As you know, the brutal gang-rape of a young woman in Delhi earlier this month has sparked off rallies and protests against such violence across the country. We invite you to come to Besant Nagar Beach on 29th December at 4 pm to engage in a protest and conversation on this violence.
The Delhi incident is not unique. Sexual violence, ranging from indecent gestures, abusive language, molestation, harassment to more overtly destructive and hurtful acts is something that children, girls, women and people who are seen as sexually ‘deviant’ live with. These acts are reprehensible as well as routine: family members, neighbours, community leaders, custodians of law and justice, including the police and armed forces have all been accused of such rape crimes in this country, and with solid evidence.
Rape exists as a sign of authority, of the dominant castes over subordinated castes, majority right-wing groups over minority groups, the personnel of the state over citizens that it holds in contempt or fear. While rape can happen to any sexually vulnerable section of the population, the fact remains that by and large it is carried out by men against women.
In this context, it becomes important to ask questions about the nature of this violence:
- What are the factors in our environment that allow men to be violent and abusive? is it the nature of our development process that produces desperation, poverty, and criminality?
- Are rapists a bunch of ‘deranged’ individuals, or do their acts reflect something more? Are they vicious expressions of a more widely prevalent culture of contempt, hatred, resentment and aggression towards women?
- While we are all united in wanting the police and the judiciary to be more accountable in ensuring that justice is done, are we letting off other sections that are equally if not more culpable in endorsing a public culture of non-accountability? What about the media, for instance? How do we see the media’s role in ‘selling’ every kind of sexual allure through its advertisements, sensational stories and coups, its many programmes that uphold traditional and disrespectful and discriminating attitudes towards women?
Please share this invite with your friends.
RSVP on Facebook: HumanChainDec29Chennai
Human Chain Organizing Committee
For further details: Sivakumar – 9840699776 | Aniruddhan – 8939609670
Thanks: Sneha Krishnan, V Geetha and Shri Sadasivan for draft and Tamil translation
This post is also available in: தமிழ் (Tamil)