Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Rape: A Political Weapon in Modi's India

An 8-year-old Muslim girl Asifa Bano was locked in a Hindu temple, drugged, gang-raped for several days and then bludgeoned to death in Indian occupied Kashmir, according to a report in a leading American newspaper.

Gang Rape Victim: 8-Year-Old Asifa Bano
Support of Rapists: 

The horror of a Muslim child's rape and murder was made even worse when the ruling BJP-affiliated right-wing Hindu lawyers marched in defense of her attackers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reluctantly condemned the crime after waiting for several days. His belated acknowledgment came in response to international outrage.

Is this just another rape in India? Did the child's Muslim faith make her a target? Has Islamophobia gone mainstream in India?  To answer these questions, let us put some context to what is happening in Modi's India.

India saw about 39,000 rape cases reported in 2016, a 12% jump over the prior year, according to Indian crime statistics.  Children were reported as victims in 42% of the cases.

It is hard to say how many of the rape victims were Muslim.  What is known, however, is the exhortation by iconic Hindutva leaders to rape of Muslim women.  Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, one of the founders of right-wing RSS who Prime Minister Modi describes as "worthy of worship", is among them. After getting elected to the highest office in India, Modi paid tribute to Savarkar by laying flowers at his portrait that hangs in India's Parliament.

VD Savarkar, in one of his books titled Six Glorious Epochs of Indian History, elaborates on why raping of Muslim women is not only justified but encouraged.

Savarkar has used revisionist Hindutva history to exhort his followers to rape Muslim women as payback for historic wrongs he believes were committed by Muslim conquerers of India. “Once they are haunted with this dreadful apprehension that the Muslim women too, stand in the same predicament in case the Hindus win, the future Muslim conquerors will never dare to think of such molestation of Hindu women,” he writes.

Hindutva Revisionist History: 

American history professor Audrey Truschke, in her recently published book "Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of India's Most Controversial King" has argued that colonial-era British historians deliberately distorted the history of Indian Muslim rule to vilify Muslim rulers as part of the British policy to divide and conquer India.  These misrepresentations of Muslim rule made during the British Raj appear to have been accepted as fact not just by Islamophobic Hindu Nationalists but also by at least some of the secular Hindus in India and Muslim intellectuals in present day Pakistan, says the author.  Aurangzeb was neither a saint nor a villain; he was a man of his time who should be judged by the norms of his times and compared with his contemporaries, the author adds.

Truschke says the original history of the Mughal rule was written in Persian. However, it is the English translation of the original work that are often used to distort it. Here's what she says about it in her book:

"The bulk of Mughal histories are written in Persian, the official administrative language of the Mughal empire but a foreign tongue in India today. Out of necessity and ease, many historians disregard the original Persian text and rely instead on English translations. This approach narrows the the library of materials drastically, and many translations of the Mughal texts are of questionable quality, brimming with mistranslations and abridgments. Some of these changes conveniently served the agendas of the translators, especially colonial-era translations that tend to show Indo--Muslim kings at their worst so that the British would seem virtuous by comparison (foremost here is Elliot and Dowson's History of India as Told by Its Own Historians). Such materials are great for learning about British colonialism, but they present an inaccurate picture of Mughal India."

Modi's Record: 

In 2002 when Narendra Modi was chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, hundreds of young Muslim girls were sexually assaulted, tortured and killed.  These rapes were condoned by the ruling BJP, whose refusal to intervene lead to the rape and killing of thousands and displacement of 200,000 Muslims.

Since his election to India's top elected office, Modi has elevated fellow right-wing Hindu extremists to positions of power in India. Yogi Adiyanath, known for his highly inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric, was hand-picked in 2016 by Modi to head India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh.

Adiyanath's supporters brag about digging up Muslim women from their graves and raping them. In a video uploaded in 2014,  he said, “If [Muslims] take one Hindu girl, we’ll take 100 Muslim girls. If they kill one Hindu, we’ll kill 100 Muslims.”

Yogi wants to "install statues of Goddess Gauri, Ganesh and Nandi in every mosque”.  Before his election, he said, “If one Hindu is killed, we won’t go to the police, we’ll kill 10 Muslims”.  He endorsed the beef lynching of Indian Muslim Mohammad Akhlaque and demanded that the victim's family be charged with cow slaughter.

Madhav S. Golwalkar, considered among the founders of the Hindu Nationalist movement in India, saw Islam and Muslims as enemies. He said: “Ever since that evil day, when Moslems first landed in Hindusthan, right up to the present moment, the Hindu Nation has been gallantly fighting to shake off the despoilers".

In his book We, MS Golwalkar wrote the following in praise of what Nazi leader Adolf Hitler did to Jews as a model for what Hindus should do to Muslims in India: "To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races -- the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by."

Rise of Hindu Nationalists: 

The situation for India's minorities, particularly Muslims, has become a lot worse in the last two years with Hindu mobs raping and lynching Muslims with impunity. The 2016 election of anti-Muslim radical Hindu priest Yogi Adiyanath as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, is seen as a clear signal from Mr. Modi that his anti-Muslim policies will continue.

Mohammad Akhlaq is believed to be the first victim of Hindu lynch mobs claiming to be protecting the cow. He was accused of consuming beef. For more than a week Prime Minister Narendra Modi remained silent over the incident and even after he spoke about it, he did not condemn it outright. The ruling BJP officials even tried to explain it as the result of the genuine anger of the Hindus over the slaughtering of a cow.

