Wednesday March 27, 2019
Home Opinion Ban on India’...

Ban on India’s daughter: Why UK and the rest of the world need to clean up their dirt first

0
//

Rape case (1)

By Harshmeet Singh

Global headlines have centred around India in the past one week, owing to the Government’s ban on BBC documentary, India’s Daughter. Significantly, majority of foreign media has merrily bashed the Indian society by concluding that most Indian men agree to what Mukesh Singh (one of the convicts of the Nirbhaya gang rape case) and his lawyers think about women.

Is the International reaction called for?

One of the most scathing attacks on Indian men came from Kuwait Times which ran a story titled ‘Rapist’s views reflect those of many in India – Indian men ‘blame women for rape’. For Kuwait, a country famous for minimal women rights, a country with no laws against sexual harassment or domestic violence, such comments do not stand true to its self made image.

How do the developed nations fare?

7th March 2015, Leeds – ‘An 18 year old woman raped and ‘left of dead’ in Leeds assault’

8th March 2015, Oxfordshire – The defence lawyer of the gang of five men accused of subjecting six schoolgirls to ‘horrific’ sexual abuse said that the girls came forward because ‘it’s better to be a victim than a slag’.

A number of similar stories make headlines in national UK newspapers every single day. According to credible factual data, developed countries make up for majority of the rape cases recorded against women around the world. 1 in every 6 women faces a rape attempt in the perennial world power, USA. In UK, a government report released in 2013 stated that 1 in 5 women above the age of 16 was subjected to some form of sexual abuse.

Is India alone?

The menace of rape and violence against women exists worldwide and making India the lone scapegoat isn’t going to solve the problem. In Mexico, on an average, six women are murdered each day. So despicable is Mexico’s situation that the UN termed it as ‘femicide’ in the country. In 2006, a 14-year-old Iraqi girl was raped and killed by five U.S. soldiers near Al-Mahmudiyah town, Iraq. To destroy any evidence, she was shot in her head and the soldiers set the lower part of her body on fire. Known as the country exhibiting the best ‘gender equality’ stats in the world, Sweden holds the dubious distinction of recording the highest number of rape cases in Europe. The ‘sick’ thinking of men behind such crimes exists everywhere in the world, including India.

Can India get away?

India can’t breathe easy by terming it as a one-off incident and arguing that similar cases happen at other places too. ‘India’s daughter’ was much more than just about another rape case in the country. If it included the rapist’s point of view, it also brought forth the unprecedented unity shown by the youth across the country to come out on the streets and demand their rights. Never before had the world witnessed so many people on the streets without a single leader, all protesting peacefully, demanding what is fundamentally theirs, a right to a dignified life.

The rising emotions of people in India are entirely justified. The thought of the juvenile convict (said to be the most violent) getting released in December this year is in itself scary. It certainly calls for revamping of criminal laws in the country. The five convicts are a part of the same society where our next generation will grow. Isn’t worth asking ourselves, where did we go wrong.

Next Story

13 Million in Congo Suffer from ‘Hunger’ and ‘Malnutrition’: UN

U.N. is appealing for $1.65 billion in humanitarian aid for the country this year - more than double the $700 million plus that it raised last year to help 8.5 million people

0
congo, UN
FILE - A Congolese boy has his arm measured for malnutrition in a clinic run by medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres in the remote town of Dubie in Congo's southeastern Katanga province, March 18, 2006. VOA

The number of people needing humanitarian aid in Congo has increased dramatically in the past year to 13 million and “hunger and malnutrition have reached the highest level on record,” the head of the U.N. children’s agency said Monday.

UNICEF’s Executive Director Henrietta Fore told a news conference that 7.5 million of those needing aid are children, including 4 million suffering from acute malnutrition and over 1.4 million from severe acute malnutrition “which means that they are in imminent risk of death.”

U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock, who just returned from a visit to Congo with Fore, said the U.N. is appealing for $1.65 billion in humanitarian aid for the country this year – more than double the $700 million plus that it raised last year to help 8.5 million people.

UN, congo
U.N. is appealing for $1.65 billion in humanitarian aid for the country this year. Pixabay

He said the worsening humanitarian situation is the result of economic stresses including volatility in commodity prices and the turbulent political situation surrounding December’s elections, compounded by violence, increased displacement and the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak. Fore added that farmers fleeing with their families and drought in some areas also contributed.

She said the difficulty is that last year’s U.N. appeal was only half funded, and if that same amount is contributed this year it will only be a quarter of this year’s appeal, “and the needs are immense.”

Fore cited more grim statistics: 2 million people were newly displaced last year; 7.3 million children are out of school; 300,000 children die each year before their fifth birthday; 3 in 10 women are reported to be victims of sexual violence; and in January alone there were 7,000 cases of measles and 3,500 cases of cholera.

UN, congo
UNICEF and its partners are providing psycho-social support, food and material assistance to the children, she said. Pixabay

Congo’s Health Ministry said Monday that the Ebola epidemic has now exceeded 1,000 cases, with a death toll of 629.

Fore said about 30 percent of the cases are children, and UNICEF has identified about 1,000 children who have been orphaned or left unaccompanied while their parents are isolated in Ebola treatment wards.

UNICEF and its partners are providing psycho-social support, food and material assistance to the children, she said.

In the major city of Bunia close to the epidemic’s center, Fore said U.N. and Red Cross officials visited a kindergarten where Ebola survivors who cannot get the virus were caring for orphaned and unaccompanied children.

UN, congo
Congo’s Health Ministry said Monday that the Ebola epidemic has now exceeded 1,000 cases, with a death toll of 629. Pixabay

The U.N. officials also visited Goma, Beni and Butembo and the capital Kinshasa where Lowcock said they had “extremely constructive talks” with Congo’s new president, Felix Tshisekedi.

ALSO READ: Military-Backed Party in Lead in Thailand’s Election

“We were encouraged by the new president” who said he would like to work closely with the U.N. on humanitarian issues and problems related to the millions of displaced people, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs said.

“Congo is a country where progress is possible,” Lowcock said, pointing to lower infant mortality, more children in school and Kinshasa becoming a modern African capital. (VOA)