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India Now Declared World’s MOST Dangerous Place For Women.
That is, Even Worse Than War Torn Syria and Afghanistan

ANNIE GOWEN, The Washington Post




A report this week ranking India as the MOST dangerous country in the world for women has reignited the country's ongoing debate over women’s safety.

On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, the Thomson Reuters Foundation — the philanthropic arm of Reuters media company — released a study that ranked India as the most dangerous place because of its high incidences of sexual violence, lack of access to justice in rape cases, child marriage, female feticide and human trafficking.

India outranked such countries as Syria and Afghanistan — second and third — that are currently at war.

Experts interviewed for the poll said India had topped the list because its government has done little to protect women since the controversial rape and murder of a young student in 2012 prompted widespread outrage and changes in the country’s rape laws.

“India has shown utter disregard and disrespect for women ... rape, marital rapes, sexual assault and harassment, female infanticide has gone unabated,” Manjunath Gangadhara, an official in the southern state of Karnataka, told Thomson Reuters.

The poll — based on a survey of 548 experts on women’s issues — ignited an immediate firestorm of controversy on Indian social media, where government apologists - typically - blasted it as ‘based on opinion, not facts‘.

India's National Commission for Women chairperson, Rekha Sharma, rejected the ranking, saying the sample size was too small.

The report noted that reported cases of crimes against women rose 83 percent between 2007 and 2016, where there were four cases of rape every hour.

In addition, India has the most child brides in the world — around a third of all girls are married before their 18th birthday — and its own government estimated earlier this year that there are 63 million “missing” women in the country because of sex-selective abortion, as well as 21 million unwanted girls.

Reported rapes in India — 38,947 in 2016 — are on the rise, but its rate of rape per 100,000 people remains far lower than some Western countries, including the United States, which experts believe is in part due to years of fear and underreporting.

The study kicked up a political debate when India’s chief opposition leader, Rahul Gandhi, was criticized Tuesday for tweeting that while the prime minister “tiptoes around his garden making Yoga videos”  a reference to Modi’s recent fitness video — “India leads Afghanistan, Syria & Saudi Arabia in rape & violence against women. What a shame for our country!”

His supporters quickly dug up old tweets from Modi apparently commenting on the last version of the this poll, done in 2011, lamenting the fact that India had ranked fourth then.

“Moral of the story: the rankings are not the issue here, they’re absurd,” journalist Nidhi Razdan tweeted. Safety of women “has been an issue for years under both governments.”

However, the ranking has slipped all the way down to rock bottom under Modi and his Hindutva supporters.

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The author is The Washington Post’s India bureau chief and has reported for The Post throughout South Asia and the Middle East since 2013. Before going to India, she was a member of The Post's social issues team covering wealth and inequality.

[Courtesy: The Washington Post. Edited for]
June 28, 2018


Conversation about this article

1: Onkar Kaur (Patiala, Punjab), June 28, 2018, 1:40 PM.

A pandora's box was opened by the genocide of tens of thousands of innocent Sikh citizens in the 1980s. It isn't ever going to close until and unless justice is delivered to the victims. In the meantime, the same Hindu mobs and their children, and the children of their children, are turning against their own wives, mothers, sisters and daughters! Jai Hindutva ... Jai Hindustan.

2: Hitpal Singh  (New Zealand), June 29, 2018, 11:25 AM.

It is interesting to see these developments taking place in Hindustan after Sikh girls were brutalized by Hindu mobs in the 1984 era. Hindus claim 'victory' over the "war against terrorism" after killing tens of thousands of innocent young men. And now ... the chickens are coming home to roost all over Hindutva India!

3: Bhupinder Singh Mahal (Canada), June 29, 2018, 2:54 PM.

Disrespect of women is rooted in Hindu culture ... a disrespect deeply embedded in the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana revered by Hindus. A telling event is the masterminding of the game of dice by Shakuni between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. After Yudhishthira, head of the Pandava clan, lost his jewels, gold, villages, animals, he staked his servants and then his brothers, and lost. Utterly bereft of all his worldly possessions Yudhishthira still remains undaunted. Shakuni then reminds him that he has “one jewel still in your possession by staking which you can yet free yourself”. That jewel is his wife Draupadi which Yudhishthira pledges as wager and loses. Another challenging incident has its genesis in Ramayana that involves Rama’s forsaking his wife Sita. On their return from exile to Ayodhya Sita gets pregnant and rumors make the rounds that she is impure. Rama then banishes her to a hermitage. The two epics are viewed by Hindus as the main sources of enlightenment about duty and morality and of underlying religious themes and spiritual values. The words of Manjunath Gangadhara, therefore, should not come as a surprise that “India has shown utter disregard and disrespect for women ... rape, marital rapes, sexual assault and harassment, female infanticide has gone unabated”. A nation that condones bride burning, gang rapes and sexual harassment deserves to condemned as the most dangerous place on earth for women.

4: Hardev Singh (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada), June 30, 2018, 3:13 AM.

The genesis of India's descent as the most dangerous place for women can be traced to the events of 1984, as very well pointed out by Onkar Kaur in the first comment. We can include the minorities as well. Sikhs have been seeking, in vain, justice and closure for the 1984 genocide. The Indian ruling classes and its subservient judiciary have not only proved yhemselves incapable but actively subverted all attempts to deliver on their false promises. There are three clear outcomes. The first, that you can escape accountability in India for criminal behaviour, be it rape, loot, plunder or murder, while under political protection. Second, the flame of indignation as well as remembrance of the 1984 genocide gets ever stronger by the year by the Sikhs. Third, Divine Justice and punishment is inescapable. Indira Gandhi had lost her peace of mind and was haunted by her actions. Others, the mobs and their political handlers, and the cheering public, are the living dead with tainted, miserable lives.

5: Sarvjit Singh (Millis, Massachusetts, USA), July 02, 2018, 11:45 AM.

We too in Punjab need to look inwards and examine the fact we have a shortage of girls due to subscribing to the Indian practice of pre-birth male selection at the expense of females.

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