Showing posts from January, 2013

Rapists Of Minor In Chandauli Arrested After People’s Protest

On 16 January 2013 in Dhanapur Thana area of Siyahwal village in Chandauli district the 14-year old minor daughter of Com. Rampyare Saini was raped in broad daylight by goons of the same village. The culprits were under the full protection of the police as well as the administration. In this situation, a people’s movement was launched under the joint banner of CPI-ML, RYA and AIPWA and finally the culprits were arrested. The entire incident highlighted the role of the police, administration and doctors, their insensitivity towards the minor victim, their faithlessness towards their own profession and their efforts to protect the culprits.

The SO of Dhanapur dilly-dallied in the matter of registering an FIR in this rape case. On 18 January the victim told the fact-finding team from AIPWA (including District secretary Anita Kumari and State joint secretary Kusum Verma) that the doctor examining her called her “characterless” and said that she had not been raped.


‘Freedom Parade’ to Reclaim the Republic - A Report

On Republic Day this year, thousands marched in Delhi in a ‘Freedom Parade’ to assert women’s freedom and people’s freedom. The Freedom Parade, taking place not long after the Republic Day parade ended, was held under the banner of the ‘Freedom Without Fear’ campaign, launched to take forward the ongoing movement against sexual violence. Around 2000 protestors, including students and teachers from Delhi University, JNU, Jamia Millia Islamia, women’s groups and citizens from different parts of the city, marched in the procession from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar to ‘Reclaim the Republic’.

In the weeks preceding Republic Day, young protesters against sexual violence had been branded as ‘dented and painted’ and as a ‘mob’. That is why they marched to assert that the Republic comprises of the ‘public’, whose role is not just to be spectators; to realise the true spirit and the potential of the constitution, you need an active, protesting, dissenting ‘public’.

The Freedom Parade carried pl…

Who is Afraid of Justice Verma Committee Recommendations?

ML Update Editorial, January 29, 2013

The Justice Verma Committee Report marks a milestone in the struggle for women’s rights in India. The Report is a powerful vindication of the central demands of the ongoing movement against sexual violence, and is also an equally powerful challenge to the Government and the political establishment.

In many ways, the JVC Report has given body and substance to what the protesters on the street were saying. The JVC has done what the Government should, in fact, have done: engaged seriously with activists working in the field as well as survivors of sexual violence, and, in a commendably timely manner, came up with recommendations that reflect their concerns and are truly path-breaking. The protesters raised the slogans of ‘Women want freedom’; the JVC Report is built on the premise that women’s autonomy in all spheres, including sexual autonomy, must be safeguarded by the State. This recognition marks a truly radical break with the prevailing dominan…

Freedom Parade for Reclaiming the Republic

Photo DiaryMarch From Mandi House to Jantar Mantar, Delhi, on January 26, 2013

Reclaim the Republic! Women's Freedom! People's Freedom!

Keep the Flame Alive....She Has Rekindled For Justice, Safety and Gender Equality End Violence Against Women!


Women's Freedom ! People's Freedom! on 26 January join
Freedom Parade Mandi House to Jantar Mantar
Assemble at Mandi House at 2pm
Freedom Without Fear Campaign Against Sexual Violence and Gender Discrimination Facebook group: Freedom without fear- bekhauf azadi 9560756628, 9868383692, 9868033425

UPA Government: Implement Justice Verma Committee Recommendations Without Delay!

The Report submitted by the Justice Verma committee marks an important measure of victory for the ongoing people’s movement against sexual violence, as well as for the decades of the women’s movement and democratic movement in India.
The Report, commendably prepared within a month, following a welcome process of serious engagement with activists and scholars in the field, does several things that are undoubtedly path-breaking. It firmly upholds the principle that violence on women should be understood from the perspective of women’s autonomy, bodily integrity and dignity, rather from patriarchal notions of honour and shame. From that perspective, it recommends an overhaul, not only in the existing laws against sexual violence, but also in the systems of investigation, prosecution, and trial. It calls to make the state responsible for failure to protect women. It recommends punitive measures for non-registration of FIRs. It recommends that stalking, voyeurism, stripping, sexual harass…

Patriarchy, Women’s Freedom, and Capitalism

By Kavita Krishnan
Liberation Monthly Magazine, February 2013

(This article began as a rejoinder to Hindi columnist Raj Kishor [Vaam se dakshin tak ek hi tark, (‘The same argument from Left to Right’), Rashtriya Sahara, January 13 2013], but it has also provided an occasion to address some common misconceptions about women’s freedom and capitalism.) 
When women demand ‘freedom,’ why does it immediately raise the spectre of ‘licentiousness’? 
Why, in other words, is women’s freedom automatically taken by many as equivalent with ‘licence,’ whereas the similar freedom on the part of men is never branded as ‘licence’? 
This question arose in my mind after reading a piece by Hindi columnist Raj Kishor. Raj Kishor’s argument is that those – from Left leaders like I, to those whom he sees as representatives of the market - who are calling for women’s freedom are ‘consigning women into the fire of capitalism.’ When he hears me use the word ‘azaadi’ (freedom) he calls such freedom ‘utshrnkhalta…

