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2009 March 5 [Thursday]

Sexual assaults in public spaces

I've changed the title of this post thrice because I refuse to dilute sexual harassment and assaults by calling it eve-teasing -- sounds frivolous and trivialises crimes against women.

India in the 21'st century is definitely unsafe for women, even if she is accompanied by a man and nobody seems to care enough about public sexual harassment to act on it. I've had to warn many female (and male) friends visiting India to NOT travel alone or even in groups of 4-5 women as they dont know the local language and without men in their group its inviting trouble. Saying that about your country sucks big time.

On Monday after a protest was held outside the police commissioner's office, Shankar Bidari, the police commissioner of Bangalore said :

"Bangalore people are so cultured people they will never tolerate any indignity, harassment or assault on women. Even without police and without government, the dignity of women in Bangalore city is perfectly safe and protected,"

I wish !!  One of the women who was attacked describes her ordeal and after reading this article, its deeply disturbing that the PC who is responsible for the safety of the city's citizens has trivialized the issue with insensitive press statements but didnt the Home Minister Dr V S Acharya and District In-Charge Minister J Krishna Palemar called the pub attack and MLA’s daughter’s abduction as ‘small and common’ incidents and scream at the media reporter to "not waste his time with silly incidents" ?! There was a photograph of the Police Commissioner (check out "After hrs" last page of Bangalore edition of DNA newspaper dated 2009mar05) calmly enjoying the Mysore Maharaja's birthday bash on Tuesday at Palace Grounds Palace because : None of the women noted the assailants bike numbers, hence NOTHING can be done.

WRONG, Mr. Bidari, Bengaluru is not safe...... INDIA is not safe for women. I can narrate my experiences too BUT do you even want to listen to women like Archana and others who were attacked ?!

Join us :

Women in Bangalore are facing serious violence and attacks - for wearing jeans, going out in the streets, fighting back the moral police etc and we need to stop these attacks. This is a letter to the police commissioner/home minister/press release regarding the recent attacks on women in bangalore,

Endorse the petition at : http://www.petitiononline.com/petition.html


FRI, Mar06 :
Please come to ALF [Phone : 080-2286 5757] on Friday anytime between 2-6pm to make posters for the protest at the DGP'S office on saturday.. Charts and colours will be provided but feel free to bring your own and you can bring money you would like to contribute. Alternative Law Forum, 122/4 Infantry Road, (opposite Infantry Wedding House), Bangalore 560001, (nearest bus stop- Shivajinagar Depot)

SAT, March07:
1. Gather at Nrupathunga Road at 15:30.  (Parking available at YMCA, DG's office compound, etc.)  Stand on either side of the road, outside DG-IG's office, holding placards, silently.
2. Either the DG-IG comes out at 16:30 collects the memorandum and addresses the audience, or a small representative group goes in to his office when called and present the memorandum.
3. If the latter, then the representatives will address the gathering, when they come out.
4. Gathering shall disperse at 17:30.

SUN, March08:
0. On Sunday 2009March08, International Women's Day,members of the group and other citizens will walk down various prominent roads of the city. Its called "Take Back the Night Walk" and is being held by women to reclaim our lawful right to be safe at night across India. It starts at Indiranagar, Ulsoor and the other two places where the women were attacked
1. At 18:00, people will gather at the five locations as designated by the area coordinators.  They will interact with the audience (in as many languages as possible), and spread awareness about the various goals of the Fearless Karnataka campaign.   This will involve spreading of information flyers and testimonials, conducting bystander polls, and other such forms of interaction with the people on the streets.  This can go on till 20:00.  (Volunteers for poster-sticking will do so around this time.)
2. At 21:00, people gather at the designated spot in Majestic, bringing along with them necessities such as food, water, and community spirit.  There will be further performances, video projections (if possible), songs, and other such activities there.
3. This will go on till 23:00, when people will disperse in their vehicles (pooling as much as possible), in public transport, tempos (which are currently being investigated), etc.

[updated, from FKNK]

2008 January 3 [Thursday]

India is not safe for women

The truth is that this country has a majority of male perverts and it is not a safe place for women. According to the Mumbai police commissioner the media should be rational and women should stay at home to be safe. He got a dressing down from his political boss for saying what a majority of men think and discuss in private but to be politically correct will not say it openly, atleast not with as much candour as the comissioner did. The media loves to spice up a story - rather than help the victims it will spend 15 minutes gathering news or clicking pictures of the crime.

Every Indian woman experiences this boorishness let alone foreigners or tourists who visit our country. So if you are a foreigner/NRI please think twice before bringing your daughters to India for a visit. The women in your life dont deserve the trauma that most Indian women experience daily.
Lets admit it, many people (dont blame just the media) derive pleasure from others misery and women are the easiest prey, atleast physically. So while men will worship the mother goddess, they will not hesitate to molest the same female form in public. That is the most common tactic used to subjugate women and it works everytime. How dare women ask men to be more humane and stop being a chauvinistic pig..... dont women realise that men are the torch-bearers of the lineage. Its another matter that the woman takes the burden of making the next lineage a reality. For most men its their birthright to leer at women, stalk them, sing raunchy Hindi movie songs, stare/ogle at fully clothed women of any age, threaten her for refusing a man's advances. Ofcourse the educated Indian male is cultured enough to never threaten or abuse openly. He uses veiled and subtle terror tactics like showing a newspaper clipping of a woman on whom acid was thrown (by a suitor whom she had refused to marry). In the higher elcheons of power this will take a completely different turn, akin to the glass ceiling syndrome. But let's not go there.

For many the ultimate ego breaker is a woman not listening to a man and making her own decisions, which is equivalent to a western woman, generally deriled and regarded as too liberal, lacks morals, and unfeminine (dont get me started on the hypocrisy). By popular count, the Indian definition for feminity is : Men come first, second, third and women dont figure in the scheme of things. So dont protest and learn to live with zero respect. Ofcourse some educated women will protest that its not true and that they get a lot of respect in their family/personal life. Ahem, who makes the financial decisions with the money you earn? Its a rare "I do" that you will hear. I digress.

Lets stick to women and public spaces... the short of it is : Indian women have learnt to live with boorish male behaviour like the recent Mumbai, Pune or Bihar incidents. Although crimes against women happen all across the world, can you imagine such a public crime in any developed nation?. The difference lies in the fact that its easier to get justice in say NAmerica or EU or AUS unlike in India. Here the onus lies on the woman to prove her innocence. Even with all this evidence, this crime will go unpunished, and there are enough people to protect criminals. Thanks to police apathy, lax laws, zero support from other women, lack of support groups or sometimes lack of support even from their own family (most women will be asked to get on with life than waste time fighting crimes like these). Since women cant expect the state to protect them, martial-arts training should be compulsary in every school for every girl child and women should legally be allowed to carry the kirpan (a knife) like Sikh men do. That is the only way women can stop depending on the state or others to protect them from a mob of 50 -men- criminals.