Slavery by any other name

Roots’ by Alex Haley is about black slavery in America.  The author traces his roots right back to a village on The Coast of the Gambia, West Africa.  The book “… details slave family life—birth, courtship, marriage, death and the ever-present fear of being sold off and having to leave your kin…” Time

The white Masters and Slave Dealers had learnt very fast that once a slave woman had a child (who they owned), she was easy to control. The children were sold for profit*, but the women had more children, so the easy control continued.

Recently, President Hamid Karzai has made an unthinkable deal…  in return for the support of fundamentalists in the August 20 election. (Brad Adams, Human Rights Watch).

Afghanistan has enacted a new legislation empowering men (even further).

It grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers.

So the mothers give birth but have no rights on their children**. Do the children have any say in this?

Who does such a law empower?

* * *

The slaves needed their ‘owners’ permission to go anywhere. Travel documents and Passes were required to step out of their homes so they could not ‘escape’ (they always dreamt of escape).

The initial version of the law included articles that imposed drastic restrictions on Shia women, including a requirement to ask permission to leave the house except on urgent business,

(In Saudi Arabia officials continue to require women to obtain permission from male guardians to conduct their most basic affairs, like traveling or receiving medical care)

* * *

Slaves who failed to comply were sent for flogging (for disobedience, insolence, answering back or bigger crimes). In ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ a young slave girl pleads that even more than the physical pain she hated the looks on the faces of the men who flogged the slave girls.

This is something women in Afghanistan do not have to worry about anymore (though they still have to in some other places), but it seems the rest of the conditions are not much different. Such barbaric laws were supposed to have been relegated to the past with the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001, yet Karzai has revived them and given them his official stamp of approval.

“The law gives a husband the right to withdraw basic maintenance from his wife, including food, if she refuses to obey his sexual demands.”

I am very curious to know how any society benefits from a law like this. What kind of men would want these laws?

The subtle users of such laws are a larger number; they just become surer about their ‘rights’. Nimmy’s blogged about the claim that… “because women will be ‘out of service’ during 7-10 or even 15 days during a month and that is a very good reason for men to get another wife so that he needn’t go to a prostitute”

What else do they marry for?

But why do women marry? Women are supposed to need companionship, respect, children, emotional and financial support, romance, sex, protection and a lot more time from their spouses, so I would have thought its women, not men who need multiple spouses.

But knowing these laws I wonder if women are better off unmarried. Two things that seldom make news are any talk of a well drafted nikahnama, and a girl’s right to say no to a marriage.

Like did 12 year old Ameena say yes to marry this man?

A few years ago, an airhostess rescued a 12 year old little girl Ameena, who was crying whilst boarding the plane in Hyderabad in India, accompanied by an elderly Arab sheikh husband. The news was all over the papers, and I remember, when he was asked how he could even dream of marrying a girl young enough to be his granddaughter, he had arrogantly responded with a claim that he could marry her because he could still get her pregnant.

That was all that marriage meant to him. And should mean to her… ? But who cares what marriage means to her.

It seems his idea of marriage was not much different from the hardline Shia cleric Ayatollah Mohseni, who designed this law ‘in secret’ and is ‘supported by conservative Shia leaders in parliament’, the ‘law directly contravenes rights provided under the Afghan constitution, which bans any kind of discrimination and distinction between citizens of Afghanistan’.

The law “also effectively allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying “blood money” to a girl who was injured when he raped her.”

How do we define prostitution? Forced prostitution.

**…. for she knows that tomorrow any man, however vile and brutal, however godless and merciless, if he only has money to pay for her, may become owner of her daughter, body and soul;

*”And, Emmeline, if we shouldn’t ever see each other again, after tomorrow, – if I’m sold way up on a plantation somewhere, and you somewhere else, – always remember…”

(From Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe)

Note: I had missed this news until I read Sraboney’s post here, and then received this link by email.  Thanks to both : )


77 thoughts on “Slavery by any other name

  1. IHM , after reading the news i also expressed my worries about the same issue

    i just dont know how we can help the women out there, they have resigned themselves to the dictates of the men, I wonder don’t they have any social reformist or acitivist who will take up their issue and raise voice against this

