NEWS

Women Assaulted In Bangalore For Wearing Jeans

February 26, 2009
Deepti Lamba

Miscreants are targeting women in jeans in Bangalore. Hard to believe, isn't it?
The women were hounded, assaulted and threatened for being in 'Western attire'. What is happening in Bangalore? After being perceptually on my guard in Delhi- a city best known for its crimes against women I find Bangalore too heading down the same dangerous route.

A few weeks ago a group of women and men had been badly injured by a group of thugs at a pub and the night shift police allegedly tried to hush the matter up. The incident made news and then the matter easily slipped the mind of laidback Bangaloreans.

But the bully is still out there trying its best to subjugate the Bangalore spirit of -live and let live.

Is it time we civilians began to bear arms? The gun culture has never been part of the urban Indian society but more and more people are now wondering how they can best protect themselves against these miscreants.

Those against the gun culture are quick to say that more accidents and crimes of passion are caused by gun possession than actual self defense but I ask how do we protect ourselves when these thugs ambush us and even if they are caught the law enforcement watches from the sidelines and worse still turns on us?

Two out of the three victims of these hate crimes have registered complaints against the men who assaulted them. The police should take caricatures of the thugs out in public, our chief minister (highly unlikely) should offer harsh condemnation of the acts and we women should have some form of protest put up as quickly as possible against this sort of bullying by impotent thugs.

Here are a couple of safety tips that women should follow:
• Do not roll down your car window even if someone asks for direction.
• Always keep your car doors locked.
• Always keep your cell phone charged.
• If you are being chased while in a car try to remain in a crowded area and keep a look out for police.
• Avoid lonely roads and parking lots, listen to your instincts.
• If someone grabs you scream your head off
• Try getting a pepper spray
• Learn basic self defense techniques
• Always be aggressive. Bullies generally lay off bullies. A vulnerable looking woman is an easy prey.

These thugs are obviously individuals who have taken inspiration from the Mangalore goings-on. This has nothing to do with religion but a nasty chauvinistic mind set that is intimidated by emancipated women. This is not the time to give in to cynicism or indifference. We have to voice our protest.

The power of public outrage is the best defense against hooliganism. Speak up and be heard!

Deepti Lamba is a writer, an editor for Desicritics. She can be found at Things That Bang
eXTReMe Tracker
Keep reading for comments on this article and add some feedback of your own!

Comments! Feedback! Speak and be heard!

Comment on this article or leave feedback for the author

#1
Deepti Lamba
URL
February 26, 2009
09:15 AM

Here is a more detailed news article:

http://www.hindu.com/2009/02/26/stories/2009022658410300.htm

There were civilians around who did nothing and these incidents happened in Koromangla, Indiranagar and Ulsoor.

The girl in Ulsoor managed to escape due to intervention by soldiers.

#2
Ayan Roy
February 26, 2009
09:32 AM

If the police and the state fail in their duty to protect individual citizens, then it becomes the individual's prerogative to protect himself/herself.

Posession of guns(licensed here in India) may be the last resort. I personally will not have any remorse or regret whatsoever if in self-defence I have to put bullets in the brains of these type of gutter-rats if I am viciously attacked like that.

No love and peace at all to such disgraceful, Neanderthal, gutter-rat eve-teasers and molesters.

Ayan

#3
Aaman
URL
February 26, 2009
09:36 AM

Sad development, the cancer of hate spreads fast.

It might be time to review a book I've been putting off for far too long.

#4
Aditi N
February 26, 2009
09:51 AM

Can't people get a movement together and launch a protest or a modern day satyagraha to pull attention to this sort of criminal behavior? I am just really shocked. We seem to be regressing. I don't know why we want to put man on the moon. Just the other day I read an article about women being assaulted in broad daylight. Apparently the police did nothing while these women were being slapped, molested, punched by goons.

Afghanistan was once considered very modern for its times. They had movie theaters and libraries. They had fashion shows and parties. Journalism and writing thrived. Women were free and nobody lived in fear and now look at the state of affairs. If we let this kind of behavior continue we will soon have a Taliban-like regime.

First I read Jo's article about blogger Ajith being charged for starting a community against Shiv Sena and now this. I don't know if people don't realize how easy it is for the power gears to suddenly shift in the favor of such people. If that happens we will all be screwed.

We have film stars who can pull in crowds. Why doesn't anybody do anything? Why does it have to come to a point where women are afraid to walk the streets? How did we even get here?

It is a sad, sad state of affairs.

#5
smallsquirrel
February 26, 2009
09:59 AM

Deepti,

this whole thing has reduced me to tears at work. I am frightfully worried about my friends and family in bangalore, and hate to see what a few thugs have done.

I would encourage all women to move only in groups, and do whatever you can to stay safe.

