“She was warned several times and was used to unethical practices like friendship with boys.”

Teacher suspended for writing love letter to 7th standard girl

NAGAPATTINAM (TN): A 24-year-old teacher was today suspended for allegedly writing a love letter to a seventh standard girl in a government school near here. [Link]

Do you think suspending the teacher is enough here? How likely is he to try something like this, or worse, with another child?  Should he be allowed to work with children anytime in future?

Do Indian schools ever talk to students (or even to teachers!) about such crimes? If the ‘love-letter’ had reached this child, what are the chances that she would have seen it as a compliment, or as ‘approval’ or appreciation by someone she looked upto; or even as ‘love’?

Some comments wondered is this was ‘love’.  Some others wondered if it was the 12 year old child who was infatuated and the 24 year old teacher was merely responding.

How is it that so many don’t seem to understand that a 12 year old is a child (whether or not she has attained puberty)?  And that an adult is responsible for his actions?

Also, I think we are so focussed on preventing young girls and boys from interacting with each other that it is not considered necessary to create awareness about child abuse. This makes it easy for pedophiles to blame, blackmail, threaten and silence a child.  Like is we say this,

“She was warned several times and was used to unethical practices like friendship with boys.”

While the vice-principal, Egidius Francis Falcao (61), was arrested after the 14-year-old Class X student lodged a police complaint against him of attempt to rape her on January 2, a former corporator and member of the Sacred Heart Parish, John Paul, said, “All we know is the character of the girl is not clean.

“Staff members spoke out against the girl with a teacher, Ritu Bhingare, saying, “She was irregular to school. She was warned several times and was used to unethical practices like friendship with boys.” [Link]

Would you trust someone who has such prejudices, with your child’s education or safety?

Do you think such statements instil confidence in a Child Sexual Abuse victim?  What message do they convey to other young students, and also to pedophiles?

60 thoughts on ““She was warned several times and was used to unethical practices like friendship with boys.”

  1. Well, first of of, what in the world do they think “unethical” means? I guess we need to add that to the list of words that need to be defined for certain people, just like “rape” and “consent”.

    Second, they are both CHILDREN, like you said IHM. If adults don’t own up to their own behaviour, what hope do we have for our children?

    And no, I certainly would not want my child to be taught by people who hold such abhorrent views. But the challenge is knowing who thinks this way, because not everyone will be as obvious about it. Which is why parents out to have a very open relationship with their kids, so that if someone says or does something untoward, the child will always tell her or his parents.

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  2. Have been an academician myself and while I was a research scholar at a premium indian university complaints of professors asking for undue favors from research students which were sometimes also sexual was an every day thing.The result was very few girls opting for a doctorate or post-doctorate work .This is what happens at the highest level of education we have here,I can imagine what happens in schools in remote areas with untrained or poorly trained staff.

    We are eager to label our women as unethical and too liberal but we would not talk to to our young girls and boys about about menstruation,puberty and sex and leave them to navigate this area alone.

    In a way we leave them unprotected free for sexual predators,susceptible to sexual myths and sometimes even sexually communicable diseases.

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    • I work at university level. I make it a point to be never found alone with a female student, always make sure that the door of my office is open if a female student is there to discuss something etc. This is probably because of my American training where we were clearly told by HR that a mere allegation would mean the end of career and it is our own responsibility that nothing comes up ever. Investigations, we were told, would be a formality in such cases.

      However, at local universities, I have seen a huge number of Professors taking advantage of female students, albeit with their consent sometimes ( I don’t really think it is consent in real sense when you hold power and are having multiple partners). The reality is, if a student takes a stand, at least in a university environment, it becomes really hard for the Professor to save his skin even here. But an overwhelmingly large number of students don’t take a stand because of their previous conditioning. It has a lot to do with the economic background of the student as well. I have found the economically less privileged students to be more sheepish in this regard.

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      • A large number of students don’t take a stand because they are afraid that their education will be disrupted atleast in post grad level. The assumption of “The fault must be with the girls”…or silly provebs like “if the leaf falls on the thorn or the thorn falls on the leaf, the probem is for the leaf” is iterated agian and again and again( God I am fed up of that saying, we should oust it from our language). It is with great difficulty that the girls reach that level , so the first priority is always ‘let me get my degree and then run away from here”. I know its not right but that’s what happens. This is inside knowledge. Not first hand but faced this issue in college too. In this case we all were economically priviledged people and we felt just as helpless.

