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Please sign this petition and join The 50 Million Missing Campaign's effort to stop female genocide in India!
In Jan 1996, a school girl was kidnapped, held captive, and raped and brutalized by 42 men for 40 days. 16 year on she still awaits justice. Since the law in India does not allow rape victims to be identified, the victim became known as the “Suryanelli girl.” To read the full story of her continued fight for justice click here.
After the Delhi bus gang rape where the victim succumbed to the injuries that were inflicted on her, a number of violent gang rape survivors in India have raised the same question: Would they have received more public support if they too were killed after the rape? Why are women who’ve survive violent gang rapes in India and who are fighting a corrupt police and criminal system to get justice, not given the same sort of support by the public in India and internationally even when their cases are equally high profile as the Suryanelli and the Park street case have been? Why is there no one standing by their side, as they continue to fight despite harassment from the criminal system and social stigmatization?
Below the Suryanelli victim asks this question in her own words:
You may not know my name, ever. To the day I die, I am destined to bear this tag that I cannot shrug off. I am the Suryanelli girl. For the past 17 years, I have been fighting for justice as some called me a child prostitute and others the victim. But no one ever gave me a name like Nirbhaya or Amanat (treasure) [like they did for the Delhi Gang rape victim]. I will never be the nation’s pride or the face of women wronged. I am no longer the 16-year-old school girl who fell for her first love, and lost her life.
Yet, at 33, I am battling the same nightmares; my world is a grey longwinding road that stretches from my house to church and office.
People have a tendency to smirk when I recount the 40 days when I was turned into a female body that could be used anyway they liked sold like caged cattle, pushed into dark rooms across the state, raped day and night, kicked and Read more…
Sohaila Abdulali is an Indian born author and journalist who currently lives in the U.S. In 1980, at the age of 17 she survived a violent gang rape in India. Three years later she wrote about her experience in the Indian magazine, Manushi. Below is an excerpt from her article.
Sohaila’s first-hand account is courageous beyond words! Women in India, even in the educated middle classes, won’t report rape nor go public because of the associated notion of “shame!”
But there is another issue that Sohaila discusses that media and women’s forums in India even today, in the face of horrendously escalating violence on women, shy away from. Faced with a gang of violent men, Sohaila makes a choice to survive. From the accounts of the Delhi gang rape victim it appears that the violence on her escalated as she bit one of them and tried to fight back. Indeed, the five men who just this week gang raped a female photojournalist, also in Mumbai, now reveal that they had plans of murdering her and her colleague if they had tried to resist or fight back. The question Sohaila poses is why a woman faced with a gang of violent men shouldn’t, do whatever it takes to survive?
This is what we need to ask: Why aren’t women’s forums and media talking about this instead of promoting self-defense and pepper spray tactics as effective means to fight off gangs of armed rapists!! Why is there more admiration in India for a woman who dies trying to protect irrational and misogynistic social notions of “honor?” The mother of a woman lawyer who was attacked in her flat in Mumbai in 2012 by Read more…
We hope that people everywhere will participate, but since the ‘Freedom’ issues we tackle here are culturally a big challenge for Indians, we hope to hear from lots of Indians living in India and in other countries.
To participate all you have to do is go through the 3 steps described below and then click on the poll button that says ‘Yes! I’ve walked the 3 steps and I am FREE!’ And we will count you as a successful participant!
The 4th step is optional and is for those who feel brave enough to share their freedom story with the rest of us. This is a community platform, so we will proudly cheer you on!
The purpose of this Freedom Project is to address the issues that are the heart of the systematic violence on women across all classes in Indian society. These issues include notions of ‘culture,’ ‘loyalty,’ ‘honor,’ ‘family,’ and ‘silence,’ that make women mental and emotional prisoners of violence in their homes and in society. If we do not break these chains and become free from within, we can never strive for freedom outside.
STEP 1. RECALL
Think of one specific incident of violence on a woman in your personal life that you’d be too ashamed to stand up on a public stage and openly talk about. The victim could be you (if you are a woman). Or it could be someone close to you – your mother, aunt, daughter etc. Recall the incident in details in your mind. Remember what was done and said. Think of how you responded.
STEP 2. REFUSE
Now think of all the reasons why you would not stand up on a public stage, share your story, and openly condemn this incident and the perpetrators. Is it loyalty? Shame? Family? Honor? Fear? Now tell yourself that you are not bound by these and the other mental chains that keep you silent. Refuse to be loyal. Refuse to be shamed. Refuse to accept this incident in the name of family or love. Refuse to be silenced.
STEP 3. RELEASE
Tell yourself you want to share this story and let everyone know that a wrong was done to you or to a person in your family. Her rights were violated and she was abused. And then release this story. Tell it to someone you trust. If there is no one you can trust, then find a quiet space and sit down and tell it to your diary or your laptop.
Now you can click on the poll button below that says ‘Yes! I’ve walked the 3 steps and I am FREE!’ (see below) Don’t forget to click on the VOTE button after you’ve made your choice! At the start of 2014 we will tell you how many other Indian women and men have walked the 3 steps to freedom with you. We hope to be overwhelmed by the numbers!
