Showing posts with label India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label India. Show all posts

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Guest Post: It’s not what it looks like. Its me!


Over the past few weeks, India has latched on to its newest hashtag - #MeToo.
Dozens of women have called out men with any semblance of power and accusations of how they harassed, abused, molested, tortured, or in any way inconvenienced them.
The men who have been accused have predictably reacted with shock, denial, and counter-accusations. Some have even apologised. 

And as usual, the media has taken sides - We are pro-feminists. And as always, we have condemned the men in the courts of our consciences.

So in the spirit of coming out and calling out, I want my 5 minutes of fame too. 

I am a 36 year old Indian woman, born and brought up in New York. I was drugged and raped by my friend at a frat party. I’ve been ‘raped’ twice since then by men who wanted to be my boyfriends and then dumped. 

When I moved to India 10 years ago, I thought my past was behind me and I could leave the scars of my past behind. How wrong I was!

My first boyfriend was a wonderful man. Or at least I thought he was. Until I started to work late nights. His patience and ‘understanding nature’ wore thin and his suspicion grew. He wanted to know who I was with and why I had to work late every night. He couldn’t believe a woman needed a career for all the real reasons a man needed one. 
The first time he ‘raped’ me, it was after a miserable argument where he said, emphatically, how he didn’t need my money. He needed my body and that’s all there was. He apologised to me the next morning. 
A week later, it happened again. 
And again.

I thought my boss, a woman, would understand what I was going through. I guess I just needed a hug, an ally to tell me I’ll be fine. 
It didn’t happen. Pouring my heart out to my boss only appeared to give her more power over me. She camouflaged power over me as empathy and I misread her signals. We’d meet over weekends and drinks at a pub transitioned into drinking at her home. After one of those binges, we ended up in bed. Now, I never knew I was bisexual and I don’t think I’m even attracted to women that way, but I know she knew what she was doing. The morning after was confusing to me. She pacified me and suggested I let it go as a ‘one off’ and move on. 

Working with her felt awkward. She was patient and wanted me to let time erase the memories. Sure. But it didn’t. 
Her patience began to wear thin. She started sidelining me in meetings and projects and it wasn’t too long before I began hearing hushed rumours about me. None of which mattered because I knew rumours and lies have short legs. 

That’s when Raj (fictional name, ofcourse) joined my team. Being a previously married man who had to fight hard for his divorce, he could cut the animosity in the office with a knife. Gradually, he learned how to separate fact from fiction and we made a good team. 
We’ve been dating each other for the last 4 years and he’s been patient with me. He has learned to deal with my trust issues and we still make a great team. 

But that’s not what this is about. 

Indians have been great at shaming other people.
We wear our hypocrisy on our sleeves and we, childishly, believe shaming another person is the most appropriate punishment/encouragement we can give. Partly because we are on our high-horses all the time and partly because we feel entitled. 

I’ve heard memes and jokes about how parents would shame their sons into doing better than Sharmaji’s son. Daughters, of course need to cook, knit and learn skipping ropes before being sold to the highest bidder when they reach their 20’s. 

We have our priorities terribly mixed up.

India is a country where a woman is raped every 20 minutes.
We have an appalling conviction rate. And even when prosecuted, it is just a matter of money and time, before the rapist will walk free. And one day, even become your legislator. 

India is a country where marital rapes will happen. A fact that has been endorsed by the highest court of the country. 

India is a country where female genital mutilation happens. Google for it. If men were subjected to something even remotely heinous, they would have fought hard to stop this.

India is a country which has states like Kerala. One that talks tall about the sex ratio, their matriarchal society and more. But try walking in a skirt and a T-shirt in Thiruvanthapuram and you will be ogled, bumped into, and groped. It isn’t any different in any other district within the State either. I was once catcalled when cycling within Wayanad. And I wasn’t even alone. 

Our sanitation standards are poor, economical inequality all pervasive, adulteration is rampant in the food we eat and the milk we drink. We can’t seem to get our roads done the way it should. We can’t seem to follow traffic rules for the life of us. We don’t have the political or moral will to treat each other with respect. Yes, there are a lot of issues within India. 

Getting groped, molested, harassed is bad. But so are acid attacks and rapes. 
I know because I’ve been raped, molested, groped and harassed. I’ve also had consensual sex with men and sometimes that was that and we never explored the step ahead. I know colleagues who have had to sleep with men. Sure it was for getting that promotion (which might have never come). But it was definitely consensual at the time she chose to sleep with him. Do you think she should sue him in, say, 10 years from now?
Do you think I should sue all the men and my boss for sexually abusing me? 
The abuse does leave scars but that is why I am in therapy. 

