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Government Snubs #Justice #Verma Report on #India’s #Gender #Violence

February 3, 2013

verma click to playBEFORE WATCHING THE VIDEO DISCUSSION PLEASE READ THIS POST TO KNOW THE BACKGROUND

In December 2012, the  Delhi Gang Rape public uprising sent a furious message to the the government of  India! That message was: ” We are not going to tolerate government apathy and corruption in face of  the intolerable violence on girls and women in India.” 

There’s an increase of 873% in India’s rape crime rate. Moreover, in 20 years, 20% of women will have been exterminated from India subject to all forms of gender specific violence. [Also browse our newspaper log]

The government’s first response was — stony silence!  It pretended it didn’t hear

As the uprising gathered momentum and all of India came on board, the government decided it to use brutal force to clamp down on the protestors.

When the clamor continued, and the government thought it is starting to look increasingly un-democratic and dictatorial to the outside world, it decided to use an old, Indian bureaucratic routeLet’s push paper for months, maybe years, till the public gets tired of waiting and goes away! So they asked  J. S. Verma, ex-Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, to head an investigative panel on rape related violence on girls and women in India.  The government obviously thought this important enough to ring Justice Verma’s door bell  past midnight, and wake him up to hand him the government’s request and suggestions!

This strategy also backfired!  Usually committees and their reports take months and even years!  However, the Justice Verma Committee,  which comprised of 3 Supreme Court Chief Justices:  J.S. Verma, Leila Seth, and Gopal Subramanium, aided by 15 young lawyers, worked tirelessly, round the clock, with almost no aid or support from the government, and after collating of thousands of testimonies from victims, women’s groups etc. presented a 600 page report, complete with recommendations to the government in a record 29 days!

Again for 7 days there was no sound from the Prime Minister’s office!  Then the government speedily both acknowledged the report, and came up with a new ordinance on rape and violence against women, claiming they’ve accepted 90% of the Verma Committee recommendations.   This was done without pubic involvement, or parliamentary debate!   But as Justice Verma himself has pointed out: the Government completely ignored the observations and recommendations of the Verma Committee!

In fact the Government even removed the Justice Verma report from its website so that the public would not be able to see what was the committee actually found out about the extent and state of violence on women in India and what it recommended!

HERE ARE THE MOST  CRITICAL POINTS IN THE REPORT WHICH THE GOVERNMENT HAS COMPLETELY IGNORED!

#1   Establishes women’s rights as human rights but recognizing the bodily integrity of women, and their absolute right to safety from violence.  This is a huge change in how sexual and other forms of physical violence on women have been viewed in India until now.

#2  Calls for the legal recognition of marital rape.  This is in keeping with #1, where the committee believes that rape is rape, regardless of who commits it.

#3  Calls for the legal protection of gay/lesbian/transgender individuals subject to sexual assault, harassment and rape due to their sexual orientation.  This is also in keeping with #1

#4  The committee is very clear on it findings that the escalating violence on women is not due to an absence of laws, but due to failure of the government, police and courts  in doing this duties  by the Constitution.  [The implication of rampant corruption and dereliction of official duties are clear here].

#5  In keeping with #4  they also point out that they got little or no feedback/ cooperation from state governments and heads of police! They emphasize the need for accountability from police departments and individual officers.  They also emphasize the need to clean the political system by ensuring politicians with rape and other criminal records be weeded out.

#6  Also in keeping with #4 is the issue of wide-spread rape of civilian women by soldiers of the Indian army in states with political movements, like Kashmir and the North Eastern States of India.  The committee raises the need to amend the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act among other recommendations.

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WE’VE EMBEDDED THE FULL REPORT BELOW.  PLEASE READ AND DOWNLOAD!

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2013 5:44 pm

    i strongly strongly protest against this behaviour of our Govt. to first appoint a committee to deal afresh with the increasing cases of rape on girls/women in India and then to ignore it and pass a different policy in the next parliament session which ignores this committees suggestions, so aptly formulated and also appreciated by women’s movement. such double standards in the approach of this Govt. dealing with the lives of girls/women of India, we will have to do everything possible to make it loose the next elections.

    • February 3, 2013 5:55 pm

      Absolutely right! The people of India must excercise their vote now to send the message home! Come next election, we will be counting how many seats are given by which party to rapists and criminals! We must not live in fear of a government that uses rapists and goons to inflict fear on the public, and rules by fear!

  2. February 3, 2013 8:34 pm

    That is the most distressing thing … how can women be protected against rape and sexual violence when the government and police force are full of perpetrators of rape and corruption is rampant? The best of luck to those fighting to change things in India, it will be an uphill battle. India’s image worldwide has been tainted … efforts must be made to ensure that the whole issue is not conveniently “forgotten” by the political class.

  3. Ashim Choudhury permalink
    February 4, 2013 7:05 pm

    It is a shame that we have policemen ranging from a constable to a DGP accused of rape or molestation or other similar crimes against women. It is a shame that we have political “leaders” who are accused of similar crimes. None of these people feel ashamed nor does it affect their career. We have the laws but who is going to implement them when the people who have to implement these laws are themselves indulging in crimes under those very laws!
    Let us all vow to ensure that no one even accused of a crime against women is allowed to contest the elections and if a party nominates such a person let us leave no stone unturned to ensure their total rout and banishment from public life.

  4. Grace Bell permalink
    February 4, 2013 7:09 pm

    Keep up the fight against rape, and genocide of female babies.The world is joining in supporting you and this campaign. Get rid of rapist politicians and policemen who have been accused of raping and sexual assault!! Good Luck!

