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#Ambedkar: The Status of #Women Says Much About A Nation!

April 13, 2013

ambedkar womenI measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved…So long as you do not achieve social liberty, whatever freedom is provided by the law is of no avail to you. ~ Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (1891-1956, Architect of the Indian Constitution and Leader of the Dalit Community)

Last week, a 10-year-old girl, who went with her parents to register a complaint of rape was jailed instead! Later on, under media pressure she was released but the police insisted that she was not raped! Further more the villagers have threatened to stone the family to death if they don’t withdraw the complaint! The reason for this bold abuse of a rape victim, a child,  is that she belongs to the Dalit community which is the lowest caste in India, and the rapist is an upper-caste Rajput.

As corrupt as the police is in its systematic harassment of rape victims in India, it is girls and women from the Dalit communities who face the worst abuse.  In India’s hierarchical patriarchal structure, caste is a compounding factor in the violence inflicted on women.  Upper caste men see it as their privilege to rape girls and women of the lower caste, and have the legal and criminal system on their side! It is estimated that in India at least three dalit women are raped every day!

Here’s a look at the cases that made it to the newspapers in just the first 2 weeks of April 2013!!!  For every case that gets reported, there are dozens more that are not:

Birabadi, Haryana (April 13, 2013): 16-year-old Dalit Girl gang-raped by 2 men

Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar (April 13, 2013): 7-year-old Dalit girl raped by a forest guard

Bhubaneshwar, Orrissa (April 12, 2013): 15-year-old Dalit girl gang-raped by 4 men

Rohtak, Haryana (April 08, 2013): 13-year-old Dalit girl raped

Varanasi, UP (April 05, 2013): 16-year-old Dalit girl gang-raped by three

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55 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2013 12:12 am

    I am at how far your campaign has come in just a few short weeks . Thank-you so much for your efforts

    • April 14, 2013 12:53 am

      Sarah — The campaign is 6 years old 🙂 We had posted an update on how far we’ve come and what goals we’ve met on Causes — where we have our largest grassroots support of more than half a million people. In case you’d like to see the report on the campaign’s progress click here

  2. April 14, 2013 12:24 am

    Reblogged this on idakgopiso.

  3. April 14, 2013 1:13 am

    Women is a caste like the Dalit caste.

    • April 14, 2013 11:40 am

      Oddly Peter, in the Hindu scriptures women and Dalits are both created from the ‘dirtiest’ part of the body, the feet, and that is why apparently they are treated like lowly dirt! Technically they both have the same origin and place in Indian society.

  4. S. Saran permalink
    April 14, 2013 1:25 am

    I don’t see the rationale of writing that Dr Ambedkar was the” leader of the dalits”. By saying so, all his intellectual greatness as a thinker, philosopher , academician is lost. As long as the SC /ST people keep themselves segregated from the mainstream and identify themselves as a seperate class , they will never overcome the existing social discrimination. They must work hard, study hard and gain senior positions in the government without reservation. Only then their true merit will shine and people will develop respect for them. Why should it be written that the 10 year girl raped was a dilit? She was a girl like any other girl, and rape of any girl is reprehensible. Do you see my point? Thanks.

    • April 14, 2013 11:51 am

      Well this is a defensive stand in India that we need to confront. The position and treatment of Dalits undoubtedly parallels the treatment of blacks in the U.S. A dalit woman faces rape and violence not only because of her gender within her community, but also additional violence and rape from upper caste men, and additional harassment from the system. The burden of violence and rape on Dalit women is far more than on upper caste and upper class women in India, the same way it is far more on black women in the U.S. because of race. It is very important that as a society in India we recognize this.

    • April 14, 2013 4:51 pm

      It is sad to know that animals in India are much more respected, loved and cared for than the women and girls who are treated like plaything or rug-doll being raped, abused and destroyed. Don’t they realize that they were born of a woman who is their mother? Don’t they have any respect and appreciation of the beautiful women equally created by GOD like them? What right do they have to destroy the lives of these women born to them given by GOD? Do the people in India know that the most beautiful women created by GOD come from them? If they don’t take care of their womenfolks, then GOD will not pour His greater blessings on India as a whole. The only ones who are spared from the wrath of GOD are those who know Him and have a good relationship with Him as they know how to value the relationship with their fellowmen – whether men or women, children or whatever race they belong. We are praying for India to have Godly Leaders to see the plight of their people and serve them equally.

    • April 15, 2013 12:51 pm

      Can Dr Ambedkar not be intellectually great and a Dalit? Not mentioning his origins might be construed as hiding them because of the “shame” involved, plus, highlighting his origins would surely encourage other people from his background to follow in his footsteps and bring it to the attention of those who treat the Dalit community unequally that they are very wrong to do so.

