You are on page 1of 1

+

;
THfMf
wO||N'> >/||!\ 3urday v|jay T|re, 15 1aruary 200
!
A
MONTH buck, Ihe bruIul rupe uhd mur-
der oI u 24-yeur old cull cehIer employee,
PruIIbhu SrIkuhIhmurIhy, oh December
13, 2005, sehI shock wuves IhroughouI Ihe
couhIry. Buhgulore, Is uh IT hub uhd hus seeh u
humber oI MNCs opehIhg shop, gIvIhg uh
ImpeIus Io Ihe ITeS secIor Ih Ihe CIIy us well.
ThIs IhcIdehI broughI Io lIghI Ihe lux uIIIIude oI
employers, ucross Ihe bourd, us well us puI Ihe
quesIIoh oI securIIy oI employees oh Ihe
scuhher.
Lmployers ucross Ihe IhdusIry uhd Ihe polIce
huve spruced-up IheIr securIIy uhd hew meus-
ures huve beeh puI Io pluce. UhIorIuhuIely, uI
Ihe cosI oI uh IhhocehI lIIe. AI leusI IhIs seems
Io huve wokeh Ihe uuIhorIIIes Io Ihe uIrocIIIes
commIIIed uguIhsI womeh. SurprIsIhgly, Ihe
reucIIoh Irom dIIIerehI segmehIs oI Ihe socIeIy
reveuled ohe sImple IruIh, IhuI ohly wheh
someohe close Io us Is uIIecIed, do we reulIse
Ihe possIbIlIIy oI IhreuI heur us. WhuI wus
heurIehIhg Is Ihe humber oI people who cume
ouI Io proIesI such behuvIour.
Shocked IT uhd BPO employees orguhIsed u
proIesI demuhdIhg u suIe uhd secure
Buhgulore, eveh demuhdIhg cupIIul puhIsh-
mehI Ior Ihe culprII. Ohe IhIhg IhuI cume IhIo
Ihe lImelIghI wus Ihe suIeIy oI womeh. The ITeS
IhdusIry Is ohe IhuI us gIveh womeh uh equul
opporIuhIIy uI Ihe workpluce, yeI IhIs IhcIdehI
broughI Io Ihe Iore Ihe IucI IhuI womeh ureh`I
suIe uhywhere, especIully uI hIghI. Womeh huve
beeh subjecIed Io u loI oI hurussmehI uhd
ulIhough Ihey ure comIhg oI uge uhd shurIhg
Ihe work loud, Ihe hurussmehI hush`I declIhed.
II hus shIIIed Irom Ihe cohIIhes oI Ihe home Io
ouIsIde. Theh be II Ihe workpluce, murkeI
pluce, shoppIhg mulls, clubs or pubs, Ihey ure
subjecI Io some or Ihe oIher kIhd oI huruss-
mehI.
The CIIy polIce IhIehsIIIed hIghI puIrollIhg
ImmedIuIely uIIer Ihe ubomIhuble crIme whIch
broughI wIdespreud proIesIs Irom vurIous
quurIers, IhcludIhg womeh`s orguhIsuIIohs uhd
Irude uhIohs. Oh u sIhgle duy, us muhy us 177
cuses hud beeh regIsIered uguIhsI BPO cub
operuIors Ior speedIhg, rush uhd heglIgehI drIv-
Ihg uhd u IIhe oI Bs 42,000 wus collecIed Irom
Ihem.
Sooh uIIer Ihe IhcIdehI cume Io lIghI, securIIy
uhd hIghI surveIlluhce wus beeIed up. Ohe
IhIhg Ihe IhcIdehI uchIeved Is Ihe excessIve
medIu coveruge uhd proIesIs Irom employees
whIch Iorced oIIIcIuls Io Iuke IusI ucIIoh.
Moreover, II ulso broughI ouI Ihe bIused huIure
oI Ihe socIeIy Ih whIch we lIve. Bupe oI u
womuh, wheIher belohgIhg Io uh educuIed,
uIIluehI secIIoh or Ihe lowesI wruhg oI socIeIy
Is u heIhous crIme. SocIeIy heeds Io be sehsI-
IIsed Io such sIIuuIIohs uhd Iuke sIrIhgehI sIeps
Io reduce IhIs crIme. The heed oI Ihe hour Is Io
sIuhd up uguIhsI such evIl, creuIe uwurehess
uhd Iuke u zero Ioleruhce sIuhce uguIhsI II.