RSS’ Views on Women

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat recently informed us that rapes happen in Bharat, not India. His words were defended by BJP leaders who said he only wanted to say that Indian culture respected women, and it was Western culture that led to rape. Bhagwat was not setting up gender-specific rules for women, BJP leaders said; he was advising both women and men to stick to Indian culture. Wonder why Bhagwat’s organization, then, sticks to the khaki shorts uniform? Clearly, Bhagwat has no problem with men in his organization adopting Western dress and wearing shorts. But these shorts-clad men will tell women not to wear ‘Western’ clothes, which they claim lead to rapes!  Bhagwat also held forth about women being contractually bound to do housework for their husbands. Later, he clarified that he meant this as a criticism of ‘Western’ marriages, not as a prescription for all marriages. Well, what is the RSS model for an ideal Indian marriage? Krishna Sharma, leader of the VHP Women’s Wing, elaborated …

Women's Groups Gherao NCW Office Over Soni Sori Issue



By Imtiaz Dharker

When I can’t comprehend
why they’re burning books
or slashing paintings,
when they can’t bear to look
at god’s own nakedness,
when they ban the film
and gut the seats to stop the play
and I ask why
they just smile and say,
‘She must be
from another country.’

When I speak on the phone
and the vowel sounds are off
when the consonants are hard
and they should be soft,
they’ll catch on at once
they’ll pin it down
they’ll explain it right away
to their own satisfaction,
they’ll cluck their tongues
and say,
‘She must be
from another country.’

When my mouth goes up
instead of down,
when I wear a tablecloth
to go to town,
when they suspect I’m black
or hear I’m gay
they won’t be surprised,
they’ll purse their lips
and say,
‘She must be
from another country.’

When I eat up the olives
and spit out the pits
when I yawn at the opera
in the tragic bits
when I pee in the vineyard
as if it were Bombay,
flaunting my bare ass
covering my face
laughing through my hands
they’ll turn a…

Taking Forward the Struggle for Freedom Without Fear

Kavita Krishnan, National Secretary of All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA), Addressing the Protestors at the Vigil for Freedom Without Fear in Delhi University North Campus on 16 January 2013, that Marks One Month of that Night of Horror When a Young Woman and her Friend were Brutally Attacked on a Delhi Bus, Leading to her Gangrape, Torture and Eventually Death....

Vigil for Freedom Without Fear!

For Justice, Safety and Gender Equality !

PHOTO DIARY - 16 JAN 2013, Delhi University, North Campus

Join a Vigil for Freedom Without Fear

Campaign Against Sexual Violence and Gender Discrimination 

16 January Marks One Month Of That Night Of Horror, When A Young Woman And Her Friend Were Brutally Attacked On A Delhi Bus, Leading To Her Gang Rape, Torture And Eventual Death....

Let Us Keep the Flame Alive...
For Justice, Safety & Gender Equality

On 16 Jan Join a Vigil for Freedom Without Fear At Arts Faculty, North Campus, DU,
12 noon Onwards

With Opinions and Interactions, Poetry, Songs, Paintings and Cultural Performances

Maitreyi Pushpa
Arundhati Katju
Vrinda Grover
Urvashi Butalia
Shoma Chaudhury
Kavita Krishnan
Mary John…
Teachers and Students of DU, Jamia, JNU

· Gender-just protocols for filing FIRs and police investigation of crimes against women
· Drafting of robust, gender-just laws in consultation with women's organisations and students, to be passed in a Special Session of Parliament
· Prohibit the obnoxious ‘two-finger test’ for rape
· Ensure more courts and faster trials for sexual viol…

Reflections on Rape

A Poem by Saathi from Women's Voice, Jan-Mar 2011

("Tawaif ki lut-ti hui izzat ko bachana aur Tees Maar Khan ko Qaid Karna -Dono hi Bekkar Hai" -Dialogue from the film Tees Maar Khan)

"It's waste of time to save a harlot's honour"
That line from the new movie sets me thinking
About harlots, rape and honour.

You might think it's all too clear
That rape's all about humiliation and fear
The rapist's sole cause
is to prove he's boss;
If you as a woman dared to feel free,
the rape's meant to punish you
for your temerity.

But as common sense and the law define it
Rape is the loot of honour,
the outraging of modesty -
But you have to prove you had it
In the first place
For it to have been taken from you;

If you're a harlot,
The very idea of your honour is a joke
You must have done something to provoke;
And as for modesty the less you said the better
With character so loose
What honour or modesty could you claim to lose?
Why the hon'…

Justice and Freedom for Women Rally

In Uttar Pradesh, Jan 10

The Movement for Women’s Right to Fearless Freedom is Invincible

ML Update Editorial , No 03, Vol. 16

Not surprisingly, the sustained nationwide movement for gender justice has evoked an angry misogynist backlash, with none other than RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat taking the lead and a bizarre assortment of patriarchal forces joining the bandwagon.
The chief of the most reactionary bastion of male chauvinism fired two salvos in quick succession. First he said that crimes against women happen in India, not in Bharat. Apart from being grossly incorrect in point of fact, this gives out the impression that ‘Western culture’ in cities is responsible for the crimes and the solution lies in restoration of traditional patriarchal values. A couple of days later he refurbished his position by saying that marriage is a contract that lasts as long as the wife honours it by taking good care of the husband and the household. VHP’s Ashok Singhal lost no time in taking the cue from Bhagwat and blaming the 'western model' of lifestyle in cities, even as Madh…

Rally Against ABVP Attack on AISA Girl Student in Varanasi

Photo Diary - Jan 9