This movement will gain traction. Because none of the men will want to call out the hypocrisy of the women. Doing so will paint a target on their backs. 

Men I speak to are terrified. I know men who have started calling their exes (going back 15 years) just to apologise. They call it ‘I am sorry for hurting you and leading you on’. 
I call it Anticipatory Bail. 

Women on the other hand have got a new weapon. It’s an addition to a repertoire of tools that lakhs of women have used in the past. Case in point: Jasleen Kaur.
Thousands of estranged wives have abused Article 498A and the Domestic Violence Act to exact revenge on their men and his family for many many years.
This revolution is the newest tool in the hands of women who want to take down men. Either because the sex was bad or the outcome was not good enough. 

This movement couldn’t have come at a worse time. We don’t trust our banks, we can’t trust our politicians and now, we won’t trust the opposite sex. 

Women never had it easy in our country. We’ve had to fight for everything we wanted. 
And now, it will be a heck a lot harder.

But then it isn’t only the men who can do all this to women, right?
There are an equal number of ruthless women who do the same to men and other women. Raj was raped by men when he was a child. He was harassed at work by a woman too. 

Shouldn’t we treat crimes against another individual, whether male or female, equally? 
What’s happened to the practice of filing a lawsuit when a crime has happened?
What happens when the accuser is proven wrong? What happens to the person who she/he accused? 

So like I said, men are terrified. And if they’ve abused a woman in any way. They should be. This is the beginning of the end for them.

But women beware. Because if your allegations are false and if the men you accuse could get to the powerful positions they are right now, you can be sure as daylight follows darkness, you will be hunted down and made an example. And unlike Jasleen Kaur, you will not be spared. 
But if what you say is true, more power to you. File a lawsuit if you have enough evidence to back your allegation. Seek therapy for the wounds within. You’ll come through this stronger than ever.

In the meanwhile, the Courts should sit up and take notice. Or else this will be beginning of another sordid saga that will spiral into a social nightmare that will hurt both men and women in ways that we can’t conceive yet.



Monday, December 07, 2015

GuestSpeak: Land of the dying farmers

India is one of those countries where we can see all people from all faiths thriving side by side. People come to India from all our the world because of our education system and for the many opportunities we give. But being Indian I have often wondered why the government isn't doing enough to help our farmers. Farmers are our nation's backbone.
They put their sweat and tears to grow food that we eat (and waste). Yet they aren't getting a good yield and don't have a fixed price from the government. So who should we blame? Do you think government is main responsible for farmers death? I believe it is.

Why the government isn't able to control farmer suicides in India?

Having seen farmers closely, I feel Indian farmers are struggling because they don’t have fixed price for their crops and when farmers take loans for the cultivation for their crops either from co-operative bank or from nationalized bank, the loan amount will not be given to them at the proper interest rates, because loan amount has to be proceed through field officer for filed officer they have to pay some amount of money to release their amount by the time seeds are sowed, its time they applied pesticides and the delay caused a cascading effect. The amount they have borrowed grows and the interest that accrues exceeds the principle and when the crops fail, they cannot pay the money. Ones who survive, will barely exist or profit because there isn't a set mechanism in the government.

Do you think the government is unaware of their problems?

Elected bodies take oath in the name farmers but they do nothing for farmers. As a writer and a concerned citizen, I pray that the government, on behalf of farmers, provides them with high quality seeds and releases timely loans for the cultivation for their crops, to fix a standard price for every produce so that we can save the foundation of our agrarian nation. I feel farmers a forgotten lot because we are only exposed to consumer goods from malls or from markets. But do you think these products or directly brought from farmers? No. Middlemen end up buying the produce from the farmer at rates which are bad for the farmer and sell them at a premium.
We forget our lives are beautiful because of the daily toil our farmers put in.

Can the government fix this problem?

Yes, please open crop insurances in villages, where people can get their money even if their harvest fails. Buy produce directly from farmers so that they can also live a respectable life too. The Government can open separate market for all the produce to avoid harvests getting spoiled or rotten. 

Think about this - Our farmers are not happy. They should get a proper life and live a life worth living. You and I can help them live a worthwhile life. Support our farmers.

This is a guest post by a good friend and fellow writer Vasu Hebasur

Opinions expressed here are personal and solely of the author's and we may not subscribe to it. 