VIolehI crImes uguIhsI womeh huve become so
commoh Ihese duys IhuI ure ho lohger uppulled
by whuI hews reporIs curry.
WIIh such IIgures cohsIuhIly oh Ihe rIse, ohe
wohders II Ihe cohcepI oI suIeIy Ior womeh wIll
ever be Iukeh serIously. Tuke Ihe IollowIhg cuse
IhIo cohsIderuIIoh. Ashu (hume chuhged Ior
prIvucy) Is urouhd 30 yeurs old uhd Ihe moIher
oI Iwo chIldreh. She huIls Irom NorIh KurhuIuku
uhd Is works us u cohsIrucIIoh lubourer. Her
husbuhd Is u cohvIcIed Ieloh uhd wus uI servIhg
u sehIehce uI Purupuhu Agruhuru, Ihe CehIrul
juIl (uI Ihe IIme oI Ihe crIme).
Oh AprIl 24, 2005, Ashu Iook her chIldreh uhd
vIsIIed her husbuhd uI Ihe prIsoh. AIIer Ihe
vIsII, she wus wuIIIhg uI Ihe HosekerehullI bus
sIop wIIh her chIldreh, wheh u IuxI pulled up
hexI Io her uhd usked her II she would lIke u
lIII somewhere. She reIused buI her chIl-
dreh beguh Io pleud wIIh her Io uccepI Ihe
rIde. Oh Ihe behesI oI her chIldreh, she dId.
The drIver oI Ihe cur sooh culled up IIve oI hIs
IrIehds uhd Iook Ashu Io Ihe Jhuhu BhuruIhI
cumpus, where Ihey euch ruped her Ih Ihe
presehce oI her chIldreh. AIIer IhIs, she wus
drIveh Io uh IsoluIed pluce oh Mysore roud
where she wus ruped ohce uguIh by ull sIx
meh uhd wus Iheh ubuhdohed wIIh her
chIldreh oh Ihe roud.
WIIh ho polIce Ih Ihe vIcIhIIy, Ashu
Iurhed Io Ihe loculIIes Ior help. She
upprouched Ihe GIrIhugur polIce
sIuIIoh Io IIle u compluIhI. Four oI
Ihe uccused ure belIeved Io huve beeh urresIed
us u resulI. However, u polIce oIIIcer oI Ihe
GIrIhugur polIce sIuIIoh wus sooh suspehded us
II Is belIeved Ihe FIB (FIrsI IhIormuIIoh reporI)
IIled by hIm dId hoI cohIuIh ull deIuIls oI Ihe
cuse uccuruIely.
Ohe oI Ihe IIrsI IhIhgs Io cross u mujorIIy oI
mIhds rIghI how Is Ihe quesIIoh, 'Why dId she
huve Io uccepI u lIII Irom uh uhkhowh muh`.
Muhy would dIsmIss Ihe sordId uIIuIr by suyIhg
IhuI Ihe womuh usked Ior by geIIIhg IhIo u
sIruhgers vehIcle. II Is sud IhuI such hoIIohs
exIsI. AccepIIhg u lIII oh Ihe pleudIhg by her
chIldreh should hoI be u reusoh IhuI cuh jusIIIy
such u heIhous crIme.
BeIhg Ih uhy sIuIe oI percIeved helplesshess
Is hoI u jusIIIIuble reusoh Io perpeIruIe u crIme.
Ohe should Iry uhd comprehehd Ihe sIuIe oI
Ihe womuh. WIIh her husbuhd Ih juIl, she musI
be besoIIed wIIh Iroubles IhuI come wIIh beIhg
u purI oI Ihe lubour cluss uhd brIhgIhg up Iwo
growIhg chIldreh. HuvIhg beeh ruped cuh Iuke
IIs Ioll oh Ihe ludy mehIully us well us physI-
cully. BeIhg subjecIed Io quesIIohIhg by Ihe
uuIhorIIIes us well us by u hosy commuhIIy
cuh muke lIIe ull Ihe more dIIIIculI.
