greater "conspiracy to besmirch her government".Rape is still trivialised in India by leaders and common people alike and appalling remarks against well-heeled and educated women are also common.Sexist remarks
Time and again Indian leaders have been guilty of making misogynist remarks of a sexual nature to silence women leaders across states and political parties.
When women took to the streets to protest following co-ordinated attacks in Mumbai in 2008, Muqtar Abbas Naqvi, a politician from the opposition BJP, said: "Some women wearing lipstick and powder have taken to the streets in Mumbai and are abusing politicians and spreading dissatisfaction... This is what terrorists are doing in Kashmir."
"There are only around 11 percent women in Parliament lower than the global average of 20 percent, still far from the 30 percent target set at Beijing."
- Rebeca Grynspan, UN Under-Secretary General
Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam had dismissed rival political party BJP MP and former TV actress Smriti Irani during a TV debate, saying: "You were swivelling your hips on TV and now you have turned into a political analyst."
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi made personal remarks on Congress leader and federal minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife calling her a "50-crore girlfriend" as she was reported to be planning to buy a cricket team.
Uttar Pradesh former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav once told a political rally in a small village that: "Only women from the affluent classes can get ahead in life, but remember you rural women will never get a chance because you are not that attractive."
Sriprakash Jaiswal, union coal minister, speaking after India's win over Pakistan in the T20 cricket championship, said: "As time passes, the joy of the victory fades, just like a wife becomes old and loses her charm."
Sharad Yadav, leader of the JDU party, said he opposed an affirmative action bill, because it would only benefit the rich or "women with short hair".
In Tamil Nadu, the Chief Minister Jayalalitha was manhandled and had her hair pulled by male MPs in the legislative assembly.
No country for women
On the surface, India has women holding prominent posts in public office that makes it seem that the empowerment of women has come to stay, if only for a privileged few.
Rebeca Grynspan, UN Under-Secretary General, on a recent visit to Delhi said: "There are over one million elected women representatives in local self-governments thanks to mandatory quotas ranging from 33 to 50 percent. Yet there are only around 11 percent women in Parliament lower than the global average of 20 percent, still far from the 30 percent target set at Beijing."
"Male politicians and common men on the street alike have regressive attitudes towards women. Unless we protest, India’s women will continue to suffer"
- Sunaina Biswas, law student
The current Lok Sabha, or House of Commons of the Indian Parliament, has the highest number of women MPs. Women constitute 11 percent of the house.Madhya Pradesh has the highest percentage of women MPs with 21 percent, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, which both have 15 percent of seats held by women. The ruling Congress Party is led by Sonia Gandhi, widow of the late former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi.Despite the increasing numbers of female MPs over the years, the number continues to be less in comparison to other countries, including Sweden, Argentina, the UK and the US.The Women’s Reservation Bill which seeks to bring affirmative action for increasing number of women to one-third of the seats in Parliament and state legislative assemblies is pending."Male politicians and common men on the street alike have regressive attitudes towards women," says Sunaina Biswas, a Hyderabad-based sociology student. "Unless we protest, India’s women will continue to suffer."
Amid rape fiasco, India’s leaders keep up insensitive remarks
Posted by Rama Lakshmi on January 4, 2013 at 10:03 am
Amid unprecedented anger against rising incidents of rape and molestation of women, one would expect that there would be a greater awareness about what to say and what not to. But India’s political leaders and opinion-makers — both men and women — continue to rub salt on the wounds by their insensitive and offensive remarks.
View Photo Gallery —The gang rape and death of a 23-year-old medical student in New Delhi triggers grief and anger across the country.
Here is a sample of their statements since the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year old woman in New Delhi on Dec. 16, and her eventual death on Dec. 28. These have not only enraged women here but also exposed the depth of the social malaise:
1. Kailash Vijayvargiya, a minister in the Madhya Pradesh government in central India,quoted a metaphor from a Hindu epic to say that women should not cross limits.
“There is only one phrase for this and that is ‘moral limit’; there is a lakshman rekha [a line] for every person, when that is crossed then the demon-king Raavan will abduct Goddess Sita,” he said, quoting from the Ramayana. His party, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), condemned the statement after huge media and online outrage Friday morning, and Vijayvargiya apologized.
2. Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mothership of India’s main opposition party, the BJP, said at a public meeting in eastern India on Tuesday that rape was an urban phenomenon, a claim that is statistically untrue.
“You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or sex crimes. They are prevalent in some urban belts,” Bhagwat said, as some in the audience could be heard laughing in the television footage. He also criticized the Western lifestyle prevalent in cities.
3. One elected member of a legislative assembly in West Bengal state, Anisur Rahman,recently criticized the female chief minister of the state, Mamata Bannerjee, for announcing monetary compensation for rape survivors.
“We ask, Didimoni, what is your fee? How much will you take for getting raped?’’ Rahman said referring to Bannerjee by her popular moniker “didi” or sister. He apologized later for the comment.
4. Abhijit Mukherjee, a lawmaker and theson of India’s president, said the anti-rape protesters were “highly dented and painted” women, a reference to their make-up. He then added that the protesters go “from discos to demonstrations.” He later apologized.
5. Botsa Satyanarayana, the transport minister in the Congress-ruled government in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, said women should not roam around at night just because India gained independence from British colonial rule at midnight.
“Do we roam in streets at midnight as we got Independence at midnight? It would have been better if the girl did not travel by a private bus at that time,” Satyanarayana said. He later apologized and withdrew his remark.
6. Kakoli Ghose Dastidar, a female lawmaker from the political party Trinamool Congress,said that a rape incident that shook the state government in West Bengal in February was not rape at all, but described it as a deal gone wrong.
“That was a different case altogether. That was not at all a rape case,” Dastidar said. “It was a misunderstanding between two parties involved in professional dealings. Between the lady and her client.”
7. Banwari Lal Singhal, an elected member of the legislative assembly in the northern state of Rajasthan, wrote a letter to the top bureaucrat in the state government that girls should be banned from wearing skirts to school.
“The intention of this demand is to keep girl students away from men’s lustful gazes and for their comfort in hot and cold weather conditions,” Singhal, a member of the BJP, told reporters. “It is not a Talibani type of thinking or restriction on girls’ freedom or right but a concern for their safety.”
8. During a parliament debate on the gang-rape incident, Sushma Swaraj, a female BJP lawmaker called the rape victim, who was battling for her life in the hospital at that time, a “living corpse.” This angered many activists and rape survivors.
“Accused in such cases should be hanged,” said Swaraj in the Lower House. “Even if the 23-year-old survived she would be a living corpse, traumatized for life.”