Pew Research Report:

A Pew Research report from data collected in 2015, about a year after Modi rose to power, found that the level of hostility against religious minorities is "very high". In fact, it said India scores 9 for social hostilities against religious minorities on a scale of 0-10.   Other countries in "very high" category for social hostilities include Nigeria, Iraq and Syria. Pakistan's score on this scale is 7 while Bangladesh is 5.5.

Pew Research Report on Religious Freedom

History of Anti-Muslim Riots in India:

Paul Richard Brass, professor emeritus of political science and international relations at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, has spent many years researching communal riots in India. He has debunked all the action-reaction theories promoted by Hindu Nationalists like Modi. He believes these are not spontaneous but planned and staged as "a grisly form of dramatic production" by well-known perpetrators from the Sangh Parivar of which Prime Minister Modi has been a member since his youth.

Here's an excerpt of Professor Brass's work:

"Events labelled “Hindu-Muslim riots” have been recurring features in India for three-quarters of a century or more. In northern and western India, especially, there are numerous cities and town in which riots have become endemic. In such places, riots have, in effect, become a grisly form of dramatic production in which there are three phases: preparation/rehearsal, activation/enactment, and explanation/interpretation. In these sites of endemic riot production, preparation and rehearsal are continuous activities. Activation or enactment of a large-scale riot takes place under particular circumstances, most notably in a context of intense political mobilization or electoral competition in which riots are precipitated as a device to consolidate the support of ethnic, religious, or other culturally marked groups by emphasizing the need for solidarity in face of the rival communal group. The third phase follows after the violence in a broader struggle to control the explanation or interpretation of the causes of the violence. In this phase, many other elements in society become involved, including journalists, politicians, social scientists, and public opinion generally. At first, multiple narratives vie for primacy in controlling the explanation of violence. On the one hand, the predominant social forces attempt to insert an explanatory narrative into the prevailing discourse of order, while others seek to establish a new consensual hegemony that upsets existing power relations, that is, those which accept the violence as spontaneous, religious, mass-based, unpredictable, and impossible to prevent or control fully. This third phase is also marked by a process of blame displacement in which social scientists themselves become implicated, a process that fails to isolate effectively those most responsible for the production of violence, and instead diffuses blame widely, blurring responsibility, and thereby contributing to the perpetuation of violent productions in future, as well as the order that sustains them."

"In India, all this takes place within a discourse of Hindu-Muslim hostility that denies the deliberate and purposive character of the violence by attributing it to the spontaneous reactions of ordinary Hindus and Muslims, locked in a web of mutual antagonisms said to have a long history. In the meantime, in post-Independence India, what are labelled Hindu-Muslim riots have more often than not been turned into pogroms and massacres of Muslims, in which few Hindus are killed. In fact, in sites of endemic rioting, there exist what I have called “institutionalized riot systems,” in which the organizations of militant Hindu nationalism are deeply implicated. Further, in these sites, persons can be identified, who play specific roles in the preparation, enactment, and explanation of riots after the fact. Especially important are what I call the “fire tenders,” who keep Hindu-Muslim tensions alive through various inflammatory and inciting acts; “conversion specialists,” who lead and address mobs of potential rioters and give a signal to indicate if and when violence should commence; criminals and the poorest elements in society, recruited and rewarded for enacting the violence; and politicians and the vernacular media who, during the violence, and in its aftermath, draw attention away from the perpetrators of the violence by attributing it to the actions."

Summary:

India is seeing a spate of gang rapes and lynchings of Muslims by Hindu mobs who have been emboldened by the rise of anti-Muslim Hindu Nationalist leader Narendra Modi since his 2014 election to the highest office in India.  In their writings, iconic Hindutva leaders like Savarkar have encouraged rape of Muslim women. The elevation of radical Hindu Yogi Adiyanath to the top job in Uttar Pradesh by Mr. Modi has further alarmed India's Muslim minority. University of Washington's Professor Emeritus Paul Brass, who has documented the history of anti-Muslim violence in India,  describes it as "a grisly form of dramatic production" by well-known perpetrators from the Sangh Parivar of which Prime Minister Modi has been a member since his youth. Pew Research report on religious violence confirms India's status as a country with "very high" levels of social hostilities against religious minorities.  There appears to be no relief in sight for them at least in the foreseeable future.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Islamophobia Goes Mainstream

700,000 Indian Troops vs 10 Million Kashmiris

Muslim Lynchings in Modi's India

Yogi Adiyanath as UP CM

Hindu Nationalists Admire Hitler

Hinduization of India Under Modi

Muslim Victims of Gujarat 2002

India's Superpower Delusions: Modi's Flawed Policies

What Do Modi and Trump Have in Common?

16 comments:

Neal said...

Part II: Rape, a political weapon in Yahya's Pakistan, and its consequences

But any sort of figures are not even there in first place....unless you want to go with what the former East Pakistan take on it is.

Riaz Haq said...

Neal: "Rape, a political weapon in Yahya's Pakistan, and its consequences"

Nothing justifies rape regardless of who commits it.