II ohe IhIhks ubouI II, Ihe crIme Is
ohe IhuI seems Io huve beeh well
pluhhed. II wus jusI Ihe quesIIoh
oI hubbIhg uh uhsuspecIIhg vIc-
IIm, whIch Ih IhIs cuse huppehed Io
be Ashu. The rupIsIs huve culled ohe
uhoIher up, meI uI u pluce, Iukeh Ihe
ulreudy buIIered womuh uhd ubuhdohed her
ohce IheIr purpose wus served. II cuh be coh-
sIdered pure urroguhce over Ihe IucI IhuI Ihey
wIll hoI be reporIed uguIhsI, or eveh cuughI. II
Is dIsheurIehIhg Io khow IhuI such crImes
ure beIhg commIIIed Ih our very owh vIcIh-
IIy uhd IhuI ho womuh Is suIe.
YATHA N )AGADffSHA
T
HL rupe uhd murder oI u 24-yeur-old
Iemule cull cehIer employee by u per-
soh preIehdIhg Io be Ihe luIe hIghI
drIver oI her compuhy IruhsporI hus sehI
u chIll dowh Ihe spIhe oI Ihe BPO Ihdus-
Iry Ih Buhgulore. The IhcIdehI hus receIved
excessIve coveruge Ih Ihe medIu whIch hus
merely served Io sehsuIIohulIse Ihe IhcI-
dehI ruIher Ihuh ruIsIhg lurger Issues .
II`s IhIeresIIhg Io see IhuI muhy orguhI-
suIIohs huve come Iorwurd Io proIesI
Ihe bruIul ucI uguIhsI Ihe womeh.
Muhy oI Ihem huve IrIed Io puI Iorwurd
IheIr ugehdus oh Ihe Issue, whIch Iocus oh
buhhIhg Ihe hIghI shIII Ior womeh, deuIh
pehulIy Ior Ihe rupIsI or dress code Ior cull
cehIer workers, or beeI up Ihe securIIy oI Ihe
womeh worker whIle oIhers huve eveh coh-
IempluIed crImIhul proceedIhgs uguIhsI Ihe
compuhy.
VIolehce uIIecIs Ihe lIves oI mIllIohs oI
womeh worldwIde ucross dIIIerehI socIo-eco-
homIc uhd educuIIohul clusses, culIurul uhd
relIgIous burrIers, ImpedIhg Ihe rIghI oI
womeh Io purIIcIpuIe Iully Ih Ihe socIeIy. The
kIhd oI vIolehce u DulII womuh Iuces Ih Ihe
vIlluge Is dIIIerehI Irom IhuI oI uh upper cusIe
womuh. BuI Ihe luw mukes ho such dIsIIhc-
IIoh, clussIIyIhg Ihem us ucIs oI crIme whIle
cohvehIehIly IghorIhg Ihe exIsIIhg puIrIurchul
sysIem, whIch Is Ihe rooI cuuse Ior vIolehce
uguIhsI womeh.
The row over PruIhIbhu MurIhy`s rupe uhd
murder Is uhIorIuhuIely cehIered urouhd Ihe
urbuh mIddle cluss or Ihe urbuh upper cluss,
mosIly workIhg Ih Ihe BPOICull cehIers whIle
IghorIhg Ihe oIhers
Thousuhds oI womeh work Ih Ihe gur-
mehI secIor, more Ihuh 70 per cehI oI Ihe
populuIIoh work Ih Ihe ugrIculIurul sec-
Ior oI whom mujorIIy oI Ihem ure
womeh, who heIIher geI Ihe mIhImum wuges
hor proper IucIlIIy whIle rouIIhely IucIhg sex-
uul ubuse uhd exploIIuIIoh Ih Ihe work pluce.
VioIence aainst women mirant workers: The
presehI developmehI models lIke dums, HIgh
Wuys, NuIIohul Purk, mIhIhg uhd Ihe so culled
boomIhg IT IhdusIry dIspluce people Irom
IheIr huIIve pluce desIroyIhg IheIr IrudIIIohul
lIvelIhood. Helpless uhd uhemployed, people
ure mIgruIIhg Io urbuh pluces Ior employ-
mehI. Some Iemule mIgruhI workers IypIcully
leuve IheIr pluces Ior beIIer lIvIhg cohdIIIohs
uhd beIIer puy, buI IhsIeud ehd up workIhg
Ior low wuges. Muhy become vIrIuul sluves,
subjecI Io ubuse uhd rupe by IheIr employers.
Muhy oI Ihem, sudly, choose sex-work us lusI
resorI.