STEP 4. SHARE
This fourth step is entirely optional. We want those who’ve walked the first three steps to share their story with us. You can do this under an anonymous name or under your own name openly. For that either leave your story in the comment box below. Or make a post on your personal blog and leave us a note in the comment box with the link to that post. IT IS IMPORTANT YOU KNOW YOU WILL NOT BE ALONE. CLICK HERE TO READ THE STORIES OF OTHER INDIAN WOMEN WHO’VE REFUSED THE CHAINS OF SHAME AND SILENCE AND HAVE SPOKEN OUT ALOUD!
India is gearing up for its next election in 2014. The 50 Million Missing Campaign would like to launch an initiative to build a grassroots lobby of citizens who want to bring the issue of violence on women to the Indian political / electoral platform.
Often during rape protests, even feminists in India have said ‘Rape and violence on women is not politics.’ But the fact is it is politics. India currently has 1,460 serving officials (30% of Parliament and Legislative Assembly), with self-declared criminal backgrounds. Almost 14% of have serious criminal charges of rape and murder against them. This is because an old law permits them this. Moreover, it is seen that officials with crime records are far more likely to re-win elections. This is not surprising because rape and violence against women by such politicians and their goons is used far too frequently to terrify areas into voting for them!!
In July 2013 the Supreme Court passed a judgment to remove all those convicted (not simply charged) of serious crimes from office. Many fighting to clean the Indian system were relieved. However, all the political parties have opposed this judgement.
The current government, with the consensus of all political parties in India, on 13 Aug 2013, moved court to fight the Supreme Court’s order to immediately disqualify all serving officials convicted of crimes. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE IN A DEMOCRACY?
Rape and murder is used by the government and politicians as a weapons of mass subjugation and control.
IF OPPOSITION POLITICAL PARTIES IN INDIA CAN UNITE TO PROTECT THEIR RAPISTS AND MURDERERS AND KEEP THEM IN POWER, CAN’T INDIAN CITIZENS UNITE TO TAKE BACK OUR DEMOCRACY, CONSTITUTION AND RIGHTS AS CITIZENS?
We need to use our rights as citizens to effectively FIGHT this where it matters most to political parties: in how we campaign and vote, and choose our leaders. We cannot allow the government and political parties to hold the country hostage to violence and terror!! The Indian public needs to fight back to regain control over our democracy!
PLEASE ANSWER THE POLL QUESTION BELOW BY CLICKING ON YES OR NO. AFTER MAKING YOUR CHOICE PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU CLICK ON THE ‘VOTE’ BUTTON TO REGISTER YOUR VOTE
You can also share your opinions in the comment box or on this link below on our Facebook page where we’ve posted this question: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=561813440521658&id=133518236684516
On July 13, 2013, a team of tribal Indian girls, all under the age of 14, from the remote village of Ormanjhi, in Jharkhand, laughed excitedly as they lifted their hard won bronze trophy in the prestigious Donosti Cup game in Spain! Most of these girls had never even been outside their village till then!
The organizers in Spain called the girls “Supergoats.” That’s because before the actual match, these girls would practice bare-feet. With limited resources, they could not afford to replace their football gear if anything got spoiled or broken. So they’d save their gear for the actual match!
However, the story of what it took for these girls to get to where they did with their dreams is both heart-breaking and angering!!! Read more…
On 28th July, 2013, Nikita Dutta, a 17-year-old student was gunned down and killed outside her home by Tapan Das, a man who had been stalking and sexually harassing her for months. The Times of India, which is not only the largest circulating English newspaper in India, but also “the largest selling English newspaper in the world” reported it as shown in the clipping below.
We think it is highly objectionable the report refers to this stalker as a “spurned lover!” The reports further refers to the stalking as wooing!! It reads Read more…
by Rita Banerji
Why would Indian women’s groups who’ve been stridently vocal in their support for one of India’s worst gang rape/sex-trafficking cases, remain mute when an American women’s organization had a key accused in the case, speak at their 2013 global conference?
More specifically —— why would the angry whisperings about this event, among Indian feminists, not be openly expressed?
The Suryanelli gang rape case is one of the longest running, high profile rape cases in India, perhaps more so than even the Delhi gang rape case [click here to read about the case]. This is not only because of its brutality, but also because for the Indian women’s movement this case has come to symbolize the patriarchal power structure—of government, police and judiciary—that facilitates rape. Rape is allowed as a privilege of power.
This however is not a new revelation! For indeed, it is what women’s movements even in the west have long recognized and fought against to stop rape and other forms of violence against women in their respective countries.
So then why did the U.S. based organization, Women Deliver, have the Indian politician, Kurien, a key accused in the Suryanelli case, speak at their conference?
In the hush-hush exchanges among Indian feminists, no one is buying Women Deliver’s off-handed statement that they just didn’t know! This case was much too high profile for that, and a statement like this from a group working with this cause is beyond ridiculous!
More importantly, what is being asked by Indian feminists is what basis was Kurien selected on?
A quick google check on him immediately throws up words like rape and sex-trafficking! Surely, that’s not why Women Deliver thought he’d be an ideal candidate to speak on – on all things – women’s sexual and reproductive empowerment?
This much women in India know – no women’s group in India could have ever nominated Kurien as speaker. In that case, the question that everyone is asking is who is Women Deliver liaising with in India? Whoever they are partnering with obviously intends to Read more…