Here's Sarmila Bose on East Pakistan Rape Claims

The available material shows that the victims of rape were Hindu and Muslim, Bengali, Bihari and West Pakistani. The perpetrators were civilian and military, and also Bengali, Bihari and West Pakistani. Pakistan army officers admit to the occasional opportunistic rape or attempted rape of women, Bengali and West Pakistani, by army personnel. Many of the non-Bengali victims appear to have been killed after sexual brutalisation by Bengali mobs as part of the “ethnic cleansing” set off by the militant Bengali nationalist movement – as evidenced by the state of their corpses, while those who survived had no place in the “heroine” category in independent Bangladesh. The circumstances of rape appear to have varied: opportunistic misconduct by army personnel on patrolling duty, sexual brutalisation during “ethnic cleansing” and mob violence, or criminality taking advantage of the dislocations of war and break-down of law and order. The allegation that the army maintained “comfort women” – even if the numbers were nowhere close to Bangladeshi claims – is a serious charge and merits further inquiry. However, Ibrahim’s book reveals that in most cases the abductors and rapists of Bengali women were Bengali men, who later passed them on to the military. For the majority of these women, therefore, even if the Pakistan army had done nothing, they would still be rape victims.

--------------------------------------------


Without citing any source, Samantha Power  wrote, “.... Pakistani troops killed between 1 and 2 million Bengalis and raped some 2,00,000 girls and women,” and Susan Brownmiller claimed “2,00,000, 3,00,000 or possibly 4,00,000 women” were raped.


For an army of 34,000 to rape on this scale in eight or nine months (while fighting insurgency, guerrilla war and an invasion by India), each would-be perpetrator would have had to commit rape at an incredible rate.


It is hardly surprising therefore, that the Hamoodur Rehman Commission, set up by the civilian government of Pakistan after the war and headed by a Bengali judge, was dismissive of the Bangladeshi claims: “According to the Bangladesh authorities, the Pakistan army was responsible for killing three million Bengalis and raping 2,00,000 East Pakistani women. It does not need any elaborate argument to see that these figures are obviously highly exaggerated. So much damage could not have been caused by the entire strength of the Pakistan army then stationed in East Pakistan, even if it had nothing else to do.

In fact, however, the army in East Pakistan was constantly engaged in fighting the Mukti Bahini, the Indian infiltrators, and later the Indian army. It had also the task of running the civil administration, maintaining communications, and feeding 70 million people of East Pakistan. It is, therefore, clear that the figures mentioned by the Dacca authorities are altogether fantastic and fanciful.”

On the rape allegations, the (Hamoodur Rehman) commission added, “The falsity of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s repeated allegation that the Pakistani troops had raped 2,00,000 Bengali girls in 1971 was borne out when the abortion team he had commissioned from Britain in early 1972 found that its workload involved the termination of only a hundred or more pregnancies”.

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3bcc/f8736a6a55e6544e1d5d1fa38e4b8a95d0a1.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

What the Rape and Murder of a Child Reveals About Modi’s India
By Mitali Saran

Ms. Saran is a journalist based in New Delhi.

https://www.deccanherald.com/edit/panorama/what-rape-and-murder-child-says-about-modi’s-india-665365.html

India is sliding toward a collapse of humanity and ethics in political and civic life, as the recent reports of the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl from a seminomadic Muslim community in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir reveal. Politicians from India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party defended the men accused of the crime and ignited a furious debate about the fundamental character of the country.

The child was abducted in January and imprisoned for a week in a temple, where she was drugged, starved and raped repeatedly before being murdered. Her body was thrown into the forest. At the time the crime passed without much comment beyond the local press.

Outrage finally exploded last week, after a front-page report in the Indian Express newspaper revealed terrifying details from the police charge sheet, including the fact that one of the accused, a police officer, had asked his co-conspirators to hold off killing the child so that he could rape her once more.

The charge sheet and other reports strongly suggested that this was not a random crime but one deliberately in line with the ugly sectarian politics playing out across India. Intimidation of religious minorities and violence against them has increased since Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the Bharatiya Janata Party to power in 2014. India’s traditional secularism is now locked in battle with the new majoritarian, Hindu chauvinist politics he represents.

The 8-year-old girl belonged to the Muslim Bakarwal people, who move with their sheep and horses between high mountain pastures in the summer and the plains of the Hindu-dominated Jammu region in winter. There is tension with local Hindus over the right to graze animals on the land. According to the police, the motive of the premeditated crime was to terrorize the Bakarwals and dislodge them from the area. The bereaved parents were not even allowed to bury the child in the village. They have since fled the area.

A newly formed group called Hindu Ekta Manch, or Hindu Unity Forum, organized a protest march in defense of the accused, who include a retired government official and two police officers. Thousands joined in, many waving the Indian national flag. Vijay Sharma, a co-founder of the group and an organizer of the march, was also a high-ranking leader of Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in the region.

Mr. Modi’s party shares power with a regional political party in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Two B.J.P. ministers in the state government joined the protest in defense of the accused. “So what if a girl died?” one of them remarked. “Many girls die every day.”

They demanded that the investigation be transferred from the state police — the investigators included Muslim officers — to the federal Central Bureau of Investigation, a largely delegitimized institution that serves as a de facto arm of the ruling party. Lawyers at a court in the city of Jammu tried to physically prevent officials from filing charges against the accused and have threatened the lawyer who is representing the girl’s family.


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This battle for the soul and future of India is likely to get more violent in the lead-up to the national elections, scheduled for next year. Mr. Modi’s B.J.P. is braced for a desperate, ugly fight and has a long history of using religious polarization to electoral advantage.