      The fact that Dalit women are especially targeted for violence, abuse and rape should be shouted from the rooftops – doing so does not in any way diminish the horror of rape for any other woman but may make rapists think again if they think they can target this community with impunity. A small step on the road to social change…..

  5. April 14, 2013 1:37 am

    her turlu şidete ve tecavuz olayların oluşmaması icin tum dunyanın ayaga kalkması gerekir.
    şidetle kınıyorum

  6. April 14, 2013 2:15 am

    Reblogged this on Eunoic.

  7. Lucio Cuéllar Camargo permalink
    April 14, 2013 2:17 am

    I don’t understand how the police women be so insensitive. Are there not mature human beings to be able to understand the gravity of the situation that this poor child have gone through? What is wrong with these women. Are there not mothers, perhaps? Are they not be trained to protect victims’ rights?

  8. lilly permalink
    April 14, 2013 2:34 am

    you are doing God’s work by telling people about this. i am so far beyond anger, i don’t know what to call it. remember that people stand with you, and will support you in your efforts to help the 50% of the population that the other half feels is beneath contempt.

  9. WordsFallFromMyEyes permalink
    April 14, 2013 3:22 am

    Bless you for putting your voice out there in the world. I would not have known about this otherwise. I remember being 10. God bless this girl.

  10. April 14, 2013 3:31 am

    This is shocking (I’m talking about the 10-year-old girl, but it applies for all other females in India). I cannot believe that international outrage has not even made a dent on the practices of police and politicians. Thank goodness I don’t live in India!

  11. April 14, 2013 4:00 am

    shocking. this is a human/ humane issue, note the police station and officers were also women. the ingrained class system of India must be changed by social movement its already been unconstitutional for years.
    the wealthy have too much at stake having such a huge base of poverty stricken within their society. And tpo much power. That anyone should feel immune or rightful committing such atrocities condems the entire society and the nation of people. So many of whom are loving kind generous souls. India you must find the courage to change your entrenched values to fully reach your greatness

  12. April 14, 2013 6:38 am

    we all should protest and put the culprit behind bars, make awareness continuously.

  13. chris permalink
    April 14, 2013 8:50 am

    No child or woman deserves to be raped or treated with disrespect by anyone, no matter what their situation or position in life. This is absolutely dispicable and the police and rapists should be ashamed of themselves and be be brought to justice for allowing this to continue.

    All children and women should be treated with absolute respect, care, integrity, and their needs met. They should be honored and no child or woman deserves to be put into gaol. This child has done nothing wrong and should be nourished, encouraged and treated with respect, care and love and be cared for by loving and supportive people who feed and clothe and educate her. Where is the love and support for this young child. It is important that she is released from gaol immediately and given food, shelter, clothing and protection and cared for.

  14. April 14, 2013 9:24 am

    It is shocking that rape victims are punished by authorities and society in India and other places today. Victims suffer while rapists go free and their crimes continue, largely unchecked.

  15. Vladimir De Monte Furtado permalink
    April 14, 2013 10:12 am

    CASTE DISCRIMINATION LIKE IN THE U.K. SHOULD BE A CRIMINAL OFFENCE IN INDIA..But when most of our leaders think like cattle (since most of them come from the largely illiterate cow belt areas) what can u expect?’The people get the leaders they deserve’ is an old adage..Here i must stress is that English education is a must for social n economic upward mobility..

    • April 14, 2013 12:01 pm

      Vladimir — Unfortunately upper-class, educated people in India engage in the same sorts of caste base discrimination. Remember Bhanwari Devi’s case in Rajasthan in the 90s. The judge ruled that she could not have been gang raped by upper caste men because that would have polluted the men!!!! 20 years on she is still fighting for justice!

  16. vera permalink
    April 14, 2013 11:05 am

    I am so sad, and want to help all women and children. I wish people would respect innocence, children, sisters and mothers. Come on people, time to wake up! Protect our treasures!

  17. April 14, 2013 12:04 pm

    Rape is abhorrent ..but to jail a child who is the victim because of her caste is even more abhorrent ..have the Indian police no pity for the girl at all..just because the man involved is a higher caste it doesn’t excuse him or the police actions..would he like this to happen to a young girl in his own family

  18. April 14, 2013 5:51 pm

    Well done Rita for your tenacity and commitment on keeping the spot light on a scourge that threatens to unhinge India from its moral, spiritual and cultural identity. India is now compared with Afghanistan and Congo when it comes to treatment of women and upholding their rights. The police are an important custodian of upholding these rights. Here is my recent piece on whet needs to be done to improve India’s police system. Unchecked we are at the cusp of an irreversible moral decline as a Nation state.

    http://www.firstpost.com/blogs/how-to-improve-indias-police-a-roadmap-677462.html

  19. Jay permalink
    April 14, 2013 8:29 pm

    The Indian police must be sick in their THICK heads. A 10 year old was raped. For heavens sake flog the bastard who did this. Ask him to fuck his mother.

