Should You Get Killed For Celebrating Diwali?


by guest
7th November, 2010 at 3:24 pm    

This is a cross post by Rita Banerji

Two years ago, two events of immense significance took place in the village of Kaluvas in Haryana.

A young man from this village, Vijender Singh won a bronze medal for India, at the Olympic Games in Beijing, putting this village in the global limelight.

Two months after that in November, during the Diwali festival, two teenage girls became victims of a brutal gang attack by the villagers. They were stoned, and hacked with machetes and axes. As they lay unconscious and bleeding, they were doused with gasoline and burnt alive. The entire community then participated in a conspiracy of silence to hide their crime.

What was the crime of these girls that warranted such a gruesome attack? Their crime was that they had visited the homes of some boys to celebrate Diwali, to share sweets and to light crackers. In a community where girls and boys are not supposed to even speak to each other, this harmless act of celebration on the part of the girls was considered to be bold and shameless. And this apparently had brought dishonor to their family and community, and so for that they had to die.

While India immortalizes Vijender Singh as its boxing champion, projecting him glamorously on T.V. and advertisements, has it conveniently forgotten these two young girls from the same village? Did these girls get justice in the end? Or did we just let it go because as has been argued before in government circles, there is an inherent, justified cultural logic to such so called “honor killings.”

How many more such girls and women must die before we say – “That’s enough. No more!”
Every one of us who stays silent on this issue, or gets defensive about it, is conspiring with those who commit these crimes. So join us in breaking this wall of conspiracy and silence by sharing this story.

We wish everyone a SAFE AND HAPPY DIWALI!!!


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Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence,India






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  1. joe90 — on 7th November, 2010 at 6:09 pm  

    At a time when cameron and crew are wooing india to sign business deals to help boost the economy.

    You will not find it in their economic interest to highlight these crimes by their propaganda unit i.e the media.

  2. Shamit — on 7th November, 2010 at 6:39 pm  

    Good post – wish more people write about these heinous crimes – there are few instances but Indian civil society and more importantly vote bank politicians need to wake up and stand for what is right and against these heinous crimes. But they rather play the status quo angle so that their votes are delivered.

    ********************

    Joe90 – Indian media is actually quite good in highlighting these kind of things. And its not in anyone’s pocket and the politican – media nexus is far less than in other countries.

    As for Cameron wooing – so is Obama and so are others – India is an economic powerhouse – but then again we all know you would never have anything good to say about India. So why do you bother?

  3. Niaz — on 7th November, 2010 at 9:06 pm  

    Ah Hinduism….the religion of pieces

  4. platinum786 — on 8th November, 2010 at 8:24 am  

    Things like this will remain come as no surprise to anyone whilst educated, wealthy leaders have opinions that honour killings are a “traditional right”.

    http://pakistaniat.com/2008/08/30/honor-honour-killing-pakistan/

  5. Rumbold — on 8th November, 2010 at 8:26 am  

    Great piece Rita. Good points Shamit.

  6. joe90 — on 8th November, 2010 at 11:29 am  

    post #2

    I was actually talking about the british media in this context!

    but if you want to put on your nationalistic cap on go ahead.

  7. Shamit — on 8th November, 2010 at 11:37 am  

    “You will not find it in their economic interest to highlight these crimes by their propaganda unit i.e the media.”

    May be writing with more clarity would help avoid that

    On the nationalistic crap – this is coming from the guy who defends Pakistan pushing terrorists into India.

    I am British Asian and I am very proud of that identity – and I feel like the US, UK and some others India is a force for good on the international stage unlike some others.

    if that makes me nationalistic that’s fine by me.

  8. joe90 — on 8th November, 2010 at 11:45 am  

    post #7

    yawn, you made the error in first post don’t trip and start using lame terrorist propaganda lines lol

  9. Shamit — on 8th November, 2010 at 11:54 am  

    which error -

    you may laugh out loud but I think people on this blog have been quite critical of your stance – so please spare me the moral superiority crap.

  10. joe90 — on 8th November, 2010 at 10:51 pm  

    post #9

    if you made a boo boo don’t cry about it. You thought i was slagging of indian media when in fact i had a go at the british media.

    Take it on the chin or is your ego that big you can’t even do that.

  11. Rita Banerji — on 10th November, 2010 at 12:00 pm  

    @Shamit — is right. The reason these cases, and other criminal acts that contribute to the systematic annihilation of women in India — like feticide, infanticide, dowry murders, the deliberate starvation of girls, witch hunting, and sati (yes,many of the 40,000 widows begging or prostituting in Varanasi escaped sati), go unprosecuted — is that politicians don’t want the laws enforced. That would upset the voting public! What does that say about the public? That is more frightening to contend with isn’t it? There are 50 million more men than women in India right now. That is a genocide under the 1948 U.N. Charter on genocide.

  12. Shamit — on 10th November, 2010 at 1:14 pm  

    Rita –

    That would upset the voting public! What does that say about the public?

    That the public is shit and continues to conflate culture/religion with crime.

    A small anecdote about the Indian state’s mentality about rights of women.

    A few years ago, my wife went to the Indian High Commission to get my newly born son’s PIO card sorted. Now, technically, he derives his PIO card from his mother who has held an Indian Passport.

    So quite rightly she signed the forms but at the counter, the Woman officer said why there is no signature of the father. My wife explained that because he was never an Indian citizen but the officer refused to process the application without my signature.

    This riled up all the feminist bones in my wife’s body and she threw a ruckus – and ultimately, after a meeting with the third secretary and threats of complaint etc etc – the PIO was issued by the Indian High Commission.

    Now that’s how the Indian state and the public still view the role of women in society.

    *********************************

    I was told in Cal by a cousin once – that surprisingly yet not so surprisingly most of the dowry killing at least in the state of West Bengal happened with active participation by women folk such as the mother in law, sister in law etc – inf act, the persecution used to be mostly led by women.

    That was shocking and still is.

    ************************************

  13. Rita Banerji — on 10th November, 2010 at 3:24 pm  

    @Shamit, good for your wife :) I wish many more Indian women would do that. It is one of the issues we are dealing with in The 50 Million Missing Campaign in female genocide in India. Women in India are not fighting back! They are, as you mention here, fighting to kill each other!!! It is what we’ve put out on our this week on our blog Gender Bytes.

  14. dsdsd — on 21st November, 2010 at 3:26 am  

    You’d better off asking that to the BNP you idiotic uncle tom sellout.

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