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ze List v3.0

In India, this is the day DJs live for. When clubs and pubs get to charge you outrageous ticket prices for their New Year bash and that time of year when hundreds of thousands of couples will copulate in liquor-fueled stupor. 

When businesses around the world (except in North Korea, Iraq and so on..) salivate at the prospect of making a profit. 


When B-grade (and some A-listers too when the price is right) Bollywood actresses will sashay, gyrate, thrust and jiggle their voluptuous silicon-filled body at C-grade Clubs. 


It's that brief moment in the year when husbands are allowed to drink their silly minds off and wives are allowed to relive their bachelorette days again. 


Its that day of the year when gyms will coax you to make that 'lose weight, get fit' resolution by dangling attractive discounts. And who are we kidding, you'll stop going to the gym in exactly 23 days from now.

Courtesy: Disparition by Bushra Almutawakel

The New Year is here! No matter where you are and what you do, we will all make our resolutions that we will all feign ignorance in a month from now. 


We are back to that time of the year when Lists are in vogue everywhere you see.. And yes, its time for Ze List v3.0.

This year, we again start off with The Master of the Universe..

God

In the midst of storms, He is still the balm we need. You may know Him as Allah, Shiva, Jesus, The Almighty and a million other names, but if there is one thing that I know it is that, there is someone watching over us while we run amok and it aint NSA. Thank you, Abba Father. We owe it all to you.

Kneejerk

No, it isn't about kneeing a jerk, but the way Indians reacted to events around them. 

Case in point: This year it was the Uber cab rape.
Sexual abuse isn't endemic to India. There are only a few nations in the world where women are truly free and safe. Yet, the callous way we dealt with women who were ruthlessly victimized showed us in poor light. From being raped and hung from trees to being branded liars, our women didn't have it easy this year. But if you don't want to be raped, then all you need is this Rape Mantra

Last year our Supreme Court decided it was tinted car windows that caused our women to be raped and decided to ban it. In case you haven't noticed Mr Judge, women are still getting raped in cars with (and without) the sun-tints. 
A few years ago, when Pratibha Murthy was raped and killed, cab drivers were again hung up to dry. Companies that ferried their women to work and back were forced to hire security guards that escorted the women right to their doorstep. 
I don't think we have made a difference because in nearly every rape that happens, our men take advantage of the cracks within the system, yet what happens across India is baffling. Instead of strengthening and enforcing existing rules and ensuring this cannot be repeated, our politicians simply turn off the fire alarm. 

So this the problem - we have idiots, who have absolutely no intellect or the will to change things the way they are, at the helm of affairs. 

Our patience is wearing thin, we didn't mind the millions that were looted up until our women started getting raped with impunity. 
In case you haven't already read this letter, Mr Modi, here it is. Please read and act on it. Don't ban mobiles and taxi cabs. We don't want nincompoops dictating our women not to wear jeans and tee-shirts. Don't tell us not to kiss or hold hands in public. What we want is you to take a break from all those trips abroad, sit down with the best minds in the country and create a road-map that will ensure our women will walk with their heads held high and without fear (the way Rabindranath Tagore wanted) and then create a powerful judiciary and law-enforcement system that will not spare the perpetrators. Make an example out of the rapists, not out of the victims.

Indian Sports

We did remarkably well at the Glasgow CWG, swooping up enough medals to keep us in the 5th position. Considering the paradigm shift in attitudes in the last couple of years, I wouldn't be surprised if we are in the 3rd place in the next CWG.
From Saina to Deepika, Jwala Gutta to Sarita, this year was replete with Indian women coming out of the kitchens and stepping onto podiums and the limelight in style. Bravo!


Polls
India rocked the vote. En masse.
Moral of the story: Don't screw with us. We might deliver.

AAP

2012: AAP sweeps India
2013: AAP sweeps Delhi
2014: AAP swept away.

Saffron, Ahoy!
The Congress might have seen it coming. C'mon! We all saw it coming
The BJP won. And how! The Congress ran for shelter like roaches when you turn on the light. 
Gently and swiftly, Modi - From being a humble (yet ambitious) tea-seller in a railway station to being the most powerful Indian politician, he became the iPhone of the politicians. From coining interesting catch-phrases like #AccheDin, #SwaccheBharat and #MakeinIndia, the man surely knows how to say what we want to hear. 
Pedal to the metal, Mr Modi, let's walk the talk now.  


Visa On Arrival
Modi went around the world promising first world nations a visa on arrival. Well, Mr Prime Minister, what they need is not a visa on arrival, but security and peace of mind after they've arrived. #RapeCentral.

