Sunday, June 1, 2014

“Rape is ...the end of our future”

If you believe that you are in possession of a soul that will be indestructibly yours, here is an easy way to protect it from being eternally tarnished. It is really very simple. Join the movement (led by Sulabh International for now) to sponsor community toilets in villages...government initiatives will be never enough. We must save our girls, and we must give them the dignity that is their birth-right, and we must be able to restore some of their natural cheerfulness. We must try and we must not fail.

“My daughter was a cheerful girl before but now she’s just silent” 

“Yes, your majesty, we do much assumptions. We assumed that men love us and need us. Men do neither. They love their ego and need to satisfy their lust. Once both are satisfied, the man leads the woman he claims to love to a blind-alley, blinded-folded and with her hands tied on the back,” said Scheherzade.

First, a moving piece penned by Anwar Iqbal of Dawn:

“Pray, share the story, your majesty, if it pleases you,” Scheherzade said.
“That I will, so you may know and acknowledge the idiocy of your kind,” the king said.

“The woman who was bludgeoned to death with bricks outside a Kazi court was love-blind,” the king began. “So she fell for a man twice her age.”
“We may never know what caused her to do so but let’s assume that she was love-blind,” Scheherzade commented.
“Women assume. Men probe,” said the king.

“Yes, your majesty, we do much assumptions. We assumed that men love us and need us. Men do neither. They love their ego and need to satisfy their lust. Once both are satisfied, the man leads the woman he claims to love to a blind-alley, blinded-folded and with her hands tied on the back,” said Scheherzade.

“Unwise that can have dangerous consequences,” said the king, “but since I am in a forgiving mood, I will only ask what leads a woman to this blind alley except her foolishness?”

“Perhaps you are right, your majesty, but what causes a mother to bring up her son and turn him into a man? Love or blindness?” asked Scheherzade.

“Do not argue,” said the king, “remember your have forfeited your life to me.”

“Forfeited I have not, risked, yes,” Scheherzade said to herself, adding: “May I request your majesty to proceed with the story?”

“OK, where was I?” asked the king.
“You were saying that this woman fell for a man twice her age,” Scheherzade reminded him.

“Yes, she did and this man was already married. So he killed his first wife to marry this woman,” the king said.

“Did she ask him to kill her? And even if she did, didn’t he know that murder is a crime punishable with death?” asked Scheherzade.

“We may never know what she said or did because she is dead,” said the king.
“But the man is still alive, can’t they ask him?” said Scheherzade.
“They can but they will not,” said the king.
“Why, your majesty?” asked Scheherzade.
“Because he has already been forgiven,” said the king.
“Forgiven a murder?” asked Scheherzade.
“Yes, by his son,” said the king.
“So the son forgave his mother’s murderer?” asked Scheherzade.
“Yes, this man was his father,” said the king.

“And she was his mother,” said Scheherzade. “You may not, your majesty, but here I will ask: Why a woman nurses her son, knowing that this helpless piece of flesh will turn into a man one day and defile?”

“How do I know, I am not a woman,” said the king.

“You may never know, your majesty,” said Scheherzade, “you may never know. But please narrate your story.”

“After murdering his first wife, he married this woman, which angered her family,” said the king.
“Why so, your majesty?” asked Scheherzade.
“Because she married him against their advice and refused to marry a young man they had chosen for her. The family got so upset that they bludgeoned her to death with bricks outside the Kazi court when she came there to defend her marriage,” the king said.

“Just like that?” asked Scheherzade.

“Yes, just like that. She had brought shame and dishonor to her family,” said the king.
“So it was a question of honor, your majesty?” asked Scheherzade.
“Yes, honor, which is more important than anything else, even life,” said the king. “But you would not know.”

“Yes, I would not know. But if you promise not to behead me, I may request you to explain what I do not understand?” asked Scheherzade.
“Go ahead,” said the king.
“Who has tied a man’s honor to a woman’s body?”
“Shut up and get out of the room before I change my mind,” the king shouted.
As outrage grows in India over the gang rape and murder of two Dalit teenagers found hanging from a tree, the mother of a 14-year-old “untouchable” who was kidnapped and raped earlier this year has said she wishes her daughter had been killed too.

India’s new government on Friday said it was planning to set up a special crisis cell to ensure justice for victims of sex attacks and two police officers were sacked in the wake of the rape and murder of the teenagers that has revived nationwide anger over the frequency and brutality of attacks.

In a further shocking example of how women from India’s “untouchable” caste are easy targets for rapists – and rarely get justice – The Daily Telegraph spoke to a mother who said she wished her raped daughter had died, such is the stigma surrounding the issue in her caste.

Brimti Ram, 40, had been living in a form of slavery with her Dalit family in Bagana village, around 100 miles from the capital Delhi, when her daughter and three friends were seized by five relatives and neighbours of their feudal landlord. They later revealed that had been drugged and raped throughout the night.

She, her husband Lila Ram and their five children farm 20 acres of rice and barley fields – without pay – in a futile attempt to service a £7,000 generational debt that they can never pay off.
“It’s not really a loan but something to control us,” Lila Ram said yesterday.
Many of their fellow villagers live under the same bonded conditions, which are illegal but common in India. Rapes and sexual assaults of Dalits are common but often unreported and violence is frequent.
Fifteen “untouchable” boys have been murdered in the village in the last thirty years, his community leader Virender Singh Bagodia said on Friday.
The community is treated “a notch above how people treat their animals”, he said.

Brimti Ram said they have been so shamed by their daughter’s rape that neither she nor her 16-year-old sister will ever be able to find a husband.
She had heard of the murders of the two Dalit girls in Badaun in Uttar Pradesh and said she could understand the pain of their families, but she wishes her daughter had been killed too.
“Rape is loss of our reputation, livelihood, honour and the end of our future,” she said. “If my daughter doesn’t get married and suffers her entire life, wouldn’t it have been better for her that she had been killed by those beasts?”

Her family is one of more than eighty who fled their village amid death threats from the upper caste Hindus in their village who had already banned them from sending their children to school, visiting the temple, or buying food from their shops. They are now living on a pavement in central Delhi and are too afraid to return to their homes.

“My daughter was a cheerful girl before but now she’s just silent”, she added.

She was speaking after aides to India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, demanded a report on the gang-rape and murder of two 14 and 15 year old “untouchable” cousins who were found hanging from a mango tree in Katra village, near Badaun.

The unnamed girls, aged 14 and 15, were, just like the girls in Bagana, going to the lavatory in a nearby field when they were grabbed by higher caste men – from the local Yadav peasant farmer community.
They were last seen by an uncle as they were being led away but when he challenged the men they threatened him with a gun.

The father of one of the girls yesterday said the police had “refused to look for my girl” and that when he confronted one of the accused at his home, he admitted abducting the girls but refused to release them. They were found hanging from a mango tree the following morning.

The father said the girls would still have been alive if the police had acted immediately.

Police in Uttar Pradesh said yesterday that three people, including a police constable, had been arrested in connection with the sex attack, while they were still searching for two further suspects. A “thorough investigation” is under way, police said,

Mukul Goel, a senior police officer, said it had still not been determined whether the victims had committed suicide or been strung up as a way of silencing them after they were raped.

Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, on Friday snapped at a reporter when asked about the rising number of rape cases in his state: “You are safe, why are you bothered?” 

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