It will be up to the citizens of India to fight for a tolerant, pluralist country and stop the degeneration of its civic and political life.

Riaz Haq said...

What the Rape and Murder of a Child Reveals About Modi’s India
By Mitali Saran

Ms. Saran is a journalist based in New Delhi.

https://www.deccanherald.com/edit/panorama/what-rape-and-murder-child-says-about-modi’s-india-665365.html


Over the past week, horrified Indians have protested vigorously on social media and in some cities. The disgust and the fury at the complicity of politicians, and the federal government’s silence, grew into a thunderous chorus demanding that the prime minister speak up and fire the ministers backing the Hindu Ekta Manch.

Belatedly reacting to popular outrage, Mr. Modi finally said: “Incidents being discussed since past two days cannot be part of a civilized society. As a country, as a society, we all are ashamed of it.” He promised justice. His vague statement delicately alluded to another case in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where a lawmaker from Mr. Modi’s party is accused of rape. Mr. Modi stayed away from his party’s involvement in both cases.

Yet instead of uniting India in horror, the incident has deepened religious, political and ethical divides. It has also made clear that there is no automatic political cost to crime or falsehood if it furthers the hegemonic political narrative. The politicians involved were sacked only after a huge public outcry. Government ministers, officials, right-leaning media and right-wing supporters have been perfectly sanguine about using the dead child to polarize society with whataboutery, fake news and wild conspiracy theories.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Modi’s party, Meenakshi Lekhi, attacked opposition protests, suggesting that they were selective and opportunistic. “You see their plan,” she said. “First shout ‘minority minority’, then ‘Dalit Dalit’ and now ‘women women’ and then try to somehow fix blame of state issues on the center.” An influential ex-editor tweeted that Muslim Rohingya refugees were to blame for the crime. A B.J.P. youth activist posted a comment, now deleted, on his Facebook page saying that the rape must have been fun. A pornography site reported a surge in searches for videos using the raped and murdered girl’s name.

The sense of national crisis today is because Indians feel a rising urgency to either counter this ethical collapse or to capitalize on it in the run-up to the next election.

Mr. Modi came to power in 2014, and four years into his term, religious and cultural bigotry stands mainstreamed in Indian society.

Many who voted for Mr. Modi’s economic promises are disappointed by his failure to deliver, and impatient with his deliberate silences around sectarian and sexual violence and hate speech by his party colleagues and ministers. The systematic destruction of democratic institutions is hard to ignore.

The B.J.P. and its Hindu nationalist affiliates are bent on refashioning India into a country that is increasingly hostile to secular, democratic, pluralist and minority Indians. The rape and murder of the little nomad girl has thus taken on a larger meaning, reflecting the struggle for the fundamental character of India.

Riaz Haq said...

India’s abuse of women is the biggest human rights violation on Earth
Deepa Narayan
Tragic rape cases have shocked the country. But the everyday suffering of 650 million Indian women and girls goes unnoticed

India can arguably be accused of the largest-scale human rights violation on Earth: the persistent degradation of the vast majority of its 650 million girls and women. And this includes the middle classes, as I found when interviewing 600 women and men in India’s cities.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/27/india-abuse-women-human-rights-rape-girls

India is at war with its girls and women. The planned rape of eight-year-old Asifa in a temple by several men, including a policeman who later washed the clothes she was wearing to destroy evidence, was particularly horrific. Asifa’s rape has outraged and shaken the entire country. Yet sexual abuse in India remains widespread despite tightening of rape laws in 2013. According to the National Crimes Records Bureau, in 2016 the rape of minor girls increased by 82% compared with the previous year. Chillingly, across all rape cases, 95% of rapists were not strangers but family, friends and neighbours.

The culturally sanctioned degradation of women is so complete that the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, launched a national programme called Beti Bachao (Save Our Girls). India can arguably be accused of the largest-scale human rights violation on Earth: the persistent degradation of the vast majority of its 650 million girls and women. And this includes the middle classes, as I found when interviewing 600 women and men in India’s cities.

India’s women are traumatised in less obvious ways than by tanks in the streets, bombs and warlords. Our oppression starts innocuously: it occurs in private life, within families, with girls being locked up in their own homes. This everyday violence is the product of a culture that bestows all power on men, and that does not even want women to exist. This is evident in the unbalanced sex ratios at birth, even in wealthy families. But India also kills its women slowly. This violence is buried in the training of women in some deadly habits that invite human rights violations, but that are considered the essence of good womanhood.

The first teaches girls to be afraid of their own bodies. When a girl is not supposed to exist, 1.3 billion people collectively pretend that girls don’t have bodies and especially no sexual parts. If girls do not have bodies, sexual molestation is not possible, and if it does happen, it has to be denied, and if it cannot be denied, the girl must be blamed.

Denial of sexuality in homes is another habit that is deadly to girls. Almost every woman I interviewed had experienced some form of sexual molestation. Only two had told their mothers, only to be dismissed, “Yes, this happens in families,” or “No, this did not happen.” Indian government surveys show that 42% of girls in the country have been sexually abused.

Speech is another basic human right. To have a voice, to speak up, is to be recognised, to belong. But girls are trained in silence. They are told to be quiet, to speak softly, dheere bolo, to have no opinions, no arguments, no conflicts. Silent women disappear. They are easy to ignore, overrule, and violate without repercussions. Impunity flourishes.

Riaz Haq said...

