It is with extreme dismay that we write to you regarding the horrific act of harassment and racial profiling of Ugandan and Nigerian women by a group led by Delhi Law Minister Shri Somnath Bharti, comprising amongst others members of Aam Admi Party. Such a targeting goes against the sense of security and human rights of all women in general, and of single and working women in particular. Television footage of the incident including Shri Somnath Bharti’s own detailed statements, CCTV footage from AIIMS and the complaints by the women themselves, clearly indicate that Shri Somnath Bharti endangered the women and instigated the crowd to violate their human rights, by branding them as prostitutes and asking the crowd to catch them.
We as women’s organizations who have worked amongst women for several decades in Delhi and around, have fought against the extremely insensitive anti-women behaviour of Delhi Police in cases related to crimes against women. Examples of police hostility against women abound—be it cases of “honour” crime where the police has handed over young couples to be killed by their families, or cases of rape and dowry where the survivors are victimized and harassed while the perpetrators roam scot-free. It is increasingly becoming a very unsafe city for women and girls.
We agree that it is essential to put in place measures to discipline and hold Delhi police accountable for their lapses and short comings— the latest instances including the Danish woman’s rape and the dowry murder of Neha Yadav. We once again reiterate our long standing demand that the central government take urgent necessary steps towards bringing Delhi police under the Delhi government.
We also know how hard it is to ensure that Police act in accordance with law and Constitutional values rather than public or political sentiment, especially in matters involving women and vulnerable social groups. In this incident, the Malviya Nagar SHO became a rare exception who acted to protect the African women, whose safety was criminally compromised.’
It is therefore a great disservice to women’s rights to penalise Police officers who refuse to act in accordance with inflamed prejudices of the public or political leaders. And it is even more dangerous to allow private individuals or even ministers to take the law into their own hands and subject already vulnerable sections like women to further harassment. This was also a clear case of racial profiling against foreign citizens. We are therefore shocked to see you and other leaders of your party defend the actions of Shri Somnath Bharti.
We urge you to immediately condemn the role of and take appropriate action against Shri Somnath Bharti and registration of cases against those responsible under relevant sections of the IPC and CrPC. We also demand that you drop the insistence on suspending the Malviya Nagar SHO.
We would also like you to meet our delegation at your convenience as we have some concrete suggestions on Police reforms.
Jagmati Sangwan, All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA)
Annie Raja, National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW)
Kavita Krishnan, All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA)
Shabnam Hashmi, Act Now For Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD)
Indu Agnihotri, Centre for Women’s Development Student (CWDS)
Kavita Shrivastava, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)
Sunita Dhar, Jagori
Jyotsana Chatterjee, Joint Women’s Programme (JWP)
Leila Passah, Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
The women organisations must declare that they are biased against males.
The media is continuing to project them as 'victims', even when males are fighting over themselves as their real 'protector', thanks to the stereotyping afforded by the media
Open Letter to Delhi CM Demanding Action Against Racist Minister: Concerned Citizens
1. Remove Somnath Bharti from his position as Law Minister immediately?
2. Punish all those, including Somnath Bharti, guilty of instigating and perpetrating racist and sexual violence on African women?
3. Delhi Police must come under Delhi Government, but Delhi Police must be accountable to Constitution and not to the bidding of Ministers and mobs ?
4. Meet and apologise to the Ugandan women who have complained of racist, sexual violence
The den was probably run by policemen themselves - which explains why they were reluctant to close the establishment down.
Female groups are protesting only because of the lost income
What about police officers who have become so atrophied in their deriliction of duty that they put a blind eye to crimes happening in front of them. If the law and order administration had been taking action in good faith and in accordance to rules and regulation, a situation would not have arisen for the minister and locals, who have to face the anathema of facing drunken brawls and criminal elements in their neighbourhood, to come out on the streets to make things right.
Now, whether this incident becomes a pretext for the agencies to cite protocol as a justification for inaction, or a precedent warning the police administration that the citizens will be demanding for them to fulfill their mandate is up to the media and based on the way it colours Somnath Bharti.
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT