India Uncut

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Friday, April 21, 2006


Vandana Singh is dead. How did she die? The Times of India reports:
Vandana had told her in-laws and parents, who live in Himachal Pradesh, that last week she had been raped by Darshan Singh, the husband of her sister-in-law. She insisted that she would report the rape to police to get Darshan Singh behind bars.

Her husband and other in-laws discouraged and warned her against reporting the rape. But when she persisted, Manjit Singh [her husband] strangulated her to death, police said.
There are two acts here. One, the rape which harmed the woman. Two, the threatened reporting of the rape, which would harm family honour. And in house upon house, village upon village, city upon city in this large country of ours, there are people who would be more concerned about the honour than the woman.

And as I keep hearing, in the rhetoric that passes for public discourse, phrases like 'family honour,' 'national pride' and 'the common good,' and even terms like 'society' and 'culture,' I get less and less hopeful about the future. All these are so often used to justify the stifling of the rights of individuals, and there is nothing that I consider more sacred. (In fact, nothing else that I consider sacred.)

Er, am I boring you? Sorry!
amit varma, 5:18 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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