India Insight

LoC killings: Is a third-party probe the way ahead?

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)

The death toll on the Line of Control in Kashmir is four since Jan. 6: two from India’s military, two from Pakistan’s. One thing is sure: neither side started it, judging by what you hear from both countries’ armed forces and from media reports.

The killings threaten to muffle talk of a thaw in relations, something that would have been welcome after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and years of fighting and death in Kashmir before a 2003 ceasefire.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement that it was prepared for an investigation by a U.N. military observer group. India’s foreign minister Salman Khurshid suggested that the situation could be contained. So why not submit to an independent probe?

The peace process has been steady lately; incidents like these — especially when only one party could be right, yet both insist the other is wrong, should be avoided. It would be a shame of the most ironic proportions to start a war over a runaway granny.

Interview: Satisfied with response from police, government: rape victim’s father

Five men accused of the rape and murder of the 23-year-old student appeared in court on Monday to hear charges against them.

Reuters’ Shashank Chouhan interviewed the rape victim’s father over telephone. Here are the excerpts:

Q: Why did you reveal your daughter’s identity to a UK newspaper?
A: When the (new) law will be made, it has to be made after the girl’s name. There is nothing wrong in giving out the name – it is not for any wrong purpose. It will not harm anyone nor should anyone object. Nothing objectionable is being said or written. That is why I gave the name.

Photo gallery: Cold snap hits Delhi

Delhi winters typically are short, but they also get cold. This winter has been one of the worst in more than four decades. Temperatures have fallen to just above the freezing mark, and on Thursday rose to no more than 9.8 degrees Celsius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Media reports say over 100 people have died in northern India as a result of the cold.

Temperatures like these are intolerable for people in a city like Delhi, where many people spend their days and nights on the streets in much warmer weather. (Temperatures in the summer have reached highs of 49 Celsius, or 120 Fahrenheit.) Even if they have homes, they often lack heating and insulation. Here are some photos of people in Delhi during the cold snap:

Cold, they say, helps you work up an appetite for all sorts of things…

 

… and for street food:

 

And let’s not forget peanuts. The more you have them, the more you want them…

Responsibility or censorship: why Bollywood should pick

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Thomson Reuters Corp.)

The mother and father of the 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim were cremating their daughter’s body around the same time I discovered Honey Singh, now lately known for his notorious song, “Ch**t,” or “Cu*t.” The song revolves around the singer’s vision of satisfying a woman’s lust, followed by beating her with a shoe and then moving on to other things.

While India convulses over its people’s shameful treatment of women, its inadequate rape laws and questions about how to change an entire society, Singh’s star has been rising in Bollywood. The industry apparently likes what it hears.

Yo Yo Honey Singh: A vulgar obsession or our own creation?

(WARNING: Post contains graphic language. Reader discretion is advised. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)

The gang rape and death of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi this month has sparked debates on many things from an Indian society centered on the well being of men to the tendency of Bollywood films to portray women largely as mothers or sex objects. Now, some of that criticism is sticking to Punjabi rap star Honey Singh.

Singh, whom the Indian media have called a youth icon, is facing calls for a ban on his New Year’s Eve performance at a hotel in Gurgaon, the massive suburb southwest of Delhi – and as this blog post heads out the door, NDTV reports that the show indeed has been cancelled.

Photo gallery: vigils after Delhi rape victim dies

Here are some photographs from our India Insight contributors that show vigils following the death on Saturday of a 23-year-old woman after six men raped her aboard a bus in Delhi on Dec. 16. We will update this post as more photos arrive. Thanks to Soumya Bandyopadhyay in Kolkata, Anoo  Bhuyan and Anuja Jaiman in Delhi and Vidya L. Nathan in Bangalore. Apologies for any inconsistent sizing or lack of uniformity. Note for non-Hindi readers or speakers: the sign in the first photograph says: “My voice is higher than my skirt.”

Delhi (Anoo Bhuyan):

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kolkata:

 

 

 

 

Delhi (Anuja Jaiman):

 

 

Bangalore:

 

 

 

 

 

You can see many more images related to this story from our Reuters photographers as well.

Delhi gang rape victim dies: elsewhere on the web

 The 23-year-old woman whose gang rape sparked protests and a national debate about violence against women in India died of her injuries on Saturday, prompting a security lockdown in New Delhi and an acknowledgement from the prime minister that social change is needed.

Bracing for a new wave of protests, authorities deployed thousands of policemen, closed 10 metro stations and banned vehicles from some main roads in the heart of New Delhi, where demonstrators have converged since the attack to demand improved women’s rights. Hundreds of people staged peaceful protests at two locations on Saturday morning.

The 23-year-old medical student, severely beaten, raped and thrown out of a moving bus in New Delhi two weeks ago, had been flown to Singapore in a critical condition by the Indian government on Thursday for specialist treatment.   (Read the story here)

Abhijit Mukherjee’s foot-in-mukh moment steals spotlight from rape cases

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)

India is angry. India is protesting. Rallies continue in New Delhi after the gang rape of a 23-year-old girl on Dec. 16. The rapes continue too. On Wednesday night, three men reportedly raped a 42-year-old woman and dumped her in South Delhi. There are more cases being reported every day.

The biggest story in India, however, is Abhijit Mukherjee’s comment about the Delhi protests — “These pretty women, dented and painted, who come for protests are not students. I have seen them speak on television, usually women of this age are not students”. He added that students, who go to discotheques, think it is a fashion statement to hold candles and protest.

Voluntary reform is the only way out for Olympic pariah India

The outrage has simmered down, cricket has cast its usual mammoth shadow and there are burning, more important, social issues to deal with.

No wonder, there is simply no trace of the gloom that had descended on India after the world’s second most populous nation was kicked out of Olympic family earlier this month.

And no sign of a way out either.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was suspended primarily because of government interference in its controversial Dec. 5 election and the sports ministry’s zeal to make its presence felt in every National Sports Federation (NSF) actually weakens India’s bid to get the Olympic ban lifted.

Delhi rape: what it says about us Indians

 Demonstrators run and throw stones towards the police during a protest in front of India Gate in New Delhi December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Thomson Reuters)

We Indians are an angry people now. Thousands of people have poured into the streets, indignant and outraged over the savage case of rape and assault on a young woman in New Delhi.

That anger degenerated this week into hysteria and bloodlust, with calls for capital punishment and castration of the rapists. The Internet was flooded with comments urging public hanging and beatings. One response on an Internet forum suggested that Delhi men be raped so that “the problem can be solved”; another advocated the rapists be urinated upon.

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