Bwizamani Singh died on Christmas Eve. His only fault was his choice of career and what he was doing on that day. While most of us back home were preparing to tuck into turkeys and hams, Singh was covering the ongoing riots in Delhi against the rape of a 23 year old woman.
He was shot by the police…
As it is India struggles with freedom of speech without this sort of insanity. The reason for the shooting was accidental. The police were using live rounds to disperse the protesters and accidentally hit (which begs the question as to what they were fucking shooting at?) Singh.
Another reporter passed away in Manipur in a similar incident. The usage of live rounds to deal with protests must stop. Surely historical usage of such weapons should temper current usage? But worst of all is the reluctance to do anything… So all I have is this…
I was going to write a Christmas Message to the Roman Catholic Church about flogging hate, but instead it turns out I have to write a message of common fucking sense to you guys instead. I am ashamed to be an Indian man.
Do you fucking know why women are so fucking angry about the rape of a 23 year old? Why now every new rape case that comes to light in India (like the rape of Momoko, a Manipuri actress) will set off riots like the ones in Delhi?
Can you grasp why women are pissed? Why shouldn’t they be? They have fuck all to be happy about. Sexual harassment is so much the norm that they tell foreigners in guidebooks like the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide to watch out for sexual harassment. They tell them to try and travel in groups and to stick together and to try and bring a male companion with them to at least deter sexual harassment and rape attempts. Fuck all kinds of duck! Do you have any idea about how insulting it is to be regarded as “Molesters and Rapists” internationally? Fuck! My girlfriend is in Spain on holiday where a bunch of Indian men suddenly appeared to randomly hit on her while she took photographs. Do you have any fucking idea how creepy, misogynistic and just outright stupid that sounds? Has that every fucking worked? Has anyone driven around in their car honking at random women and had a woman get in of her own volition and without payment going either way? Have you ever wolf whistled a woman on the street and gotten a kiss instead (loved ones don’t count). You wouldn’t grope a woman in a night club unless she wanted you to unless you enjoy starting fights and being thrown out of clubs…, then why would you do so on a bus? Do you think that EVER works? And yes I understand there are women who fantasise about that just like there are women who fantasise about being raped but you want to know the most important part of a sexual fantasy is that it’s a FANTASY. If it gets acted out it’s under carefully controlled circumstances. If you like the whole Princess Leia Gold Bikini routine then you ask your partner to dress up as Leia/Jabba (I don’t judge you… you magnificent slime monster…). It doesn’t mean you should kidnap Princess Anne! If a woman has a rape fantasy it doesn’t mean you get to rape her… It means you get to PRETEND its rape. Fuck! This is basic. Basic stuff you need to teach all children. Consent is vital and consent gained through harassment or threats is NOT consent.
That is why I am ashamed. Because I have to say something this basic. You may say “Oh Avi, we Tamils aren’t like that”. We are. Rapes and harassment may happen less in the South than in the North doesn’t mean we don’t have the same problem, just on a different scale.
Pretty much any travel blog, guide or website on India says “Don’t dress in western clothes and prepare to get groped!” Incredible India? More like Incredible Rape Statistics. We are so pissed for around 600 Rapes in Delhi a year. The problem is how many rapes are actually reported? There are thousands of rapes in just Delhi that are going unreported. There are thousands upon thousands of sexual harassment incidents that simply go unreported. I bet there are at this point more women in India who have rape, molestation and sexual harassment anecdotes than women who have none… Any takers? All these women who are hacked off are hacked off because they have heard of friends being raped or harassed or have been the victims of this themselves.
The blame lies sorely on the men who rape, the people who obfuscate the issue and those who simply excuse the rape by involving something unrelated. If you came across a naked and unconscious woman and you had sex with her then you are still a rapist. It is not her fault, it is not the lack of clothes fault, it is not her presence that is the problem. It is always been the rapist. You cannot claim a lack of control over yourself because of her attire.
If I were wearing a suit and got mugged, no one would dismiss my case with the line “You shouldn’t have dressed for success, he must have thought you were a philanthropist”. No one would say “Well if you didn’t dress like such a philanthropist they wouldn’t take your money”. No one would say “Are you sure you didn’t give the money away and just are saying that to hurt this innocent charity case”?
It’s the same fucking them for rape. The fact that I have to make such a ludicrously stupid example up is how ludicrous it is to blame women’s clothes for being raped. What else do you want to blame? Our religions? TV? Games? Music? Movies? Those are all excuses because everyone knows that these rapes are due to a culture of sexual repression of both men and women and the consistent denigration of women and their rights. That in order to fix this Indians need to admit having a problem and destroy parts of a culture that they think is good and perfect. To claim that men cannot “control” themselves is insulting to the 50% of the entire world. It is denigrating your culture by excusing the behaviour of absolute bastards.
This collective rage has to be harnessed to make India better. The culture where we coddle our men has to stop. The culture where we treat women as arm candy has to stop. The culture where we don’t show women strong role models has to stop. The culture of treating women as unwanted, inferior or in some way incapable of doing things has to stop. Otherwise these rapes will keep happening and in a world where barriers are breaking down we will go down as “Rapists and Molesters”.
The Catholic Church has a reputation for hiding it’s child molesters for a reason. It is because it ACTUALLY did. Will India get such a reputation too? Will we start making Catholic Priest jokes about Indian men because that’s what it’s going to eventually come down to?
Eventually the rock throwing will stop, but the talking MUST start. India changes tonight and you cannot expect others to make the change. You have to do it yourself. It’s not for people like me to make this change for you. India is not my country no matter how brown my skin is. Indian however is my culture and this is why I weigh in.
We cannot keep being called a culture that is just endemically unsafe to women. It has to stop. Do you know how heart breaking it is to be told by your girlfriend that you are not like other Indians because I think the harassment isn’t attractive? That our dating strategy is akin to Stockholm syndrome…
The rage of these women is entirely justified. If you wish to show your support then please does so. Make some noise; let people in India who are in power know that they cannot keep hiding this horrific side to India. It’s our silence that has caused this to come to a point. All we can do is make noise and show the people who are fighting for justice and to stop rape in India that we support what they are doing. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, make your voices be heard. People in India need to know that we actually give a flying fuck and that we show solidarity against the people who make excuses and try and stop this change.
The rapes have to stop.
Merry Fucking Christmas and a Happy Fucking New Year.
Yours in disgust