If our love for our people and our country needs being ‘proud of them’ then, here’s what we should be proud of.

Delhi elections restored my faith in the Indian electorate and the Indian Democracy. Indian voter, it seems, has not forgotten their power and their right to choose how most of them want to be governed. [link]

And it seems most of them (more than 50% of them) continue to choose to move forward and not backward. Maybe the entire humanity is the same, we all want to live and let live?

In a recent discussion on facebook, a proud Indian defended the “India’s science and technology minister, Harsh Vardhan, [who] made another startling claim at the conference, saying that ancient Indian mathematicians also discovered the Pythagorean theorem but that the Greeks got the credit.” [http://www.washingtonpost.com/…/indians-invented-planes-70…/]

This proud Indian said: “true we have nothing to be proud of our present…. i am a proud indian as any proud american french or british…..true my TODAY IS DISGRACEFUL but that is our in house problem that we need to deal with….this i say without any political bias…..in fact i dislike all religion based political parties too like you”

If we do need to compare and if our love for our people and our country needs being ‘proud of them’ then, here’s what he should be proud of. This Democracy that is still alive. The Indians I am proud of are the Indians who love their country and it’s people enough to continued to work for this Democracy. This Constitution that respects the rights of each one of us be our own bhaagya vidhataa.  Our founding fathers who foresaw it all.

And of the fact that a majority of us continue to choose freedom, democracy, equal rights for all.

I am still feeling overwhelmed. Did Delhi really come out in huge numbers to give 67 out of 70 seats to Democracy and equal rights and to Right to Information and to honest politics?

Congratulaitons India 🙂

Related Posts:

I am Proud of India Today. Not India of Yesteryears.

Arvind Kejriwal.

Why Don’t Indians Understand their Rights? – Bhagwad Jal Park

RTI, Criminals In Elections. Now They Want to Tear up The Consitution. – Bhagwad Jal Park

Hazare didn’t subvert democracy – he strengthened it! – Bhagwad Jal Park

I am Proud of India Today. Not India of Yesteryears.

Three young women… what do they have in common?

Where am I? My tryst with destiny makers  Ritu Lalit

Arvind Kejriwal – 12 years ago

When Kumar Vishwas quoted these lines from my sidebar 🙂

Tracking the first month of the Aam Aadmi Party 2015 government in Delhi – Vidyut

Keep up the momentum AAP! – Vidyut

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Under the influence of the winter sun in Dilli Ki Sardi.

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The effect was the same on this sample too. 🙄

In Mumbai it seems life is easier…

Sometimes everybody wants the same patch of sunshine…

Turning away and pretending to ignore only buys some time…

Pressure from every angle,

Continues…

Pressure comes from higher places…

Persistent pressure.

🙂  Determined pressure.

Peaceful sleep is not possible.

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Unless you acknowledge who the boss is.

… and this how you do it,

🙂

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And before the boss is judged harshly, that one is his regular spot, so he kind of owns it.

In Bombay, it seems, life is easier.

Here’s proof.

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Nobody pushes you around here 🙂

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All those who guessed correctly in the last post, win the prestigious yellow polka dotted cup. Posting this from my Samsung Galaxy SII, will link as soon as I am back.

Which city in India, do you think is the safest city for women? Do women in that city stay at home after dark?

Man kills daughter for hanging out with boyfriends.

Police said the murder took place “in the heat of the moment“.

Thapa told us that a number of locals had told him about his daughter’s activities and advised him to keep her ‘under control’. He was very tense over this,” Jaiswal said.

(Does it sound like the police understands the father’s being ‘tense’? Maybe they are also ‘tense’ that a clandestine, and irresponsible, affair may prove dangerous?)

Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta has more reasons for why women should be home in time.

You can’t travel alone at 2am and then say Delhi is not safe. It would be ideal if a woman takes her brother or driver along. It’s wrong to say the Capital is not safe for women.” (Daily Bhaskar)

Bride explains how such statements harm the society.

“The suggestion that women enlist a brother or employ a male driver to escort them is not only distateful it is dangerous. It promotes the erroneous idea that women need protection from men, that a woman without a brother or a husband is exposed and vulnerable, that girl children are a big responsibility (this is what many women are told when they give birth to a girl child) and by extension a liability.

