At least a rape victim get some justice

He was in some way a celebrity. As a co-director of a popular political satirical film from Bollywood he was regarded highly. Fortunately that did not prevent him from being convicted of raping a research scholar who came to him for help in her research.

A special fast track court on Saturday convicted filmmaker Mahmood Farooqui of raping a research scholar from the United States in Delhi last year. Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain found Farooqui — who had been on bail — guilty under IPC Section 376 (punishment for rape), and ordered that he be taken into judicial custody.
The court will hear arguments on sentencing on August 2. The offence of rape entails a minimum punishment of seven years’ rigorous imprisonment and a maximum punishment of imprisonment for life. As of Saturday evening, the detailed conviction order was still awaited.
Farooqui, co-director of the 2010 satirical comedy Peepli (Live), and an exponent of the centuries’ old art of Urdu storytelling called Dastangoi, was accused of raping the 30-year-old research scholar from Columbia University at his home in south Delhi’s Sukhdev Vihar on March 28, 2015.


[Read more…]

Honor killings and rape trivialisation are part of the same culture


A mother burnt alive her 18-year-old daughter Zeenat Rafiq on Wednesday for marrying a man of her own choice in an area near General Hospital on Ferozepur Road, Lahore, Pakistan.

Parveen Rafiq, who confessed to having murdered her daughter for “bringing shame to the family”, was arrested at her home in a low-income neighbourhood on Mast Iqbal Road.

Zeenat Rafiq - AFP

Zeenat Rafiq – AFP

Last week 19-year-old Maria Sadaqat was tortured then burned alive for refusing a marriage proposal from a school principal’s son in Murree.

In April a young woman was strangled and then her body set ablaze because she helped a friend elope in Abbottabad, another case that sparked revulsion.

Byra Reddy, a resident of Tamatampalli under Gownipalli police limits, Karnataka, India, allegedly strangled his daughter Priya Reddy (17). He was angry with her for her love affair with 20-year-old Harish, belonging to Ganiga (backward class), and suspected that they were planning to elope on Sunday.

Statistics indicate that about thousand people, almost always women, are killed both in Pakistan and India in a year in the name of protecting honour of the family.

Love and marriage are supposed to be happy events. But for vast sections of human society, even in this “enlightened” 21st century it is the cause of violence and sorrow, because of the culture of not respecting the autonomy of an individual, especially that of women.

From NYT website

From NYT website

Same lack of respect for autonomy of a woman and an undue respect for the athletic prowess of a rapist can be seen in this infamous court judgement in the Stanford rape case.

Both, the “honor” killings in Asia and trivialising of rape in USA, belong to two ends of the same universal misogynist cultural spectrum.  The troubling thing to my mind is most people are shocked by the former but few by the latter.

Another gruesome rape-murder raises the same wrong questions

Three men were detained on Tuesday for the brutal rape-murder of a 29-year-old Dalit law student in a small town near Kerala’s Kochi last week, a crime that drew comparisons with the Delhi 2012 gang rape.
Police said two of the detained suspects are neighbours of the woman, who was alone at home and found in a pool of blood by her mother when she returned from work around 8pm on April 28.
“We have some leads in the case,” additional DGP K Padmakumar said.
The autopsy revealed she was savagely assaulted with sharp-edged weapons after being raped. The body bore at least 30 cut wounds, her abdomen was slashed and intestines were ripped apart.
The traumatised mother is bedridden in a hospital. “We had complained to police about the danger to our lives. The tragedy could have been averted had they taken timely action,” she said.

[Read more…]