The Changing Portrait of the Immoral Predator in Indian Society: Gang of four versus three!

So, the balding, official –looking, suited booted Ganguly, the debonairish, urbane, kurta and churidar clad Tejpal, and the dhoti clad, rural looking, Asaram; ranging in age from 60 to 80 are now emblematic of the predatory boss or sahabs waiting to pounce on young girls and young women. On the anniversary of Delhi Gang Rape; it is easy to reflect upon the four predators of the lower economic class, the slum dwelling gang of four to the above disparate gang of three living in mansions and penthouses. Those four were scruffy, slum-dwelling, 16 to 40 year old men.
The four rapists from 2012, were in informal employment working for sahabs and these three work for no one. These three of 2013 are at the pinnacle of their work areas; one dishing out human rights, the other exposing the powerful, and the third guiding gullible to his version of heaven through hell.
They apparently all have the capacity to harass, molest, rape, and think of women as a way for their sexual gratification through violence and force and intimidation and coercion…and it goes on.
Still more animal than man it seems to have come full circle…this Indian male psychology and behavior. And the questions from 2013 continue in some minds, we are sure…why these interns first take advantage and then pass blame? Women are very smart? Why go to his room? Out at night? …
The questions really need to be…
How do men continue across classes to have the perception that violence against a woman is acceptable and okay?
How do they remain beyond classes aware that no matter what they are likely to get away free even if they rape, assault, throw acid, abduct, stalk, and make obscene gestures and phone calls?
How come they eulogize the woman in the home but not on the street?
How do men go through so many positive experiences of a woman’s hard work, intelligence, care, smartness, and yet are able to only see a body they want to sexually exploit?
How is their school and education failing them and us?
The hideous gangs of four and three and five and ten…continue to determine whether woman is available for sexual gratification? Whether she means yes or no?
How are they not able to process words and actions of a woman? How come when she say go away, no, let go, it means nothing to them?
What are the informations that they are processing that prevents them from processing civility towards women?
Women evolved and continue to branch out of homes to every single field while men remain ready for just rape and assault? Hats off to Indira Jaisingh’s of the world! And down with women like Shoma Chaudhary….the question as always is of morality. Morality is not gender bound or class bound or age bound. We forgive children! We hold adults’ responsible. We are kinder to old people because we think of their degenerating capacity. But all of this is context bound.
Morality is a human perception of justice and fair in social and personal conduct…and credibility of ones own conduct is crucial when talking about anything moral. And yet…The convicted of corruption Lallu is proclaiming how he awaken the country after he ties his underwear…. Okay…you do that! He is making declarations in his contrived rural sensibility of his conception of what is moral…asaram the other rural public figure was saying the Delhi rape victim should have begged for mercy…probably remembering what his victims do in his ashram?
The process of human development is the same but the institutions designed to control and channel it are in breakdown. These include family, community, neighborhood, schools, …. Instead our morality is now determined by the corporates selling us ideas about the kind of lives we want and the ideologies that have no foundation except commerce and economy, and the physiology of sex is at its core. Beliefs are gone but ritual practice holds us in its grip. Relationships are breaking down but desire and need for physical only is promoted.
The social disorganization means only pre-convention morality driven by rewards and punishment…there is no room in our world for human beings to develop a sense of generalized core of moral behavior and to internalize it. There is no moral dilemma only affordability dilemma…karma is for immediate gratis not long term forget next birth and all that…
Asaram will continue dancing in temples telling women and men how he is Krishna, Ganguly will continue to talk of human rights with his next intern in Calcutta, and Tejpal will probably try to host the next intelligentsia meet on women’s psychology. This is their morality. While the remaining three will curse their bad luck for being caught by virtue of their poverty. This is their morality

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Nina Pretty Ballernina: But that’s not enough?

Being crowned as Miss America is being the representation of a culture and its people in a big way. And just like when Barack Obama became the President of the United States he reclaimed for the black people what should have always been their identity – in a socially just world that is…an identity of power and privilege.  similarly Nina  as Miss America is now representing not just the Indian American ideal but the mainstream American ideal, an Indian is mainstream in pop culture world of USA.  Social media  space generated racist comments on Twitter and Facebook are more symptomatic than the problem… the problem might well be the melting pot does not melt equally…