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        • I think I tried to sum up a lot in the word conditioning. In my opinion, the biggest worry for the students is not the attitude of the administration ( though it is one of the worries), but the tongue wagging. If you raise such an issue, people malign or for the very least you become the talk of the town in an unsympathetic way. Nobody wants that and this reputation issue is specially hurting for women from less privileged background. Also, in case of really powerful persons (Deans, influential professors), it is not easy to win a case either.

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      • so you agree that female and male students aren’t treated equally even in America, if a female lodges a complaint against her male professor his career is over in most cases and the burden of truth lies upon his shoulders, he has to prove that he is innocent rather than the usual practice of innocent until guilty being applied. He has to keep the office door open, he has to take precautions of having some witnesses because just in case…

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        • That is a problem, because? Do you agree that women are sexually assaulted much more frequently than men? Are you suggesting that we do away with all avenues of recourse for women just because some women may file false claims? So because some drivers may cause accidents, we do away with all drivers? Do you see the problem?

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    • Till the time we keep shying away from talking to our kids about such issues, these things will continue to happen. The most important thing is to educate the children to be able to distinguish between a proper from an improper touch and between a proper and an improper advance from an adult.

      I would like to narrate my experience regarding a teacher and student scenario which happened about a decade ago. I was just done with my graduation and had taken up a part time teaching job at a private technical institute till I got myself a proper job. It was a normal practice for students to come to my room regarding help with studies. It was when a girl came up to me and asked me to help her with her study related problems. I just told her to note down the topics she had problems with and bring me the next day. But she insisted that I help her somewhere outside the college premises. It was then when I was alarmed. I strictly told her that such a thing is not possible. I made it a point thereon to spend my spare time sitting in the lab or the library where there were at least a few people present all the time. That girl did try a few more times to coerce me to tutor her in person. Soon I left the job for a better one elsewhere. Reading about the incident mentioned above I think there can be a flip side either way in teaching institutes.

      I have my own kids now and I know what to talk to them when they are old enough to be talked to.

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      • I think it’s quite common for students to have crushes on their teachers. However, the crucial difference lies in the setting of the crush-in school, the student is a CHILD and hence it is the duty of the ADULT , the teacher, to resolve any problematic situations in the least distressing and non-judgemental way possible.
        In college/post-graduate, when the student is also an adult, the responsibility lays with the student to act appropriately around the teacher despite his/her feelings. Even so, a teacher in this situation would do well to handle the advances with common-sense and maturity, thus saving both the embarrassment that is inevitable.

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        • Can’t agree more.Have had the privilege of having worked at college level with some young but mature male colleagues who handled some of these infatuation issues appropriately and most of the times did not shy away from seeking help from other female teachers to resolve the issue.
          Even at that level when a student would probably be an adult that is 18+ or 19 I think the teacher has the primary responsibility to handle the situation in a manner that is in the best interests of the student.

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  3. Even if it was love / infatuation / attraction.. the girl is 12 years old.. She is not in the right set of mind to make such decisions. He however is an adult, a person who is responsible for his actions.. If the girl made advances, he should have discouraged her. And if he has initiated this all, then SHAME on him. Trying to lure a child..

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  4. This is a serious problem that deserves attention. Parents ought to talk to their kids about safety with both strangers and familiar people, what constitutes crossing the line. Children should be taught that they have the right to say ‘No’ even to an authority figure like a teacher/principal when they behave in appropriately. To be able to do this kids need to be taught
    – what’s appropriate (hug from grandma) what’s not appropriate (hug from uncle)
    – to have the self confidence to vehemently say ‘No’ when needed.

    The comment about the girl being ‘unethical’ is so ludicrous, it’s almost laughable, if it weren’t so sad. The person saying it doesn’t sound like an adult – sounds more like a mean, petulant child. Even worse is the implied meaning – when you diaporove of a child’s behavior, it’s okay to abuse het – goes back to the ‘victim deserved it’ theory of psychopaths.
    This fits it very well with the overall culture of power – the landlord abuses the starving farmer, the husband/in-laws dominate the financially dependent wife, the father dominates the dependent wife and children, adults abuse children, the boss shows his power over his subordinates, the strong bully the weak. There is no room for conscience – that thing that requires us to behave fairly even when we are in a position of power.

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    • What? Behave fairly with those weaker who are than us? That’s against Indian culture isn’t it? In all seriousness, I think Indian society is incredibly hierarchical and power-based.