 Bhagwad explains why women have as much right to personal safety as anybody else,

“Now the commissioner might say with some justification that he doesn’t have the resources to police every single woman at night. But does this mean every single woman in the day time is safe? What’s so special about night? Moreover, he must admit to the failure of the police department if he can’t give such a guarantee. He mustn’t claim (as he did,) that the capital is safe for women. He must come out and say “We don’t have enough resources to keep most women safe at night. We need xyz funds to do this.” Either that or he must admit that he’s incompetent.

And wasn’t this 18 year old home when she was killed? Over 70% crimes against women take place inside or close to their homes, the assaulter is generally someone known to them and the crime is generally premeditated.

Also, are more women assaulted at night than during the day? Are there cities where women are safer – night or day?

What makes some cities in India safer for women? Can the safety of women be  compared to the the overall law and order situation in a city? Like Delhi has high rate of crime and it is unsafe for women too.

Bombay and Pune are safer for women. Pune has almost no street sexual harassment (Eve teasing). And Bombay locals, including the General coaches, were generally safe for women when I traveled last.

I also feel generally bigger cities allow women more freedom and Delhi does that too, but the crime rate against women is the same as the overall crime rate – very high.

Do you think conservative small towns have more, or less crimes against women? (reported or unreported)

What do you think makes some cities safer for women and some others so unsafe? Which city in India, do you think is the safest city for women? Do women in that city stay at home after dark?

The rapists often don’t see their actions as crimes, the police said, and don’t expect the victims to report them.

Sometimes one crime and how it is reported tells so much about a society.

‘Five drunken young men from a nearby farming village accosted a couple…, beating the young man and gang-raping the woman. It was the latest in a series of brutal sexual assaults and gang rapes of women in India’s booming capital and its sprawling suburbs.’ (Thanks for the link RenKiss)

“The attackers often do not see their actions as crimes, the police said, and do not expect the women they attack to report them. “They have no doubt that they will get away with it,” said H. G. S. Dhaliwal, a deputy police commissioner in New Delhi who has investigated several such cases.”

We shall soon see where the attackers get so much confidence from.

Let’s believe the attackers really don’t see a gang rape as a crime, or at least not a serious crime.

How do they get this idea? This news report illustrates how. It’s a perfect example of how sexual crimes must NOT be reported.

One example,

“In each case there has been an explosive clash between the rapidly modernizing city and the embattled, conservative village culture upon which the capital increasingly encroaches.”

Why this effort to explain the rapists’ point of view?

And the facts are inaccurate. These rapes are a result of clashes of culture?
So rapists (some with previous criminal backgrounds) don’t rape women from their villages? (Click if you think they don’t.)

Going by the above logic a 6 month old or a 2 year old would be safe in these ‘sleepy villages’ with narrow lanes ‘redolent of cow dung’, since these babies are not ‘enjoying’ any unheard of freedoms, or romancing forbidden lovers?

What about when village girls looking for jobs in Delhi get raped by WagonR owners?

“India’s economy is expected to grow 9 percent this year, and its extended boom has brought sweeping social change. The number of women in the workforce has roughly doubled in the past 15 years.”

Can’t really blame the rapists, can we? How are they expected to adjust to ‘sweeping social changes’ and women doubling in workforce?

So women who stay inside their homes and whose lives signify no social changes are safer?

More facts.

A 60 year old, raped by her husband’s employer in her house (this rapist was earlier acquitted in a rape case), another 77 year old raped by a rikshaw puller, an 8 year old in her house, a 12 year old by her driver, 17 year old daughter of a Grade IV employee in Lady Hardinge Hospital, a 9 year old in Sarojini Nagar in her house, a 3 year old

[All examples are from Delhi]

The victims are almost invariably young, educated working women who are enjoying freedom unknown even a decade ago. The accused are almost always young high school dropouts from surrounding villages, where women who work outside the home are often seen as lacking in virtue and therefore deserving of harassment and even rape.”

Examples above show this is not true.

FACT.

Who gets raped?

Everyone. According to some statistics, only one in 69 rape cases in India are even reported. Only 20 % of those reported result in convictions for the rape accused.

Rapes happen across the social strata in India. In the Indian villages, it is the poor villager’s wife or sister or daughter who gets raped by another poor rowdy villager, and everyone from the local thanedar to the landlord. These rapes, unless the news becomes public due to unavoidable reasons, are never reported. It is reported in the newspapers or reaches the police only when a rape becomes part of a larger caste battle, family feud or political game. [Click to read and save the entire, very well written  article.]

“Seema Chowdhury, 20, the sister of one of the accused men, graduated from high school. But when she tried to enroll in college to become a teacher, her brothers refused to allow it. Young women who wander too far face many dangers, they argued.

