Subject: Delhi gang rape

1. Have you cried and publicly announced it?

2. Have you derided the political insensitivity?

3. Have you said, oh, everyone is talking about Modi and no one cares about the Delhi gangrape?

4. Have you applauded Jaya Bachchan for breaking down in Parliament after insisting she have her say?

5. Have you handed out certificates to the last word on rape to someone who is sitting in a posh office and writing about it, just as I am doing now?

6. Have you signed a petition?

I have done none of these. There is a half-written piece. And I look around and see the same old riding-the-bandwagon of a media-propped tragedy.

Look at this ad:

When will we be a shamed India? Is it all about shame? A commercial brand using rape to sell its butter is shameful.

Then, there is this comment at a petition site under 'Reasons for signing' (It has got 170 'likes'):

"I guess until some big politician's wife and or daughter is raped, Indian politicians won't wake up"- B Suri, India

Does anyone realise how regressive it is? You talk about protecting women and allude to the rape of other women. How is a politician's wife or daughter to be blamed for laws and the acts of criminals?

Jaya Bachchan too touted the regressive "In the land where woman is worshipped" line, giving the example of goddess Durga. Her tears became national news.

A 23-year-old fighting for her life is a 'subject'. This is not one case. If we must speak, then speak at every opportunity we get. Speak before it becomes a TRP rating. It does not mean one should not speak about it. Just let's not get into a race to reach some goalpost.

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End note

Raise these questions, particularly about a celebrity, and brown-nosers snigger. I, who have been accused of being too emotional in my writings, am given the riposte that it is okay to get emotional in Parliament, but not on a public forum like a blog. This is so asinine it does not even merit a response.

People who don't understand patriarchy are ready to lecture you.

I bring this up because it is just such an insecure masculine mindset; it afflicts some women too.

(c) Farzana Versey


  1. 1. All of us (men) should be deeply, personally ashamed of what happened. And of what happens every day on the streets of Indian cities. That a random, unknown woman standing next to me in a public place harbours unspeakable fears about me would be my worst humiliation.

    2. I sincerely feel that we unnecessarily view the subject of rape from the lens of honour and chastity, which makes the task of dealing with it doubly difficult. We must look at it as nothing more than a reprehensible crime. I feel that the victims have no reason to hide themselves from society. Let the society see its ugly reflection in the mirror of their seething, traumatized faces. The perpetrators too should not be allowed the privilege of covering their faces.

    3. We as a society need to come out of denial mode and squarely face this evil that lurks within us. Only then can we begin the process of cleansing it.

  2. F&F:

    Agree, but 'shame' is often just a herd reaction that lasts until the next 'case'. (I am not alluding to you or any isolated expression.)

    Point 2: Right. It is not a matter of honour. The rapists should be publicly exposed, but only if they get a befitting conviction or they might see this as publicity. Am not sure if the victim should be exposed to exploitative media glare.

    Our coming out of denial mode will help in accepting that a rapist is a criminal and not the victim. Unfortunately, we cannot "cleanse society" on our own. The police and lawmakers would need to.


    Gen note:

    A comment that wants to express concern for rape and alludes to my "clouded vision" or eccentricity, based on what are proving to be more than valid queries, will not only not be published, but makes me wonder about the subtle forms of misogyny.

    Am disappointed, rather than angry.


    Some of you might not have read an older piece:


  3. It is in the congress culture to send its goons to defame all public movements. Do not forget what they did 1. In Bubaneshwar where the lady police was brutally attacked. 2. In Hyderabad and Telangana 3. Manish Tiwari attack on against Anna Hazare 4. Congress attack on Kiran Bedi 5. Congress attack on Baba Ramdev 6. Congress conspiracy to defame General V K Singh We also have to notice the very very sensible way the opposition parties have been giving timely good suggestions to the govt that is only showing more arrogance. How wonderful it would have been for parliament to debate and all parties speak in single voice and collective wisdom applied and appealed to all women and youth and give full assurance together in unanimity. A Golden opportunity LOST

  4. The Congress party has to take responsibility for certain acts. But crimes are committed under other governments.

    I don't like to see this as opportunity - lost or won. Please read the linked piece of the rape victim's brother...in the newer post.