      All the examples you quoted are ones that happen a million times everyday in India

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  5. Not sure why but my post is not showing up. Luckily hit Cntrl C before losing it. Trying again……
    This is a serious problem that deserves attention. Parents ought to talk to their kids about safety with both strangers and familiar people, what constitutes crossing the line. Children should be taught that they have the right to say ‘No’ even to an authority figure like a teacher/principal when they behave in appropriately. To be able to do this kids need to be taught
    – what’s appropriate (hug from grandma) what’s not appropriate (hug from uncle)
    – to have the self confidence to vehemently say ‘No’ when needed.

    The comment about the girl being ‘unethical’ is so ludicrous, it’s almost laughable, if it weren’t so sad. The person saying it doesn’t sound like an adult – sounds more like a mean, petulant child. Even worse is the implied meaning – when you diaporove of a child’s behavior, it’s okay to abuse het – goes back to the ‘victim deserved it’ theory of psychopaths.
    This fits it very well with the overall culture of power – the landlord abuses the starving farmer, the husband/in-laws dominate the financially dependent wife, the father dominates the dependent wife and children, adults abuse children, the boss shows his power over his subordinates, the strong bully the weak. There is no room for conscience – that thing that requires us to behave fairly even when we are in a position of power.

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    • It’s a mess alright. I think all these different issues are related. They boil down to our overall attitude – a combination of misogyny and the abuse of power. An overly hierarchical with no respect for the individual. I think these fundamental issues need to be addressed. Otherwise trying to tell someone “she is a child, not an adult” or a “a girl can choose how to dress” are ineffective bandaids – the vast majority who perpetrate these crimes or silently approve of them don’t understand why a girl has choices. How do we begin to educate the vast majority? I’m not even sure. And they’re so easily influenced by stupid public statements meant to provoke, and by their peer group. We are a people that is easily brainwashed. We don’t question.

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  6. “Love is blind and therefore this happens. Once I had also written a love letter to a girl student while I was a lecturer. That was years and years ago. But luckily I wasn’t caught. When the letter appeared on the letter box next day I only removed the letter. I also had received many letters from my various girls who were my students. But my aunty wisely kept all those letters away from me and showed me the letters only after I got married. I was so surprised there was a letter from that girl too. May be these are sort of infatuation is normal in our 20s. The teacher who found the letter should have destroyed the letter. There was no need for a suspension of the young teacher and newspaper reports. Now I am sure the teacher will marry that 7th standard girl when she grows up.” (a comment from the first link)

    I hope this man is no longer teaching. I can’t believe people think it’s alright to pursue minors.

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      • Its horribly disturbing to see this kind of attitude of educators.The teachers and other staff in school are the student’s mentors and in a way guardians there and should act accordingly and not give stupid reasons like love is blind.what sheer nonsense !

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    • That is very disturbing. The man who posted this comment seemingly posted it under his real name, with a picture and an account linked. Clearly, he thinks there is nothing wrong with what he did.

      Here’s another comment:
      “So now writing a love letter is also crime…..What is wrong if someone writes a letter ? He feels something and wants to express, what is harm ? Did the girl complained ?? Did the teacher harassed the Girl ?? So why such stupid action ? It would have been justified if the Teacher was harassing the girl or trying to molest her etc. He wrote , means he was not intending to harm that girl because if this was the intention he would have never created a written Proof……”

      I’m appalled that this man cannot understand what is wrong about trying to seduce a 12 year old.. not even a teenager yet!! She will either feel infatuated or terrified by such an action and both are equally damaging. One leads her to being preyed upon and the other makes her daily school life hell.

      I find it very disturbing that so many indian people do not seem to differentiate between minor girl children and women. So, as soon as she has started developing physically, she is somehow a woman and capable of responding to advances from an adult. If she is not able to thwart him, she deserves whatever follows (notice the ‘did the girl complained’ in the comment above). Just appalling.

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      • so true … they don’t distinguish between minor girls and adult women. Physically developing minor girls are women to them and women ought to look infantile :) (according to the Indian Express article)

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      • most western people can’t seem to differentiate it too, going by the increasing number of female teachers who are sleeping with students in high schools. If you go by the comments on websites like huffpost and msnbc, the western men wish stuff like that happened when they were at school, the western women think the victims are not kids at all but all grown up and the cops think it is a small offense where the victim enjoyed the crime and the perpetrators think they are in love with the victims or that the victims set them up.