“SAY NO TO RSS SAKHA IN AMU”, Writes AMUSU President (Maskoor Ahmad Usmani)

http://ironyofindia.com/say-no-to-rss-sakha-in-amu-writes-amusu-president/

1925 marks the birth year of the hateful and terror breading organization Rastriya Swayam Sewak Sangh, founded by Dr. K. B. Hegedwar and the coward V. D. Savarkar. The much exaggerated ‘veer’ Savarker was the same person who pleaded and begged to the British numerous times from jail for mercy and his release. Later, these fanatics shared by common ideology came under the banner of RSS. The tail of espionage and working hand in glove with the British is much known in the history of pre-independent India. From exchanging outfits and staging violence to spiting venom in public meetings there have been no stone unturned by the RSS to break down the social fabric of India.


It was on 30th January, 1947 (1948) when Ganghiji was gunned down by the Hindu fanatic and member of the RSS Nathu Ram Godse at Birla House, Delhi. Soon after the death of Gandhiji, in a letter to Golwaker dated 11th September, 1948 Sardar Patel the then home minister of India pointed out “Opposition turned more severe, when the RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhiji’s death.” What does this vindicates? And why was RSS so much happy that it had to distribute sweets after the killing of Gandhi?

In a letter dated 14th March, 1948, Dr. Rajendra Prasad wrote to Sardar Patel:

“I am told that RSS people have a plan of creating trouble. They have got a number of men dressed as Muslims and looking like Muslims who are to create trouble with the Hindus by attacking them and thus inciting the Hindus. Similarly there will be some Hindus among them who will attack Muslims and thus incite Muslims. The result of this kind of trouble amongst the Hindus and Muslims will be to create conflagration.”

Among RSS’s ideological forefathers the so called ‘Guru’ Golwalkar occupies a big space, in his book ‘Bunch Of Thoughts’ M. S. Golwalkar spits out venom in the following words:

“Even to this day there are so many who say, ‘now there is no Muslim problem at all. All those riotous elements who supported Pakistan have gone away once for all. The remaining Muslims are devoted to our country. After all, they have no other place to go and they are bound to remain loyal’… It would be suicidal to delude ourselves into believing that they have turned patriots overnight after the creation of Pakistan on the contrary, the Muslim menace has increased a hundredfold by the creation of Pakistan which has become a springboard for all their future aggressive designs on our country”

How the narrative for Indian Muslims having nexus with Pakistan has come to fore in contemporary times we need to look back of how virulent this notion was treatised by Golwalkar in his book, “…within the country there are so many Pakistans’… The conclusion is that, in practically every place, there are Muslims who are in constant touch with Pakistan over transmitter…”

There are some serious questions that need to be answered; it is a deep travesty for our country that the heads of incumbent dispensation are members of the same traitor organization.

RSS, which was responsible for pre and post-independence rioting, conspiring and spreading communal hatred, paradoxically in contemporary India claims itself to be nationalist and seek others patriotism for the nation. After seventy years of Independence it is bemoaning to see that elected BJP MPs like Sakshi Maharaj demands to declare Nathu Ram Godse as a national patriot.

Riaz Haq said...

BBC News - #India #rape: Third teenager attacked and burned in a week. #Modi #BJP #Hindutva

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-44088004#

A teenage girl in India has been raped and burned alive by her attacker - the third instance of such an attack in the same week.

The 16-year-old girl died after being soaked in fuel and set on fire at her home in the Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh.

Police said she was killed after telling her attacker she would inform her family about the rape.

Two other similar attacks, one fatal, took place in Jharkhand this week.

A 17-year-old girl remains in critical condition after being set on fire by a suspect who allegedly said he wanted to marry the victim, but had been rejected.

The earlier case involved a 16-year-old who was burned alive after her parents complained to village elders about her rape. The accused had been ordered to do sit-ups and pay a fine as punishment, prompting them to beat the girl's parents and kill her.

In the most recent attack, the victim was at home alone in Jujharpur village when she was attacked. Police said they had arrested a suspect, named as 28-year-old Ravi Chadhar.

Widespread outrage
India is facing renewed public outrage over the number of violent sexual assaults in the country.

BBC India correspondent Soutik Biswas recently wrote that "rape is increasingly used as an instrument to assert power and intimidate the powerless in India".

Recent public anger over sexual assaults was sparked by the rape and murder of an eight-year old girl in January.

The girl, a member of a Muslim nomadic tribe, was found dead in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Eight Hindu men were arrested, and there was an outcry when two ministers from the Hindu BJP party attended a rally in support of the accused. In April, Hindu right-wing groups staged protests over the arrests.

Another BJP politician has also been accused of raping a 16-year-old girl - a charge he denies.

Public outrage over sexual violence in India rose dramatically after the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus.

Four of the accused were given a death sentence, recently upheld on appeal, and the case led to new anti-rape laws.

Riaz Haq said...

https://theprint.in/governance/twitter-removes-handle-of-man-booked-for-his-tweet-encouraging-rape-trafficking-of-kashmiri-women/57967/

Twitter removes handle of man booked for his tweet encouraging rape & trafficking of Kashmiri women
PTI13 May, 2018

An FIR against the accused Ashish Kaul has been registered at the Kothi Bagh police station | @younustraluk | Twitter

Twitter removed the user from its social media platform after the police booked him for spreading hate against Kashmiri women.

