A week is a long time in politics. If there were ever any doubt about this, the government’s contradictory positions on gender justice over the span of seven days between August 22 and August 29 have laid them to rest. On August 22, women all over India celebrated the Supreme Court’s verdict declaring triple talaq illegal… Continue reading Triple Talaq and Marital Rape: Politics and Patriarchy Trump Gender Justice
Watch my documentary: My Name is Honour Not far off the highway, less than 100 kilometers from the nation’s capital, the districts of Western Uttar Pradesh seem to have become synonymous with violence based on caste, religion or gender. The constitutional guarantee of a fundamental right to life is challenged every day by notions of honor. But what is this notion… Continue reading My Name is Honour
Freedom, enshrined in the constitution of India and safety for India's women from sexual assault at home or outside. The brutal gang-rape and eventual death of a 23-year-old girl on her way from a movie in the evening on Sunday evening in December triggered an awakening that took many by surprise. Perhaps the simplest explanation… Continue reading The Anatomy of a Protest
In Chhattisgarh’s Sukma town, a brand new 100-bed hospital stands as a proof of the healthcare crisis in conflict-ridden Bastar region. The new building was made operational two months ago, but marred by acute shortage of doctors, even the most basic facilities are unavailable. The hospital has one X-ray machine but no radiologist. There’s no CT Scan,… Continue reading New Hospitals and equipment, but no doctors.
I am still reeling from the implausibly stunning fact of a baby slipping out of a womb into a dustbin. Finding the words to write this was not easy. But it is important for Soni Baghel’s story to be public, so that the Maharani College in Jagdalpur- in whose care almost all of Bastar’s tribals… Continue reading Doctors Chat on Phone, Baby Falls From Delivery Table into Dustbin.
The feedback to this is overwhelming. I suppose even those who look only through a security prism can’t ignore the absolute depravity of this violence.
“Without emotion, as though she were talking about the weather, Manju (name changed) tells us how she and six other women in her village (Kunna in Bastar’s Sukma district) were subjected to “inspection” by a police party that came through their hamlet chasing a group of Naxals. Fearing harassment, torture, arrest or death, each time forces approach, boys and men flee into the forests, leaving women to face the brunt of the search. While they all pointedly say they were not raped, their stories of physical abuse are horrific.”
I returned from Bastar, In Chhatisgarh from an assignment to report on issues women face in conflict zones related to their health and safety. While healthcare is as abject in its villages as in many parts of rural India, the over riding narrative in Bastar for women is of sexual violence- used as a weapon of war. While activists and lawyers try to…
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"Without emotion, as though she were talking about the weather, Manju (name changed) tells us how she and six other women in her village (Kunna in Bastar’s Sukma district) were subjected to “inspection” by a police party that came through their hamlet chasing a group of Naxals. Fearing harassment, torture, arrest or death, each time forces approach,… Continue reading How Breastfeeding Women Are Abused In Bastar – And Other Horror Stories