The customs and traditions of our forefathers – performed during festivals and on special occasions such as births, weddings and funerals – can be beautiful, reminding us of a life past.
The Human Impact
Covering women’s rights issues for so many years in India, I still find the number of ways women and girls are abused and discriminated against unfathomable.
Violence against women is widespread across the world. Globally, 35 percent of women have been beaten by an ‘intimate partner’ or suffered sexual violence at the hands of a non-partner in their lifetime, the World Health Organisation says.
The conversation has changed in India since that horrific night in December 2012 when a young woman returning home after watching a movie at the cinema was gang raped on a moving bus and left to die on the streets of the Indian capital.
An Indian judge who called pre-marital sex “immoral” and against “the tenets of every religion” has been criticised by activists who say his remarks highlight gender insensitivity within the judiciary and the challenges faced by victims of sex crimes in seeking justice.
In life she had one name. But in death she has many. Some call her “Nirbhaya” meaning fearless in Hindi, others refer to her as “Amanat” meaning treasure or “Damini” meaning lightening.
The crime was horrific, the case shocking, and the trial long. Yet when the much anticipated first verdict in the high-profile Delhi gang rape case was pronounced in India over the weekend, there was no jubilation, just outrage.
I have lived in the Indian capital for several years and, like many other women in this metropolis of 16 million, I soon learned how to deal with the lecherous stares and dirty comments, the drunken men in cars who follow my auto-rickshaw home from work at night.