    Anju I read that women are protesting, they did come out in the streets risking violence, they have support… but hey need a lot more support. I really wish we could do something.

    law or no law, most of the women all over the world are being forced into slavery by the name of marriage. marriage for men means sexual satisfaction
    and for women it is the finacial security.
    why do women let the men rule over them, I just don’t understand. till they stop pitying themselves and stop considering themselves as helpless, worthless and also stop the men to use them as emotionless mass of flesh, the problem will remain always


    • Earlier I actually wrote a short comment just to try and be first… 😦

      Definitely, Afghanistan seems to be in a never ending cycle of self doom. I did read A thousand splendind suns on your recommendation and I can’t even begin to imagine the plight of a woman who is jailed in her house for all her life and has to see the world through a slit in her clothing.

      And to add to that misery, they now have these further laws.

      Truly shocking. And the helplessness is even more painful.

      Take a look at this link, I have no idea what to think…


      • The issue about marital rape is a very complex one. Sure you can have a law and criminalise marital rape but isn’t it almost impossible to prove? The consensual angle certainly comes up in this case.

        Further, isn’t the issue also related to our conditioning that pre-marital sex is bad and sex should only be had after marriage? In the same vein, people start to think that marriage is the best way to have sex and whereas in actuality, sex should flow from love and not from marriage.


  2. I read ‘Roots’ when I was teenager and it took me like a month to finish it…but what an experience it was. One helluva eye-opener!!!

    Sad..really sad to see women get so bloody victimized in the name of religion! 😦


  3. It is really beyond imagination that such societies do exist today and there are men for whom marriage means one and only one thing. It is really heartening to think of those helpless women and their condition and the pathetic part is all these are done in the name of religion !!

    I am also amazed how you gather so many facts from so many places in a single post, I am spellbound. It was good to find your post.


    Mustaf Welcome, and thanks! I read Roots years ago, when I read this news – it was obvious that there is little difference in our treatment of whoever we can suppress…


  4. OMG!! i m too shocked to comment…
    what kind of a world are we living?

    on one hand, we talk to women empowerment, women coming to powerful positions, doing welll in life… all that. but if this is what we have on the other hands… then… 😐

    maybe u just mentioned it after all… But knowing these laws I wonder if women are better off unmarried. 😐 😐


      • ur judged if u do, judged if u dont…

        makes sense to follow the choice u really want… rather than what society deems fit for u…
        the moralists keep barking all the time anyway…


      • Does it really matter? People who pass snide remarks find something to comment on in any case! If nt this, its gonna b something else!
        Isn’t it more imp to live life the way we want n nt bcoz we worry abt what others might say?

        I agree, if we know what we are doing is right and if we are minding our own business, hurting no innocent soul, we have no reason to worry about snide remarks. In fact snide remarks should be ignored anyway 🙂


  5. I agree with wat all u said. But there is another side to it. I am a regular visitor to Vinod’s blog and here is the link to his original post.

    I am copy pasting a part of his article.

    There is another reason why the Shia marriage law was a very bad idea even though it reflects the values of many Afghans. A law which legitimises marital rape makes it practically impossible to change existing values and social norms on women’s rights. Laws can be used to modify social values. For example, child marriage is illegal in India (though not invalid) even though it is a common practice in many parts of the country and the law prohibiting child marriage is rarely enforced. If India were to legalise child marriage, you can be sure that it will make child marriages even more common. In a country like Afghanistan where woman have very few rights, it is important to not give legal sanction to domestic rape and abuse, though these are doubtless very common.

    On a totally different plane, it is possible that Karzai may lose out at the upcoming elections (to be held in August 2009) on account having revoked his consent to the Shia marriage law. If Karzai were to be defeated and Afghanistan were to get a genuinely conservative ruler, it would be a great set back for Afghanistan in general and Afghan women in particular. Should Karzai have been allowed to approve such a ridiculous law so that he can stay in power and win other battles? I don’t know. Please consider the following facts:

    In India, marital rape is still not an offence, unless the wife is below the age of fifteen. Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 makes a specific exemption for marital rape by saying that “Sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.” Sexual intercourse with a woman below the age of fifteen is rape irrespective of whether the accused is married to the woman or not.