I would disagree with your advice to be aggressive, though. While I agree that women should appear confident and walk with heads held high and not appear meek, if you are ever accosted it is not a good idea to begin striking out. If you read the article, one woman was called names and then she smacked one of the men. in return she was met with punches. while I am not against using physical means of self-defense, a woman should never begin acting aggressively in the face of a group of men. they will see this as license to respond in kind and attack physically in full force. one lone woman is no physical match for a group of men, unless trained in martial arts, so she must use her smarts to get out of the situation unharmed.

If you are surrounded you should remain calm and begin asking for help from people around you. You should then escalate as the situation requires, including shouting for help, calling the police and asking men who pass by to help you out. look passers by in the face and tell them "brother, uncle, please help me. this could be your sister next." Women need to report these instances immediately to the police.

#6
Sumanth
February 26, 2009
10:28 AM

Should civilian men do anything to protect women by risking their lives?

Looks like those days are gone. Now, its time for women to arm themselves and queue up for gun licenses. Men were carrying this burden for couple of thousand years.

Now, that there is girrrl power breaking glass ceiling, let us see that come out. Now, that men are brutalised with regular attacks on masculinity, its time they wash their hands off when it comes to protecting women.

When women themselves do not want complimentary gender roles and in stead prove that they are 10 times better than men and they can multi-task, why should men go overboard? Now, women can drive a car and shoot criminals at same time using their multi-tasking capabilities.

Crimes in the country are sure to increase as people consider individual thinking (whatsoever it may be) to be more important than morals, religion or ethics. Just like pseudo-liberals, now criminals also know what is right and wrong and they certainly do not want to give a damn about structures of society.

By the way, such hate crimes were always happening in Bangalore. Now, that there is a hype, media is writing about it. There were always incidents of chain snatching, mobile snatching and other hate crimes in all these localities. It has nothing to do with Govt of Congress, JDS or BJP.

Govt and politicians can not do anything, when the bureaucracy, police and judiciary are incompetent. Politicians can only work in air, when there is an inefficient and incompetent execution machinery.

=========
Protests? Since when urban Indians have started taking social responsibility? They have no time after doing a high paying "donkey job" and taking care of "family responsibility". In any case these urban Indians are selfish cowards.

Indifference and insensitivity are very natural traits. After all, the TVs have made us cognitively challenged.

Since many years, one regularly reads about elderly people being brutally murdered in Bangalore.

There is total indifference or insensitivity, when this news of elderly people's murder comes in newspaper. No one expresses outrage in blogosphere. No pink chaddis are sent to police.
=========

It is time, Urban Indians introspect before jumping into conclusions. Things in the society are strangely interconnected. When one aspect of society is disturbed with mindless experimentation, some very unknown and unrelated aspects can show strange responses in course of time.

#7
SD
February 26, 2009
10:41 AM

comment 6: how is chain-snatching and mobile-snatching a hate crime?

"Now, that there is girrrl power breaking glass ceiling, let us see that come out. "

Umm in india is girrrrl-power defined as men attacking women for wearing jeans?

"Now, its time for women to arm themselves and queue up for gun licenses. Men were carrying this burden for couple of thousand years"

Huh? Men have carried the burden of arming themselves and queing up for gun licenses in india?! this is news.

"When women themselves do not want complimentary gender roles and in stead prove that they are 10 times better than men and they can multi-task, why should men go overboard? "

Yeah seriously don't go "overboard". Just stand by the sidewalk and snicker as some woman is assaulted...by other MEN. that will be real revengeful of you. and oh so manly!

#8
Kaiser_Soze
February 26, 2009
11:26 AM

The same liberal elites that preached virtues of gun control to the rest of India in Kashmir and Chattisgarh now wants to arm itself for disputes that are petty in comparison.

There is a lot of anger in India. Liberal gun licenses here would mean a wild-wild-west lifestyle.

Are people prepared for such kind of a lifestyle? What if the same goons had free access to such weapons?

Pistols whipped over petty disputes like bus seats. Shootings in bars, discos and over women's apparel. Drive by shootings. India is not yet ready to bear arms.

But then again, if elites feel threatened its okay to use a sledgehammer to drive in a nail.

#9
kaffir
February 26, 2009
11:46 AM

#2: "Afghanistan was once considered very modern for its times. They had movie theaters and libraries. They had fashion shows and parties. Journalism and writing thrived. Women were free and nobody lived in fear and now look at the state of affairs. If we let this kind of behavior continue we will soon have a Taliban-like regime."

===

Aditi, was this the norm in all of Afghanistan? Or was this modernity that you mentioned confined to a few urban cities?

#10
Kaiser_Soze
February 26, 2009
11:51 AM

@Sumanth...........#6

Damned if you hold doors open for women, damned if you don't. Best thing is to hold doors open for everybody.

In case of an emergency, one should not be patronizing towards women. Only children and maybe old folks.

#11
Deepti Lamba
URL
February 26, 2009
12:27 PM

SS, unfortunately rarely do onlookers help.The third victim was helped by soldiers and the eight lookers just watched the tamasha.

