This post is a part of our weekly roundup series. Every week, we will take a look-back at sexual harassment, gender violence and related incidents in India and beyond. Readers can submit their suggestions, comments and opinions to email@example.com.
Justice for Asifa, finally
This week’s defining highlight was the verdict given towards the Kathua rape and murder case of Asifa. Six of the eight accused were convicted. Three of them were sentenced for life, including Sanji Ram, the mastermind and caretaker of the temple where the girl was drugged, starved and repeatedly raped for days before she was strangled and bashed to death. The acquittal of Sanji Ram’s son is likely to be challenged again, the hearing of his nephew though is on hold till the verdict is out on his juvenile status.
This verdict is extremely important because, since the incident in 2018, the mastermind of this crime had systematically and strategically utilised not just monetary, but also religious and political capital to engineer hate propaganda towards one community purely out of spite and bigotry. The victim might be one girl, however, the target of this terror was an entire community to which Aisfa belonged.
In a glaring exhibit of Brahminical patriarchy, two Dalit women were forced out of their workplace because of the bigotry of a few upper-caste people of her village. M Annalakshmi and M Jyothilakshmi, two Dalit Anganwadi workers, the former was newly appointed as a cook and helper, and the latter was in-charge of supervising the cooking. They were transferred from their own village of Valayapatti because officials at ICDS office succumbed to the pressure of savarnas of their village, who did not want their children eating food made by Dalit women.
Patriarchy reduces job options, salaries and growth for women within a field. Brahmanism makes sure Dalit women suffer more.
In other news in Meerut, a viral video shows the UP police ruthlessly beat up a group of transgender people after a clash allegedly erupted between two rival factions. Toxic masculinity meets transphobia. Though one may argue those police officers had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse the warring groups, the video clearly shows how ruthlessly the lathi was charged upon the transgenders.
Ode to our home-grown glass ceiling destroyers
More in UP’s lawlessness, the first woman president of Uttar Pradesh Bar Council was shot dead her own welcome ceremony, just 2 days after being elected, by her associate Manish Sharma. Her family alleged that Sharma had taken a loan from her to construct his house and refused to return the money.
In other news, Dr TS Kanaka, India’s first woman neurosurgeon and world’s 3rd, passed away at the age of 86.
So we lost two women who broke the glass ceiling in their fields.
Meanwhile, a transgender person from Gorakhpur broke their own glass ceiling and made it to the shortlist for the job of train driver/technician, along with 2,941 women and 83,810 men. Hope she gets the job! Two years ago, Kochi’s metro started it off by hiring 23 transgender people for ticket counter and housekeeping jobs.
Meet the Zuckerbergs! And us pathetic Indians!
In a Facebook post where Mark Zuckerberg congratulated his sister, Randi Zuckerberg for winning Tony awards, Asian men made gave us global recognition with pathetic remarks based on the Hindi/Urdu meaning of her name (Prostitute).
Thankfully, we had some of us issuing an apology on behalf of Indians.
Their counterparts from elsewhere like Mc Donald here, who validates the actions of Indian men on the post.
What started with one step forward at the start of the week, with Kathua verdict, felt like two steps backwards for the rest of the week! If anything, we only feel stronger for the need for feminism to be intersectional.
If our feminism does not include religious minorities, Dalits, transfolk, and the outcastes, then who is it for?