    In October 2006 India brought in a new piece of legislation, namely the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, which has created a civil remedy for victims of domestic abuse. However marital rape is not a criminal offence even under this new legislation.

    In the United States, marital rape was not an offence until 1976. At present even though marital rape is a crime in all states, some states don’t treat it on par with other forms of rape. Only a few states like Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia make no make no distinction between marital rape and rape by a stranger. In all other states, marital rape is a lesser offence.

    In England and Wales, marital rape was made a crime only in 1991 on account of a ruling by the House of Lords. Turkey criminalised marital rape in 2005, whilst Mauritius and Thailand did so in 2007

    It was only in December 1993 that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights got around to publishing the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women which established marital rape as a human rights violation. In 2006, the UN found that marital rape is not an offence in 74 states.

    Of course in the last fifteen years, women’s rights and the jurisprudence behind it, has grown in leaps and bounds, it is so easy to forget that marital rape was not an offence in the UK until seventeen years ago and that even now it is a lesser offence in various parts of the United States, In such a scenario, is it fair to arm twist Hamid Karzai into rejecting the Shia marriage law? Afghanistan is more than fifty years behind western countries in various social indices. That being the case, why force Afghanistan to adopt a measure that did not exist in the UK in 1990? What if Karzai loses the next elections to be held in August 2009 as a result of this? What if Afghanistan is stuck with a genuine Islamic fundamentalist who doesn’t believe in women’s rights?


  6. in india, slavery by any other name is equal to woman.
    if she speaks, she will be asked ” tumhari aukat kya hai ”
    if she speaks loud she will be told, ” i’ll teach you a lesson that you will not even speak”

    A woman’s abuser is her own mother, her mother-in-law, her aunts. The men just pick up where the other woman have left off.

    Yes Anrosh you are right, also because women can change this the fastest… men will support if women make a beginning. How I wish women saw what they were doing.


  7. Such a shame that all this is done in the name of Islam! Feel horrible abt such people and their abysmally cruel laws! This is not the true way at all!

    Indy religion is always used like this… see what they did on Mangalore this Jan? I hope Afghani women come up with some Pink Bangles Campaign …


  8. Thank you for this post and for giving me a unique perspective on slavery – I had started Roots many years ago but could not continue reading it, and thus dropped it. Your comparison with the situation in the Afghanistan of today really rings the alarm bells, because it too is moving in the same direction, by passing this law.

    Islam today is the fastest growing religion in the world; this in itself speaks volumes about the merits of this faith. However, the interpretation of this faith is slowly and steadily being taken over by the elements of society who are living in another era – how can this be stopped – it has to be stopped from within, as stopping this from without is not desirable or feasible. Will the moderates of this faith in every country or region ever get their voices or will they continue to be mute spectators?

    I hope not Mr Joshi! I hope we see people getting too busy with their lives and with living to find time for such power games…


  9. scary and lets not forget that if we are not vigilant in india, then then are enough who will like to enforce their version of the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ – all in the name of religion or gods or some such abstract because they have the power of the majority with them.

    be vigilant.

    Yes Astralwicks! That gave me goosebumps… you know why I hate extreme right wing thinking…


  10. before you blame men for each and everything please remember: women, are their own downfall and more than men it is the elderly women who snide, who uphold traditions and customs and who created the joru ka gulam.

    women hitherto, were insecure in old age, absolutely possessive (sometimes made me think, let son and mom or brother and sister get married and that would be the happiest family). for women hate their own kind especially if someone else’s, mothers forget where their boundaries end and the wife’s starts. their husbands are mere donkeys who support their wives because they are too lazy to make their own tea. left to themselves hardly any father-in-law bothers about his daughter-in-law and hardly have i found any daughter-in-law hating her father-in-law as much as she hates her mother-in-law.

    face these basic facts! all others, related to dowry/religion/culture are added woes on the hapless woman’s head.

    can you, the revolting lady, change something in this?


