The Delhi gang-rape- Beyond the tragedy
India woke up to the tragic news that the young woman who was gang raped in Delhi two weeks ago finally succumbed to her injuries. This makes the rapists into a bunch of murderers. This fact alone will alter the judicial process and the young men will face harsher punishment for certain. Will it be hanging? I hope not – simply because capital punishment makes no sense.
However, the incident should provoke those who have organized or joined protests to get to the real issues behind rape as a phenomenon. The question at stake is: What do we want to learn as lessons from the tragedy? What do we want to do as citizens groups? What do want government to do? Do the media have responsibility to change opinion or to aggravate will we allow them to aggravate things?
The following articles merit serious as a basis for action at grassroots and policy making at governmental level.
So What Are We Demanding At India Gate?
By Manisha Sethi
While we applaud the sudden centrality of sexual violence in our public discourse, the outpouring of rage and anger has in fact reinforced and reiterated many of the things that democratic movements have been struggling hard against: tough laws, jettisoning of due process, securitisation of our spaces and lives, and stigmatisation of the rape victim (fate worse than death). But most of all, the very dangerous idea that revenge is an alternative to justice
Delhi Gang Rape And Kashmir
By Aijaz Nazir
Cries of justice for the Delhi gang rape victim have echoed in many quarters. However, this has also exposed the duality of attitude of majority of Indians. If an incident of gang rape against a medical student, on a moving bus in the national capital, is a matter of grief and sorrow for the whole country, provoking it to demand justice, what about Kashmir where many such cases of rape against innocent girls involving Army have come to fore and yet have been overlooked by majority Indians? Why hasn’t the rest of India demanded justice for these girls?
The Politics of Selective Protest
By Goldy M. George
Narrating the experience of Dalit women in a village in Tamilnadu, Cinthia Stephen quotes a girl in these words: “there is no girl in our lane who has not been coerced or raped by the dominant caste men when they go to the fields to fetch water or for work”. Stephen’s question is valid “which upper-caste young woman, rural or urban, has ever had to brave repeated rape without to keep her family supplied with water?
Beyond the Delhi protests- the issues at stake
By Ranjan Solomon
Programmes to tackle gender-based violence against women in India must be based on a paradigm shift. It must move from empowering women to assert themselves and prevent violence to one which sees men as part of the problem and, hence, as part of the solution. If men remain insulated from the process of transformation, the status of women will never alter. Men must liberate themselves from the shackles of patriarchy and the process of empowering women must be a process of accompaniment to male transformation. It is a tough call because men hold power and power does not part with power voluntarily. It needs persuasion and pressure. That is why women’s empowerment is non-negotiable for the emancipation of men from patriarchal attitudes.