Congress (aka Sore Loser)
Didn't take it well. Well, what did they expect?! #IndiaShining

Rahul Gandhi

Hit puberty head-on. Was sent back to his Italian 'nanny'. May make guest appearances on an #AccheDin.


Robert Vadra
The richest Son-In-Law in India. The most talented investment manager in the planet - He made millions with just a couple of lakh Rupees. So if you ask me, we need to fete him and not fret him.

'Satyam' Raju
Years after B Ramalinga Raju was caught for massive accounting fraud in the erstwhile Satyam, the Supreme Court got ready to sentence him. In a country where politicians co-habit with businessmen, Raju will be the one that fell between the cracks. 

Sheila Ki Jawani
The former iron lady from Delhi went out of flavor just like that.

Delhi
#RapeCentral became Crime Capital of India.

Shashi Tharoor
Much married and now widowed, this guy has the uncanny ability to stay relevant. While he is celebrated and feted in Kerala, outside of 'God's own country', its easy to see him for what he is. He has a tendency of letting his mouth run away but make no mistake - He is one foxy politician (albeit a slightly highly educated one) with more clout than you and I can imagine. And chances are, he will find his way out of any mess in no time.

Devyani Khobragade
Who?!

Popular (non) Fiction
All the Queen's parrots sang like a canary and out tumbled the skeletons from the cupboard.

Religious Conversions
The last quarter of the year saw the lunatics at RSS organize a 'Ghar Wapsi'(Homecoming) for people who 'went' to other faiths. 
My question here is: Examine the reasons why they switch faiths in the first place?
Religious conversions aren't new in India. We've had foreign invaders convert their 'subjects' for centuries now. When social minorities relent to embrace another religion, they do it only because they were marginalized already. 
Churches and overpaid television evangelists across India and the world continue to coerce and convert the 'unfaithful' with many false promises and pipe-dreams. So while involuntary conversions are always a bad thing, politicians should remember that we already have strong legislature banning it in our Constitution. What was missing is the will-power to enforce it.
These are images that you'll never ever see in the Western media
A more pertinent question is : Have we run out of real issues to fix?

ISRO
From launching cutting-edge space satellites to being the only country in the world to put a martian satellite in orbit in its maiden effort, ISRO put us on the map in style.
Next: A manned space mission.

And oh yeah, bunch of hypocrites complained at how we could have used that money to build toilets and stuff. 
Advice: Please go watch Linga and Chennai Express and have a Happy New Year.

Baba Baba Black Sheep
Our sordid affair with seedy godmen continued. After Nithyanand and Ramdev, its Rampal who was in the news this year.

ISIS
Yop, you guessed it right. Out of the ashes of Al Qaeda, like a Phoenix rose IS. Makes the Taliban look like kinder-garden copsThe US took it upon themselves to step in.
They killed, mutilated and plundered with disregard. If you're reading this, you are far far away from the areas being sanitized by the 'coalition of the willing'.  

Boko Haram
Reduced the population at Gamboru Ngala. Kidnapped and held 276 girls hostage. People who perpetrate these kind of crimes must be stoned to death.

Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge Tribunal found Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan guilty of crimes against humanity and are sentenced to life imprisonment. While justice delayed is justice denied, I hope this sets a precedent to future cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity


Israel
Went overboard. 
Ukraine/Iraq/Assam/Syria/Afghanistan/Egypt/Pakistan/Sydney
Disillusioned citizens took up arms and the law into their hands. Violence spilled over from the last year and we lost thousands of innocent people to overzealous religious goons.
Why does the world erupt in anger when bunch of bastards attack and kill 100s of school children in Peshawar but remain silent when the same happens in AssamFirst come, first served?

Where was Malala when this happened?
Will her Nobel Prize inspire parents to send their children to schools again?


Malala
Continued to be the flavor of the year after getting one half of the Nobel Peace Prize. Enroute to being the rich author and future Benazir Bhutto. Epic waste!

Aitzaz Hasan
Didn't write bestsellers. Didn't get the Nobel prize. Didn't get shot in the head. Died a hero.

eCommerce

Billion dollar companies began fighting for the billion dollar pie - India.

Low Cost Airlines 

So talking about low cost airlines, Kingfisher Airlines breathed its last. Malya will live to regret his arrogance. SpiceJet ran out of spices. Temporarily.
Air Asia flew in and muddied the pond a little more. It was a year of tickets that were cheaper than a Happy Meal at McDonald's.

