Girls retaliate this time. But will the lectures on culture ever stop?

College girls file online petitions against moral policing by TV channels. 

“… India’s TV news channels are running a dubious campaign that invades the freedom of women in the country, according to petitions filed by girls of a Hyderabad college on change.org.” [Link]

Sandhya shared these links and asked: Girls retaliate this time. But will the lectures on culture ever stop?

“11.4.2013 – Students from NALSAR University of Law were throwing a private farewell party for the final year students at Rain, Road No. 2, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. The party began at 7.00-8.30 pm. The students were checked for age proof at the entrance. The party ended at 10:30 pm and the the students cleared out by 11:00 pm.

While the students were leaving, they noticed a man standing and pointing his camera at them continuously. His behavior was perceived as suspicious by everyone who had noticed him and hence one of the girls there asked the man what he was doing. He immediately began to hide his camera and avoid them. They then demanded that he hand over the video.He handed over a phone to them; however, the instrument had no memory card or video.

A mob began to gather as did the van of the news channel ABN Andhra Jyoti. While they were arguing with the man in question and his accomplices and explaining the situation to the police personnel on the spot, the camera from the above mentioned news channel was constantly filming them which caused greater agitation. The cameraman pestered them even though they were getting into the cab to leave. Further, he followed two of them upto the cab and forced his camera through the window, thus preventing them from leaving.

12.4.2013 – At approximately 6.00 a.m., TV9, a local news channel, ran a concocted news story using the video taken the night before. In their version, most of what the students were saying was censored out. Hence the reason for the fight was not recorded at all. The students were displayed as under-aged girls who were drunk and were creating a ruckus. The girls were neither drunk nor under-age. The time of the incident was reported to be around 1.30 am, which was wrong. The entire incident had wound up by 11.45 p.m. The video also blurred out parts of the girls’ bodies alongside commentary about their participation in illegal activities. Further, the intrusiveness and totally unrelated questions thrown by the cameraman clearly indicate that their purpose was not to provide actual news, but to manufacture sensational content by antagonizing a group of girls who were already trying to handle a bad situation.” [From the petitions, linked below]

http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/E1aZzgQVDAY

Hyderabad shame: How the media ‘framed’ innocent women

“… this isn’t an isolated incident. It seems for local news channels running stories about ‘drunk’ women outside pubs is an excellent TRP magnet. Of course, the stories have a Aaj kal ki naari angle attached to them and wax eloquent about the morals of the women in question. The incident brings to mind the shocking video footage of what happened in Guwahati where a girl was molested by a mob while a television crew recorded the whole act. In fact in the Guwahati incident it was alleged that the media played a role in inciting the mob and was itself running a story on ‘anti-pub culture.’ As we had noted on Firstpost earlier, this was how the channel played out the story initially, “Angered by the fracas caused by two inebriated girls on the busy GS Road, people beat up the duo this evening to teach them a lesson. They even went to the extent of tearing the clothes of one of them.” Of course, later the same channel claimed that it had not been for them the culprits would not have been caught.” [Click here to read more]

Please do sign and share these two petitions by the students:

1. Victimization, harassment and defamation by local news media  – Rupali Samuel

2. Stringent action against media houses participating in voyeuristic reporting – Swaraj Barooah

Related Posts:

Sexual Harassment Has Many Other Names.

How did we make Indian criminals believe that they have 7 khoon maaf if they can claim to be teaching Indian women a lesson in Indian values?

Does Moral Policing make business sense?

Those who beat up the girls were probably not entirely at fault… Necessity knows no law.

Not just women who are sexually assaulted, but also men who object to sexual assaults risk being accused of ruining the Indian culture.

Why I Love Western Culture.

23 thoughts on “Girls retaliate this time. But will the lectures on culture ever stop?

  1. Wow. I really didn’t expect that to happen in Hyderabad, especially in Banjara Hills or Jubilee Hills. It’s the one city I’ve been in where the party ends at 6 a.m. with everybody jumping into the pool (and no one bats an eye).

    Is it maybe a ‘have’ versus ‘have not’ battle in the making (with an added dose of patriarchy and religious fundamentalism)? The majority of the population cannot identify with spending money on parties or clubs/pubs.

    I spent one day in Bangalore on Feb, and while we could stay out till 1 a.m. (only because there was a party in the Bangalore Club and the police wouldn’t interfere there), the police barged into the house in which we were staying demanding a ‘bribe’ for having a ‘party’ (there were a total of 8 people and no loud music). The couple whose house were were staying in said that the whole ‘morality policing’ is just a method by which the police gets extra cash on the side. Their reasoning being that ‘these people drink and spend so much money, they might as well give some to us.’

    I also visited Bombay twice during the ‘Dhoble raids’ and he actually busted into Live (a club) while we were there! But I figured that his moral policing must have pissed off one powerful person as he got transferred. I can definitely see the same thing happening to the Hyd reporters.

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    • “Is it maybe a ‘have’ versus ‘have not’ battle in the making (with an added dose of patriarchy and religious fundamentalism)? The majority of the population cannot identify with spending money on parties or clubs/pubs. ”
      This. The Mangalore pub attacks have the same motivators as well, a bunch of have-nots attacking the haves. I think if we look beyond patriarchy, we’ll start to see a pattern of a socio-economic underclass against the so called ‘debauchery’ of a more educated and socio-economically privileged uberclass.
       
