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'What Are You Doing? What, How...STOP IT!'

If you read one piece today, read Natasha Badhwar's must-read, powerful piece in the Mint today:

It never occurred to us that staying at home might make our life safer. You know why? Because it doesn’t.

A visiting uncle suddenly grabs you and you know IT IS NOT A HUG. Family weddings, festivals, vacations, my mother’s tailor, the X-ray technician, the physiotherapist, your Maths tutor, the neighbour, the home delivery man...you can be fondled, touched, flashed, anytime, anywhere. And we are. If I say, raise your hand if you haven’t been physically violated in a place where you were supposed to be safe, there will be NO HANDS RAISED.

The dead silence, the repeated breach of trust in our private spaces makes them more dangerous than the brutal world outside. Nothing happened to you, we are told. Don’t tell anyone. We are left hurting where the wounds don’t show, and sometimes those wounds never heal.

We have spent so much energy forgetting and then being rudely reminded that each one of us has been victimized. Each one of us has been hurt, isolated and confused. Men and women, growing up in a world of casual, unreported sexual violence.

What is the difference between the world that I grew up in and the world our children are growing up in?

It’s a one word answer.

I am the difference.

Read on at the LiveMint: Views | The harsh realities of sexual violence: Guwahati and beyond

18 Jul 2012, 01:31:36 AM | Sundeep Dougal

Samrat in India Ink, NYT's India Ink blog:

The girl herself accused the TV crew members of encouraging the attack. Some of the men arrested in the attack backed this version of events. Two blamed the television reporter who filmed the incident for instigating it, saying he started filming the girl and her friends as they emerged from the pub after an altercation inside and asked them why they had been drinking, reports said.

Television channels like the one that filmed the current video often run news clips of mobs enacting what looks like spontaneous “moral policing.” Sometimes, though, these mob attacks are timed for occasions when cameras are already somehow present.


an activist, Akhil Gogoi, has alleged that the attack was orchestrated by one of the reporters from News Live, Gaurav Jyoti Neog, who recorded the video. Mr. Gogoi has given to the police unedited footage with audio that supports his allegation. This footage is not publicly available. However a bit of it is available online. In the clip, the girl can clearly be heard telling the reporter, “You came and did all this.”

Read on at NYT: Moral Policing, India’s Ugly New ‘Reality TV’

In the Guwahati case, one of the NCW fact finding team first revealed the name of the Guwahati victim. The CM's office then released name and photograph of the victim in what it perceived to be a public relations exercise on Monday evening. The CM called it an unintentional mistake on the part of his office but did not seem to think that it was something worth apologising for -- "Why should I apologise? Is it a great blunder I have done that I should apologise? My office committed a mistake and withdrew the release and expressed regret." It took some goading before he relented and said he was willing to apologise to the victim but not to anyone else.

The News Live channel, incidentally, is owned by Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, wife of Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is a powerful minister in the present day Congress government of Assam.

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