Sex-workers ure Ill-IreuIed by our owh sys-
Iem, eveh Ihough Ihe luw does hoI crImI-
hulIse sex-work. Womeh who ure supposed Io
geI help ure hurussed physIcully (hoI jusI
beuIIhg buI sexuully Ioo) uhd Iulse cuses ure
booked uguIhsI Ihem. The cohdIIIoh oI Ihe
IhIerhuIIohul mIgruhI Is much dIIIerehI uhd
worse Ihuh IhIs. MosI oI Ihe IIme Ihey ure
cohsIdered us IhIerhuIIohul crImIhuls uhd ure
IllIreuIed uhd hurussed (eveh ruped uhd
kIlled) sIhce Ihere Is ho ohe lookIhg ouI Ior
Ihem. WhuI should Ihese womeh do
VioIence aainst women in situations of armed
confIict: Bupe hus beeh wIdely used us u
weupoh oI wur whehever urmed cohIlIcIs
urIse beIweeh dIIIerehI SIuIes, commuhIIy,
cusIe uhd ruce. II hus beeh used ull over Ihe
world GujuruI uhd horIh eusI KushmIr ure
some oI Ihe worsI exumples Ih IhdIu.
Womeh uhd gIrl chIldreh ure, IrequehIly,
vIcIIms oI guhg rupe commIIIed by soldIers.
Such ucIs ure dohe muIhly Io Irumple Ihe dIg-
hIIy oI vIcIIms. Ih 2004 over 100 womeh
proIesIed Ih Imphul uguIhsI Ihe cusIodIul
rupe uhd kIllIhg oI Ihe womeh Ih MuhIpur.
ChaIIenin the existin norms: The meuhIhg
oI gehder uhd sexuulIIy uhd Ihe buluhce oI
power beIweeh womeh uhd meh uI ull levels
oI socIeIy musI be revIewed. CombuIIhg vIo-
lehce uguIhsI womeh requIres chullehgIhg Ihe
wuy gehder roles uhd power reluIIohs ure
urIIculuIed Ih Ihe socIeIy. Ih mosI oI Ihe
pluces womeh huve low sIuIus. They ure coh-
sIdered Io be IhIerIor uhd Ihere Is u sIrohg
belIeI IhuI meh ure superIor Io Ihem.
IhcIdehIs lIke Ihe PruIhIbhu murder or Ihe
oIher duy-Io-duy IhcIdehIs, whIch ure occur-
rIhg Ih u cIIy lIke Buhgulore lIke hurussmehI oI
u gurmehI worker, uh ugrIculIurul worker Ih u
remoIe vIlluge, or oh Ihe IrIbuls or hoh-IrIbuls
Ih borders, reIlecI Ihe mIhd seI oI Ihe exIsIIhg
puIrIurchul socIeIy. CreuIIhg uh uwurehess oh
Ihe Issue oI vIolehce uguIhsI womeh hus Io
Ihcreuse. Also educuIIhg Ihe puIrIurchul socI-
eIy Io vIew womuh us u vuluuble 'humuh
beIhg` huvIhg equul rIghIsIIhIeresIs wIIh her
owh spuce us umohg oIhers musI be broughI
ubouI uI leusI how. A sIep Iowurds IhIs uwure-
hess Is huvIhg some kIhd oI debuIe oh Ihe
Issue oI womeh`s suIeIy uhd Ihe rIghIs Ih Ihe
medIu. However, whuI Is reully heeded Is Io
exIehI IhIs debuIe Io u lurger uudIehce. We
musI brIhg more people IogeIher Io ehsure u
sysIem Is Ih pluce Ior ull womeh workers, Irre-
specIIve oI her cusIe, cluss, buckgrouhd uhd
Ihe pluce oI work.
TIc uIIc I: un uucruIc uIII
AIIcnuIIc Luu Fcum
The kind of violence a Dalit woman faces
in village is different from that of an
upper caste woman. But the law
makes no such distinction
1error has no
boundaries
A
CTING us upholders oI publIc morul, MeeruI polIce oh
December 10, 2005, IurgeIed publIc purks lIke Surujkuhd,
Bum Purk, VIcIorIu Purk, Compuhy Gurdeh uhd GuhdhI
Purk uhd pouhced oh youhg couples uhd sIhgle womeh. To pre-
vehI so culled publIc dIspluy oI Immorul behuvIour, Ihese cou-
ples were beuIeh uhd ubused Ih Iull vIew oI TV hews cumerus.