      Once we look beyond patriarchy and beyond the sensationalism of the Mangalore pub incident; a rather telling small detail comes to light – a lot of the cars owned by the guys visiting the pubs had been smashed. If the issue was patriarchy-vs-women, this bit doesn’t make sense. They attacked the cars of the blokes, because it was an anonymous way to get back on the guys without risking physical retaliation.

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      • But patriarchy is a huge part of the incident as well. In a patriarchal society like India (most societies in India anyway), it’s difficult for men to come to terms with the fact that certain women (women who come from richer/ more powerful backgrounds) occupy a higher rung in the social hierarchical ladder than they do. This makes them particularly angry because they’re helpless do do anything about it.

        This anger is a mix of ‘sour grapes’ (a lifestyle they can never afford) and patriarchy (putting a richer/more privileged woman in her place).

        It’s also interesting that they choose mid-end bars and clubs to vent their anger. They realize that if they go to a high-end place (like say, a bar in the Taj), they’ll be reprimanded quicker.

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    • Just to clarify, I use this moniker here on this forum and this was not me. Not that I have any copyrights on the handle – just want to avoid confusion.

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  2. Glad to note that they are NALSAR graduates- being newly-minted lawyers they can hopefully use the law to fight back.
    Also, it’s commendable that their institution is backing them.

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  3. Shame on this media, but I fear that like Indian politicians, the media is also a reflection of our society and what it wants to see. It reminds me of the Guwahati story again and the allegations that the whole incident was pre-planned and known of by the media guy who filmed it. Madhur Bhandarkar movies seem the same sort of thing to me.. presenting how horrible the life of a well off professional woman (and men) really is.. how they are all addicts and sleeping around and hate themselves and so on. I despised Fashion and Page 3.

    This is a brilliant documentary exposing this type dhoble-fication of cities: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/episode-guide/series-2012/episode-13

    The most disturbing bits of the documentary are women in Dharavi saying “80% of girls in clubs are prostitutes” when they clearly have never been in one. Also an educated ‘upper class’ woman pointing to a young woman in clubbing clothes outside a club saying ‘Now, whom would you blame if she got raped?’. The documentary host was quick to say ‘the rapist of course!’. The woman says ‘In the west yes I would blame the rapist too but here it’s different.. things are different.. it’s her fault too’. Hypocrisy at it’s best.

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    • Also, I totally love that the girls protested. How awesome! The very fact that they rejected the narrative that what they were doing was somehow wrong and stood up for themselves.. something might be shifting here.🙂

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    • I actually saw Fashion and I found it unintentionally hilarious! The woman has an affair with a married man while cheating on her nice boyfriend, drinks vodka from a bottle while driving a car, and is horrible to her friends…but the minute she sleeps with a black man, she’s like ‘noooooooooooooo, what have I done. I slept with a black man.’ As if that’s the worst possible thing a woman can do.

      I feel that these kinds of police raids are much worse on people like the shop assistant in the article. When Dhoble and his crew busted Live, everyone in the club was taking cell phone pics with him.It was like a big joke. He didn’t have the ‘authority’ to manhandle women there.

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      • Yep, totally agree. If you reject the moral police’s narrative that you are doing something wrong, they automatically lose authority. The police unfortunately can still abuse their powers but atleast you’ll fight it like someone who knows they’ve been wronged.

        Also, yeah, apparently sleeping with a black man is the lowest possible point! Her reaction to that was amazing, the look she gave that man as she saw him next to her! Poor guy. I find these movies hilarious in an ironic way too.. sometimes when I’m really looking for a laugh I dig an old Bollywood movie. I just think the people can accept these misrepresentations quite easily, especially if they confirm their suspicions about the immoral young/rich/women/whatever. The myths I hear about live-in relationships in India (from people who have never been in one).. movies like Cocktail just add fuel to the fire.

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        • im no big fan of fashion or Madhur Bhandarkar. But couldn’t she have been disgusted because she slept with a random guy? nt necessarily becoz the guy ws black. Also, this ‘poor guy’ manipulated her drunken state. Dont we keep saying that ‘girl being drunk is not a ticket for you to take advantage and abuse’?

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        • IIRC, she jumped him, not the other way around. It was a blatant display of racism. Also, it was used as a warning sign to other women: if you drink and party, you too may jump a black man!

          Even if she was disgusted for sleeping with a random man, the movie showed it as the worst possible thing she did. Drinking and driving (which puts innocent lives at danger in addition to your own) was far worse. So this goes back to the whole sex and honor thing.

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        • “Also, this ‘poor guy’ manipulated her drunken state. ”

          Not what they showed in the movie. As Kay says, she jumped him, there was no angle of manipulation of coercion from him.

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  4. Hm.. A simple comment that says the truth not published here. Surprisingly I have seen some not on freedom of speech on this blog.

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  5. I have replied to the comments which appear below the article in the link provided. One guy comments that ‘moral policing is better than immoral liberty’. Do you think with such people around moral policing can ever stop?

    That news channel is known for sensationalizing any bit of news that they can catch hold of. They know that there will be many people with medieval mindsets eager to watch such news and say “see that is why girls need to be dressed well. They should not go out in the night”. Sick channel!

    The girls’ privacy has been invaded. They have every right to retaliate. Wonder if the news channel had done the same to a group of boys at a pub!

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