Srinagar: The police on Saturday, 12 May, lodged an FIR against a Twitter user Ashish Kaul over abusive tweets about Kashmiri Muslims and asked the social media service for more details.

“Police in Kashmir took cognisance of the matter after it found the posts were abusive and attract offences covered under law,” a police spokesman said.


Screenshot from Ashish Kaul’s handle | @gowhargeelani | Twitter
He said an FIR has been registered at Kothi Bagh police station.

Police have also asked Twitter India to provide details of the Twitter user so that he is made to face the law, the spokesman added.

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http://ironyofindia.com/american-company-fired-indian-hate-monger-employee-for-his-anti-kashmiri-muslim-women-tweets/


American Company fired Indian Hate-monger employee for his Anti-Kashmiri Muslim women tweets


His tweets evoked angry reactions from social media users with many tagging his employer, DDI World, and asking if it condoned such hate-mongering.

The company, an international firm specialising in providing leadership tools to corporates around the world, acted with lightening speed to inform that Kaul, the hate-monger, had been fired. The company said, “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. As a matter of policy, we cannot publically comment on employee matters; however, we are taking this situation seriously.”

DDI published statement clarifying that, the employee was suspended immediately after his tweet was reported to the company.

Riaz Haq said...

#Muslim beaten to death in #India for allegedly killing #cow http://po.st/b5A0Mo via @ChannelNewsAsia #Modi #beef #hindutva #Modi #BJP

A Muslim man accused of killing a cow was beaten to death by a mob in central India, police said on Sunday (May 20), the latest vigilante murder over the animal considered sacred by Hindus.

Siraj Khan, a 45-year-old tailor, was attacked in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh state on early Friday and died at the scene, local police official Arvind Tiwari told AFP.


Kahn's friend Shakeel Maqbool, who was also attacked, was admitted to hospital with critical injuries.

As details of the violent assault emerged at the weekend 400 additional police were deployed to the district on late Saturday as inquiries widened, the Press Trust of India reported.

"We have arrested four people, and they have been sent to judicial custody. We are investigating what prompted the attack," Tiwari said.

He added that meat and a bull carcass was found at the scene, but did not elaborate as investigations were ongoing.

Hindus consider cows sacred and slaughtering the animals, or possessing or consuming beef, is banned in most Indian states.

Cow slaughter in Madhya Pradesh carries a maximum seven-year jail term but many other parts of India impose life sentences for infringements.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has promised to completely outlaw cow slaughter in India.

The right-wing Hindu BJP has been accused of turning a blind eye to a rising number of vigilante attacks in the name of cow protection.

Rights groups say Hindu mobs have been emboldened under the party, who stormed to power in 2014. Many of the victims are Muslims.

In two prominent cases last year, a dairy farmer was killed on a roadside for transporting cows and a Muslim teenager accused of carrying beef was stabbed to death on a crowded train.


Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/muslim-beaten-to-death-in-india-for-allegedly-killing-cow-10252056

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi's #India most dangerous nation for #women, #Pakistan ranks 6th, #US ranks 10th in survey @CNN

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/25/health/india-dangerous-country-women-survey-intl/index.html

India is the most dangerous country in the world to be a woman because of the high risk of sexual violence and slave labor, a new survey of experts shows.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation released its results Tuesday of a survey of 550 experts on women's issues, finding India to be the most dangerous nation for sexual violence against women, as well as human trafficking for domestic work, forced labor, forced marriage and sexual slavery, among other reasons.
It was also the most dangerous country in the world for cultural traditions that impact women, the survey found, citing acid attacks, female genital mutilation, child marriage and physical abuse. India was the fourth most dangerous country for women in the same survey seven years ago.
Nine of the 10 countries on the list were from Asia, the Middle East or Africa. At number 10 was the United States, the only Western country to be included. The foundation said this was directly related to the #MeToo movement.

The release of the report comes amid mounting public outrage in India, where a series of high-profile rape cases, including two unrelated attacks on girls aged 16 and eight, have forced the issue of sexual violence back onto the national agenda.

In April, thousands of protesters took to the streets to demand better protection for women, in some of the largest mass demonstrations held in the country since the rape and murder of a female college student in Delhi in 2012.
India has long grappled with the issue of sexual violence. In the months following the 2012 case, the central government moved to pass legislation increasing penalties for sexual assault, rape, and sexual abuse, including extending prison sentences and introducing the death penalty.

But despite the introduction of stricter laws, around 100 sexual assaults are reported to police in the country every day, according to the National Crime Records Bureau, with nearly 39,000 alleged attacks reported in 2016, an increase of 12% from the previous year.

Riaz Haq said...

The analysis also finds that among the world’s 25 most populous countries, Egypt, Russia, India, Indonesia and Turkey had the highest overall levels of government restrictions and social hostilities in 2016. China had the highest score on the Government Restrictions Index, while India had the highest score on the Social Hostilities Index.

http://www.pewforum.org/2018/06/21/global-uptick-in-government-restrictions-on-religion-in-2016/

Riaz Haq said...

#India’s Shame. World's largest democracy is also its most dangerous for #women. #Misogyny in India is not a modern phenomenon. Thousands of women burned to death every year. Millions of female fetuses aborted. #Modi #Asifa #rape #sati #BrideBurning https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/india-s-shame-5b7lzdg60

Riaz Haq said...