By aggressiveness I meant if one is already in the middle of a skirmish one cannot take it lying down. These goons are known to snatch women and bundle them into waiting cars. But definitely not get all macho and be the first one to pick a fight.

I agree flight sometimes is the best option. Back in Delhi I used to pick and choose my battles when it came to men who were out on their molestation missions.

Even here in Bangalore a three wheeler bumped my car. A fat goon came out and screamed at me. I couldn't understand a word. I apologized, paid him 200 bucks for no fault of mine and drove out of the place.

Aditi, there are a whole lot of undercurrents to the current predicament that Bangalore is finding itself in. It just isn't crime against women but also against 'outsiders' (and I happen to be one of them) and also the 'culture' that we outsiders represent.

I am quite upset. Its a rude awakening. For five years I felt like an outsider in America and come back home only to feel like it again but this time I worry about the safety of my family.

Ayan, I used be against gun possession but now I'm not too sure.




#12
Chirag
February 26, 2009
12:29 PM

Hi Deepti,

Though I understand the rage behind your reaction, I am still very wary of the "gun-culture" line of thought. I hope your usage of "gun-culture" here is more metaphorical than literal. The inherent idea you are putting forth, I am guessing, would be where the public is forced to act because of a "loss of faith" in the System.

Though this does seem acceptable with the history of our system, it stll comes across to me as a dangerous trend. "Loss of Faith" in the system doesn't necessitate bypassing the system. You set the system right by working through the system & being a part of that system. If you donot find the judicial system effecient, the Public effort should be toward setting this system right by means within the system & not toward finding an alternative to the system.

#13
Deepti Lamba
URL
February 26, 2009
12:50 PM

Chirag, unfortunately the system works only for those who have 'connections'. Which is why most Indians are too scared to approach the cops and even when a case is lodged witnesses back out due to threats or get butt load of money to change their statements.

When we don't get protection from law enforcement or from those around us what alternative is there?

There is a heavy price to pay here and those who try to change the 'system' rarely emerge victorious.

And my question remains- if we find ourselves at the mercy of these goons how do we protect ourselves ?

#14
smallsquirrel
February 26, 2009
01:38 PM

I will also mention here that carrying a firearm without receiving proper training on how to use that firearm is wildly irresponsible. what has been proven is that when people own firearms and have not received extensive training about how to use the weapon, so that they actually become comfortable using the weapon properly, that weapon becomes a liability. Usually what happens is that the person pulls the firearm and is too nervous to use it, and it is taken away from them and used against them. this escalates the crime to a more dangerous level of violence than it was previously at before.

I will not get into my views on handguns here. What I will say is that no one should own one without being proficient in how to properly use it... meaning proper use, storage, cleaning, and safety. Otherwise, you will simply end up being shot with your own weapon, either accidentally by your own hand or when it gets taken away from you by an assailant.

#15
Sumanth
February 26, 2009
02:57 PM

"Yeah seriously don't go "overboard". Just stand by the sidewalk and snicker as some woman is assaulted...by other MEN. that will be real revengeful of you. and oh so manly!"

When women are no longer womanly, then why men have to be manly?

Why men have to stick to chivalrous Victorian age?

#16
Sumanth
February 26, 2009
03:36 PM

Society and social evils are our own creations.

People can not leave the situation to politicians, bureaucrats, judiciary and keep blaming them when things get worse.

People have to take social responsibility. They have to keep at least 10% of their time for social transformation so that the society can be safe not only for us but also for future generations. Today, a man is sure to get threats of divorce, if he starts thinking about anything other than work and his wife or kids. This kind of selfishness has to go, if we want a safe future for all.

It is important to create strong social structures and value system so that many of these issues get solved automatically. Without existence of a strong community, things can only get worse. 10 people fighting as a community is different from an individual fighting against system.

Emergencies can happen at anytime. We can not take our freedom for granted being deceived by a false sense of security.

We have to build the nation. Just being slaves of some corporates is not enough. Every single institution has to be recreated and strengthened in an age of continuous change.

One has to foresee the future and mitigate the potential risks to society in future.

It is too reactive when people only bother about superficial issues like going to pubs, when the basic law and order situation keeps getting worse day by day in many big cities.

Blaming politicians is like escaping from one's responsibility. Often politicians are as powerless as any one of us as the systems and structures crumble. Some 30 ministers in a cabinet can not change the nation or state unless bureaucracy, judiciary and police cooperate.

I am also an outsider to Bangalore. I can hardly speak the local language. One has to educate the local people about what the outsiders bring to them. Without "outsiders", Bangalore would not have been what it is today.

This is not a new situation. There are neo-nazis and other supremacist groups in many other places in the world. Citizens have to engage the society and help in sustainable development.

#17
Ruvy
URL
February 26, 2009
04:09 PM

When we don't get protection from law enforcement or from those around us what alternative is there?

And my question remains - if we find ourselves at the mercy of these goons how do we protect ourselves?