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  7. In the Arushi Talwar case, I often read of allegations about Arushi having an ‘affair’ with Hemraj. ‘Affair’ indicates equal participation by two parties. She was 14 and he was 52. Even if they were involved, he was grooming the poor child. This itself is a punishable crime (upto 10 years jail, I believe) in the UK and defined as “Child grooming refers to actions deliberately undertaken with the aim of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, to lower the child’s inhibitions in preparation for sexual activity with the child, or exploitation”.

    When it comes to women, many people seem unable to differentiate between a 14 year old minor and a 24 year old adult. As long as she was post-puberty, she is an evil wench who was an equal participant. Why would you even get into the ‘character’ of a 14 year old if a 61 year old tried to rape her? So if she was troubled, seeking attention, whatever.. she deserves rape from a trusted authority figure? Befriending boys is ‘unethical’ but trying to rape a troubled minor is not? That is seriously sick!

    About what this tells pedophiles.. there has recently been a huge scandal in the UK about a famous dead celebrity who is now charged with over 500 counts of sexual assault and rape, mostly on minors. The country is shocked that this man who was knighted by the queen and the pope, ran marathons for charities, hosted children’s shows and volunteered in children’s hospitals was abusing countless children all his life and never got prosecuted. Apparently, many colleagues, nurses, staff members knew but never said anything. One child’s father was told and his response to her was “how dare you say that about Jimmy Saville”.

    How could this happen?

    People don’t listen to children (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/why-jimmy-savile-child-abuse-claims-1374484).

    People listen even less to so-called ‘characterless’ children.. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2227086/They-angels-Headmistresss-cruel-dismissal-girls-abused-Jimmy-Savile-claims-told-to.html
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/rochdale-child-sex-grooming-ring-1347257 .

    Even when they know (like the nurses at the hospitals), it is much more convenient to leave the kids to their fate than to challenge a powerful man. Afterall some don’t even think it’s such a big deal. Pedophiles know this. They know that if they target powerless victims, e.g. troubled children, they are very likely to get away with it. When we start calling our 14 year olds ‘characterless’, we are condoning their abuse. People who say this are complicit in the crime.

    Also, not just children but adults need awareness about child abuse too. Someone once asked “how can you molest a child.. everyone cuddles them anyway, what’s the difference?’.

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    • Treating a 13 year old girl as a woman used to be fairly common and socially sanctioned earlier, but fortunately, *most* people in society now recognise that no matter how mature they seem or act, they are, in the end, just children and hence have diminished responsibility for their actions.

      It is inevitable that teens are sexually curious. It is abhorrent however, for an adult to take advantage of this fact, and benefit from it. Overwhelmingly, it is adult men who look at and treat young girls as women- why?

      Overwhelmingly too, it is young girls who live with the hypocrisy of the madonna/whore dichotomy- it is applied far too early and far too easily , in every society . A young teenage girl it must be entirely oblivious to her own sexuality even in the face of the entire world sitting up, taking notice and commenting on it- anything less than acting totally unaware of being sexual being is ‘slutty’, while a teenage boy can get away with murder by crying ‘hormones!’

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      • “Overwhelmingly, it is adult men who look at and treat young girls as women- why?”

        Very good question. The most common answer to this is that they are ‘instinctively’ attracted to young girl children because they seek fertility. Many have fit this into an evolutionary argument.

        I simply do not buy that. It is like wishing away the uncomfortable contribution of culture and abuse. It has now been found that the father’s age has a direct correlation with genetic disorders in the child “http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19336438″. We have just never focussed on the effect of the father’s age, as a society. Evolutionarily speaking, one could now argue that women should also instinctively choose younger men for better genes. However, that is just not the case. I suppose it goes back to centuries of using women to produce babies, with or without their awareness/ consent of what is happening.

        Another argument is that the girl has started developing physically, so she is ‘ready’. I have seen boys at 14 sprouting facial hair.. I somehow still don’t feel like jumping their bones! It is simply not justifiable.. and that it used to be the norm (young girl children married to much older men) is just shameful I think.

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      • I guess male sexuality is often predatory. I’ve heard of homosexual adult men abusing young boys, but I’ve never heard of lesbian women abusing young girls in a similar, power-based context.

        Also, I think men are hard-wired to be attracted to pubescent girls in the first flush of youth. Very I’ve seen middle-aged men leering at young girls in India, in the US and in western Europe. So it cannot be a culturally shaped fixation with extreme youth since it happens in socities otherwise so culturally different.