Someone who has not read enough about cultural identities and the immigrant literature and cultural identity or the in group out group expositions in the US context would be surprised at the “I am a white soul in a brown body.” references in kid’s identity that start from being in school…as a brown kid, even in large complex and diverse cities like NY and SFO… Even in this symbolic win in mainstream public space, Nina is worthy of her crown for highlighting concerns of diversity and the meaning of being their representation to the new generations of America. As quoted in the Guardian, “ I’m so happy this organisation has embraced diversity,I’m thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America.” , She was also compelled to claim her Americanism just in case someone accuses her of harboring India in her heart. I wonder how Nina’s mother feels right now, basking in her child’s accomplishments and the mainstreaming of the critique which is ultimately about her origins – her mother and father. As immigrant parents hope that children would automatically imbibe their Indianness, sense of belonging, respect for their roots of a distinct, historical richness…As per the social psychology literature and group identities people don’t really want to identify with  perceived weaker place in any social context. so while we’d like our children to be grounded in their Indian values and embrace the Indian origins; the truth is we are not sure if they do or will. But we are sure that between their schools and home they will pick up that they are brown…..and will prep himself/ herself to offer explanations of who he is, where he’s coming from, and be forced into choosing a reference class of being white. Wonder if in India, if you do not come from different positions of privilege and power is one then forced into constructing an identity in reference and not stand alone? Muslim as opposed to Hindu, urban versus rural? Upper versus lower caste? Ultimately, the two most multicultural societies of the world, and two of the thriving democracies India and the USA have a lot to do to make sure that their social policies don’t just claim social justice and embracing of diversity that are able to make that a real and widespread part of public spaces and private cognition. India can teach USA about the real meaning of assimilation and unique cultural identities and USA can teach India about the accountability of the state in ensuring their survival.

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The Idea behind Killing Women in Afghanistan!

The killing of Sushmita Banerjee an Indian citizen married to an Afghanistani man raises several questions! Late Ms. Banerjee was the author of a book “A Kabuliwala’s Bengali Wife” published in 1997 which later was filmed into “Escape from Afghanistan” as a Hindi Movie released in 2003. It showcases her marriage as a Hindu Bengali woman to an already married Muslim man and her ensuing life challenges and difficulties under oppression, threat, and violence of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. This killing has been one in a long series of incidents attacking women with public profiles including two Muslim women senators in Kabul earlier this year. Talibanistic approach to women is apparent in the forced Burqua, making public services including health care inaccessible to women unless accompanied by a mahram/ or a male relative, public stoning of women accused of “sins” like having an affair, and removing of women’s names or even the word woman on any public property.
The important query here is. What is the motivation of Taliban Militants in killing and attacking their own women? One obvious reason is that women in public spaces are constructed as anti-Islamist and pro- liberalism or a US mandate. The control of public space and visible culture is likely also a political statement on the return of Taliban to the mainstream from the fringes; where it has been located since the US intervention in 2001.
The gender relationships and women’s rights are obviously skewed in the public domain in Afghanistan; what about the private spaces? Our focus at a policy level needs to be on women’s relationships within the household. Are household duties, violence, and expectations from women within the household fair? What are the perceptions of spouses and fathers and sons on the rights of their mothers, daughters, and sisters? Obviously, successful changes in policy are contingent upon their garnering public support. According to RAWA, The Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan, established in 1977 by Meena, whose founder was gunned down in Quetta in Pakistan in 1987 says “Freedom and democracy cannot be donated”. This is a good case in point given that the Karzai government had approved the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law in 2009. Even the enormous amounts of aid and programming have not changed mindsets.
Democracies like India with strict laws are still struggling to ensure safety of women in public and private spaces because of the stereotypical mindset across populations of both men and women. The programming and aid needs a different focus and needs to think of women not just as beneficiaries but also as decision makers in countries like Afghanistan.

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Immigrant Indian Woman in Chicago: The AAM (AAP) avatar!

Following the gang-rape incidence in Delhi last December a surge of young people descended on the streets of Indian towns and cities. What was not apparent was that many of these young men and women were Non Resident Indians -NRI, who on their annual December Pilgrimage to India came out on the streets to show solidarity with a common cause. Usually in December, Indian immigrants leave for their vacation to India in throes in pursuit of changing seasons, festivities, and family time.  However, these are traditionally visitors who shop, eat and make merry and return to their privileges come January.  The new thing this December is NRIs joining forces with volunteers to be part of the election process in Delhi.  Bureaucrat turned politician Arvind Kejriwal who launched the new AAM AADMI PARTY -AAP has made politics “awesome”, and most importantly accessible to not just middle class Indians but also NRIs.

