Stories and articles for today


by Sunny
24th July, 2009 at 8:45 am    

» Nineteen-year-old Canadian Rochelle Wallis has become the first unintended victim of changes to UK immigration laws which were designed to protect young British Asian women from being subjected to forced marriages – BBC Newsnight.
Well, a law is the law isn’t it? I don’t like the ideas of laws only targeting a certain minority.

» The child sex ratio is a powerful indicator of social health of any society. Calculated as number of girls per 1000 boys in the 0-6 years age group, the ratio has shown a sharp decline in India from 976 girls to 1000 boys in 1961 to 927 as per the 2001 census. In certain parts of the country, there are less than 800 girls for every 1000 boys.
A new campaign – Laadli – is planning to gather 1 million signatures from across the country to pressure the government to do more about it. Support the campaign if you can.

» A teenager and a 25-year-old man have appeared in court charged with attempted murder after a so-called ‘honour attack’ over an illicit love affair. Their alleged victim, a 24-year-old man, is critically ill in hospital after a gang poured sulphuric acid down his throat and stabbed him. – The Times
The story is terrifying but it looks more like a bunch of nutjob brothers than an ‘honour killing’ in the traditional sense.


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  1. Naadir Jeewa — on 24th July, 2009 at 8:48 am  

    The cynical part in me (ok, it’s the largest part), says the government will listen as soon as it’s framed as a “national security” issue.

  2. cjcjc — on 24th July, 2009 at 8:59 am  

    The story is terrifying but it looks more like a bunch of nutjob brothers than an ‘honour killing’ in the traditional sense.

    Phew, that’s OK then!

    Where exactly do you draw the line??

  3. Kismet Hardy — on 24th July, 2009 at 9:06 am  

    The Osman Warning given to the woman was introduced in 1988 advocating that police have a ‘duty of care’ to issue alerts that will protect citizens.

    According to police, more than 1,000 Osman Warnings are issued per year in Britain.

    The home office is three times more likely to deport a woman who has overstayed her visa compared to a foreign overstaying male perpetrator.

    Sleep well, ladies.

  4. Vikrant — on 24th July, 2009 at 9:25 am  

    In certain parts of the country, there are less than 800 girls for every 1000 boys.

    Isn’t that just Punjab and Haryana?

  5. cjcjc — on 24th July, 2009 at 9:41 am  

    It’s *fewer* – *fewer* than 800 girls – not less, fewer…

  6. MaidMarian — on 24th July, 2009 at 12:23 pm  

    I do have a certain sympathy for the Rochelle Wallis story in that there is no suggestion of any sort that the marriage is forced, that they have acted in good faith, and there seems to be a suggestion that there was a delay in processing the application.

    Saying that, the law is on balance a good thing and (importantly) Wallis had overstayed.

    It’s another example that laws designed to legislate for motive are almost impossible to get right.

  7. Sunny — on 24th July, 2009 at 12:52 pm  

    It looks like they’re getting her out for overstaying her visa, not because of the marriage law

    see statement at the bottom of this page:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jul/24/adam-wallis-rochelle-roberts

  8. Cauldron — on 24th July, 2009 at 2:18 pm  

    Too soon to tell if it is a bad law or not. I’d like to think that this law will help a lot more people than it hurts. Best to leave it alone for the moment.

    Interesting to read in the Guardian story that the high priest of gerontocratic ethnic/identity politics, Keith Vaz, was quick to suggest that the law be changed (i.e. gutted). I’m sure his mates the traditionalist ‘community leaders’ would approve of this tactic.

  9. Cabalamat — on 24th July, 2009 at 3:07 pm  

    Well, a law is the law isn’t it?

    Yes, and some laws are bad laws.

    I don’t like the ideas of laws only targeting a certain minority.

    I don’t like the idea of laws being over-prescriptive, targetting a large amount of behaviour when the government only wants to stop a smaller amount of that behaviour.

  10. Matt Wardman — on 25th July, 2009 at 3:01 pm  

    >Too soon to tell if it is a bad law or not.

    If a problem exists for certain countries, then that can surely be legitimately targetted. That’s already done in all sorts of areas of law, and they are compelled to draw artbritrary EU/non-EU divisions everywhere anyway.

    >It looks like they’re getting her out for overstaying her visa, not because of the marriage law

    … after the authorities lost passport photos.

    It’s badly drafted law with too little flexibility, combined with right hand / left hand imho.

  11. Laban Tall — on 28th July, 2009 at 11:47 pm  

    “The child sex ratio is a powerful indicator of social health of any society”

    Is it ?

    But anyway, I don’t see how you can support “the right to choose” and then be so shocked at the consequences.

    It’s weird. 200,000 babies a year are topped in the UK and no one bats an eyelid, as long as the killing is equal opportunities. But if 100,000 babies a year were killed and the ratio was 60/40 female to male, the Guardian would have fits.

    “Morena’s missing girls came into focus in February when the District Collector, Dr. Manohar Agnani, started checking the anganwadi records. “On one such visit, I found that there were very few girls named in the register, and scolded the anganwadi worker. Imagine my shock when she told me, `Gaon mein ladkiyaan hon to darj karein’ (only if there are girls in the village can I register them). That was when we started a door-to-door survey.”

    Inevitably, the survey pointed to the local nursing homes and clinics with ultrasound machines. Many women of the villages admitted to having had an abortion after discovering that the foetus was female, said Dr. Agnani. They even named the doctors who conducted the tests, he added. Performing a test for the purpose of sex determination is a cognisable, non-bailable and non-compoundable offence under the amended Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act (PNDT Act) and punishable with a jail-term of up to five years and a fine of Rs.5 lakhs…

    As news about the raids spread, fewer pregnant women visited Morena for ultrasound tests. Some of the women Frontline spoke to said that they used to get `checked’ in Morena earlier, but had stopped going there after “the machines shut down”. (Most of the people are not yet aware that the machines are back in action.) Some of them now go to clinics in Bhind, Gwalior, Agra and even Delhi and Kanpur, despite the fact that it costs twice as much if not more.”

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