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    • people differentiate very well when it comes to girls. Everybody knows it is a serious crime with serious consequences. However when it comes to crimes against similar aged boys in the west people laugh about it and believe the victim must have enjoyed the experience with no zero harm done.

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      • Why compare with the west? This comment was not India specific.. in fact, as it happens, ALL the links in it are from the UK. IHM has also shared Indian examples in the post already.

        Just because something happens/ used to happen in the west does not make it ok for it to happen in India too. I do not understand why your comments are focussed on “they do it too” rather than the point of the discussion, i.e. attitudes that leave children vulnerable to abuse.

        “However when it comes to crimes against similar aged boys in the west”
        Do you think sexual abuse doesn’t happen against boys in India or that it is taken more seriously in India? I don’t even know if there is a law against it in India, the rape law certainly does not recognise rape on a boy/ man as ‘rape’. What do we achieve by focussing on whether a problem also exists in the west, rather than trying to fix it?

        By the way, what are you basing “people differentiate very well when it comes to girls” on? As a woman who grew up in India, I and all my friends were subjected to more street sexual harassment and stalking between age 12-18 than after it. As soon as a girl develops breasts at all, even if the rest of her is child-sized, the harassment begins. It is worse for younger girls because they are easy prey, usually too scared or embarrassed to react. This is not just one or two criminal minded people, this is RAMPANT on Indian streets and men of all ages ‘participate’. How is that possible if people differentiate between young girls and women very well, as you say?

        Unfortunately, denial does not bring change. Rather it creates space for problems to fester and grow.

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        • Since you were talking about jimmy saville and UK, i quoted an example from the west. I never said anything about India but you assume I did. Some NRI brethren in this blog keep comparing India to the west, painting an unreal picture of their picture perfect lives, while deliberately ignoring, masking and misrepresenting whatever problems the west faces. And Indians give everything from the west a stamp of legitimacy. So i try to poke holes in such a false sense of superiority and I will continue to do so.

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        • Are you aware that India is amongst the worst place in the world to be a woman today? Do you think it helps us deal with issues if we deny they exist? Acknowledging a problem exists, – honestly and boldly, is the first step towards working towards controlling the problem.

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        • I remember all too well, as a kid, the pinching and groping on buses and in crowded theaters. My mom was right next to me and they didn’t care.
          I would walk home with my friends from tutoring and there were groups of boys at every street corner staring in a way that made you feel so uncomfortable and also passing lewd remarks. When our parents heard us talking about this, they decided to take turns accompanying us. In broad daylight. A group of girls can’t walk home without feeling uncomfortable.
          Now as an adult and a mom, I’m still uncomfortable walking in a crowd, or going somewhere unaccompanied.

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        • @ Cavarka
          Why shouldn’t someone make a comparision to west?

          After all, there are many others over here who are constantly doing that and trying to paint west as a safe haven devoid of any such crimes and how the ‘entire’ Indian society (‘entire/majority'; well that’s word I have issues with) needs to learn from the wonderful west.

          We certainly need to fix our problems but not simply emulating the western societal model because it isn’t as utopian as it has been made out to be on this forum.

          And, yes, talking about of abuse of school-going lads at the hands of adult females in west, I would certainly like to highlight the discriminatory (gender-centric) and insensitive way in which one of the recent cases of a male child abuse has been handled in west. (don’t get me wrong, contrary to others here, I am not doing so with the intent of maligning the ‘entire’ western culture and its contemporary social/legal set-up).
          The case involved a judge setting free a 31-yr old female, Amanda Wheeler, who was found a guilty of sexually assaulting several young boys involving performing a lap dance & straddling a group of male children.

          There are other cases too like Claire from Yorkshire who sexually assaulted a 15-yr old boy but was spared a jail term.
          Many including the victim’s (boy) father were quite sure if it was the other way round, a man assaulting a 15-yr old girl would have been surely locked behind the bars without an iota of doubt.

          What should we call it: curse of a flawed legal system (read discriminatory) or a sign (criminal) outdated chivalry as a newspaper called it or a conquest of a truly ‘emancipated’ woman.

          I sincerely hope that the day never comes in India when we extend such ideals of chivalry (if there are some here who consider it so) to our populace.

          IHM, I hope my comment is published here because it is important to tolerate & at times, even embrace diversity of opinion since it is a prerequisite for an open discussion.
          Moreover, I hope you do & should honour a person’s right to disagree; dont’ you?

