New Delhi: Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Sunday asked people to ensure that in the run-up to the Raksha Bandhan festival, women get benefits of social security schemes launched by the government. “In August, we have Raksha Bandhan, we can begin a mass movement to ensure that all women and sisters of our country get all security scheme benefits before Raksha Bandhan,” the prime minister said in his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio address.
“Whether it is a woman working as a maid in our house, or in our fields, or whether they are our own sisters, we can ensure that they avail the social security schemes,” he said.
Rakshan Bandhan is an Indian festival which celebrates the brother-sister bond. As a symbol of that bond, a sister ties a coloured thread on her brother’s wrist, and he pledges to help and protect her in times of her need.(IANS)
In a bid to make cities safer, the government has set up help lines and installed security cameras which was a great fail according to the rights activists. A six year old girl was raped in the state of Haryana.
A 6 year old girl was gang raped int the state of Haryana
The gang raped was compared to The Delhi gang rape in 2012
“Meet to Sleep” campaign done by women
New Delhi, December 16, 2017: Five years after the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old physical therapy student in the Indian capital turned the focus to violence against women, small groups turned out in New Delhi and several other cities on Saturday to highlight the need for safety for women in public spaces.
The “Meet to Sleep” movement, under which women took a short nap at a park, is one of several campaigns that have emerged in the wake of massive protests that rocked India after the gang rape. The symbolic nap highlights the need for women’s safety when they are most vulnerable.
“What happened to her [the gang rape victim] happened in a very public place, in a bus, which is a mode of transportation that many women use, but remains unsafe. Five years on, not much has changed,” said 26-year-old Kriti Omprakash.
The gang rape victim was assaulted by six men on a bus that she boarded with her male friend in December 2012. She later died due to the injuries she sustained.
Not only do sexual attacks targeting girls and women continue to pose a challenge – such incidents actually have increased, according to the latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau. Delhi, considered one of India’s most unsafe cities, reported 1,996 rape cases in 2016, up from 1,893 in the previous year.
Women’s rights activists say the biggest change, however, is that women have become more vocal in demanding their freedom and safety and that the subject of violence is now discussed openly in a country where talk of sex crimes previously had been considered taboo.
“In the past five years, one of the most positive things I think is that those kind of agitations have taken teeth and grown,” said Kavita Krishnan from the All India Progressive Women’s Association.
In a bid to make cities safer, the government has set up help lines and installed security cameras, although that has failed to be a deterrent, according to rights activists. They express disappointment that despite the tightening of laws for rape and sexual harassment, crimes are still surging, sometimes against very young girls.
“We feel very, very let down by the system, by the government. The gruesomeness of crime has increased,” says Ranjana Kumari at the Center for Social Research in New Delhi. “There have been very, very young children who have been assaulted in most brutal way.”
Less than a week ago, a six-year-old girl was found murdered with grave sexual injuries in the northern state of Haryana – a case whose brutality led to comparisons with the 2012 bus gang rape.
The mother of the gang rape victim, Asha Devi, also expressed anguish over reporters asking, “Women and girls are still being raped, what changed? The city is as unsafe as it was five years ago.”
Activists also worry about what they feel are efforts to dilute the tough laws that were instituted after the gang rape to punish men and point to a judgment.
Earlier this year, a judge set aside the conviction of a Bollywood filmmaker for rape after ruling that a “feeble no” could indicate willingness on the part of the victim.
Kavita Krishnan stresses the need for more mobilization of the kind that was seen in the wake of the 2012 gang rape to continue to keep the focus on women’s safety and freedom.
“We cannot celebrate the 2012 movement without realizing what is happening around us right now. It has to be a continued fight. It can’t just be a ritual obeisance paid to the 2012 moment,” she said. (VOA)
Supreme court had ruled that the practice of triple talaq as illegal in August 2017.
On December 15, the Union Cabinet passed a bill which would make it a criminal offence
.The bill recommends a sentence of imprisonment for three years in case of a violation.
The bill also makes provisions for “subsistence allowance” for the women divorced through triple talaq.
On December 15, the Union Cabinet of India cleared a draft legislation, which would make the controversial practice of triple talaq a criminal offence in India, a violation of which may result in imprisonment for a period of three years for the husband. The recently approved bill, deemed as the ‘Muslim Women’s Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’, was framed by a group of ministers including the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and the Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, and was headed by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
What is triple talaq
The practice of triple talaq, or talaq-e-biddat, is a Islamic ritual through which a man might divorce his wife by uttering the word ‘talaq’, that is, the Arabic word for ‘divorce’, three times. The controversial practice, which dates back to Islamic scriptures of the 8th century AD, was a common one among the Muslim population in India, often enacted through letters, emails, text messages, Skype and Whatsapp.
