Sunday, December 23, 2012

Is Delhi’s Brutal Gang Rape Outrage the Tunisian Moment!

Is Delhi's Brutal Gang Rape Outrage the Tunisian Moment!

India Gate becomes Cairo's Tehrir Square


The judicial system in India did not deliver justice but has become a tool for litigation by the rich and powerful to thwart and delay justice; Supreme Court Justice Singhvi


"Indian police has become the armed militia of the political party in power," a retired Delhi police chief 

Rule of law is a Semitic contribution to human civilization. The 'Eye for an eye 'custom was codified as part of the Hammurabi Code, which formed the basis of law in Semite lands. If an eye is not taken for an eye aka guilty not punished then lawlessness will take over .This Semite tribal thesis later became the core of Judaic, Christian and Islamic civilizations .In Europe it was further refined. 

Rule of Law or equality of all before the law evolved further in Europe following the Reformation and the Renaissance.


In India, caste based Dharma rules .The political class are now the high castes and above the Rule of law. 

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Meade

 "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed" -Steve Biko

 Tunisian Moment;

Tarek al-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26 year old Tunisian street fruit vendor, set himself on fire on 17 December, 2010, in protest at the confiscation of his wares and the harassment and humiliation he was inflicted on by a woman municipal official and her aides. This act of helplessness against arbitrary power became a catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and led to wider  uprisings in the Arab world with continuous demonstrations , sit ins and riots first throughout Tunisia ,in protest against social and political ills in the country and then in other Arab states like Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria ,.


Of course US led West has tried to manipulate peoples' uprising against Washington supported dictator -puppets in the Middle East to their advantage with huge funds from rich oil oligarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar , afraid of the fire of revolts reaching and igniting at home .NATO and GCC have openly intervened in Libya ,against UNSC resolution , creating havoc and destruction as the West did in Iraq , destroying Libya's loosely knit tribal domains .Short of direct intervention they are doing the same in Syria but have been fiercely opposed by Iran and Russia. Over 40,000 Syrians have died in the continuing civil war.


Further breakup of the historic state of Syria will lead to change of borders in West Asia and the region, arbitrarily carved by Britain and France after WWI.


Massive demonstrations in Delhi


Can the spontaneous people's massive demonstrations , especially in Delhi in front of the President's Residence after  the rape of the 23 year old Delhi girl , who is in critical condition in a New Delhi hospital ignite a peoples revolt in India .There is little doubt that barring exceptions the ruling political elite, as many activists like Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal have said, is very corrupt , brazen and full of men charged with serious cases of murders, rapine and corruption sitting in legislatures , ministries and other centres of power .


Since half a century they have dillydallied without enacting an Ombudsman in spite of Parliament's solemn promise to Activist Anna Hazare in 2011. The politicians have sat through fasts and agitations by Anna Hazare, Kejriwal and Baba Ramdeo, who have run out of steam, as the politicians thought they would.


But the demonstrations mostly by young people of capital Delhi which have assumed massive proportions since Saturday morning are quite different.


By Sunday ,23 December, the demonstrators had been joined by Baba Ramdeo , Kejriwal supporters and Gen VK Singh .


On 22 December, the assurances given by Home Minister Shinde at a media conference and meetings by some students with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have not singed the anger and the frustrations of the suffering public.


A news reports;


Delhi rape: People on the streets, and netas in hiding

by Akshaya Mishra



"There's anger on the streets. A 23-year-old has been brutally attacked and raped. She is fighting for her life in a hospital. India's young are asking one simple question: why? They are demanding a clear answer and they want promises that will convince them that they will be safe in the country. It's a protest not loaded political motives; it's an expression of overwhelming frustration. Yet, no political leader has the courage to come out and face them. ---


--Leaders are incapable of finding any solution to the problem. They are either incompetent or indifferent. There are three policemen for every VIP in Delhi and one for more than 700 hundred of ordinary people. The ratio of policemen to one lakh population in India stands at roughly 130. In other countries the people-police ratio is much higher. According to United Nations guidelines, it should be at least 220. The country is thus short of six lakh policemen.


But that is only part of the story. The available policemen are mostly busy protecting VIPs, mostly politicians, making passport verifications, managing rallies and helping other government authorities do their job. There is only a handful left to serve the ordinary people. The police are understaffed, overworked and demoralized. But they also represent the might of the state, and thus make for easy targets for public wrath whenever there's trouble. Any call for better law and order should start at reforming the police force.