“I wanted to do something in my life,” she said. “But they thought it was not a good idea.”

It’s so nice to see they are family men and want to see their sisters safe from men like themselves. Maybe such nice men can’t really be blamed for doing something they don’t see as a crime?

In comparison, the young woman who was raped here had unimaginable freedom. She had a job as an accountant at a garment factory and her own cellphone and e-mail account. Using those, she carried on a secret romance with a young man she met online despite the fact that her parents had arranged for her to be married to someone else, according to the police.”

Rape justification continues, so does victim blaming. The girl was asking for it by being in the wrong place, in wrong company, at a wrong time and doing the wrong thing – basically breaking all the rules these nice rapists lay down for their own nice and hence safe sister. Also note, the notorious cell phone and the internet being used to carry on a  ‘romance’ when her nice parents have arranged a nice match for her elsewhere. Maybe she asked for it?

If she was a Swiss Diplomat, working with full permission of her parents, not meeting her secret lover, she would have been safer?

When they picked up Tony …he was still drunk, Mr. Singh said.

“He was so shameless he narrated the whole thing without any sense of remorse,” he said. Tony later denied that he had raped the woman, according to the police report.

Tony had apparently assumed that the rape victim would not come forward because the shame would be too great.

Why don’t the victims feel more angry than ashamed?

This newly-wed’s rapists were also given a subtle benefit of rape justification’ because she probably opened the door and offered a glass of juice to her rapist and murderer. Did she know the rapist? That might justify the rape?

It has become a strategy to talk about a victim’s ‘shame’ instead of pointing out the rate of conviction, as reason for women not reporting.

If a victim was assured support instead of blame, do you think she would not have complained?

“on Feb. 5 a young man came into police station to report that his cellphone and laptop had been stolen. When the young man claimed they had been snatched near some isolated farmland at the edge of the city, Mr. Singh became suspicious: it was an unlikely place for a robbery.

He pressed for details, and eventually the young man admitted taking his girlfriend to the secluded area so they could be alone, and that five men had beaten him and raped her.”

Why didn’t the man want to say anything about the rape? He too had little faith in the police, and, he knew a couple being alone in a secluded spot would be seen as a bigger crime than a gang rape.

“I realized from the beginning that the girl would not help us,” the police said.

“The police will not be able to restore my honor.”

Is it really about honor?

Why don’t women report rapes to the police?

We all have heard about shame and honor etc. But there’s more.

Police. Police is the reason.

Have you ever taken a good look at the average Indian policeman? have you ever been to a police station?

A police station is an intimidating place. The cultural sophistication of the average policeman in India is pretty much that of the average roadside thug. Your average policeman hardly knows how to talk politely, is barely educated, is uncouth, brash and rude.

Is this the paragon of sensitivity a victim of rape will run to?

Add to this the rising number of custodial rapes which every one knows about. People will turn to a policeman only when they are desperate. Educated, rich people are abused by the police in India routinely and they have to call upon their networks and call upon little netas to get the policemen to treat them with some consideration.

Expect a policeman to humiliate a rape victim, turn her back, discourage her, be foul-mouthed or maybe rape her in turn.” [Click to read the article]

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Such reporting tells a rapist that when his mother claims, “If these girls roam around openly like this, then the boys will make mistakes.” someone looking to justify rape will promptly quote her with some satisfaction.

What else do we say that gives rapists so much confidence?

Related posts:

The rapists are listening gratefully.

If he were a a woman he would have filed a case against a man everyday.

Updated:

Another example of Victim Blaming by New York Times:
Victim-blaming in the New York Times’ Cleveland gang rape article.

(Thank You Ankita Prasad)

Pledge Water for Birds and Animals this Summer

I bought clay bowls around 3-4 inches deep for Rs. 25/- each. Clay bowls are better than plastic or metal bowls because the water stays very cool even when temperature is touching 42 degrees Celsius.

Also clay pots are unlikely to be stolen if used in public places for stray animals.

When water puddles dry up during the summer –  birds are known to collapse from dehydration.

Some potted plants and a bird bath would have been cool and inviting. Birds are also attracted to the sound of water.

This sparrow chose to drink from the floor…

Sparrows should have a shallow bowl… I plan to get a 2 inches deep tray.