Deepti, I am a Brooklyn boy. This statement carries certain implications. One thing you learn in Brooklyn real fast is not to expect help from the cops - unless you have a friend who is one. If you don't, you are on our own.

Therefore, IMHO, it is best to get a license for a pistol, buy it legally, learn how to take it apart in seconds, oil it, clean it, use it safely, store it safely!!; then practice on a range until you can actually hit a target in less than a second from standing, kneeling and prone positions, and in a woman's case lying on her back as well. Learning how to shoot in the dark will be helpful as well, as you can often be assaulted at night.

Te confidence you will develop from all this will make you feel better in difficult situations, and may well save your life - or that of your daughter's.

If you blow someone's brains out who is trying to kill you, you have done your society a favor, as well as saved your own life.

#18
Daddy_Warbucks
February 26, 2009
04:37 PM

Easy there Rambo, I mean Ruvy. Bangalore is not Brooklyn.

#19
Ruvy
URL
February 26, 2009
05:08 PM

Easy there Rambo, I mean Ruvy. Bangalore is not Brooklyn.

LOL!

Bangalore is probably a lot more crowded than Brooklyn - but I'll let someone who has lived there and in the States comment on the relative levels of danger.

What I'm talking about is not the need to blow the bums away - though that is not such a bad idea.

But I'm not talking about training a lady "Punisher" or getting Deepti back into as good a shape as "Elektra". What I'm talking about is giving a woman the self-confidence to deal with violent assault that could easily escalate into rape or murder. Such things have happened in Jerusalem over how women dress, and I'd recommend the same thing to any Jerusalemite as I would to Deepti - who hails from Delhi, appparently not the safest place for a woman who wants to dress as a westerner.

#20
Kerty
February 26, 2009
05:26 PM

Ruvy

"it is best to get a license for a pistol"

That would work in a dirty western set. But in India, people expect Gandhigiri, huggies(without the shit), pink choddies(pardon my Bengali) - that is the Indian way. So if someone were to roughs up a lady, she should show them her pinkies, and it truce would break out and hugs would be exchanged and life would return to life.

#21
Kerty
February 26, 2009
05:26 PM

Ruvy

"it is best to get a license for a pistol"

That would work in a dirty western set. But in India, people expect Gandhigiri, huggies(without the shit), pink choddies(pardon my Bengali) - that is the Indian way. So if someone were to roughs up a lady, she should show them her pinkies, and truce would break out and hugs would be exchanged and life would return to life.

#22
Anamika
February 26, 2009
06:08 PM

Dear Deepti:
Sorry you had a tough time but may I point out that the tips you pointed out in your article were almost EXACTLY the same that NY cops used to provide to ALL citizens back in the 19080s. Its not exactly specific to India.

I am not trying to diminish your suffering but simply pointing out that when you live in a city, you have to behave like you are in a city. And Bangalore, like many other small towns in India, has grown so fast, that it maintains parts of its old identity while also changing into a massive metro. I find that the city is unrecognizable each time I go there.

Having said that: 1) yes, ALWAYS keep your car doors locked (EVEN if you are in a village).

2) Keep your handbag on the floor near the driver's feet - far too often, cars are robbed for the handbag, and the "collateral damage" from the breaking glass is horrible.

3) Keep an eye out while driving at night to see if you are being followed. If you feel you are being followed, DONT head home, but go somewhere else that is a "designated" safe space: ie friends' house, hotel, etc. CALL someone from there so you aren't going to an empty space (this is why young people who are new to the city make easy targets).

4) If you are going to shout, DONT shout for help. Shout FIRE! And yes, that means, learn the kannadiga term for it! People respond faster to fire than they do to help. And all you need is someone to get there.

5) Dont hesitate to fight back. But also be ready to run. At the end, what matters is that you remain alive.

All of the above, courtesy my father - former RAW man, and a dead cool guy!!!

PS: I know what it takes; my sis walked with hockey sticks in Delhi to remain safe. :-)

#23
temporal
URL
February 26, 2009
06:39 PM

sorry dee, (and sorry W B)

Coward, coward, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame taliban symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of your idiocies?
On what wings dare you aspire?
What delusions dare seize the fire?

And what twisted and crazy thought
Could screw the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy loins began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the sickle? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the saints make thee?

Coward, coward, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame taliban symmetry?

#24
Ravi Kulkarni
February 26, 2009
07:03 PM

Dear Deepti,

It is a terrible situation. I wonder if it has anything to do with the BJP govt at helm in Karnataka?

Also, how about a "Pink Cheddiesque" Facebook/Orkut initiative to handle bullying/eve teasing? Only in this case, we develop a protocol to follow when such incidents happen - may be send a quick alert to everyone on the list, so if someone is nearby they can rush to the site to help. I am thinking a little wild here, majority of people in Bangalore do not support such acts and therefore the support that bullies find will be minuscule.