In the entire discourse so far, the emphasis on punishment is disportionately heavy. 'Hang them', 'castrate them', 'put them in jail quickly' have been the rough and ready remedies on offer. These go with the current public mood. No one is in disagreement that rapists should get the toughest of punishments but it hardly qualifies as any solution to the original problem. Any action makes little sense when physical and psychological damage is already done to the victim. Moreover, people committing the heinous act of this kind hardly think of the consequences at that very moment.

The best idea is to shift attention to prevention. And when it is about prevention, it has to be mostly about efficient policing. It requires quality, which is not possible without adequate manpower and proper training. Why hasn't one heard any expert talking about new recruitment to the police force? Why is the government not being challenged for sitting on reform proposals? Why are our police so weak at investigating cases?


The anger at the police might look justified in the heat of the moment but in the final analysis it makes little sense. The protesters must demand that the politicians start reforming the police first.


They can present Rahul Gandhi and other leaders with a charter of actionable demands. The call for harsher punishment to victims can wait.


The collective frustration must yield something that is beneficial to it."


Lack of respect and equality for women begins from male political leadership, which refused to pass a law to reserve even third seats in the parliament for women.


There are innumerable examples of political leaders, even ministers committing rape. Because of their power most escape punishment.


Political Leaders Attitude to women


Cong MP and Reality TV participant Sanjay Nirupam's disgraceful attack on Smriti Irani


If Smriti is a thumkewali, what does this make him?


He joins illustrious Parliamentarians in the misogynists' hall of shame. So, dear neta, as you outrage over crimes against women, reflect on how you treat them


'Some women wearing lipstick and powder have taken to the streets
in Mumbai and are abusing politicians and spreading dissatisfaction
- Muqtar Abbas Naqvi, BJP, over the outrage after 26/11.

'Wah kya girlfriend hai! Have you ever seen a Rs 50-crore girlfriend?
- Narendra Modi, BJP, on Shashi Tharoor'S wife

'Listen carefully sister, this is a serious matter, not a filmy subject
- Sushil Kumar Shinde, Congress, to Jaya Bachchan who was debating on Assam

'Only women from affluent classes can get ahead, but remember you rural women will never get a chance because you are not that attractive.
- Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP, at a public rally opposing women's reservation

Rule of Law in India!


Revolutions of the people by the people and for the people are not and cannot be planned in details. They happen when its time has come .It needs a spark, say a suicide in Tunisia .It can take unexpected turns and twists .It may not succeed and can be even aborted .It can be high jacked as happened in Romania, when in 1989 it was taken over by old sidelined communists and finally, mafias owing loyalty to the West are now ruling .A poll 5 years ago showed the much maligned by the West Nicolai Ceausescu as the most important leader in Romanian history. Globalization and neo liberalism has heaped misery on the masses .As it has all over the world including India.


In Iran, Mullahs hijacked the revolution in 1979 in spite of Ayatollah Khomeini and remains incomplete .In Algiers, the freedom fighters after seven years of bloody struggle for independence in 1962 just ended up replacing the ruling French elite. The usurping elite were and remain challenged by the angry masses with religious moorings under young radical leadership. As a student of history of revolutions around the world, it is my firm belief that to avoid massive bloodshed which will put the fear of God in the heart of the totally corrupt, insensitive and brazen ruling elite across the whole political spectrum, a lasting and fundamental change must come about quickly whether it is Lokpal Bill or electoral, educational and other reforms. 

Look at the Egyptian revolution ,still underway  but the old ruling elite of military fat cats minus a few prominent exploiters like Mubarak family and close cronies ,remains in place .Muslim Brotherhood , an exclusive power group is taking over power much against the aspirations of secular and other groups who had led the revolution against President Hosni Mubarak .

 This I had written when the Egyptian revolt began in February, 2011.

 "Egypt might join France, Russia, Turkey, China and Iran, and emerge as a modern nation from the crucible of a bloody revolution. The people of Hindustan, are unlikely to do so, where the regime is no less corrupt, but where corruption is decentralized and almost 'legitimized '. Seventy percent of the poor who live on less than a dollar have been conditioned by Brahmanical dharma that it is their Karma for sins in past lives.

