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29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

60% rise of reported rapes in India since 2012: It's not just patriarchy, misogyny, atrocity, it's more than that

By Sheshu Babu*
'I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection' -- Sigmund Freud
Condemning rapes and harassment of women has become a routine with increase of these cases over the years. Among the ten countries reporting incidents of rape, nations like America, Canada, Sweden and UK appear in the list (wonderlist.com, Ejaz Khan). About 36% of women globally have been reported experience either physical or sexual intimate violence.
In India, according to the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB), 2013 Annual Report, 24,923 rape cases were reported across India (Rape in India, en.m.wikipedia.org) in 2012. Out of these, 24,470 were committed by someone known to the victim.(98% of cases). Thus, mostly 'relatives' are cause of rapes.

Gory incidents

The crimes have risen sharply. Statistics show that since 2012, reported rape cases rose by 60% in India to around 40,000 in 2016 with child rape accounting for 40% ("Sorry, but rape is a political issue in India", Ujjwal K Chowdhury, April 19, 2018, dailyo.in). A total of 34,651 cases were reported in India. Of these in 33,098 cases, the offenders were known to the victims. So, the hue and cry after Nirbhaya case had little impact.
Gory incidents like fathers raping their child have also come to light. For eight years, a girl from Anjala in Punjab said her father raped her. The 21- year old broke her silence after watching TV coverage of Mumbai rape incest case. The girl's father Ashok Taneja was later arrested. 
In an article, Annie Giwen describes how girls are beaten even when they are raped by fathers ("An Indian teen raped by her father. Village elders had her whipped", May 9, 2016, washingtonpost.com). Girls are forced to accept that the fault is theirs.

Possible reasons

Fathers who indulge in such heinous acts are often drunk, perverted and have some sort of crime record. Some may even have uneasy or troubled past. Assaults and sexual abuses by family are used as a punishment if the girl marries outside her community. Honour killings have been increasing. 
Also, the tool of 'corrective rape' is used to 'straighten' a girl's sexual orientation ("Parents use 'corrective rape' to straight'en gays", Rupam Jain, June 1, 2015, timesofindia.com). In a country where normal rapes are under-reported, the incidents of corrective rapes may not even be talked out for a long time due to trauma and shame experienced by the victims who are mostly girls.

Need to address

Though uncomfortable to speak and debate, such barbaric atrocities must be addressed. In a country where girls are seen as personal property of men, such instances reflect stark exploitation even in families. The very nature of ' father' is questionable as his character of giving care and love becomes that of a rapist with sexual lust when such incidents come to light. 
Heart-wrenching stories like 'My Father raped his daughter. And I am their Baby. My story" ( Rowena Slusser, May 25, 2015, lifesitenews.com) compel us to think of such crimes and find solution to stop such horrific exploitation of girls.
Blessin Mushohwe, a child rights and policy consultant at UNICEF, rightly says that society must actively keep its eyes open for signs and symptoms of sexual abuse on schools, churches or even as they play at home. ("When fathers rape their daughters", July 30, 2014, theherald.co.zw). 
Research points out that rituals, driving of evil spirits, lure of money etc. are chief causes of such crimes. Therefore, people must be given rational education about abstaining from such heinous acts.
Girls should also be taught about domestic violence. An 11 year-old-girl in Mumbai was encouraged by a lecturer on ill-treatment and called child helpline 1098 to report rape by her father. (sharmeen.hakim@timesgroup.com, posted July 12, 2018, ). The court sentenced him under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences ( POSCO) Act. The child has shown bravery and exceptional courage.
Any word to describe such rapes seems very euphemistic. Girl children and women should be protected from cruelty and horror of domestic rapes and violence.
Leon Hoffman, MD, discussing a case of 'Dora' treated by Sigmund Freud ("Fathers and Daughters", posted Jun 4, 2014, psychologytoday.com) says, "...Adolescent girls need attachments to fathers and other men and they need to be heard. Fathers need to listen in order to remain available to support and protect their daughters". This responsibility should rest on every father so that girls gain confidence and trust. 
Social analysts should conduct awareness programmes on parental guidance and drive away evil practices from society.
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Writer from anywhere and everywhere, inspired by a lyric of Gaddar that describes the treatment of new born girls and women: "Nindu amasa naadu O! Lachcha Gummadi.... Aada pilla puttinado O! Lachccha Gummadi' (On a new moon day oh! Lady ( lachcha gummadi) , a girl was born oh! (Lachcha gummadi)"

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
The fault lies in our society where women are ''hidden''from men. I have seen young men, mostly in their early 20s and coming from the hinterland, who gape at the sight of women walking around in the city. They are potential rapists

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India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.