Regards,

Ravi

#25
Aditi N
February 26, 2009
08:08 PM

Dee: Something interesting. I read on Shobha De's blog about a movement some people might be starting. This may be in Bombay but I think that if some of you rally and get together in Bangalore: men & women both, then you might get some attention. International Women's Day is March 8th and I honestly feel this is a time when something can be done. I wish I were there. I feel so helpless reading about the circumstances you have to face there. A facebook or blog initiative could be started that gets like-minded together men and women who can carry out a silent protest on a certain day to garner attention from authorities...something like the Pink Chaddi Campaign except of course a little more serious. Here is the link to De's post:

http://shobhaade.blogspot.com/2009/02/sita-sena-join-now-speak-up.html

It breaks my heart to read what you had to say about coming home after your stay in America and still feeling like an outsider. It makes me very sad.

I don't think people should take this stuff lying down. It is a democratic nation and we have law enforcement that's paid for by our taxes. Why must people have to live in such fear?

#26
Chandra
February 26, 2009
08:58 PM

These attacks and those in mangalore have nothing to do with culture or women. I have said this multiple times on DC, in the last 4-5 years I have seen this build up. This is actual a war between the haves and have nots in Karnataka. At this point it is women and other faces of westernisation that are being targeted, wait for some more time when you will begun to see attacks on North Indians too. There is more hatred brewing in Bangalore than there is in Chennai or Mumbai against hindi speaking folks. I have hadd physical tiffs with autowalas more than 3 times (and I know scores others who have been through this) simply because I spoke hindi. The auto guys reminded me multiple times that they are locals and I was not. Once I spoke with this nice muslim autowala who told me that the local kannadigas are jealous about people doing well in bangalore. They have two targets - Outsiders (largely hindi speaking folks) and Symbols of westernisation (Malls, Pubs, Women with jeans etc). These idiots donot want to work in construction sites, donot drive to half the places and yet want to make a lot of money.

The Govt and local people of karnataka have to make a choice now. The rest of us- we can always move out to places safer.

#27
SanjayTheAtheist
February 26, 2009
09:11 PM

I think what's happening is not any sudden surge in the crime rate, or fresh targeting of women, but rather a media campaign being orchestrated by the Congress Party and its allies in the run-up to elections.

Basically, the Congress Party has failed to protect citizens during the Mumbai terror attacks, and so now it has to do its damnedest to take the public's mind off that, by faking attacks on women in Bangalore. In this way, the same Congress Party hopes to reclaim the mantle of "guardians of law and order".

There is no underlying reason for there to be some sudden upsurge in "Hindoo fanaticism". Hell, the Sari is a longstanding indigenous dress that leaves the midriff bare. Nothing new there.

What's happening is that the Congress Party is working to manufacture a "Hindoo Taliban" bogeyman, using rent-a-mobs in trying to scare voters into the waiting arms of its party at the ballot-box. They've already tried to blame "Hindoo fanatics" for blowing up the Samjauta Express, when it turns out that even the US has fingered Pakistani terrorists for the attack.

Where is Deepti's outrage at incidents like this?

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iYkqUumzaf7AjUkw1ErtZOqihGrgD96DN1L01

I never even heard a token mention of it from her.
Selective morality isn't morality at all. The goal of our selective moralists is political, and not ethical.

Sure, I expect the usual spews of posturing outrage and condemnations against "paranoia", but the reality is that the increasing desperation of the Left is leading a sharpening cycle of politics, to innovate new ways to mud-sling at their opponents.

There's no way that news camera crews would have magically and coincidentally showed up before the attacks, to conveniently film them. There's certainly no precedent for any street-gang in inviting media to show up to film beatings, which amounts to incriminating yourself so that you can be put behind bars for even longer.

This event was orchestrated by the Congress Party, which needed some way to portray the political opposition as "fanatics". The fact is that the BJP has clearly condemned and distanced itself from the attacks, and none of them has sought to affiliate themselves with it.

#28
kerty
February 26, 2009
09:21 PM

Chandra

I agree that there is growing resentment among locals against what Banglore has become in recent times. Banglore used to take pride in being different and better than Mumbai. But IT boom has made it lot more cosmopolitan and western than Mumbai and many locals resent it. IT boom has not benefited everybody while it has raised the cost of living for everybody. So you have two extremes - those who have benefited from it and those who have been left out. Outsiders who are doing good and enjoying western mores, while locals toiling to serve the outsiders. It creates fertile ground.

#29
kerty
February 26, 2009
09:43 PM

#25

Sita Sena? That sounds like sister organization of Shiv Sena. Sita and feminists are like oil and water. They can't mix at all. Sobha De should come up with catchy name that feminists themselves can relate to. The Pink Chaddie didn't work because most women do not wear pink Chaddies. It could generate only 1500 Chaddies - if India has only 1500 feminists or loose women, that should be alarming in itself for the organizer of 8th March feminist's day. Sobha needs to come up with something that every feminist can do without going out of their way. No. Thronging at India Gate wont cut it either.