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        • @Raghav,

          “Why shouldn’t someone make a comparision to west?”
          I answered this exact point in my reply to Saket. I shall repost here:

          Why compare with the west? This comment was not India specific.. in fact, as it happens, ALL the links in it are from the UK. IHM has also shared Indian examples in the post already.

          Just because something happens/ used to happen in the west does not make it ok for it to happen in India too. I do not understand why your comments are focussed on “they do it too” rather than the point of the discussion, i.e. attitudes that leave children vulnerable to abuse.

          “I sincerely hope that the day never comes in India when we extend such ideals of chivalry”
          I agree, we have enough problems of our own and there’s certainly no need to import other people’s problems.

          “We certainly need to fix our problems but not simply emulating the western societal model because it isn’t as utopian as it has been made out to be on this forum.”
          Sure, I can’t imagine anyone would suggest simply emulating the west in everything. Neither is ‘the west’ presented as utopian here. Since these comments are in my reply’s thread, I’d like to point out again that all the links I shared (discussing problems) were also from ‘the west’.

          However, I think it’s useful if someone highlights something positive from another culture or country that we could learn from. It shows that there is another way to look at a particular issue, instead of feeling like “wise hi hota hai”. This is not the same as saying we should simply emulate everything they do.

          While I posted links from the UK highlighting past/ present social issues, I will also say that in all my years here, I have never faced eve teasing. That is not to say it doesn’t happen at all, but it is MUCH less common that in India. I can walk down an uncrowded street after dark, by myself and not feel threatened. In India, I often feel threatened in public places, even when I’m not alone. It is a very real and stark difference. I don’t think even I realised how many instances of street sexual harassment I simply shrugged off and ignored when I lived in India. Just accepted it as daily life. It’s a huge burden to constantly be on guard. In no sense am I now saying that the west is Utopian, but don’t you think there are lessons we could learn from what has worked for other people elsewhere in the world?

          As IHM pointed out, India is among the worst places in the world for women to live in (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/15/worst-place-women-afghanistan-india), so clearly there is much that we can learn in this area from those countries that are doing better. Denying that we have problems does not help at all.

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        • @carvaka Let me give you an example of my point. In the thread “Where Consensual Sex is Rape, and Forced Sex a legal right.” you say that “Women voters in the US rejected the republicans because of the ‘war on women” where as in case of India “The govt here knows women are not going to be making independent decisions, so they are trying to conform to those who hold power over them – husbands.”

          In case of the US election you cannot make such a blanket statement. The women who voted for obama voted democratic for a variety of reasons and not just because of a war on women.Major sections of women voted for romney too.

          Fifty per cent of white women voted for Romney. Single college going woman voted for obama. latinos and african americans voted for obama Both men and women. more married people voted for romney.

          The idiots who were giving out rape comments were always on the fringe like VHP and bajrang dal in India. They were not big players. The Dems publicity machine made it seem like they were major players in the republican camp.

          It is the same in India. In fact india is even more diverse, so a female in one part of india has a completely different set of issues compared to a women in a different part of india. Many women may not agree with your viewpoint on male and female rights. So you cannot expect them to come together and vote as per your likes. And just because they will vote as a block as per your wishes doesn’t mean ” women are not going to be making independent decisions, because their husbands said so”. Such statements seems patronizing to those who disagree with your viewpoint.

          And it is not just you, there are plenty of nri who make such strange comments like
          “You know, saving sex for marriage makes more sense in the West, as a marriage there is actually associated with romance, love and all that jazz.
          Telling a young Indian girl to save all her intimacy for her future husband is almost cruel when in all probability her marriage will have less romance and ‘idealistic love’ than her college relationship!”
          There are plenty of Indian women who are in arranged marriages. Who are you people to say that there is no romance and love in her life. How can you people make such blanket statements and claim that an Indian’s life is most likely a shithole. It doesn’t seem right. And most of the times you people are comparing Indian lives to a west that is not real, like your comparison of american and indian voters.

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        • @ Saket,

          So you mean to say every single newspaper and new channel and statistician who said that women and minorities propelled Obama’s victory is wrong (http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/266485-women-minorities-propel-obama-victory). Besides, the point was why the Indian government feels it can simply ignore protests against sexual violence on women. They also ignore unconstitutional bans on mobile phone, jeans, access to education etc. Do you understand how vote banks word? The government would not be ignoring these issues if it thought the women voters would vote it out.

