A Happy New Year? Rape in India and Bangladesh

A friend put a link to this post on her Facebook today and I was deeply saddened – but not surprised – by what I read. I thought it fitting that I offer this link as the first of my posts for the new year. Whilst we are all looking forward to a better, brighter 2013 it is important for us all to remember that there is still an awful lot that is wrong with the world.

I wonder if our New Year Resolutions – with the aim that our lives will be better, healthier and happier – should be to try our best to make the world a better, healthier and happier place instead. It seems to me that if everyone put their efforts in towards others we’d soon be reaping the benefits for ourselves in more ways than one.

When I read a post like this I feel saddened to realise that tragedy builds on tragedy. It is not enough that two young Asian women were raped and murdered – in the case of one, her suffering had to be ignored by the state and world too. The girl mentioned in Rangamati was a marma girl, one of the many tribal or adibhasi peoples living in Bangladesh. A good proportion of my Bangla friends are adibhasi (most of them Santals) and I have some inkling of just how many ways they are mistreated and oppressed in the country. Adibhasi girls particularly live in danger. In a hierarchical society it is difficult to imagine any kind of person who ranks lower.

Where is the justice? What will change in 2013?

How far is Delhi from Rangamati? | ALAL O DULAL.

About D K Powell

British freelance journalist, author, writer, editor, musician, educational consultant. I lived with Wifey, Thing I (daughter) & Thing II (son) in Bangladesh for 5-6 years working for an NGO called LAMB. Wifey led the Hospital Rehab department and I used to teach O levels at the school before going full-time as a freelance writer in 2013. Now we're back in the UK learning how to be British again. When not writing or editing, I'm busy trying to complete a Masters degree in Intercultural relations in Asian Contexts and reading way too many books at once. I also drink tea - lots of it.
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6 Responses to A Happy New Year? Rape in India and Bangladesh

  1. What a sad start to the year..and it’s true, there is a lot going on in the world that people tend to forget about because a lot are wrapped up in themselves.. Friends of mine are going to india in February to do some outreach..I shall blog about it soon.
    It kind of makes you reflect on your life and realise that what you “go through” is a speck compared to what some other people go through in their respective countries.

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    • Indeed Apple. I think it is important for all of us to be more aware of what is happening in countries that are far distantly related to our own. In my case, I know about Bangladesh, so I share what I know with others on this blog. We need to be aware that there is good and bad happening all over and begin figuring our own place in that. Will we help or hinder? In cases like this one, that is not an easy question to answer…

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  2. Ruth Subash says:

    It is sad that both cases happened but sad we only heard about the girl from Delhi. Subadh said such things happen regularly in tamil nadu but never reported like this. Subadh questions was this reported in the news because it happened in delhi toa middle class girl? If she was a dalit from a village would there have been such a reaction? Sadly I think not.

    It is sad that as a woman I do not always feel safe in India and men feel they can stare at you or sit next to you on the bus and touch you. They do not care how they make you feel. Eve teasing is such a big issue especially in cities. I will not walk alone in the dark and will not really go out alone in areas i do not know.

    Many such abuses if women happen in families between husband and wife. I kniw of one horrific case that haplened one good friday and there was nothing we could do. She tried to divorce him but he had enroled daughters at college in his mothers place so he had control of them. if she divirced him she would not see her daughters again and her family abandon her. They even questioned the truth of her alligations – you just had to look at the state she was left in to know it was true. Throughout her ordeal and afterwards there was nothing we could do but hope and pray no more male relatices turned up to stop the police investigation and interfere with witnesses.

    I have to say this us a minority of men thinking they can do what they like to women and get away with it. The majority of indian men are lovely.

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    • I agree Ruth – especially with your last line. It is such a difficult issue to deal with and I think much has to be linked with the corruption inherent in the states. After all, if a man thinks he can get away with it, often he will choose to try. Whilst most good men will resist the more shameful crimes – such as rape – I’m not sure how many resist the smaller ones, especially where a bribe, if caught, will make it all go away. It is only a short step away before you begin to believe you can get away with anything. Then it is only time before you want to get away with anything.

      I think most of these kind of crimes, in Asia anyway, are opportunistic in the sense that if there was tight law and order, it would not happen. Not even between husband and wife.

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