 "The political architecture after Mubarak is not easy to predict but democracy as defined and not as practiced say even in USA and India might not come about any time soon .The Egyptian armed forces are well entrenched since 1952 and remain powerful as in Iran, Turkey, Pakistan , China and military-industry complex in USA.

Evolution of the Equality before Law or the Rule of law

An eye for an eye – Hammurabi

Rule of law is a Semitic contribution to human civilization. The 'Eye for an eye 'custom was codified as part of the Hammurabi Code, which formed the basis of law in Semite lands. If eye is not taken for an eye aka guilty not punished then lawlessness will take over .This Semite tribal thesis later became the core of Judaic, Christian and Islamic civilizations .In Europe it was further refined.

 Rule of Law or equality of all before the law evolved further in Europe following the Reformation and the Renaissance.

 Thus the current rule of law as acknowledged and accepted is basically a European construct on Hammurabi Code ,which evolved over a long period through revolutions and evolutions, along with the concept of a modern state and the nation .It emerged after centuries of wars among the Popes ,Holy Emperors and kings and other religious leaders and barons .And finally ; common people rose and fought for equality for all citizens and rule of law .A King was guillotined in France , Czar assassinated in Russia ,Ottoman Caliph fled Turkey , as did Chiang Kai Sheik in China and the Shah-in-Shah  from Iran and some others  elsewhere too.


During modern era the concept of duties of a citizen and of the ruler was further evolved and was codified in Europe helped by development of political, economic, social and ethical thought .It is only then that the concept of a nation and equality before law emerged and slowly took hold. These were then transmitted to colonies in America, Asia and Africa and implemented and accepted with different levels of success


India has not gone through any such metamorphosis yet. Nor is it likely any time soon .So do not hold your breath .Yes, there are revolts and rebellions in north East ,in Kashmir and in increasingly large swathes of areas where rights of tribals have been usurped ,reducing them to misery .So they are now coming under Maoist influence and sway.

 Hindu outlook and Rule of law & Removal of Corruption in India.

 Just passing a strong Lokpal Act will not solve the problem of corruption or inequality in India .The problems are deep rooted, religious and civilisational.

 Poet AK Ramanujam said that Indians don't seem to have a sense of absolute .They place everything in some context or the other. And, depending on the context, what the rest of the world would regard as being wrong in the absolute sense becomes quite all right in India.

 All this is supported even by our epics , Ramayana and Mahabharata .Like the trickery by the great  noble and transparent  warrior of Ramayana , Lord Rama in killing his opponent Bali while hiding behind a tree or in the Mahabharata war ,the apostle of truth Pandava Yudhister  proclaiming the death of Aswathama (elephant) for military gains are all lauded , accepted and readily employed in daily life , specially by the new political leadership which has emerged from the grass roots from the villages and small towns and are not versed in western concept of  the rule of law . 

Thus Indians in general have little sense or respect for rule of law. Their concept is very flexible. Show me the man and I will show you the law depending on the situation. There is almost total unanimity in applying rules and laws contextually for personal gains and advantage. 

Thus India/Hindustan is not a nation in the European sense and even in many other ways .Identity is still caste based not only in India but to quite some extent even in Pakistan and Bangladesh too . Among the followers of Islam, supposedly an egalitarian religion, the caste has been replaced by Ashraffs (migrants from Arabia, central Asia, Iran and Afghanistan) and high caste converts, mostly Rajputs and Jats, who are considered superior to converts from lower castes and untouchables .The caste malady exists among Sikhs too as manifested by recurrent resistance by low caste Sikhs against Jat Sikh domination in religious and political institutions. Christians in Kerala have separate caste based churches. Even in the most highly educated state in India, politics remains caste and religion based. Thus education is no panacea.


Let me give a few examples .When I made my first call in Cairo in 1962 on my first ambassador Azim Hussien ICS , on my telling him that I am a Rajput , he could not contain himself and smiled and blurted  ,'You know ,I am a Rathore Rajput' .Son of Fazli Hussein , pre-partition chief minister of  Punjab , who ruled the state in coalition with Jat leader Chhotu Ram , Azim Hussein was otherwise very reserved ,taciturn and aloof. While posted in Ankara (1992-96) I visited Bucharest and was invited for dinner by Ambassador Julio Ribeiro, a former police chief of Maharashtra and Punjab. Even before I had a few sips of the whisky, he said,'you know I am a Chitpavan Brahmin'.


