Perils to India’s countless victims of abuse are deep and many
Posted by robertpriddy on January 14, 2013
Fortunately, the suppression of the truth about India’s corruption and human rights for women has now become impossible to ignore even in India. Whether radical and effective changes will be made remains to be seen, and if not, how long the issues will be kept alive there, is uncertain. The world can but hope! The report on the Delhi rape case, its repercussions and background in the New York Times (excerpt shown on right) reflects the content and scope of the debate that has currently been raging in the Indian media because so many upright Indians who are outraged by the extent of rape and violence against women and the utter passivity of most police, judiciary and government officials. They have at last forced the issue by tireless public campaigning. Unfortunately, however, the lynch mentality has been stirred up while officialdom should bear much of the blame for the state of affairs. That the perpetrating accused rapists and murderers were to be denied legal defence also shows a lot about the state of justice in India today, while Mr Singh’s lawyer, AK Anand, who stood forth for the defence said something with which many who have experience of Indian police will agree: “A confession is immaterial as concerns Indian law. No statement made in the presence of police has any value in the eyes of the law.” Previously, another lawyer, Manohar Lal Sharma, who is representing Mr Singh’s brother Mukesh, claimed his client and the other accused were tortured while in custody. A spokesman for the Delhi police, Rajan Bhagat, last night refused to comment on the allegation. Torture by police is rightly suspected, as it is known to be so commonplace!
Comments on some Hindu nationalist bulletin boards and website articles (eg. chackra.com) have repeatedly accused Sathya Sai Baba exposé writers of ‘India-bashing’ when they point out the tremendous ills that plague India, but which are given relatively minimal airing in Indian media. Prominent writers on India have long pointed out that the effect of Hindu nationalism is a kind of ‘double-accounting’ whereby one kind of account is given to all foreign visitors and media, while the true account is known more or less to almost all who live there… yet must remain unspoken. Globalisation, the internet and the opening of India to world travel and business are making an environment in which younger Indians are able more and more to challenge the fossilised authoritarian status quo at least in word if not yet very effectively in action.
The double-accounting reached its apex with the case of Sathya Sai Baba, whose serial sexual abuses (with murder involvement) were apparently no fewer than those of Jimmy Savile. While Savile was not apprehended or exposed by any active whistle blowers, the pedophile offences against young boys and men by Sai Baba were, yet these were covered up to the highest level by the Indian government, the judiciary and all but the very bravest journalists now and again. While the shocking Savile case finally came to light and is causing a major reorganisation of BBC management and guidelines, there are no signs that the Indian media or any other body there is willing to deal with their ‘elephant in the room’, the unsolved and quashed crimes of their Living God Incarnate, long worshipped and hence protected by a series of Indian Prime Ministers, Presidents, Supreme and High Court judges. Even the ignominious manner of the supposedly ‘omnipotent’ Sai Baba’s death and the aftermath of finding his vast hidden hoard of money, gold and countless valuables, has not caused any prominent figure to denounce him for what he was. The infamous 1993 murders in which he was deeply implicated were covered over when Narasimha Rao’s government cynically quashed the CBI investigation before any conclusion was published. Sathya Sai Baba came to expound Hindu nationalism in many of its worst aspects, despite his constant propaganda about universal values and religious tolerance. He repeatedly claimed his ‘advent’ would herald a total transformation of the world led by India’s example and even went so far in his dotage to state that the whole world would become Hindu between 2020 and 2030!
Violence on a very wide scale against women is not something imagined by Westerners, it is documented by Indian’ own National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) 2005-06, see very brief scan from their large study:-