A wave of #religious intolerance is hitting big business in #India. A wave of religious intolerance as India heads toward elections is emerging as a new risk for its top companies. #Hindutva #Islamophobia #Modi #BJP https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-01/online-bigotry-is-becoming-a-risk-for-india-s-biggest-companies via @bpolitics

https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1013796775285555201

Over the past weeks, a telecom giant, the Indian lender led by Asia’s richest banker, and the local rival of Uber Technologies Inc. have been roiled by controversies linked to comments on Facebook and Twitter involving a minority community in the Hindu-dominated nation. All these started as social media posts, then gained a life of their own as people backed or vilified the comments, eventually forcing the companies to react to contain any damage.

Tensions on social media are mounting as the world’s largest democracy approaches elections early next year that will pit the Hindu nationalist beliefs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party against the main opposition, which often spotlights secularism and rising religious intolerance. Risk consultancy Kroll Inc. says it’s seeing an “exponential increase” in questions from corporate clients on how to manage the fallout from incidents on social media.

“It doesn’t just carry reputational and business risk, it can snowball into business continuity risks that can spread faster than a forest fire,” said Tarun Bhatia, a Mumbai-based managing director at Kroll. “Companies can’t choose their customers or control what they say. So it comes down to how companies manage these incidents, how quickly they react.”

Bharti Airtel Ltd., India’s biggest telecommunications provider thanks to its 304 million subscribers, was tested on that recently. This is how it began: Around noon on June 18, Twitter user Pooja Singh complained about an Airtel customer service representative. An Airtel employee replied, promising to get back with more information, and signed off as “Shoaib.”

This is a recognizable Muslim name in a country currently riven by passionate teams of social media trolls, akin to the U.S. experience where political discourse often degenerates into hate-filled accusations.

“Dear Shohaib, as you’re a Muslim and I have no faith in your working ethics... requesting you to assign a Hindu representative for my request. Thanks,” Singh responded. Soon after, another Airtel rep named Gaganjot -- a clearly non-Muslim name -- promised to resolve Singh’s concern.

On the morning of June 20, Airtel published a statement on twitter refuting accusations that it gave in to Singh’s alleged discriminatory demand, something that had already attracted severe criticism of the carrier and threats to discontinue its services, including from opposition lawmakers. The statement said that both Shoaib and Gaganjot were just following established workflow processes that “got read as ‘bowing down to bigotry.”’

“Airtel has been resolute for 23 years” and “our training manuals will never carry instructions to pause and check one’s identity before serving a query,” the statement read. The company didn’t reply to an email from Bloomberg seeking further comment.

Riaz Haq said...

More than five years after the #Delhi gang-#rape, #India is still no country for #women. #Modi #India #misogyny https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/07/02/more-than-five-years-after-the-delhi-gang-rape-india-is-still-no-country-for-women/?utm_term=.77b9cee931f5

One of my earliest memories of walking in the streets of India involves being groped by a stranger as I went out to dinner with my family. I still viscerally remember that moment — and the moment right after, when I turned to the man who groped me and apologized, thinking it was my fault for, apparently, falling into his hands. At the time, I couldn’t believe anyone actually wanted to touch me there.

I was just six years old.

Incidents like this are commonplace for Indian women. In fact, every single one I know has their own story to relate — some more serious than others. So when I first heard of a newly-released Thomson Reuters Foundation report that ranked India as the most dangerous country in the world for women, I wasn’t surprised. You only have to spend a day in India to realize that, if you are a woman in a public setting, you had better be armed with either a large handbag or pepper spray.

But in India, the response to the report was more impassioned. It generated outrage among politicians, academics and civil society members — groups that generally struggle to find common ground. How, they asked, could India be ranked higher than countries such as Syria or the Democratic Republic of Congo, where women are caught in the middle of violent conflict, and where sexual violence is routinely used as a tool of war? And why was it listed higher than Saudi Arabia, where leading female activists are still languishing in prison for championing women’s right to drive?

For its part, India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development rejected the report, criticizing its methodology and claiming that it was a clear effort “to malign the nation.” Politicians from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) likewise accused Thomson Reuters of having an “agenda,” though they did not specify what that means. But this knee-jerk defensiveness completely misses the point.

Yes, the report is methodologically flawed. It was based on an opinion poll of 548 “experts” — who have not yet been identified — and relies on perception rather than fact. We do not know what data and criteria were used to compare countries, or even where the surveyed experts were from. These factors could have vast implications for how countries were ultimately ranked.

And yes, in terms of actual numbers, India still has a lower reported rate of rape per 100,000 people than most other countries, including the United States. This is thought to be likely because of extreme levels of under-reporting, though there is some evidence that reporting rates are on the rise. Statistics are an imperfect way to compare countries but, at first glance, singling out India for censure seems misleading.

Still, even with its flaws, the report highlights something important: Despite lawmakers’ attempts to convince us that India is safer for women now than it was before an infamous 2012 gang rape and murder in Delhi, conditions remain largely the same. Women still face harassment and abuse on a daily basis — just ask the scores of women who were molested en masse on the streets of Bangalore last year. For all of Modi’s rhetoric about “treating women like goddesses,” women are still treated as anything but.

The Thomson Reuters report casts a spotlight on a question that is not asked often enough: How much has the Modi government — or any Indian government, for that matter — actually done to tackle violence against women? The BJP can point to its large-scale awareness program for girls’ empowerment, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (Save the Girl, Educate the Girl).