  5. nalini Chugani permalink
    February 4, 2013 7:17 pm

    I am absolutely enraged at the government’s response to Justice Verma commission. They formulated and passed the law in a great hurry, leaving out important recommendations of the committee and received the president’s approval. This is a disappointing development which is unacceptable. We must continue the struggle to ensure that a comprehensive bill which recognises women’s rights as human rights is passed and implemented in letter and spirit.

  6. pat permalink
    February 4, 2013 8:41 pm

    THIS IS A DISGRACE THAT THIS COULD HAPPEN IN A CIVILIZED COUNTRY.. SHANE ON THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOR PAYING NO HEED TO THE INJUSTICES ON THEIR OWN WOMEN FOLK. THE WORLD IS TARDY ENOUGH.GET RESPECT FOR YOUR OWN CITIZENS,BE IT MALE OR FEMALE. ALL PEOPLE COUNT AS WORTHY OF JUSTICE AND PROTECTION. THE WORLD IS WATCHING..DO THE RIGHT THING,BRING IN LAWS TO PROTECT AND SAFEGUARD ALL WOMEN. THE GUILTY, TREAT AS CRIMINALS TO THE HIGHEST DEGReE THAT THE LAW OF JUSTICE ALLOWS.

  7. Ingrid permalink
    February 4, 2013 11:35 pm

    Makes one wonder how and why such atrosities are continually perpetrated against females in India. It is the women that give life and if violence keeps up then India will end up without brides for their sons. In my opinion male figures must teach their sons how to respect the females in their families, their communities and the world. Education starts at home and good behavior and setting the example is crutial. Once a female is raped she is shunned, humiliated, never to marriy, threatened, ostracized, blamed, tortured and ultimately killed. Even though India has some 36,000 gods…none of them could save a female or stop the males. Where have the spiritual values and religious beliefs gone? Violence against females in this country is of frightening proportions and it is almost a trend or fashion because rape is known of on a daily basis to females of any age group throughout India. Females are overpowered by the males everywhere in India, whether poor or rich, educated or not, villages or cities.

    • Siddharth permalink
      April 22, 2013 9:02 am

      Absolutely agree with you madam Ingrid. The Indian parents should teach their sons to respect and behave properly with women right from the childhood so that these kind of shameful acts can be stopped in India. Also, the Indian parents should teach their daughters to be independent and self-sufficient rather than rearing her up to become just a “commodity” for “disposal through marriage”. The biggest reason for this is the archaic tradition of DOWRY because of which parents see their daughter as a “burden” who has to be married off to a guy and for whom dowry savings are started by the parents right from her birth (that is if they decide not to kill her in the womb or right after birth !!). Here, men feel “threatened” nby strong, independent women as if that wil emasculate them and that is the reason for the woes of the Indian woman…..her father, her husband, her son everybody feels threatened by her if she is strong and independent. Women emancipation is a dream too distant in India. Here the women are treated as “paaon ki jooti” (= shoes on the feet which can be rubbed, frictioned and exploited anywhere, anyhow)….I have heard ladies declare that if they happened to bear a daughter, they would have been “blamed for it” throughout their lives and ostracized by their in-laws and family……such is the thinking of “modern” women in India!!

  8. Dave Kisor permalink
    February 5, 2013 6:31 am

    This is unconscionable! What is wrong with all of those moronic males?

  9. Marie permalink
    February 5, 2013 6:51 am

    I think every politician should be told unless the law is immediately used to protect women and that men that do such terrible things to women and children should be told they will be ousted from government and any man found guilty should be sentenced to life or death for such offences depending on the severity of the crime. Police or any one in authority who is complicit in such crime should have mandatory sentence of 10 years or more. Sanctions should be applied if the Government does not respond.

  10. VVasant Kalbag permalink
    February 5, 2013 9:53 am

    We are in a really difficult situation, where many of our law makers are themselves not above board. I think this leads to a lot of frustration among the MAJORITY of ordinary citizrens who wish for a well governed nation. We shall have to attack the problem simultaneously at two levels. 1)Deal with the many misdeeds in the society by some of our rulers and the ruled 2) Overhaul our constitution drastically to facilitate control of corruption and all types of crime among the rulers and the ruled.

  11. Annie Cass permalink
    February 5, 2013 2:19 pm

    What are India’s men so frightened of? In any culture in rapid transition, women tend to move into paid work more easily than men as they are less reluctant to take subordinate and low-status jobs. This undermines structures that place men in control of women, and men already rendered less economically independent by the change in circumstances can and do take out their frustrations inappropriately. None of this excuses a single act of violence towards India’s women (or indeed towards women anywhere) but it does suggest that simple punishment of wrongdoers is insufficient on its own. The best way the rest of the world can help India’s women and girls is to scaffold its efforts to improve its economic progress and in the process lose those inequalities that generate corruption and fear. That’s the long-term fix. In the mean-time, of course, we see to it that the raping bastards get smacked whoever and wherever they are.

  12. Antonio sanchez permalink
    February 5, 2013 3:34 pm

    very impresive document…

  13. February 8, 2013 1:04 pm

    The people of India must use their vote in elections now to send the message home!

  14. yvonne permalink
    April 3, 2013 10:44 pm

    Those of us that live in other countries need to pressure our governments to apply pressure to the Indian government. Under the Harper Government, Canada has cut many of the resources for the most vulnerable women in our society. We have the Hwy of Tears to answer as well as the Missing Women from the downtown east side in Vancouver so our own track record regarding women’s right’s is nothing to brag about, but outside pressure and pressure from the UN might help – the world needs to ban together on this!

  15. December 16, 2013 12:14 am

    Juveinile justice needs ammendment ,as teens who grow from childhood to adolescent are most curious about sex ,especially boys who reveal it but the girls have concealed attitude .Teens may commit heinous criminal sexual offence before adulthood and deserves the same punishment as awarded to an adult

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