    • Rees Gallacher permalink
      April 20, 2013 3:57 pm

      2 rapes don’t add up to justice for anybody, Jay – I don’t think that as a global society we progress by making violence and violation the solution to the problem.

  20. April 14, 2013 10:02 pm

    Atrocities on dalits are deplorable. Dalits are main pillars on which Hinduism is standing.

  21. April 14, 2013 10:56 pm

    What a brave girl, with strong parents by her side, to survive such an ordeal as rape always is and then to be thrown in jail for it! Contact Half the Sky, Huffington Post, or even the New York Times on doing a story in this to spread the word and light the fire that makes change!

  22. Robbie Price permalink
    April 15, 2013 12:46 am

    The double tragedy for the victim is that both the law and the caste system are failing them. A man who has “contact” with a lower caste women becomes a member of that caste, and yet even this site still reports them as high caste. They are not – caste is define by action not birth. As long as it is ignoring the natural law of caste as defined in the Gitas, India should create a new, lowest of all castes, to put these men into.

    • April 15, 2013 4:12 pm

      No actually, women are just seen as objects and according to the scriptures, the lowest caste and women have the same origin. So to men women are simply objects to use and discard regardless of caste.

  23. April 15, 2013 2:12 am

    India is such a sick country lock up a ten year old girl because she was raped India is and uncivilized country a country that is so sick

    • Roberta permalink
      April 15, 2013 9:22 pm

      I have spent time in India and love the country. It is a segment of society not the whole country that is bad. I saw kindness and spirituality that is greater than I often see here in the U.S. There is no denying there is an evil mind set among some of he male population that unfortunately has cast a bad image on the country as a whole. It takes a movement like 50 Million missing and half the sky to keep the focus on the problem and hopefully one day irradiate this horrible scourge. I pray every day that there will be laws protecting women and girls not just in India but around the world.

  24. Joyce MCGuigan permalink
    April 15, 2013 5:11 am

    you have got to kidding me what in the world are they doing in that country??? Those sick Pigs…I am appulled

  25. Joyce MCGuigan permalink
    April 15, 2013 5:18 am

    You can’t tell me that this sick country would take an innocent victim a child and put her in a jail after having been raped…What on earth are they doing …Some one has to go over there and do something..that country needs blown up after all women and children are taken out…They are totally uncivilized and mentally ill sick in the heads…and I would love to take this matter in my own hands but I need more than 2… MY GOD where are her parents…and Why isn’t someone over there rescuing this child…

  26. Joyce MCGuigan permalink
    April 15, 2013 5:34 am

    Get that child out of there now….What in Gods Name are they doing to this baby…MY GOD HOW HORRIFING AND SICK MINDED THESE POLICE ARE…WHERE IS justice??? oh yea I forgot there is no such thing in a screwed up country like India…They have no remorse on life since they kill girls…Why are they getting away with this…Just wait they are all goning to burn in hell for this…God IS FED UP WITH THIS CRAP…THEIR DAY IS COMING SOONER THAN LATER….

  27. Patricia Collier permalink
    April 15, 2013 11:31 am

    Just so hard to believe this happens now a days. I feel so sorry for the girl. 😥

  28. Joanne permalink
    April 15, 2013 2:55 pm

    Anger & frustration are all I can say how I feel

  29. April 15, 2013 4:15 pm

    Another wee point – internationally, if there are human rights issues and groups – gender, race, social, sexual orientation, whatever – being discriminated against and abused, sometimes economic sanctions have an effect. In the west, we could be persuaded to stop buying goods made in India, stop using companies with call centres in India, stop going on holiday in the country – putting this kind of pressure on the government might have an effect, although the effects on the poorest who may depend on foreign financial input has to be considered too. Action like this eventually contributed to the end of apartheid in South Africa – so why not?

    • April 16, 2013 12:16 pm

      Thank Rees. That’s exactly what we think too. We need to collect the political will for that in the public, which is what we are trying to do.

  30. Marinus Lefeber permalink
    April 19, 2013 7:50 pm

    Everywhere in the world women are not safe. I am sure that a good education will help to reduce violence against women in any form. Politicians have to act in matters like this.

    Marinus Lefeber

    • April 20, 2013 12:42 pm

      But every there is not a systematic and targeted elimination of women! Would a good education have stopped the genocidal violence of Jews in Europe do you think?