Riaz Haq said...

#America’s real #Muslim problem is #Islamophobia. It is time to recognize that the real Muslim threat in this country is to their well-being. And until we take their security seriously, none of us will be safe. #Trump #MuslimBan #Islam

https://www.salon.com/2018/07/07/americas-real-muslim-problem-is-islamophobia/

June 2018 was an especially bad month for the status of Muslims in America. First, we learned that a new study showed that many Americans view Muslims in the United States as insufficiently “American,” and almost 20 percent would deny Muslim citizens the right to vote. Then, the Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s decision to institute a ban on immigrants, refugees and visa holders from five majority-Muslim countries in a 5-4 decision.

The synergy of these two pieces of information is critical because it reveals a common attitude that Muslims pose a threat to U.S. security whether they are U.S. citizens or not. And while these attitudes do break down heavily across party lines, it is noteworthy that the study of U.S. perceptions of Muslim Americans conducted by Dalia Mogahed and John Sides for the Voter Study Group indicated that even 12 percent of Democrats would consider denying Muslim citizens the right to vote. Their study also showed that 32 percent of Democrats favor targeting Muslims at U.S. airport screenings to ensure the safety of flights. That figure compares with 75 percent of Republicans.

Taken together the Supreme Court decision and the voter study reveal a mainstreaming of Islamophobia. Whether aimed at Syrian refugees or U.S. citizens, these attitudes, policies and practices underscore the reality that America really has a Muslim problem — a problem seeing Muslims as human beings deserving of dignity, human rights and respect.

-----------------

It should go without saying, but I’ll emphasize the point here, that the fears over threats posed by Muslims are simply not borne out by facts. At all.

White males pose the biggest threat to U.S. citizens, but no one is talking about taking away their right to vote. And as Margaret Sullivan reported for the Washington Post, 2017 was the deadliest year for civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria, with as many as 6,000 people killed in strikes conducted by the U.S.-led coalition — an increase of more than 200 percent over the previous year. That number is far worse if you add in countries like Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia and others.

While bigotry toward a wide range of groups has been normalized in the Trump era, there are particular features of the targeting of Muslims as security threats that are noteworthy.

As Moustafa Bayoumi, author of "How Does it Feel to Be a Problem," explained it to me, the key turning point was obviously the attacks of 9/11/2001. Since then, he said, there has “been a relentless drive to delegitimize Muslim American citizenship.” In addition, he pointed out that for many non-Muslim Americans, there is a tendency to think of a Muslim citizen as a Muslim first, rather than a fellow American, an attitude buttressed by the fact that “U.S. support for policies targeting Muslims has been substantial and consistent.”

But here’s the thing. Fear of Muslims was not simply a spontaneous response to the events of 9/11. The current attitude of suspicion, fear and intolerance of the Muslim community was purposefully orchestrated. A team of researchers that studied the roots of Islamophobia in the United Sates following 9/11, published as "Fear Inc.," identified seven charitable groups that provided $42.6 million to Islamophobic think tanks between 2001 and 2009.

Their research was further able to show a direct line from Islamophobic think tanks, like the Richard Mellon Scaife foundation, to media influencers and politicians.

Riaz Haq said...

An Entire Gated Community in #Chennai Got Together to #Rape a Child. #India Recoils at Girl’s Assault. For months, the police say, a group of 17 men took turns raping an 11-year-old #girl. #ChennaiHorror #Modi #BJP #RapeCapital

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/18/world/asia/rape-chennai-india.html


For months, the police say, a group of men took turns raping an 11-year-old girl.

In the gated community in Chennai, India, where the girl lived with her parents, the men gave her soft drinks laced with drugs, the police said. They filmed themselves raping her, brandishing knives and threatening to release the videos if the girl told her family, the police said.

The men were not intruders in the gated community, but employees who greeted residents, operated the elevator or brought water coolers to apartments.

When news broke on Monday that the authorities in Chennai, a coastal city in the southeast, had arrested 17 men accused of raping or molesting the girl over a period of seven months, chaos erupted at the complex in an older part of the city. Residents dismissed the building’s remaining staff members. Women volunteered to guard the complex’s entrances, and some called for the suspects to be hanged.

Indian television channels ran lengthy news segments with banner headlines that read, simply, “Chennai Horror.”

“This story has shaken me to the core,” Rohini Singh, an Indian journalist, wrote on Twitter. “An entire community got together to rape a child. I cannot even fathom the depravity and horror of this act.”

This has been a year punctuated by brutal crimes against young girls in India. In January, an 8-year-old was kidnapped, locked in a Hindu temple, gang raped and beaten to death. In May, a teenager in central India was set on fire after her parents told a village council that men in the area had raped their daughter. In June, a 7-year-old was raped in the state of Madhya Pradesh, also in central India. Afterward, the two men slit her throat and left her to die.

A poll released in June by the Thomson Reuters Foundation named India the most dangerous country in the world for women, ahead of war-torn countries like Afghanistan and Syria. In India, a rape occurs at least every 20 minutes, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau.

Indian officials have struggled to figure out what to do. The government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved a measure in April to raise jail sentences for rapists and introduce the death penalty for those convicted of raping children under the age of 12.

But it is unclear whether the law will have much of an effect. India’s judicial system is notoriously backlogged, with millions of cases stuck in overburdened courts. Many of the crimes against young girls that gripped India this year have dropped out of the news cycle.