Rajnikanth/SRK/Deepika

Ouch! That hurt!
Three 'Superstars'. Three words: Terrible Terrible Movies. 
Like love-struck teenagers, we still watched their atrocious movies and then complained about it. 
Advice: Please retire/act in equally crappy television serials.
True everywhere else too..

Sarita Devi
Unlikely entry into Ze List. If she was an American boxer, she would have been the highest-paid celebrity by now and South Korea would have been nuked. 
She isn't, so the Koreans will live to die another day.

Ebola
Not another fancy schmazy phone from Apple. Just another reminder that we shouldn't mess with Nature.

Supreme Court
Woke up and in a flurry of the pen banned/changed a couple of things this past year. Meh!

Jayalalithaaaa
20 years later, the court found her guilty of amassing wealth beyond her known means. Duh! 
She was fined Rs100 crores. She would've paid her gang of lawyers more than that to fight her case already. Ram Jethmalani ko jai!

Mamata Di
I hope she's saving up for a rainy day, because with the way she has been running the government in West Bengal, this will be the last time she'll be in power. 

Subroto 
So the Sahara Chief is still stuck in jail like that stubborn piece of grime that refuses to go down the bathroom drain. Out of favor, out of flavor.

Spain Ola!
King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favor of his son, who was crowned King Felipe VI.

Vatican

The Pope was busy canonizing and beatifying cardinals and past Popes this year. 

MV Sewol 
The South Korean ferry capsized and sunk killing 304 people (mostly school children).

Airplane!

Wasn't a good year for airlines. The MH370 went missing shortly after take-off, and hasn't been found yet. 
Another Malaysian Airlines MH17 was shot down in Ukraine killing all onboard. 
Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in Mali, again, killing all 116 people on board.
An Air Asia flight from Indonesia crashed midway to Singapore. Preliminary investigations revealed the pilots didn't follow standard weather checks pre-flight. 

Irom Sharmila
Was released, and promptly re-arrested. Touche`

Oscar Pistoris



...Got the finger! What a waste of good talent.

Ice Bucket
What a novel way to see people wet themselves! My personal favorite was the way Poonam Pandhey did it.


Hackers Galore!
We all got to see free smut and dirt cheap Hollywood movies. How good are we!

Selfies

We took more selfies of ourselves than all the pictures ever taken since the beginning of time, made it to the dictionary and even made a song and dance about it... #SelfObsessed #Selfie

FIFA

The world's favorite ball-game played out in grandeur. 
Germany waltzed out with the cup.

Shiv Sena

From being in power for decades to being routed out of oblivion, life has come full circle.

Times of India

Its not always that a 'leading' newspaper gets an entry into the Ze List, but TOI did it in style this year. From newspapers that weigh half a kilo because of the pages of adverts in them to glorifying cleavage just because a bored photojournalist wanted his daily scoop, TOI did it all this year.

Michael Schumacher
After being in a medically-induced coma for several months, he finally appears to be back. Let's hope the racing legend makes a complete recovery soon.

Snowden

Continues to be the speck in Uncle Sam's eye.

Cuba
US-Cuban relationships thawed! The best thing to happen this year.

Russia
Was ranked 2nd in The Economist's 2014 Crony-Capitalism index. With the way the Russian economy has been crumbling, this could be the sinkhole that will take the world down

Polio-free India
A symbol of what we can achieve when we make our minds up. 

Ambassador Out!

The iconic Indian car (and the best taxi in the world) rolled into the sunset. 

IPL
A year after an organized betting ring was busted, India Cements CEO and CSK owner Srinivasan continued to wield a strangle-hold over BCCI and ICC. 

Elton John
The flamboyant British singer married his long-term partner David Furnish. 
Three Cheers to the couple!

KimK
So The Kardashian is back in news this year and how! 
Beginning with a 'leaked' sex-tape, a reality show, a 'made-for-tv' marriage, an inter-racial marriage and now this, Kim is proof that you don't need too many skills to stay relevant. 

Miley Cyrus
From a Disney princess to a Free spirited young lady, she matured real fast. In full glorious view. This year was less about the music too.

It's Black, It's White..
While Uncle Sam is out policing the world, trouble brewed at home. With the killing of an unarmed black teenager and the subsequent acquittal of the white police-officer by the courts, the nation exploded. 
Decades of festering racism rose to the top and suddenly we felt proud of our unity. 

Global Warming
With the IPCC  (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) warning that we are headed to "severe, pervasive and irreversible" damage from global emissions of CO2, maybe it's time for us to sit up and take notice.

Rosetta

The Rosetta spacecraft's Philae probe successfully lands on Comet 67P, the first time in history that a spacecraft has landed on such an object.