  31. victory permalink
    April 20, 2013 3:08 pm

    Know the unpublished TRUTH
    copy following with quotes & paste in Youtube
    “Unreported India – Broken People” 3 videos
    “India Untouched – Darker side of India ” 4 videos India’s hidden secret for centuries. “Untouchability – Dignity for All “.
    It took 4 Years to shoot and 25000 km Journey to Complete the Mission of finding TRUTH.
    Type in google upliftthem.blogspot.com atrocitynews.com khairlanji massacre

  32. Rees Gallacher permalink
    April 20, 2013 4:04 pm

    I follow your campaign on an almost daily basis, sign petitions, make comments, but I feel it’s not enough. Is there any practical action I can take? I mentioned in my last comment that economic sanctions might make a difference, lobbying travel companies etc – are there any organisations already doing this in the UK that I can join who already support your campaign.

    Are there any charities set up to support the victims, or any educational orgnaisations aimed at helping women protect and support themselves or any organisations aimed at re-educating men, or bringing boys up to respect everyone? This information would be useful and I would be happy to distribute it to everyone I know.

    • April 20, 2013 9:41 pm

      Rees — if you look under our ‘About’ page: those are the 3 goals that we are working towards. With the U.N. conference in Vienna (see the video to the right on the 6 forms of Femicide in India) — that is one step forward towards having the international community recognize Femicide as a hate crime and an international human rights crime. There are very few international human rights people, organizations and governments willing to put the kind of pressure that is required in this situation — the kind that was put on South Africa. And that’s largely because India is viewed as the premier destination for most multinational companies who find this a cheap source of labor that can be exploited without government interference. We want to point out that despite the big deal made about ‘creation of jobs’ etc. — it really isn’t so! The goverment, private companies in India, and foreign companies create only 6% of jobs in India. But 94% of people have to fend for themselves even after 15 years of free-markets and big companies. We also find that most NGOs are funded by organizations and trust funds that eventually are fed by big companies. So we keep repeating the line ‘educate’ the people, and ‘economic’ empowerment, even though, safety cannot be contingent on whether a woman is educated or earning! Secondly, there is a deliberate attempt to repress the fact that the rate of violence on females — feticides to dowry murders increases as you go up the economic ladder!!! Women who are educated and working are least likely to complain loudly, or to go to the police in India. Because when the slum and women complain loudly and tell their stories to their neighbors and the media it is considered ‘low class’ behavior!! And this resistance to recognizing the need to politicize carrys into the way the women’s movement has grown in India. What we are going to do this year within India is put violence on women as the No 1 priority for the election campaigns coming up and see how much of India will back us up on this. Outside India, we are hoping to connect with organizations who will start pressurizing their own governments to start acting tough on the Indian government about the genocidal violence on women. We’ve been looking, asking, big and small organizations, international human rights groups — but we’ve got no volunteers yet! Internationally we seem comfortable with using the ‘Save the Panda’ model for the female genocide in India!

  33. April 22, 2013 7:02 pm

    Until women of the world boycott India tourism and Indian products, nothing will change.
    The upper classes think of rape as their pet sport and rapes have been on the rise since
    the Delhi case challenged that. Hurt their wallets and then, maybe, things will change.

    • April 23, 2013 1:42 pm

      Susan men of all classes rape in India. The upper caste men rape both upper caste women and lower caste women, so caste and class gets compounded that way. But on the other hand, we find women in the poorer classes are more vocal. They come out and scream and shout when raped. Women from middle and upper classes almost never file complaints because they have the ‘family reputation’ to defend!

    • Rees Gallacher permalink
      April 24, 2013 12:33 pm

      So how do we start a boycott of Indian tourism and goods – I’m up for it!

    • April 24, 2013 1:06 pm

      Rees, we don’t know which country you are in. But if you can convince a group of people or organization, or you want to do it as an individual to form a petition addressing the public and the government of your country that you need to start and official policy similar to the anti-apartheid movement to address this as a global human rights issue, we’ll be happy to circulate that petition on our sites. You might want to use the argument on this post as the central argument for your petition. If you start one in your country, and we circulate it, then hopefully others will start doing the same. Thanks much for taking this kind of interest. We’ve been waiting a long time!

    • Rees Gallacher permalink
      April 24, 2013 4:56 pm

      Might take me a couple of weeks to get organised, but I’ll start working on it. I will team up with someone a bit more technically proficient than myself….I am in Scotland, which is (so far) part of the UK; I am also a member of Amnesty, I will see if i can interest them. Will also contact MP and MSP and look for some support.

    • April 25, 2013 10:51 am

      That will be great Rees! Please leave a message under ‘Contact’ and so we can establish an email communication with you.

  34. Tony cazee permalink
    June 4, 2013 4:18 am

    This makes me sick.I personally believe the police who jailed this poor little girl along with the person who raped her need to be publicly executed..

  35. Allison permalink
    June 11, 2013 3:14 am

    The men in these country need to be accounted for there crime and families need to be protected, the men need to be proud of the woman and we all should be equal.

  36. November 10, 2013 4:34 pm

    very good one read more at B R Ambedkar

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