  11. shocking , depressing and saddening……..the most unfortunate part is that most of the women are brought up n brainwashed in such a way that they don’t even realize what is wrong ………the forst step has to be their own realization….they are doing it in small numbers n hope they all wake up ………
    roots is one of the books i dropped reading cuz i needed something lighter n comic at that point of time……..will complete it soon….your comparisons are so hard hitting that it rattles you……..well written with a lot of effort which shows..


  12. We have the power to help ourselves. We cannot stand back and be victims anymore and give them power over us. We need a revolution.

    But the question is, who amongst us will lead us?

    M4 let’s all blog about this… is it possible to do something from here? Do you know of any Afghani bloggers? I have a feeling, a fear that some women in Afghanistan might think it is a good move (Culture, religion etc)… if all realise exactly what it is, I am sure they can vote out these Fundmentlaists. … do take a look at Sandy’s comment above.


    • one doesn’t have to go to afghanistan. see kashmir valley and how the women themselves brought about all sorts of purdahs and restrictions on kashmiri women.

      see rajasthan and ‘sathi’. didn’t you notice that it were the women there who were upholding this abhorrent system and custom strongly?

      so when our own kitchen is unclean why should we go cleaning others?

      a begining is easy.

      start from yourselves!

      It’s easy to have a clean kitchen when the entire environment, neighbourhood is clean Vasudev… we are all connected…


      • In a forward state like Kerala, it is difficult for a woman to walk alone without being eve-teased. Will you blame women for that also? A woman who complains about a male colleague’s indecent behavior is humiliated and divorced. Was that her fault too? Oh! she opened her mouth in the so-called forward, literate state of India.

        Yes! we need to clean our kitchen or should I say front porch because these men might never step inside a kitchen.

        It is very easy to blame women for everything in this conditioned society. All these veil and purdah system was enforced by “superior beings” of olden days and not women.


      • ” didn’t you notice that it were the women there who were upholding this abhorrent system and custom strongly?”

        In those days (just like today) women’s views were not entertained. Rajput king took a wrong decision and let enemies in and women had no other way than to end their life through jauhar. Later what happened? It was misused too.


      • Why blame the environment? It is like the Michael Jackson song – Let’s start with the man in the mirror – in this case woman…….

        Unmotivated Yet, women’s thinking and attitudes are also a product of this environment. Insecure, eager ‘to do the right thing’, grabbing whatever little privileges they manage to sneak … all this is not very conducive to positive changes 😦


  13. I am just so shocked! But here`s a thought. Why go so far..even in our own homeland, women continue to be treated as second grade citizens and(surprise!) by women themselves. Will there ever be an end..

    I agree Piper 😦 And it is true that women themselves, for petty gains can put down other women, little realising how it will come back to them, because like it or not, injustice to some women creates an environment for injustice to an entire population… Now this as just my rant Piper, … this is really so sad.


  14. Sickening 😡 hell is the place they are qualified to live… karzai has implemented talibanism in new form… what a filthy traitor he was and the other so-called ‘religious’ leaders… they are the shame on humanity…
    it seems to be hitler’s era is not waned… he tortured jews and these men torture women… they are marrying just for sex… disgusting… I am sure this is not what their religion preaches..

    Kanagu fundamentalists have only one religion, -power &control 😦


  15. Hamid Karzai is the lowest form of shit that can ever rule a country. He promised a liberal stance and now has done evreything that the Taliban did and more. Now he is bringing back warlords in order to gain the acceptance of the twisted, backward men. I hope he loses and loses bad.

    but Shilpa also read Sandy’s comment above! It confused me…


  16. You know these sad stories of young girls being given to old, dying Arab Sheikhs reminds me of A Thousand Splendid Sons, where women are treated like a ‘thing’ that has a womb and a vagina. The worst part is that the story in that book is not fiction, it is what happens to women in the middle eastern countries, where twisted notions of god’s laws are implemented, only to rape and impregnate women. I am increasingly getting cynical of all this motherhood shit.

    It is depressing Shilpa but don’t get cynical. India is a much better place, let’s all think what we can do … if anything at all.