          I know perfectly well that there are ‘some’ women in India who have access to education, independent decisions and so on. I was one of them. That is exactly why I could see unfairness and hypocrisy in our society around me. Talking about ‘blanket generalisation’ is silly because no one is saying that 100% of women in India are facing each and every issue. I might not be facing any issues. I still feel for the vast majority of women in India who do! Do you read the newspapers?

          Can you see what sort of rights women and children in villages of Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, etc have? Are you not aware of the sex ratio decline in India? How can you possibly belittle the issues faced by so many people because it’s inconvenient for you to hear about it?

          Some apologists just want to hear ‘India is the best’, ‘Indian culture is the best’ all the time, even if it’s not true! If it hurts your national pride to know that other countries or places are better at certain things, then you should get used to it. As I already pointed out, India is among the worst places in the world for women to live in. We have a long long way to go before you will stop hearing of better treatment of women elsewhere.

          Oh and don’t patronise ‘NRIs’ by saying that my comparisons are to a west that is not real. I know exactly what I am comparing. As I already said, I only have to walk down the street in India and abroad to know the difference.

          I have absolutely no interest in debating with you to further your ulterior agenda of proving that ‘India is the best’. I am interested in improving the lives of the oppressed in the country I come from because I feel for them. I couldn’t care less about proving which country is the ‘best’. You can continue living in your delusions that India is perfect. I have no interest in that discussion.

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  8. I think just like how our police force need to be educated on how to treat rape victims, our teachers need to be educated on how to behave around children, especially the sexually curious teenagers. This needs to be included as a part of teacher/professor trainings, and strict and swift action needs to be taken against teachers who do not follow these rules. And once again we need to understand that calling a child unethical is once again “victim blaming”, and just like in rapes “she asked for it” mentality.

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  9. People supporting wrong doing and ostracizing or demeaning victims should get the taste of what victim has been thru or their family members should get the taste so that they stop spoiling and taking advantage of the society

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  10. I always wonder at how men are portrayed to be “helpless” by both men and women in society. I mean when a 24 year old teacher writes a love letter to a 12 year old, HOW can anyone even talk about whether the 12 year old had been infatuated with the teacher? What if she had been? Is a 24 year old adult such a poor helpless baby incapable of knowing how to deal with such a situation other than react by ‘falling’ for the infatuation (if at all)?!!

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      • @ Sandhya

        Well, you might have thought so but there are other’s who don’t feel the same way.

        I think you are curious, so read below:

        ‘I always wonder at how men are portrayed to be “helpless” by both men and women in society.’ implies that the mistakes/sins/crimes of men are camouflaged by the society.
        A very biased generalization and so her comment does earn my ‘dislike’ vote just like yours.

        Obviously, as you can see, there are other visitors too who wouldn’t have found this comment likable. So, instead of writing down long replies (owing to time constraints), they must have chosen the other available option of exercising their valid right to disagree here.

        Moreover, please do look up the definition/dictionary meaning of ‘troll’.
        If someone disagrees with general consensus on this particular site/blog, that doesn’t turn him/her a troll.

        Enjoy!

        Like

        • You’re saying India never infantilizes men? Forget about sexual assault. Look at how men are thought to be incapable of even taking care of their own child(the Ananya episode with “I cannot hand over motherly duties to my husband in front of his brother” comes to mind). Which part of Shail’s comment do you disagree with or did you just come here to give a thumbs down, just because? Her questions are perfectly valid and I’d love to see your enlightened responses to her.

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  11. correction:

    (don’t get me wrong, contrary to others here * who love to make sweeping generalisations about the Indian society, I am not doing so with…………………)

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  12. I think one of the major problems with our society is that it is an unsafe environment to talk about thing like sex, puberty, infatuation, contraception, child birth openly and from a scientific perspective. Children would have questions, and it is upto the parents (first) and the school (the next) to provide a safe and secure environment for them to ask all these questions. In a school where such psychos are there, what can you expect out of it?!

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  13. In 2007 the Ministry of Women and Child Development in India published the “Study on Child Abuse: India 2007.” Findings from the study are given below (bear in mind that many cases go unreported, especially by girls, due to social stigma):

    – 12447 children sampled, 2324 young adults and 2449 stakeholders across 13 states.
    – different forms of child abuse were included: physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse and girl child neglect in five evidence groups, namely, children in a family environment, children in school, children at work, children on the street and children in institutions.
    – 53.22% of children reported having faced sexual abuse.
    – 52.94% were boys and 47.06% girls
    – 21.90% of child respondents faced severe forms of sexual abuse
    – 5.69% had been sexually assaulted
    – 50.76% reported other forms of sexual abuse
    – 50% of abusers are known to the child or are in a position of trust and responsibility and most children had not reported the matter to anyone.