People We'll Miss
Sir Richard Attenborough
Khushwant Singh
Robin Williams
Nadine Gordimer 
Zohra Sehgal
Mae Young
Shirley Temple
Joan Rivers
Magda Olivero
Marinho Chagas
Ruby Dee
Ariel Sharon
Sid Caesar
B. K. S. Iyengar
Archie


Sunday, March 09, 2014

Raped by My Man

Two decades ago, when I was raped by a man while vacationing in Kerala, I didn't know what I'd do.
My family didn't take it seriously and brushed it aside. They thought I was lying. 

I was raped twice after that. 

For many years since then, I lived with the abnormal fear and mistrust of strangers. I suffered at school - was bullied right through high school. I hated and tortured my body and held myself responsible for what some guy did to me. I craved for love, ended up in relationships that had no trust and it affected me in as many ways it would have affected a woman.

While my wounds have healed since then, when I hear about abuses against women, I question how much of that goes unreported.
For every rape outside of a relationship that does get reported, there are 100's of wives who are being raped by their husbands that goes under the radar.

The perpetrator will enjoy his 3 minutes of sexual domination and roll off to his side of the bed, and sleep.
Shocked, in pain and still trying to grasp what just happened, she isn't going to sleep tonight or for the next couple of nights either.
He may see the sadness of what she is going through next morning, and apologize. On his knees, maybe. Until she nods a half smile. Probably a special romantic dinner or a surprise gift hoping that she will have magically forgotten the brutality of his actions the night before.
The wife is now thoroughly confused. She knows that he loves her. He knows it wasn't a mistake. She hopes it won't happen again, and he now knows he can buy her silence. 
He now has a wife who he can play out his rape fantasies.
The wife won't 'snitch' on their otherwise picture-perfect marriage.
To save her husband's integrity? To save herself from ridicule and shame?
She won't snitch not because she refuses to believe the man who she once adored is now her pimp and her unpaying client.

Because she thinks he owns her by virtue of being married.
The husband deserves to ravage her body because she promised herself to be loyal and understanding through sickness and health until death do they part.

 
Because she hopes that this will pass? 'This could be just a 'one-off' '
Sure! Every crime is just a 'one-off' to its victim.
Of all the crimes we have perpetuated, sexual abuse is one that is the most brutal, most cowardly and yet the most invisible.


But then why would a husband want to rape his wife?
She is married to him after all. Isn't she?
He is probably the only man she will ever be intimate to, so why he want to turn something that should remain so sacred and intimate to something that will forever traumatize her?
Could it be a mistake or an error in judgement on the husband's part? I wonder why we don't do equally good things in error too - like pledge to donate your eye, or write your wealth to the truly poor and needy.


But aren't we the culprits?
Our parents, their parents and their parent's parents have always perpetuated the idea of a husband's sexual dominance within a marriage. Girls are supposed to be docile and mute and willing givers of sex anytime he desires. In a case of art imitating real life, there were a lot of South Indian movies in the last Century which would invariably have a scene where the husbands rape their wives, and the wife would put up with it because she is the Bharati Naari.
But then this is not just India. Across Asia and Africa, centuries of gender discrimination has conditioned women to believe they are always a pedestal lower than men.


Why we haven't passed legislation to encourage victims to report and discourage husbands from this, is beyond me.
Sure, homosexual sex can land you in jail but if you are raped by your man, the law looks away.


March 8th. International Women's day.
When we celebrate women so eloquently, we forget the millions who silently endure unspeakable pain and untold guilt.

Thankfully, times are changing and our women are growing up. When I hear of wives who came out of abusive marriages, I do a fist bump and I hope we hear of more women who will learn to stand up against abuse. Everywhere.

Sources: 

Domestic Violence against Women


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Land of the rising Son [70/365]

Akhilesh Yadav, son of Indian Political stalwart Mulayam Singh Yadav and seasoned politician himself recently made Indian political history when he was sworn in as the youngest Chief Minister of the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Armed with a Masters degree in environmental engineering from the University of Sydney, he is part of a new breed of sons and daughters following the footsteps of their political parents.

Winning the recently concluded elections by an overwhelming majority, the 38 year old politician and believer in Socialism has promised to revamp the state and his party and rid it of it's corrupt visage.
Unemployment (allowance), corruption, free laptops and tablets for students.
So as you can see, this manifesto is not any different from what any other politician has promised until now.