  17. Yes its bad situation in afghanistan again
    a new law is again passed which gives right to males to deny food to the females,wives if they do not permit them to have sex with them.


  18. Heyy, thats exactly why an animal has any kind of relationship with members of its opposite gender too. Those human beings are no different from animals. One day when they dont find any other woman on earth, they would even stoop down to an insetual relationship with their mother, sister or daughter.

    For a change, these days I could see animals being loyal and treating its mates in a much more dignified manner.

    Yes Vimmuuu I just can’t imagine what kind of men are these… 😦


  19. 😥

    gosh IHM, this is severly disturbing!

    it reminded me of an article i read, even more disturbing…in the name of religion.. on female genital mutilation.

    it’s now being called “cutting” instead of “mutilation” so as not to socially cause stigma or alienate the society / religion / community that practises it for cultural or religious reasons.

    as if substituting a word makes the act any less horrendous…

    aim is to render the female devoid of any sensation of sexual pleasure…reasons vary from cultural, to ultra lame justifications of preventing self-induced pleasure, to helping them stay “fidel” to their man, to even more worse reasons like to be able to make the experience more pleasurable for the man…

    the article was written by a 60 yr old lady, who underwent this trauma when she was merely 5 yrs old….her mother gave in to society pressures…

    i read it and cried silently, lost sleep over it.

    what have they done to deserve this?

    as for fidelity to the man! ha!!! i think fidelity is more emotional than physical…

    if a girl belongs to someone / accepts someone emotionally….it doesn’t matter if she gets to express it physically or not!
    just the emotional submission makes her belong to him! irrespective of who she is “married” to!
    i am referring to the restricted sense of “fidelity” that is defined by society…and its reasons and measures to ensure the woman’s fidelity towards her man…

    why so mothers give in to society’s pressures? i know it must be something i cannot understand…but really, i simply cannot…. helplessness maybe?

    i dunno IHM! am far from having a kid rite now…but i just know it, when i do hold my kid i will promise if can’t do anything else, i will do everything to ensure he / she is safe… no matter what it takes!!!

    i wish mothers wudn’t have to be helpless…but i guess, these mothers were raised as “helpless daughters” and “helpless wives”…

    i wish in my next life, i come back as a tree! human race is disgraceful!


    No Crafty Shines, stay a human in your next life too, and blog about such issues, you are able to understand I doubt if many of them are… they have seen so mush trauma, and war nad abuse… Have you read A Thousand Splendid Suns…doesn’t this remind you of that?


    • no i didn’t read it IHM…

      am a sissy like that. i read the synopsis. these things give me a very disturbed mind…and i take quite a while to forget!

      no, i have bought the book, it lies untouched… am waiting for some guts to read!
      that article by itself shattered me for a few days!

      really silly of me i now, am losing out on issues, information…

      just am terrified to know more than i already do with regards to this…

      I know how you feel Crafty… my daughter left Water (movie) half way and cried and was really upset. This book ends on an okay note… but The Colour Purple is what is a mood uplifting, cheering book, though it starts sadly, when it ends you will have a Crafty Shines shining smile on your face 😆


      • Possessing the Secret of Joy is a book that deals with genital mutilation, also by the author of The Colour Purple. I read it first when I was 20 and in college. It kinda left me in shock for a pretty long time, it being the first such book I had read. You gals must check that out. A Thousand Splendid Suns was a moving read too.

        I think one must first stop to ponder, why women also are perpetuators of such regressive ideas. It originates from the fact that they are either resentful of the freedom some other women receive, which they themselves dont have. Fundamentally, one needs to address the issue of low esteem in women, irrespective of the degree or social conditions. Because, low esteem could be the problem of women even in the most developed of societies. If a woman has confidence in herself, believes that she deserves equal rights and respect, if that confidence is not eroded by whatever else society may think; that would be a step in the right direction. Education is probably one tool which would help instill such a confidence.