#30
SD
February 26, 2009
09:52 PM

Once a movement is in place it doesn't have to have a name. Nobody called the Civil Rights' Movement anything until after it became clear that whatever that wave was wasn't going to just subside. Besides it seems to me that this particular issue is not a "feminist" issue...unless men in India just don't have female sisters, daughters, wives, mothers, cousins, aunts or friends anymore.

I personally vote for the name Kaali or Durga Sena. It has more of a kick to it.

"Thronging at India Gate wont cut it either"

Takes a group to start an uprising. "Thronging" would likely just be the start. If people just don't come together, no ideas will be form and nothing will happen.

#31
kerty
February 26, 2009
10:37 PM

SD

"it seems to me that this particular issue is not a "feminist" issue...unless men in India just don't have female sisters, daughters, wives, mothers, cousins, aunts or friends anymore."


If you can't see two incompatible cultural ideals in western and Indian, than I guess you won't be able to see the clash of two opposite ideals of womanhood either. The ideal of womenhood defined around familial relationships is in sharp contrast to one defined by ideals of feminism.

"I personally vote for the name Kaali or Durga Sena. It has more of a kick to it."

I agree. But it is more likely to be hijacked by likes of Ram Sena. Because like Sita, those who identify with Kaali or Durga are likely to agree with Ram Sena's agenda rather than feminist agenda.

#32
SanjayTheAtheist
February 26, 2009
11:06 PM

What disgusts me is that there are longstanding and very well-known issues affecting the lower-middle classes, such as bride-burning, dowry-killings, female infanticides, family preference for male education while girls simply get married off. And they've been happening all along under a half-century of Congress Party rule.

These are well-known and longstanding issues. But what gets Deepti in an uproar and elicits her biggest rant? Blue jeans.

Hey, I believe in freedom of dress too, but I'm reminded of the complaints that left-wing activists made after the Mumbai attacks. After Mumbai, the lefty activists pointed out that it's only after the posh hangouts of India's upper classes were targeted by terrorists that there was strong anger among the media and literate people. The lefties pointed out that when poor people were victims of violence all the time, that the issue of such violence never came to the fore.

Well, likewise, I see Deepti getting her knickers in a knot over blue jeans in Bangalore, while the far more widespread and deeper women's issues don't even get the slightest mention in her article. None of those things are worth a toss of the hair, to the chaddi-campaign activists.

Bride-burning? Female infanticide? Lack of reproductive health choices? Nah - Forget that! Deepti's having problems keeping her fat thighs in blue-jeans at the mall!!
Oh, the horror - the horror!!

Quick, someone call The Hague!

#33
SD
February 26, 2009
11:39 PM

"Well, likewise, I see Deepti getting her knickers in a knot over blue jeans in Bangalore, while the far more widespread and deeper women's issues don't even get the slightest mention in her article. None of those things are worth a toss of the hair, to the chaddi-campaign activists"

This article is a report specifically about the Bangalore incident. Every news piece or journalistic report does not have to encompass all the aspects of oppression. For example, a report about eve-teasing or molestation would probably not include the history and statistics involving sati and dowry etc either. The above piece is a 300 word article and not a book or analysis about the plight of Indian women.

BTW these "chaddi campaign" activists who rattle you so are probably working -women whose problems may not include sati or dowry but sure do include safety issues when getting home from work or while traveling through the city with their children....wearing whatever it is that they want to wear. It may seem like a petty issue to you but ask a girl who has had to take the last train home, walk home from work or is standing at an isolated bus stop. I've been to Delhi once many years ago and I felt like I was being mentally stripped at public places.

When you dismiss assaults against women wearing jeans, how will you ever even get to a point where you can discuss eradication of bigger crimes against women in the rural or under-developed regions?

What confuses me about a lot of Indians is that they seem to tag everything mildly progressive as "liberal, left wing, elite" etc. Its like they are India's own Sarah Palins :)

#34
kerty
February 26, 2009
11:51 PM

SD

"What confuses me about a lot of Indians is that they seem to tag everything mildly progressive as "liberal, left wing, elite" etc."

That is because progressive has nothing to do with progress. It is same old loony liberalism served in a new bottle.

"Its like they are India's own Sarah Palins :)"

And we know what feminists did to her. I guess they had no problem differentiating a women who is not a feminist.

#35
SD
February 27, 2009
12:12 AM

"That is because progressive has nothing to do with progress. It is same old loony liberalism served in a new bottle"

Really?? Like all of it? And you just know it upon first sight that it is loony liberalism and not progress?! Wow! Clever.

"And we know what feminists did to her. I guess they had no problem differentiating a women who is not a feminist"

I have no idea what that means but umm ok I guess. I am not aware of a gang of feminists who did anything to Sarah Palin. I do remember her doing a flip-flop on the issue of whether she is or isn't a feminist....guess she was scared of losing the Joe vote. Joe is a bit like you guys. He too sees "loony liberalism" when he is shown certain tag-cards reading "feminism", "Progressive", "human rights". His list just includes a few more of those like: "gun laws", "Gay marriage" etc.