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    • Looks like both boys and girls suffer sexual abuse in equal measure – goes back to our culture of power – children are weaker regardless of gender, why not take advantage of their helplessness.
      India has 19% of the world’s population of children – that’s a lot of children – and over half of them are being abused – and this is only from the cases being reported – kind of scary.

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  14. a very sad incident to hear, how can anyone justify a 24 years old adult writing a love letter to a 12 year child, the man should be behind bars or in a mental institution, and anyone defending his actions should be kept at least 1000 miles from children. What anyone wants to prove with accuising that little girl, she is just a child, why shouldn’t she befriend any boy what’s wrong in that but when grown ups don’t understand this simple thing you know there is something messed up in their head. All those defending this man’s actions need to be put behind the bars as well.

    Like

  15. @ carvarka

    You have completely misinterpreted my statements. I don’t feel any such compulsive urge to emulate the western system and values.

    When did I say: if crimes happen in west, then it fine for crimes of similar nature to occur in India too.
    That’s an inference that you chose to draw,
    There’s nothing wrong to learn from positives of any culture but to adopt an attitude of hypocrisy certainly is.
    When a crime(s) occurs west, people ignore it on purpose because that would harm the ‘nice’ image that these people want to project about west but as soon as it occurs in India, these very people generalize and start making biased accusations about the entire Indian society.

    I am not asking that problems in Indian society shouldn’t be addressed and the perpetrators of such crimes should be brought to task, but to extol the virtues of west, even when such crimes have and do occur over there, is very wrong.
    Time and again, I have seen this attitude being displayed.

    Crimes against women in public spaces or elsewhere might be less frequent in west, but to use it as the only yardstick to paint the whole society (more or less) as decent, safe, fair and awe-inspiring is extremely wrong.
    No one obviously would like to import problems from the west but first some people need to question what their definition of ‘problem’ is.

    I cited a few instances of child abuse in west here. They involved – a 31 yo Amanda Wheeler performing lap-dance for young male children, forcefully kissing them, groped them and so on (seriously not even interested in going ahead with the graphic details of her abominable acts) who got away because the judge (though he acknowledged the pedophilic nature of her acts) stated that her act was that of selfishness and childishness.
    Other reasons cited were one needs to consider the repercussions of her imprisonment might have on her children. How does that matter? Seriously, are her children even safe with such a woman?
    An act of pedophilia is childishness?
    Similarly, another women, Claire Roundhill who abused a 15-yo teenager escaped a prison term.
    Many people there (which included parents & relatives of those abused kids) are convinced that if men would have been involved in such cases, they wouldn’t have ever been recipients of such forgiveness.
    Any one who disagrees with the above is simply intent on abusing the system.

    Now, Isn’t that a problem wherein when a woman is a criminal, she is forgiven or the severity of her crime isn’t recognized.

    What’s surprising is that the same silent treatment (wherein a woman and not a man is perpetrator of such a crime) spills on to this blog ypp?

    Not that I am seeking any forgiveness, had the men been involved.
    A criminal is a criminal is a criminal regardless of the gender.

    A 24 yo man made a 12 yo child, a subject of his ‘amorous’ affections by writing a love letter, that’s definitely wrong but what about abuse carried out on children (male/female) by an adult (females as it it happens to be in above cited cases) since it is several times more heinous than the former. It should either go unnoticed or criminals should be pardoned simply because the criminal(s) happens to be ‘female’.

    If one is genuinely concerned about a crime here like child abuse, then one needs to realise that the ‘criminal’ has to be dealt with same strictness (without any lenience shown to any gender even if that gender is a feminine one)
    Otherwise, shielding or even refusing to acknowledge the presence of criminal(s) if they are females points out to some hidden agenda.

    And, as I said earlier, there’s another point – There are many cases of child abuse in ‘west’ but people don’t use those instances to make a sweeping generalization about the entire western society; then why do these people chose to behave otherwise in case of India.

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  16. Pingback: Everybody knows what women should do to not ‘get molested’ in India. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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  21. Pingback: “And when I told her about his abusing me she didn’t believe me. Now here I am all alone, deprived of the love of parents.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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