Triple Talaq Ban
On August 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of India had banned the archaic practice of triple talaq, after a long and hard legal battle fought by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), also known as the Indian Muslim Women’s Movement. “Triple talaq is against the basic tenets of the Holy Quran and consequently, it violates Shariat … What is held to be bad in the Holy Quran cannot be good in Shariat and, in that sense, what is bad in theology is bad in law as well,” they had declared, making India the 23rd nation to ban the practice of unilateral divorce, after Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Many non-governmental Islamic organizations, along with certain clerics had opposed the verdict, on the grounds that it was an infringement of their right to religion, which is ensured by Article 25 of the Indian Constitution. The Supreme Court, however, had decided to uphold Article 14 of the Constitution, which grants every citizen equality before the law. The verdict had met with mixed reactions among the people of India, attracting applause as well as apprehension all over the country.
However, in spite of the Supreme Court verdict, there have been reports of instant divorces performed through the process of oral declaration, as many continued to ignore the various advisories issued by the government. The new bill approved by the government also makes provisions for Muslim Women to demand “subsistence allowance” for herself and her minor children from her husband, in case she feels victimised by the now illegal practice of triple talaq.
New Delhi, Dec 15, 2017: Actor-filmmaker-singer Farhan Akhtar hopes that actresses backing films as producers is not just a passing trend as he believes that women’s influence, irrespective of the field, is good for everyone.
Over the years, actresses like Dia Mirza, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Chitrangda Singh and Richa Chadha have shown interest in contributing to filmmaking as producers.
Asked what he thought about the trend, Akhtar told IANS here: “That’s how it should be. Not just actresses, there are also a lot of female producers and women who are working in different companies and handling the creative aspect of those companies.”
“It is amazing to see that. The more influence that we have of women in any field, why just films… it can be sports or politics also, it’s good for everyone because they have a different perspective on things because they have experienced life in different ways from what we (men) have; so, it makes a difference,” added the brother of director Zoya Akhtar.
Farhan’s latest co-production, “Fukrey Returns”, registered an opening day collection of Rs 8.10 crore on December 8. Are box office collections more important when he produces a film?
“The reason you do a film is because you want to share it with the world and when a lot of people see your film, the most tangible recognition of it is the box office collection, because you can aggregate a number through it,” he said.
But for him, success of a film also means “conceptually what is done to get people to think about things”.
“There are many films that were released in their time and not considered box office hits, but what that film meant, the kind of story-telling, the work that went into that film have sustained and at times (they are) considered as landmark films and way ahead of their times.
“So, success of a film can be gauged on many fronts; but is box office important? Of course it is, because people are putting money in a film. You don’t want anyone to lose money,” said the co-founder of Excel Entertainment that has produced blockbusters like “Rock On!!” and “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”.
The first look of his next co-production “3 Storeys”, starring Pulkit Samrat, Sharman Joshi, Richa Chadha and Renuka Shahane, was unveiled last week.
So, is a multi-starrer the formula for a hit film?
“I don’t think so. Eventually, a good story should be the formula for success… whether it is about one person in a room or 21 people in a colony like in ‘3 Storeys’. Our emphasis is on trying to tell good stories.
“Arjun Mukerjee, who is the director and writer of this film, has truly put together something that we consider very special. Now we are excited to share it with others,” he said.
Farhan is also passionate about fitness, among other things. The actor, who has fronted ads of vitamins and dietary supplements brand, is now endorsing Apollo Munich Health Insurance.
Is he deliberately focussing on health-related brands?
“It is not deliberate. I do feel good about doing it when it does happen. I don’t go around looking for it, but I guess the lifestyle that I lead, the kind of work that I do, information on my life and focus on health and fitness, encourage people to come and speak to me about it,” said the 43-year-old.
When did he start taking fitness seriously?
“I got serious about it in 2003-2004. I was shooting for ‘Lakshya’ in Ladakh. We were there for five months and I felt incredibly fit by the time I came back from there.
“When I returned to Mumbai, my energy levels were really high… it was a feeling that I didn’t want to lose. That’s when I started training with Sam (Samir Jaura), who is my trainer,” said the “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” actor.
He believes fitness is not about “going to a gym and getting big biceps. It’s much more than that”. (IANS)