        It is but natural that as long as one allows oneself to be dominated, there will be someone to dominate. I think it is more to do with the self, than the person who actually dominates. After all the survival of the fittest concept holds true in several aspects. Women have for long, moved away from this race of keeping fit. The key is to remain in the race and yet not lose ones feminity or the natural instinct to be the nurturer.

        I agree with the gist of what you have said, but not sure about ‘the natural instinct to be a nurturer…’ I know plenty of women who never had any interest nin babies, also many men who make great dads. 🙂

        Also the situation there is really really bad, it is difficult to fight when everybody is against you, law, family, society… like were the slaves able to free themselves? To be fair they are really in hell… this has to be hell Yuva.


    • on the lighter side, it is only hinduism which offers a woman some consolation wrt genital mutilation as is practiced in a certain religion. in india we have the male genital mutilation and we find them on the streets begging. they are called the ‘hijdas’ and yes, it is done to please a lady god (or goddess).

      Vasudev that is not a consolation to women 😦 Women are mothers too. Cruelty to anyone- humans or animals is wrong, and justice is everybody’s right. Genital mutilation is actually a tribal culture, it is not a part of any religion, more of a social practice like our killing of new born girls. I have a post on it in my drafts…


  20. how and why should religion, culture and power overrule one basic fact- respect a fellow human being for what he/she is?61 years and counting, are we truly free from chauvenists, fanatics and pseudo traditions?
    the dimensions of the cage holding women have become larger, but the gate is still locked and sadly most of the keys are held by other women or family. is a bigger cage equivalent to setting free?

    No Divs. And no cage is ever good enough.
    … it is worst when women fail to see these wrongs and in fact women are perpetrators too. I always remember Nirmala Venkatesh’s reaction and sympathies to “naughty, naughty boys who just got carried away while teaching some loose women a much needed lesson” in Mangalore. I have never seen a more pathetic example of selfishness, hypocrisy and women being women’s enemies.


  21. Sometimes I just feel sick, that humans can be so brutal. And worse, much worse than animals.

    IHM, hats off to you for compiling all this info. I am an even bigger fan off you now 🙂


  22. IHM, All I can do is to sit here and say that everything you wrote is brilliant and that I concur with you.

    As I wrote on Bones’ isn’t it sad that we talk about progress when half of world’s population is getting discriminated in some or the other form.

    Blood money?! what kind of pathetic society are people building up? 😡

    I agree Sol. There can be no progress with half the population being treated like second class citizens… ot not being treated like citizens 😦 I can’t imagine how can someone say “may be women’s rights have to wait.” because without equality and fairplay and justice how can we have any progress at all.


  23. and only yesterday I hoped a world for my daughter!! The big bang theory hat says that there was a big explosion which led to the formation of universe and more importantly Earth was made with such exact combinations of atmospheres that life is possible here. I think our gender world needs such an explosion where only with right mind and right attitude are held by gravity while rest just hang somewhere in that black hole for the rest of eternity.



  24. You know, twice I shut the tab of your blog, because I could not bear to read this. I am forcing myself to comment here. It angers me to my very core and it makes me feel so helpless. We cant do anything ….. Gosh I think this is what the liberal Germans felt when they had to keep shut while the Nazis were tormenting the Jews! Humanity doesnt change does it?

    No Ritu but I have hope… I am sure if the women are out in streets something will happen. My prayers are with them… do we know of any Afghan bloggers?? Makes me clutch what ever freedom we have even tighter. You are so right about what liberal Germans must have felt… 😦

    But I want to hope…


  25. Very shocking state of affairs in Afghanistan. Karzai should remember the lessons of History. Negotiations with Fundamentalists is doomed to be a failure. The only voice of hope from Afghanistan is of Malalai Joya the member of Parliament in hiding who had survived 5 attempts on her life and still raises her voice for women’s rights

    I had no idea about politics in Afghanistan.. but will track now. I thought the situation there was improving… 😦 I need to read up on Malalai Joya. Thanks for this information Charakan 🙂


  26. i read this whole thing the other day and only thing that came to my mind was sarcasm that said i am surprised men there even expect the women to refuse sex in marriage! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    its all so sick and saddening! how can these people not even pause for a moment and see what they are doing is against every principle of humanity! that world has moved ahead and its in their best interest for them to move on too…

    just how much more regressive will we get talking about either protecting women by subjugating them or making sure they know their place by doing the same…



  27. I read about this piece of news a few days back in the newspaper… and I read it two more times after that because I couldn’t get myself to believe what I was reading. I’m still appalled and angry.