A retired Indian Ambassador Surrender Kumar wrote a piece for  Tribune, Chandigarh about the antics of Indian parliamentarians of all castes and parties about caste based census  .He then narrated from personal experience how Indians were not satisfied unless they found out his caste , when he encountered them. These included high caste top civil servants, diplomats and politicians, who were or rose to become vice-presidents and presidents of India. 

Upward movement in India's caste system? 

Eminent Indian sociologist M.N.Srinivas, propounded the theory of Sanskritisation as the process by which castes placed lower in the caste hierarchy seek upward mobility, based on an ethnographical study of the Coorg Community of south Karnataka, India.

Srinivas defined Sanskritisation as a process by which "a 'low' Hindu caste, or tribal or other group, changes its customs, ritual ideology, and way of life in the direction of a high and frequently 'twice-born' caste. Generally such changes are followed by a claim to a higher position in the caste hierarchy than that traditionally conceded to the claimant class by the local community..."

One clear example of Sanskritisation is the acceptance, imitating the practice of twice-born castes, of vegetarianism by people belonging to the so-called low castes, who are traditionally not averse to non-vegetarian food.

Looked from another angle , Sanskritisation is but (cultural) 'colonization' of society that entails the imposition of a set of beliefs, social structures and practices (Brahmanism) upon the Hindu society, allowing it to take root progressively and in a top-down (NOT bottom-up) manner by first inducting the upper / ruling classes of the native population.

The British colonialism could be called Anglicization, defining it as a process by which the natives of India sought upward mobility by emulating the ways and manners of the British lords who chose to spend some time in India as part of their global mission to 'spread civilization' (and, incidentally, economic restructuring aka looting their subjects )

We will not discuss Hindu beliefs and relevance or importance of the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas and all that goes by the name of Hindu scriptures, and therefore in avatars and rebirth, the varnashram dharma or varna-vyavastha either in the sense in which it is explained in Hindu dharma shastras like Manusmriti or in the so-called Vedic sense and the Hindu taboo of not eating beef or the idol-worship and other such controversial matters.

High caste Imperialism

Thus we can also say that while imperialists divided the subject races to rule over them, Brahmins, since time immemorial have divided the Hindu society, to rule over them as the highest rule making caste. They gave religious sanction and fear of hell and uncounted births as non humans and other untold tortures and miseries, if the non Brahmins wavered from the caste based Dharma and obligations, mostly for the benefit of the higher castes at the cost of those lower down.

In this Brahmin ordained apartheid like systemic cancer since millennia there has not been much weakening since 1947 or even in the equality of the sexes guaranteed by the Constitution. The women in real life remain relegated to the bottom by the religiously enforced grading led by Brahmin fraternity, warriors and nominally ruling caste of Kshatriyas, the trading and agriculture community of Vaishyas and even the Dalits (who in the countryside still remain untouchables). While for political reasons the reservations in Assemblies and for jobs have distributed benefits unevenly to Dalits and Tribes the Muslims have now ended as the new untouchables as brought out in the prevailing discriminations against them by various studies and reports. Even rich and respectable Muslims are refused flats by Hindu dominated building societies.

Female is the last on the rung of ladder in Indian society.


But the situation of women in India remains unenviable .A girl child is still given food the last in the family , so it is with her education ,with female foetusicide ,bride burning for dowry or maltreatment of widows and rapes galore with little or too late punishment . A few years ago, Shankaracharya of Puri declared that women have no right to learn Sanskrit the language of Hindu Shashtras or read Vedas. A Shankaracharya , mostly a Brahmin ,tries to be like an Ayatollah Khomeini ,a jurist –consult in Shia Iran, to maintain Brahminical control over Hindu society and has been used to deny education to non-Brahmins and women. Brahmins, about five percent of India's population including obscurantist cranks and charlatans continue to rule the spiritual life and flourish all over India, with many of them named Ananda (bliss) spreading swamis, preachers and priests on religious TV channels. Some have been charged with, molestation, rapes and other crimes somewhat like Catholic priests all over the world. 

 K.Gajendra Singh ,23 December 2012 .Mayur Vihar, Delhi