In keeping with which, the Chicago Chapter of the Anti- Corruption Movement / AAP organized its first US convention in Chicago to garner support for its socio-political agenda.  The Chicago chapter is largely driven, directed and managed by women. Under their leadership, the Chicago Chapter is supporting candidate Surinder Singh in Delhi’s upcoming elections. They make phone calls to raise money and awareness from US to India.  “I feel like I owe my country” says the tea party organizer Kakoli.  “I am just so angry with the way they have treated women and people, I must do this and support this guy” says Chaitra, the primary event organizer.  “I was on the streets protesting for Damini (Delhi Rape victim) and then I turned and met these people who had been there for days and I just followed them” says Sukanya, the head of the social media team for US.  Chaitra and Sukanya make weekend trips to Devon to garner volunteers and support for their cause. In the process, they always make someone angry by sharing their views on India and corruption and their dedication to a fledgling party.  They respond by wearing the aam –aadmi- topi (cap) so they can be seen before they are heard. They talk to fence sitters not committed people, demonstrating political and marketing savvy.  They are organizing people for making phone calls and raising money for a cause they believe in and work that focuses on human rights discourse.  The husbands chip in via baby sitting and offering their own professional skills to their wives passion.  The wives’ are appreciative as Chaitra says, “I don’t want my husband to do dishes with me; I want him to make space for my passion in his life”.  The new immigrant is here: leading from the front but with collaboration, cooperation, and multitasking.

Women like Chaitra, Kakoli, and Sukanya, living in Chicago are the 21st century Indian immigrant women, with identities that represent a fused identity of Indian culture, Western feminisms, and global citizenship. They belie the lost and lonely sari and gym shoe combination of Jhumpa Lahiri “Namesake” and make light of witty but nutty Mindy and her project on NBC.  Extending the model minority myth to hard working activists beyond Facebook and Twitter who are building community beyond virtual.  Their version of global citizenship could represent the 21st century sensibilities of Indian women; who expect an equal relationship but the dimension of equality are as they define it. Unlike the previous generations, they translate privilege of being NRIs into power, are invested in social justice, and yet retain their Indian roots proudly.       

This group of young women is a new age phenomenon and Chicago is its seat.  So while the US Supreme Court is doing its bit by hauling Wal-Mart for engaging in corruption in India, these young girls are managing full time jobs, being Indian-style home makers, raising children, and creating space for their values and ideologies. While news from India show cases Dowry and Rape, these women are fighting for obtaining privileges for their sisters back home of a quality and equality that they they have earned and experienced after becoming immigrants…

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Durga Shakti In letter and spirit!

JAi Ambe!

So this is one lady after the letter and spirit of her name. Suspended for sand Mafia Control is what her suspension should say apparently. Time and again, women like IAS Durga Shakti have shown such balls, they put all the dicks out there to shame (pun ..course intended).

A very young IAS, a very young woman, what must have motivated her to take on this task? and the young young Chief Minister, we were hoping would be equally gutsy and take on the Goondas and support public …what must have motivated him to suspend her?

The unfortunate truth is that people like this IAS officer are rare and they probably do not get the extra constitutional spirit of the civil servants of India – serve power not public. they follow the  idea of service and sacrifice plenty.

Also unfortunate is the public response, clueless about why should sand from Yamuna and Hindon, or anywhere else be a reason for anything for them? their child needs yet another toy, they need yet another holiday, and are busy watching IPL or facebooking…..Ye Durga Shakti kaun hai?

Though thankfully, the pretty defunct IAS lobby seems to be rounding up around this young officer/

Media raises concerns and then has to move on, the public memory needs an elephant to be taken out.

well in the face of all this we salute the letter and Spirit of Durga Shakti

Ya devi Shakti rupen’ sansitha,

namstastye namstastye, namstasye, namo namah

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JNU Murder: Time for Relationship Counselling for young men and….women

So in yet another horrific instance of love affairs or imaginary love affairs, a boy a student in JNU has attempted the murder of another girl student. and committed suicide post fact.

Multiple explanations could be found for this instance

The first one has to be the personality disorder: Meaning an inability of the young man in question to face rejection as clear from his note.

Or it could be  norm based understanding of what his and her behaviors should be in ..ultimately if you are in love it must be marriage or a life long commitment or …some such ideal.

Or the man could be a representative of a society still struggling with the modern womanhood of college girls, men and boys being the primary flag bearers of women’s traditional identity, any counter performance of gender is ultimately considered a sin!  hence, in every such instance, on the street, in the home, in college campuses, in public arenas, any counter traditional norm and its occurrence is the violent reactions of the man in or men n question.

For a long time now, We have advocated for a relationship counseling curriculum for a young and struggling youth. They are exposed to the ideal western norms in varying degrees, some of the youth are influenced, some are not, so we have an India confused about where and what and who is supposed to behave how?

our largely idiotic cinema projects identities and structures that are counterintuitive to existing practices. Television Channels like star Plus are idealizing norms that their writer of non-Indian upbringing thinks are very influential. They are not influencing behavior bur looks like are effecting expectations. Unfortunately, most of India does not live in Bombay or Bangalore, they live in small towns or small town mindsets, and the only thing they seem to be changing is their commitment to commitment of social good.

JNU, a college of learning and emancipation was not able to expect or institutionalize a gender neutral behavior in its language undergraduates….because it did not think it needed to. While Universities in Kerala and UP are insisting girls wear “Indian” clothes. It shows a lack of thoughtful application of needs of youth, their thinking, their changing priorities, their evolving identity.