  28. IHM, This is so shocking, so inhumane.. I can’t understand how we can treat our fellow humans like this. Why is it alright for a woman to be suppressed? Why is alright for men to have all the rights and women to have none?

    I read roots when I was in school – but it stayed with me forever. It is one book, I think I will never forget..

    You know, the saddest part is that every such attrocity is sanctified by linking with religion. Be it these laws, the incidents in Mangalore or a young girl being denied the right to abort a foetus which is a result of rape.

    And all such attrocities are borne by women.


  29. This is too strong of an article, IHM. I have read ‘Roots’ and ‘The Colour Purple’ too! Nowadays, I lose sleep after reading these types of books, for many nights. I just remember these types of news in the newspapers in the middle of the night suddenly and start sweating. So have started avoiding reading serious books.

    As always, only women can fight against their problems and education and parents’ guidance/help can improve their lifestyle.

    Even here, our Geetha and their Quran, teach the same thing. But implementation is mutilated by selfish men.

    I just don’t understand why the police arrest only women prostitutes and not men who go to them. What are they, then.

    Very disturbing post and an important one, IHM.

    Sandhya the news is very disturbing. In India now Pimps and ‘customers’ are arrested (unless I am mistaken) not prostitutes, there was expected criticism and protest from decent family men…


  30. dropped by after quite a while… the change is refreshing 🙂

    I just changed the theme last evening Amit! I love this new theme…
    Great seeing you here 🙂 Welcome back 😆


  31. I dread to even think of those women! Whatz the life they r leading 😦

    Such rapist men shud be punished in a way that they cn never do what they hv been yearning for n think marriage is all abt 😦 Let them lead their life without it n pay for what they hv done! Bloody Bastards!


  32. Pingback: She never asked for the responsibility. « Just Speaking My Mind

  33. Just reading about just brutal and inhuman rules can make me feel so sick…i wonder about the poor girls who go through this. 😦
    Don’t they ever feel that ‘enough is enough’ now let’s do something ?

    I ask the same question Purvi.


  34. Very depressing read IHM.. but makes me count my blessings too since I am an Indian.. most of us have at least the choice of not being repressed.. but sadly even in India there are calls from conservatives to keep the women shackled within the four walls of her house and it is also a fact that this shackle orginates from other women too who have been taught nothing better in their lives.. it is a fight that needs to be taken up by the men and women in our society and it has to start from our own homes too.

    it is a known fact that there is no real progress in a society which keeps the women suppressed..


  35. Roots is one of my favourite novels & it moved me to tears at several stages.

    But when I read A Thousand Splendid Sons recently, it disgusted me! Even today if Afghani women are treated in such a deplorable manner, there is seriously something morally wrong with the entire human race! It makes me mad honestly. Even in India, maybe not to such low levels, but we can’t boast of liberating our women from the bondage of such forced marriages either.

    All I can do is comment & stand up against abuse when I see it. I appreciate the way you have written this post though…


  36. As anrosh pointed out in an earlier comment, such kind of slavery in India is mostly encouraged by women itself, and supported by men. But in the islamic countries where rules are made based on skewed interpretations of religion, it is more in the hands of those extremists, who use such manipulations for holding on to the power they have. Growing up and living in such a society, all humans, men and women alike, tend to believe that it is the right way for life.

    Almost all societies are/were male dominant, and have gradually come out of the shell, due to better awareness and understanding of the roles of the male and female counterparts. Better understanding and awareness, is the key. That could eventually throw away the extremists from the powerholds, and also help the society to be better.

    Yes Rocksea I totally agree with you!


  37. Pingback: Bikini vs Burka: The Debauchery of Women « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  38. Pingback: An email: Can a woman be married off with a promise to the in laws, that her father would find a job for her? « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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