Asked how he plans on delivering on his promise, he replied he is bound to stay true to his manifesto and his constituents. Truly, the 'party is over, now bill is due'.
The promise however ran out too soon for comfort when Ministers with criminal cases against them were sworn in and the rest, as they say is a grim remainder of things to follow. He showed the door to bureaucrats faithful to Ms Mayawati while inducting many party favorites and old timers. (Read the grim turn of events here)
While politicians making hollow promises in a desperate attempt to win are never new or unheard of, what is surprising is how the Indian voters could still believe them.

Looking at how this is just the beginning of a process that would culminate in giving us new rulers in the next 10 months, this is just a trailer, the picture is yet to start.
 
Recommended Read:
The Akhilesh Shake


Friday, October 28, 2011

10% Extortion

How important is God to you?
Do you deem it important to honor Him with the first fruits of your increase/income? Or do you just think tithing is a one way to keep the church off your back?
Do you have a pastor who pesters you to part with more of your money so that the overheads of the church is met?

While Christianity in India has a long history of evangelism and has roots that can be traced back to the Apostles, the past decade or so have seen an explosion of missionaries visiting India to spread The Good News.

I know churches that works with the lowest of the low and strives to make a truly wonderful change amongst the community it works with. Thatched roofs Churches where the faithful gather to hear the Word of God and the pastor does not have a mic but the congregation still picks up every word he says. 

I recently met a pastor, an American, who has been nagging his church members to give 'generously'.
So what's wrong with the picture here?
Here's what-
- The pastor, sponsored by the mother church in the US, earns in a month, probably the equivalent of what a middle class family would earn in an year.
- He stays with his Wife plus 4 kids in a very expensive home in an exclusive neighborhood, besides all the other material trappings that a upper middle class family should possess.
- He insists that his church members pay for the electricity and other overheads of the church. Generously.
- While he quotes scriptures to prove his point and urge his church members to fork out the extra rupee, I remember the famously quoted line: 'Even the devil can quote scriptures'.
His ruse is that true Christians need to support the church financially so that the church can spread. Image that comes to my mind: Like the tentacles of an Octopus.
Now, I don't have anything against missionaries who have put their western way of life on hold for the Indian toilet, but I do find it a huge insult when we have missionaries who come, start churches in a air-conditioned hall of a building and expect us to meet their electricity and living expenses.
While none of the members have voiced out their concerns and their reservations, what I need to understand is why the dear pastor cannot forgo his so generous salary if is truly concerned about the rising overheads.
While much of the US has already been invaded by televangelists, the many wolves in sheep clothing have now turned their sights on India. An emerging market.

Do we really have the right attitude towards God?
When we insist church members to tithe generously, isn't it against the true spirit of giving out of free will?
Why do we let church leaders manipulate the scriptures for their own will?
Does giving money absolve you and complete your duties towards God?

A good family friend of mine, 'donates' a certain portion of their time every week towards bible study. Although they cannot afford to give 'generously', they consider this as their way of offering their talents to the Almighty.

After growing for nearly 2000 years, Christianity has now taken a beating in the past decade because of it's dubious practitioners.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

By the way...

Just so you know...
Indian democracy is not the most unique or supreme.
If it were unique, we would have had politicians who had the country's good at heart.
If it were supreme, our elected representatives would have delivered what they were supposed to deliver- Justice, Equality and Freedom.

Strangely, the Anna movement has managed to evoke the most controversial statements/behavior with no real knowledge of what the entire circus is about.
We have common people who are largely unaware of the history of delaying tactics and obfuscation by successive governments in passing the Lokpal bill and then we have the government who admits there is rampant corruption (which is a wonderful departure from denying its existence) but desperately want to sidetrack it with irrelevant comments/suggestions.

Recently talking to a close relative, who was largely skeptical of the movement. I listened to her arguments silently before I set out to convince her.
Why now? When the Congress is ruling? Definitely the BJP is behind this.
Of course now. If not now, when? The Congress has been ruling for quite a while now. Except for a narrow break in the later part of last century, the Congress has always been at the helm of affairs. As for accusations of support from the opposition, it is anybody's guess why they would support. While they have been baying for the ruling party's blood ever since they lost their second chance, they have conveniently piggybacked on Anna. Cauterized by a bitter experience down south, they want to appear as the only party will not take corruption lightly.
After decades of corruption that has eroded the very corpus of our democracy, there is a large part of the middle class that has had enough.

Why not run for election so that Anna can make a change that way?
Appearing as it seems the gargantuan sums of money that goes into bribing million people and considering Anna's financial limitations and his character, it is anybody's guess that Anna will loose an election hands tied down. Suggesting he runs for an election is a simplistic view of people who choose to be ignorant.
The obvious result of such a failure would be an ideal excuse to not pass stricter anti corruption laws.
Do you see Red here?