MurrIed couples were hoI spured us well.
The polIce Ih MeeruI Iruely huve ouI dohe Ihemselves!
BuhhIhg urouhd grubbIhg IhhocehI gIrls, murrIed womeh uhd
beuIIhg Ihem up. TheIr crIme supposedly wus, uccompuhyIhg
IheIr mule purIhers Io u purk. ThIs Ihey dId wIIh u cumeru crew
oh sIuhd-by. Wohder whuI Ihey were IhIhkIhg ThIs ucI jusI goes
Io show Ihe IhhovuIIve IhIhkIhg Ihvolved. They were ucIuully ouI
oh u mIssIoh Io sIop eve-IeusIhg. Well, muybe someohe should
huve Iold Ihem IhuI Ihey heeded Io IurgeI Ihe culprII, uIm uI Ihe
Adum hoI Ihe Lve!
Oh u serIous hoIe, Ihe IhcIdehI wus yeI uhoIher cuse oI morul
polIcIhg. II Is ImporIuhI Io hoIe IhuI IhIs wus IhIIIuIed by womeh
cops uhd IhuI II cleurly reIlecIs u gup Ih IheIr IhIhkIhg uhd uhder-
sIuhdIhg oI Ihe Issues Iuced by womeh. The messuge IhuI Ihey
sehI ouI wus loud uhd cleur. SIuy uI home uhd uvoId beIhg u Iur-
geI Io eve-IeusIhg. Morul polIcIhg hus guIhed momehIum over
Ihe pusI Iew mohIhs uhd IhIs IhcIdehI jusI udded Iuel Io IIre.
Muhy Iook Io Ihe sIreeIs Ih vurIous purIs oI Ihe couhIry Io show
IheIr solIdurIIy Io Ihose uIIecIed uhd Io proIesI uguIhsI Ihe mIs-
behuvIour oI polIce oIIIcIuls. YeI uhoIher cuse oI morul polIcIhg
IhrusI upoh people, IhIs IIme rouhd, uI leusI people cume ouI Ih
Iull sIrehgIh Io proIesI uguIhsI such IhjusIIce Ih Ihe hume oI Ihe
luw. Are Ihe so-culled upholders oI morul, IukIhg IheIr cue Irom
TubIluh
The polIce uuIhorIIIes Ih MeeruI suspehded Iour oI IIs oIIIcIul
who were Iouhd respohsIble Ior Ihe IhcIdehI whIch Ihcluded SP
Umesh Kumur SrIvusIuvu, CIrcle OIIIcer Mukul DwedI, Sub
IhspecIor uhd Ih churge oI MuIIIu TIunu MumIu GuuIum uhd
IhspecIor Mudhu MulII. Muhy womeh MP`s proIesIed uguIhsI
IhIs uhjusI ucI, Ih us well us ouIsIde Ihe PurlIumehI.
Oh Ihe cohIrury, some polIIIcul ouIIIIs, ucIIvIsIs oI Ihe BJP uhd
some suIIroh ouIIIIs lIke Ihe VHP come ouI Ih supporI oI Ihe
polIce ucIIoh, jusIIIyIhg II us beIhg u deIerrehI Io eve-IeusIhg.
The IhcIdehI Iocused oh whuI Is morully correcI uhd whuI Is hoI,
bused oh Ihe opIhIohs oI u selecIed Iew. AlIhough Ihe such
debuIe Is hever-ehdIhg wIIh boIh sIdes presehIIhg jusIIIIcuIIoh,
IhIs cleurly reIlecIed Ihe psyche oI Ihe oIIIcIuls.
The luw ehIorcers Ihemselves ure blIhdly puIIIhg Ihe blume oh
IhhocehI womeh, whIch speuks volumes oh Ihe IrusI womeh
wIll huve whIle seekIhg IheIr help. ThIs shows how womeh-
IrIehdly Ihe cops ure uhd how helpIul ohe cuh expecI Ihem Io be.
Womeh heed Io be uwure oI busIc luws goverhIhg Ihem or Ihey
mIghI jusI be mIsguIded Ih Ihe hume oI Ihe luw.
Pratibha 5rikanthmurthy
In Ihe name of
morals ...
Pratibha's unfortunate rape
and murder spiralled into a national
issue. The gang rape of a construction
worker quickly faded away
from public memories
Biased percepIions