This Dove would have preferred a flat tray too  🙂

… found this more comfortable?  🙂

Pigeons try to bully sparrows. They also literally dive into the bowl when they drink water 🙂

Loved the droplets of water in this picture…

Doves seemed to visit more for bajra less for water 🙂

Or maybe it is testing the waters first…

Brahminy Starlings visited twice, both the times in pairs, I was too afraid of disturbing them, so didn’t take many pictures.

I just want them feel at home and visit more often.

The common Mynas chased away the Brahminy Starlings today. That was disappointing, because those two had looked like they meant to spend some time snacking and drinking 🙂

And finally…

This was an absolute surprise!

…a blurry shot from behind a curtain, I hope the Pariah Kite visits again too. I have heard of them dying of dehydration…

Do place bowls of water wherever possible. Even if you don’t like birds, this is the cheapest and most convenient way to do your bit for the environment.

If you find a bird fainted gently pick it up and keep it in shade, feed drops of water regularly. [Click for more information]


Call Delhi by any other name.

It seems Bombay  is no longer the most livable city in India. Delhi is. One blessing is you can speak any language here, celebrate any festivals and call it Hamari Dehli, Saadi Dilli or Mahri Dilli and spell it right or wrong – without being asked to apologize.

It seems I am not the only one who is giving extra points to Delhi, I have to agree with  this front page news about ‘Livability Index’.

There’s more about Delhi that’s lovable.

This morning I was almost falling off the balcony choosing which veggies to buy from a thela-wala on the road when I spotted this little guy 🙂

That’s a healthy breakfast 🙂

I had no idea bottle brush was such a favorite 🙂



Let sleeping dogs lie.

On a parked car in Greater Kailash.

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Outside a pet shop in Khan Market.

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Another one in Khan Market… (Most dogs in Khan Market, wore jackets )

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This one is old but not uncomfortable.

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These aren’t the only homeless dogs who have someone who cares for them. Read about one in Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi here, another one in 55 words here and take a look at how wrong it is for children to separate puppies and kittens from their mothers here.

And do they reciprocate? Find out here 😆

Not such a cold city, Dilwalon ki Dilli :)

In the middle of a crowded Lajpat Nagar market a dog is heard yelping. The market halts, everybody is turning, and half the market is moving towards the dog. One leg lifted up but without any visible signs of injury, the dog continues to cry heartbreakingly.

One outraged voice asks, “Kisne mara isko?” (Who hit him?)

And then another still angrier, “Kisne mara?”(Who hit him?). Whoever kicked or hurt him stayed silent.

A vendor unloading huge bags from a rikshaw says, “Aaaja aaja, idhar aaja…”  (Come, come here!) the dog stops crying and limps up to him. A woman offers him a kachori. The man unpacking his huge bags of woollen sweaters says (the way only someone from UP can say), “Yeh khayenge naheen!” (‘They’ will not eat!) The dog is no longer crying, wags his tail in response to the man’s proud declaration, and turns an adorably arrogant nose away from the kachori on the ground.

In another part of the cold, cold city somebody has wrapped this homeless dog in a cozy jacket 🙂  (Photographs taken by my daughter).

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Another dog who found a loving human …this jacket matches with Gabbar Singh’s jacket 🙂

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Somebody not only gave this dog a jacket, but also made sure it was secured comfortably.

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And this is Gabbar Singh enjoying a sunny winter morning…

[Dilwalon ki Dilli – Delhi is a city of people with warm hearts (or large-hearted people).]

Vikas Gupta blogged about homeless dogs in Delhi winters too, here.

When rain lashes Delhi…

So now when it rains in Delhi, a family in Pune calls a young person there and asks her how she is loving it.

And we must call her every few minutes to tell her how the roof of the Domestic Terminal has collapsed. And the roads are flooded. And Congress office has a leak.

She says they have no power so they are sitting and watching the rain…

And I am so glad we have the technology to stay connected, come rain or powercut  😉

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And then we have Indiameme to stay in touch with India 🙂

Chirag a blogger from our Blog Samaj wrote a program to grab the best of stories around India and show it on easy to read page 🙂

He says, “You know, as a bloggers we are all passionate about the news and daily on goings in India, it is really hard to catch up with the best stuff in news and blogs. I had also faced similar problem a while ago and decided to write a program…”

With Indiameme you can:-

* Glance at the Day’s News and Blogs and get Permalink to the current news

* Read stories only from the best sources and bookmark them in twitter, del.icio.us, facebook and reddit

* Read the news in a giffy as there are no ads or distractions and this is the probably the most cleanest site in India

* Grab best of the news with Top Items – Must Read News.”

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Click here to take a look  🙂