India Uncut

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Mumbai's Taliban

A drunk policeman rapes a 17-year-old girl inside a police chowky, and the Shiv Sena takes the side of the cop. A bizarre article in Saamna, the party newspaper, blames "page 3 culture" for the attack, and says that part of the blame lies with girls who dress provocatively. The Indian Express quotes from the article:
There seems to be a competition among youngsters to show their undergarments in the name of ‘below-waist’ fashion. It is no longer feasible for a family to roam on Chowpatty. To see girls dangle a cigarette openly is worrisome. If a man is incited by such clothes, who can one blame?

There's more. One of the senior leaders of the party, and a prolific columnist, Pramod Navalkar is quoted as saying:
We are compromising with our culture. The manner in which girls behave and socialise today is exceeding all limits. In the good old days, girls from Ghatkopar would not venture to Chowpatty.

In other words, it was the girl's fault that she had the nerve to go to Marine Drive instead of hanging around in her own neighbourhood, and to add to this, she must have surely incited the cop by leaving some part of her body uncovered.

I'm amazed that in a state that prides itself for its progressive attitude, a party like the Shiv Sena can continue to get votes. These goons are our Taliban, and the fact that they have a following here is a matter of worry. Sunil More, the policeman who the Shiv Sena would have us believe was lured into becoming a rapist, is just a tiny symptom of a wider disease. So here's a question for you: What is this disease? How can we cure it?
amit varma, 11:01 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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