Wake up time! mind-set is not going to change in a vacuum, it needs guidance and leaders, we don’t have a mahatma Gandhi unfortunately, but we could at least have meaningful conversations, and we don’t mean Barkha Dutt crazily screaming on the big question, clueless and clever…..

we mean people who know what they are doing!

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Sex is marriage….hmmm

DONT want to read the whole thing: The madras court ruling is good for women in 15 to 30 age groups, who are young and immature and have sex with the idea that it will lead to marriage…and then are left in the lurch under false promises. it does not apply to the Barkha dutts of the world… 30s and 40 plus, cosmopolitan, english speaking, working, choice oriented, please chill pill.

….and now the story!

So ek zaman thaa..when women wanted to hear shaadi before the word “zarra zara touch touch me…” and today  the world is mad ki bhaiyaa “na na nan a rey”…and “You know I like you, I know you like me”….but no need for a love story and definitely not a married one and only “ bas aaj rata kae liyae bahon mein aa soniye” …..
Or so it would seem, so the story is this. “If any unmarried couple of the right legal age” indulge in sexual gratification,” this will be considered a valid marriage and they could be termed “husband and wife,” the Madras High Court has ruled in a judgment that gives a new twist to the concept of premarital sex.” According to a news report in Hindu dated June 17th, this was a repeal of the lower court judgment denying maintenance to a woman suing a man. Now of course, Barkha Dutt of the NDTV, Kargil, and then Radia tapes and Suchitra Krishnamuthry, the second -ex wife to Shekhar Kapoor…and many such are very-very upset… hey we are not being mean just pointing out that, women in their 50s, with cosmopolitan backgrounds, might find this ruling strange and unnecessary but it’s really not about them or for them.
The low-income, lower class Bharat is not going to catch up with the 2 percent living in Bombay, Calcutta, Bangalore, Delhi….(yeah yeah the name has changed)…but the people living in there have not. The key differences in rural and urban Indian and upper and lower classes are not only of values…it is still of choices. We all know we want the good life, the easy life, but our choices of getting there are conditioned by our values. So while, we would like a lifestyle that had people living in Sajid Khan’s Houseful, we are really closer to Gangs of Wasseypur and even yeh jawani for middle class…our choice to get there…that dream destination has now so many pathways, as demonstrated by Sherlyn Chopra and ..what’s the other ones name….umm..(.again not being mean) these are older women, hopefully by the time, women turn 35 they know what they are doing and it’s a choice either ways…I say 2 percent because a majority of women living in urban areas are working poor people, living in cramped one rooms with no toilets, not even clean drinking water, and constantly under threat of violence. Consequently, can you blame anyone for seeking work even in the sex-industry?
Well interestingly enough the ruling says, no third-party involved, well in that case …hmm so many filmi examples of women and men marrying other people’s spouses…eventually…(again not being mean)..just underlining the differences in the concerns of classes and conditions. But aiwaian….anyways baat ho rahi hai uninformed …kacche man and kacchi soch, yep… our 15 plus gals, still really immature, young, believers, and buyers of all things cool, rural and urban alike, who are likely confused by the messages pervasively flowing from twitter to the “bhhotni chasing an almost unchaseable guy” in anamikto “I like being home with my psycho saas” in housewife sab kuch …these ideas are finding a home in their unsuspecting minds. Even as families,  who try to climb the bandwagon of the current values and current norms,. are being preached to by wanna be writers from their Star Plus to NDTV windows, add to their cluelessness… as they ponder…hmmm should my daughter be in a romance, in a sleep-in relationship…should she transition to a live in one…

the urban culture runs havoc with male and female psychology…women are not saying no to marriage, even if that is the feminist dream…they are still looking like crazy for husbands, craving families, and wanting commitment, and guys are looking for free milk or free cows…or free time…till they are ready….
The primarily intra and romantic inter-personal world created through western media is just that a creation, a world that does not allow space for families or their influence except when it is time to pick up the pieces…of broken hearts and spirit. We are saying that this ruling must be seen as a caution to society and to families and to individuals, that if this not what you want and it is only the sex, that is fine but then you and he should be on the same page overtly and covertly. It means you are not sharing dreams, minds, or souls, or hearts, just a bed and a body….and it maybe for an hour or a year. And if your heart is involved and your mind foresees a future…. When you walk away or he walks out, the deed is done.
The court laying this out first of all is not the full judgment…. but in any form, it acknowledges the vulnerability, culpability, and ultimately responsibility of conduct to expect from adults in a collectivist, traditional society.

on the other hand, I wonder if a husband  or wife is now going to sue  to enforce the marriage is sex law….girls…the headaches are going in for a sue it seems.! kidding!

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