One State Solution.

Exploring themes: Women and Violence November 21, 2008

Filed under: community honour,honour,women — Big Momma @ 10:38 am
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Programming:

Women are often seen as property, under the shared ownership of family and community and  become the collateral damage in case of conflict.This theme seeks to uncover shamed and hidden narratives and thus radically work at the notion of self-hood of women in this part of the world.


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Kya aap White ribbon mein shraddha aur imaan rakhte hain? November 15, 2007

 

Do you have faith in the White ribbon?

White Ribbon

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Feminist, blogger and activist Anasuya Sengupta, in an essay called ‘Fundamentalisms of the Progressive wrote,

‘One of our campaigns was to wear a white ribbon for peace (the White Ribbon Campaign for Peace, India) – we used it both as a symbol and as a talking point, to begin conversations about violence of all kinds, including what we call ‘communalism’ in India (the rousing of hatred against particular communities). Initially, some of our friends scoffed at us, and wondered what an insignificant white ribbon could do, to change attitudes and animosities.

But the interesting thing was that there were so many people – both young and not so young – who were unable to be political in the same way as they saw ‘activists’; they felt this meant standing at street corners with banners, or going on rallies, or shouting slogans against the government. They found this too ‘political’ (in their understanding of the term), and yet they were deeply disturbed at the kinds of violence being perpetrated in the name of religion.

So for these people, wearing a ribbon was the beginning of a series of conversations they had with others, which began other processes of change, at least in terms of breaking the silence around violence.

And because it was something everyone could do – and have conversations at whatever level of politics and ideology each was comfortable with – it wasn’t intimidating in any way, and yet gave a sense of belonging to a community against violence, and speaking up for peace.’

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Do you believe in pluralism and justice?

Are you Secular, liberal, free thinking?

Do you believe that all religion has in its essence ways of leading a soulful, integrated and fulfilled life?

Do you believe that religious extremism has done us no good?

Say No to religious bigotry.

White Ribbon

Wear a White Ribbon today.

 

 

Post Gujarat November 1, 2007

Dear fellow human-beings and women,

In the past few days we have seen a brave intercession in the country’s political sphere. In what is becoming an increasingly stifling atmosphere for diversity and difference, it’s time to take a backseat and readjust our gaze.

To speak for all women in India one needs to stifle some aspect of one’s identity so that your voice comes through and is easily translatable. But to speak today, I’m going to stop trying to stifle the angst that is keeping me so narrowly focused, or else, I would just buckle-up and abandon the fight. So I speak as a woman and as a Muslim.

After Gujarat 2002 the psyche of the nation was shocked beyond belief that it was actually possible that the fabric of the country’s humanism had eroded. Had 60 years of being citizens of a secular republic not had any effect on us?

If what we saw in Gujarat is the success of a laboratory experiment in Fascism then it is important to analyse with great care its philosophy and hypotheses. To know how the symptoms were bred and where the zeal came from, to look at both perpetrator and victim and the real difference between them.

What effect the massacres of Gujarat have had upon the women in Gujarat will show itself in time. Because implicit in the understanding of sexual violation and rape as a means of extermination is a thinking that is at its root the gravest danger to feminine life.

Can we talk about this easily? No. Because we are suffering from it. There is no tenderness in the act of disclosure. No safe vantage point where our grief will find utterance. We’ve buried ourselves with and in it in order to exist so as to safeguard some other means of being. We will try to reach it, point fingers at it and leverage it on other indirect causes but our loss is as clear as the silence and rebuttal after an outrage. Nothing that can be said carries with it any meaningful articulation when it comes to this. Where there should be pain, agitation, aching and remorse there is grim intolerance set in sullen eyes, all too willing to look away.

What distance or gap could separate a woman from another’s pain? It could only be the vindictiveness that makes one want someone else also to suffer and feel what you have been through. This only means that the difference between pain is just of degree. When inhumanity is bred, that process is one of pain. In cold blood. Wanting to put someone else through the endless road to doom that you are already walking. Because you have been bred, not to immunity but to the vice. Because you can see better but you don’t want to because you didn’t have any better. When one woman is violated, all women are at shame. And all men are to blame. And this makes the massacres of Gujarat a telling systemic register for the sexual ethics in our ‘nation’.

Hope is still a better vision of the world because one has the imagination for change. The deepest precipices are written over but the outcry needs to be addressed first.

We all have been wronged.

More from the Feminist Front in Ultra-Violet.

And if you disagree with what I have said, because you can feel, then, lets come together.

 

 

 

Is my honour your responsibility to protect? July 16, 2007

Whose honour ?

11 July 2007. Shraswasti, Uttar Pradesh.

A Hindu girl from one village elopes with a Muslim boy from another.

Next day, scores of Muslim women from the boy’s village are raped, made to parade naked…

Get the message?

If I choose to marry someone out of my own free will, as the girl who is a major did,

then the men from my community will be offended.So much so that they will go out of their houses and brutally rape (even minors).

Because their , not my , honour is at stake.And after brutally raping women from the ‘other’ community, their honour will not be harmed.

The disgust that prompted them to get offended does not come into picture when they will rape another human being.

Whose disgrace are we trying to safegaurd? All authorities and police remained silent in UP.The police, in fact are chasing the poor couple who are in hiding.

And in order to safegaurd another version of the same honour, the incidents will get hushed, and justice will never be done.

Whose honour is honour?

What about the pain that you inflict on someone else in trying to avenge some notion of morality?

Shame.Shame on us. On our silence. Shame on the media.On the police. On UP.On our State.

This event surprisingly does’nt find coverage in the news, because the journalists are too busy blaring accounts of terrorrism. None of this surprisingly qualifies as terrorism.

Or terror. I’m terrified.

Details about this case at Dhaiakhar, from the Hindi Blogosphere, here. The English blogosphere remains silent as of now.