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Posts Tagged ‘India’

In Uncategorized on September 4, 2012 at 13:10

The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate organised religion, in India and elsewhere, has filled me with horror and I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it. Almost always it seemed to stand for blind belief and reaction, dogma and bigotry, superstition, exploitation and the preservation of vested interests.

Nehru

Rushdie’s Lit Festival No-Show: A Defeat for Free Expression in India

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2012 at 07:48

Salman Rushdie cancelled his scheduled appearance at the Jaipur Literary Festival on Friday with an explanation worthy of one of his own improbable plotlines: “I have now been informed by intelligence sources in Maharashtra and Rajasthan that paid assassins from the Mumbai underworld may be on their way to eliminate me.”

Would that it were fiction. Rushdie’s presence at the festival — a five-day, open-air bookapalooza on the grounds of an old palace in the western Indian state of Rajasthan — has been uncertain since earlier this month, when a politician campaigning in local elections in another state made a play for Muslim votes with the absurd claim that the rival Congress Party had invited Rushdie to India and ought to cancel his visa to show that it was sensitive to their concerns (Rushdie was invited by festival organizers and doesn’t need a visa). An influential Muslim cleric then said Rushdie had “hurt the sentiments of Muslims all over the world” and called for him to be denied entry. That was enough to rouse the long-dormant controversy over Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses and serve an easy election issue that politicians could pander to with either fiery rhetoric or timid silence.

In Uncategorized on December 10, 2011 at 08:12

“What about Zainab Singh? Her mother caught her at the bus stop, talking to a boy. That was three weeks ago and Mira hasn’t let her out of the house since. I said to her, “Mira, you have only yourself to blame. Let her mix with white girls and she will pick up white girl ways”“.

The worst think you can say to an Asian girl is that she is behaving like a white person. We weren’t allowed to mix with white people because Mum said they didn’t have any morals or self-respect. She said whites were dirty people with dirty ways. That’s what all the women I called Aunty thought too, and everyone else in our community. An Asian boy might have a bit of fun with white girls – “white meat”, that’s what they’d say – while he was growing up, but when it came to settling down, his family would find him a good Asian bride. If an Asian girl went out with a white boy that was different, that was bad. Her brothers or her uncles would find him and beat him up and then they would beat her too, for bringing shame on the family. Then she would be ruined; no decent Asian man would ever want her. Everyone in the community knew that.

Jasvinder Sanghera

Shame

‘Honor’ crimes

In Uncategorized on December 5, 2011 at 10:14

The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organization obtained information from police agencies that track “honor killings” and assaults, kidnappings and threats designed to punish or coerce women, The Guardian reported.

Fionnuala Ni Mhurchu, the organization’s campaign officer, said there may be a number of reasons for the increase. Police are becoming more aware of honor crimes while young women from traditional communities are less accepting of old practices.

“They’re resisting abuses of their human rights such as forced marriage more and more,” she said. “And as a result they’re being subjected to this kind of violence. We hear from the community that this violence is on the increase.”

In India more than 5,000 brides die annually because their dowries are considered insufficient, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Crimes of passion, which are treated extremely leniently in Latin America, are the same thing with a different name, some rights advocates say.

“In countries where Islam is practiced, they’re called honor killings, but dowry deaths and so-called crimes of passion have a similar dynamic in that the women are killed by male family members and the crimes are perceived as excusable or understandable,” said Widney Brown, advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.

The practice, she said, “goes across cultures and across religions.”

Complicity by other women in the family and the community strengthens the concept of women as property and the perception that violence against family members is a family and not a judicial issue.

“Females in the family—mothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, and cousins—frequently support the attacks. It’s a community mentality,” said Zaynab Nawaz, a program assistant for women’s human rights at Amnesty International.

Read more: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/02/0212_020212_honorkilling.html

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2011 at 06:30

Folk Festival

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