Why not strengthen existing anti corruption agencies?
Not many people would know that the Lokpal Bill did create all of these agencies. Ineffective as they are with little or no right to investigate, prosecute or punish the guilty, they are but a toothless tiger and a huge drain on the exchequer. That and the fact that many of these agencies are headed by cabinet rank Ministers who will not want to prosecute their peers.
Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.

Armchair activists like the 'one book wonder' Arundhati Roy would do better than to write an elaborate essay on why Anna is wrong. I wonder how much she got paid to write such ludicrous piece of trash. Why the (Indian) media still refers to her as 'Indian Booker prize winner..' still defies my understanding. She wrote just one book and got really lucky there. (By that measure, I must be referred to as 'English rank holder at high school') She has since decided to not test her luck anymore by staying with pro Maoist activism and random tree hugging.

Why a deadline?
A deadline works best when all you've got is a government that procrastinates, delays and manipulates thoughts, ideas and action to correct an endemic disease like Corruption. Given that the congress and like scum had roughly 45 years to pass the Lokpal bill in its true essence, I believe a deadline is what we need.
This time it's our way or the highway, Mr PM.

Why is Anna being adamant about his demands?
Well, there are only 3, for crying out loud.
The government has sat on the Lokpal bill like a hen on a hard boiled egg for far too long. They've never had the intention to pass it. Not then, not now.
It's time for some tough love.

Why the hell is he so bothered?
Most weren't. Were they?
Almost child like, he's accepted your support but never asked you for your donation. So when an illiterate former soldier and farmer fights for the freedom of a billion plus, the least you can do is support the cause that he is fighting for. After all, as Indians we belong here - In India.

But that's the problem with Indians. After having been ruled over by our colonial masters, we've been conditioned to be subservient.
We'll never give a compliment when its deserved. We'll never give a honest feedback when we have to. We're used to poor service and the tag of 'third world country'.

But just so you know, you should never give up.
Spread the word, folks. Our children will never forgive us if we don't clean up our mess.

More Read:
Arund'hate' Roy
Rather be Anna than Roy!
Messianism versus democracy


Friday, July 29, 2011

And you have the right to remain silent..

At high school, I've had to write hindi essays on 'Corruption'. Of course, learned by rote, I hardly knew what it was and didn't really understand a word of what I learned or wrote later. Living abroad you hardly experience corruption as blatantly as you do in India.

A decade and a half later, having to experience corruption in close quarters, I have just one question reverberating in my mind : How would you beat Corruption?

The time worn question here is, when did our nation go into a tailspin into destruction?
Like all things nostalgic, I'd like to believe that politicians were noble back then.

Like a child who started with small white lies and petty crimes, our politicians have graduated to trillion dollar grand theft and nepotism on a scale that is beyond belief.
And to make matters uncomfortable, they seem to have woken up the warden. Us.

While we can all make a lot of noise, the buck stops when we are expected to act.
I've had unfortunate friends who tire of all the noise online.
While most of us are indeed keyboard activists and nothing more, we remember to forget that the greatest changes in human history happened when people started revolting. It could have been graffiti on the wall, a march or even a bold move. It was always the power of One.

While many of us rue about being just a drop in the ocean, we forget that many drops make the ocean.

Question of the Day:
Should we be ranting against the corrupt on social networks? I think we must. That is the least we can do. Definitely not enough, because unless you talk, you won't act. So as long as people are going to be complacent and silent about corruption, we are doomed to be silent spectators in the world's largest debacle.

We are looking at a really bleak future where their children (that's right, the corrupt are breeding like much yeast too) rules this country. A nation where we've allowed corruption to breed, into a generation that will be even more awesomely wicked than ones that we have now.

Anna will definitely win. He may not live to see the fruits of his selfless crusade, but we will win because of him. Like the fruits of freedom that we enjoy because our soldiers died for us, we will live with our heads held high. It will take time. Many will pick up the cause. Few will remain.

More than 60 years ago, when Gandhiji announced the Quit India movement, not many even thought we would last. But last we did. We emerged victorious as battle worn veterans, our history continues to inspire.
Are you doing your bit today, tomorrow and the day after? It could be noise to someone else but unless you make it, we are forever doomed to remain silent.

And my response to all those who think this is noise...
'I'm sorry that you were dropped on your head when you were born. Quit India. Go live in Somalia'


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