#36
Ledzius
February 27, 2009
12:36 AM

There is complete breakdown of law and order in our country. When the police themselves are so corrupt and full of criminals, what else can you expect?

First and foremost, the police forces need to be revamped and professionalised throughout India. Most of the "cultural wars", etc, are basically a law and order problem more than anything else. People are entitled to their own opinions, but there is no excuse for anyone breaking laws.

Police needs to be respected and feared as they are in the US. But for that, they should also have a high standard, subject to strict internal reviews, much like the military, and not subject to political interference from the local govt.


#37
Deepti Lamba
URL
February 27, 2009
01:20 AM

Ruvy, there is a Bangalore Rifle Association and I am planning to have a word with its founder since he is a friend of ours and maybe join the group for training but I'm still not very comfortable with the idea of possessing a gun and even if I do I don't want to carry it with me since I am out with kids most of the times and the fear that I may shoot an innocent doesn't sit well with me.

A pepper spray seems to be a better idea. I'm in two minds. Will talk at length with Aaman about it.

SD, some people come to DC looking for a fight and not serious exchange of ideas. SanjayA is a filthy minded man who cannot think beyond my knickers and my 'fat' thighs:/ People like him would do anything to get a rise out of people. With trolls like him the best policy is to ignore- ignore-ignore;)

Aditi, back in Delhi about ten years back when a Kenyan girl was assaulted in a bus full of people a march was held across all Delhi colleges. The women bystanders supported us but the men laughed. Even now most people are cynical and think none of the protests will make any difference. Most of these incidents are downplayed and even go unreported. Like SD said at least some crimes against urban women get reported by the media I shudder to think what women go through in villages.

The pink chaddi campaigners have a case lodged against them by the sena people. What a laugh. The goons who molested and assaulted women now are crying foul. Cowards! I'm clicking on De's blog.

Ledzuis, you are right and I feel our cops and army should be one of the highest paid to get the best society can offer.







#38
Vijay
February 27, 2009
01:36 AM

No problem. Have gun. If anyone misbehaves with a women shoot them. It's Indian culture. Durga is not carrying weapons for fun, it's meant to be used against bad people who disrespects women and act against them.

#39
Deepti Lamba
URL
February 27, 2009
01:39 AM

Anamika, thank you for correcting the tips especially the one about not returning home in case one is chased and about the handbag.

temporal, please put the poem up on DC:)

#40
kerty
February 27, 2009
02:41 AM

Vijay

Get ak47. It can take care of any size mob.

#41
Deepti Lamba
URL
February 27, 2009
03:13 AM

The Indian Army replaced the Kalashnikov with the INSAS rifle

http://www.defenceindia.com/defenceind/indian_army_equipment.html

#42
Chandra
February 27, 2009
03:32 AM

Sanjaytheatheist

There is a lot of credibility in what you say. These attacks have happened just before the elections. Very similar to onion prices in 1998-99 in Delhi. :-). The congress party has nothing to show as performance and such attacks are a brilliant are sure to attrack urban voters to the congress. I think they are doing a brilliant job. The shree ram sena for example competed AGAINST the BJP during the assembly elections last year.

#43
Kerty
February 27, 2009
04:47 AM

Chandra

Same story in Maharastra where MNS that is opposed to Shiv Sena runs with issues that Shiva Sena can neither afford to support nor oppose, but in either case, congress gets to create mileage out of it while dividing the political base of its opponents. This is typical dirty politics congress used to wage to divide-destroy all its political opponents and that is how it kept monopoly on power for decades. Now that Aam Adami card can not hoodwink people, it is back to its old tricks to win power.

#44
Ruvy
URL
February 27, 2009
05:48 AM

Deepti,

I'm still not very comfortable with the idea of possessing a gun and even if I do I don't want to carry it with me since I am out with kids most of the times and the fear that I may shoot an innocent doesn't sit well with me.

Given some of the things you've said elsewhere in other articles, I can easily understand these fears. Each culture has its own concepts surrounding weapons. In this country, even little kids understand that guns kill, and it is against the law to carry a concealed weapon unless you are in the secret police or one of the intelligence agencies. But generally, the attitude towards weapons differs very greatly from the attitude found in the US. Occasionally though, parents seem to be careless about weapons. Rumor has it that one of Ariel Sharon's son's died in an accident that involved not being careful with weapons.

Pepper spray is good - until you run out. A loud shot in the air usually goes far in dispersing bullies. Real killers or highly motivated terrorists will not quail at being fired at, though. They need to be killed for your own protection.

When women do carry pistols in Israel, they are usually security guards or police - but not always. Sometimes, I see young women coming home on the bus with a pistol securely placed. Before you do act, have long talks and reach very clear understandings about the uses to which any weapon you carry may be used. Any weapon, if misused, can cause severe injury or death.