  5. Lady, i don't care if you sit in an aircon office or a toilet.

    Why should this be turned into a #ShameIndia campaign? Because it's OUR fault as a society that we let things go so far.

    India may have become westernized too fast leaving the 'regressive' men AND women( yes, don't leave off the women here) behind. Understandable.
    They want to hold on to their hindustaani culture. understandable.

    But when they try to brazenly rape and throw a woman onto a street to show us that they are ultimately more powerful, the inidan public has had its fill.

    The fact is that EVERY woman has been sexually harassed. I have. My mum has. Even my grandmother has

    It's easy to say that the blame lies solely with the perpetrators but the fact is that he gets his courage knowing that people won't do anything.

    If you were traveling in a bus and a man loomed up over you, groped you and leered at you, you might say the right thing to do is shout and push him off. But what if you do all that and the people around you don't so much as blink an eyelid, forget coming to your rescue.

    I've seen a man thrash a woman on a train platform and people walk past as if nothing was wrong. As soon as found a Police guy and told him, he told me to go back and inform the railway police. SO i shamed him into doing his job.

    This has nothing much to do with the media.
    The media only got to cover the news and the paid media made a soggy attempt at botching some info.

    DOn't convert this into a political, caste-based, religious or advert issue. The Amul pic doesn't say, 'Punish rapists!...and also buy our butter, cause then you're a real indian.'

    The youth grew up with corruption and educational quotas and now this. And as for the comment regarding an MP's daughter being raped,
    Understand that the common man is far removed from the political class. He has to work hard so he can save up bribe money to have basic amenities. SO many MPs and pols are charged with criminal and rape offenses. WHY are they still in power?

    The higher level politicians get guards. I'm not saying their daughters don't experience the disadvantages of being in a 'patriarchal' society.

    COnsider what that man said a representation of the disgust and mistrust people have reserved for the politicians. Why? Because of corruption.

    It's all well to say that it's people like us who supply bribes, but if you were a nobody who HAD to get a job done, really soon, i'm sure you'd take the easy way out. Because we're all selfish people who want the best for our families and care for them.

    We're tired of preferential treatment for politicians. We're tired of hearing that they've swallowed amounts of money we can't even imagine in our dreams from a scam.

    that's OUR collective money.

    People say, 'what do you do but complain?'

    the previous generation complained to us.
    We're doing something about it.

    If certain people feel pricked for being called elitist, we're sorry, but you're not the focus here. The focus is our country, yours and mine.

  6. Talk about it next month without getting into a collective sweat. If the focus is the country, then don't decide who can say what for it.

    As for the rest, there is a label you can click on to read my comprehensive views.

    PS: It does not bother me in the least whether you care about whether I sit in "an aircon office or a toilet", but it belies a mentality that is not fit to represent any movement, let alone the country.

  7. >>Talk about it next month without getting into a collective sweat.

    You are right that given the statistics (demographics, sex ratio, poverty, law and order and so on), at any given time; lot of what people are getting into a "collective sweat" about must be happening in some dark corner of the country.

    The horrific thing about this case though was the sheer brutality of it. It reminded me of a terrible movie "Irreversible" by Gaspar Noe.

    Now, I have come to accept that reality is indeed stranger (and much more jolting) than fiction but it is still not easy to come across a case like this and not be moved by it.

  8. Hitesh:

    I think every case is important. Having met women who have suffered I do know the extent of physical and emotional trauma it can cause. There have been brutal cases, esp in areas that are under siege. I am talking about India. Shall avoid details and comparisons.

    Of course, people will be moved by it. However, as happens with prominent cases, the sensitivity factor is often taken over by other needs. It becomes politicised, and not just by politicians.


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