#45
annamma
February 27, 2009
05:56 AM

Well, we encouraged our daughters to learn Judo to know, at a pinch, how to protect themselves. from thugs and hoodlums. I can't bring myself to okaying firearms - we have enough problems without our society turning into a gun culture, too.
Temporal's modification made amsuing sense, really.
And I do think, with ravi, that it is no coincidence that these regressive "Bharatiya culture" idiocies have reared their heads along with the BJP coming to power - it tends to major on these issues.

Must add that while many people are able to discuss issues with a genuine concern, politely and rationally, it becomes increasingly tedious to have to tune out some unfriendly, bigoted and rude voices in DC. Reasoning with them does not work, so that responding to them is out of question, banning them does not seem to be an option for the editors (?? even as a short-term measure?? hopeful!), ignoring them gets, as i said, even for me, not here very often, tedious....:-)

#46
annamma
February 27, 2009
06:11 AM

Deepti,
About feeling like a stranger in your own country, just to share - can vibe with that because was always made to feel the same in college for not knowing Hindi well enough.

Its ALL about language, I think. And I guess its natural considering that india is really such a hotch-potch of communities and langauges - Once I took the plunge and started speaking Hindi more, and got better at it, the taunts lessened, though I do still get the occasional "Which country are you from?"(!!! Absurd) if I am over-heard speaking English. I think one stops feeling, or being treated as an outsider once one learns the local language - its worth making a real effort, for the sense of belonging that follows.

#47
Roshan
URL
February 27, 2009
08:57 AM

I agree with Ledzius. We need a modern, unbiased, apolitical police force. Supreme Court has even directed state governments to implement the police reforms. Unfortunately, no state wants to implement it in the right spirit.


Police reform is what everyone of us should want. It's not just a urban or elite folks requirement. The poor and the ones without any 'connections' or influence are the ones harassed by the cops. I wonder why the state governments have no interest in implementing this. Actually, I do understand. But we need to start pressuring our politicians to start the reforms on an urgent basis and let go of control over the police.

#48
Deepti Lamba
URL
February 27, 2009
10:02 AM

Annamma, I've been trying my best to learn Kannada but I never had the aptitude when it came to learning languages. I can understand it well enough but when it comes to speaking it I sound like a foreigner insulting the local language!

I have people doubling over with laughter.

#49
kerty
February 27, 2009
12:36 PM

Roshan

"Police reform is what everyone of us should want."

why that is easier said than done

-Indians have a knack for not submitting to authority or power centers. Its in their genes

- Leftists have rigged the police force on caste lines. So if you have A as a major caste in a locality, majority of its local police would be from community B,thus engineering antagonism among communities that paid rich political dividends.

- Power without accountability corrupts absolutely. In India government, political field and police epitomize power without accountability, and therefore corruption. You would expect political field and government to take the bull by the horn, but when they too are steeped in power without accountability, who can reform whom?

- People want their power centers to be corrupt - corruption creates a measure of freedom, it allows people to get away with whatever they choose to get away with. That is ultimate freedom.

- all corruption flows from corruption of ideas. There is no mechanism to scrutinize ideas and hold ideas accountable. You would think media exists precisely for that role. But media too is corrupt to its core - it has no integrity. It is beholden to ideas and wedded to ideologies, therefore it is not independent or free or able to scrutinize or debate merits of ideas or educate masses to hold bad ideas accountable or enlighten masses. All corruption flows from corruption of ideas.

If it was that easy, it would have been long time ago.

#50
Roshan
URL
February 28, 2009
02:43 AM

Did I say it was easy to implement? I've said that each one of us in India should want reforms in our police force and start lobbying for it in some way.


Things have changed in India for the better. Reforms have happened, old attitudes changed and helped people lead a better life


And your world view is steeped in cynicism and pessimism. Unless we start believing that change is possible, none of us will start working towards that change.

#51
kerty
February 28, 2009
02:57 PM

Roshan

I do not share the exuberance or optimism when it comes to government or politicians. When it comes to political arena, one has to take any idealism and optimism with a pinch of salt. Indians are a strange breed. They have humbled many a great reformers, political movements, rulers, even Gods. More things change, more they remain the same. Things are the way they are, in part, because people want it that way and/or not much can be done about it. But like a Karmyogi, we do what we can without expecting results or rewards.

#52
kerty
February 28, 2009
02:59 PM

Roshan

I do not share the exuberance or optimism when it comes to government or politicians. When it comes to political arena, one has to take any idealism and optimism with a pinch of salt. Indians are a strange breed. They have humbled many a great reformers, political movements, rulers, even Gods. More things change, more they remain the same. Things are the way they are, in part, because people want it that way and/or not much can be done about it. But like a Karmyogi, we do what we can without expecting results or rewards.

Add your comment

(Or ping: http://desicritics.org/tb/8864)

Personal attacks are not allowed. Please read our comment policy.






Remember Name/URL?

Please preview your comment!