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Dear Shenaz Treasurywala, “A Collective Thirst For Blood” Isn’t The Solution, “It’s Our Shame Too”

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By Guneet Kaur:

Dear Shenaz,

I woke up yesterday morning to your open letter. It was all over my Facebook feed. As I read through your personal experiences of molestation as also of some of those who are dear to you, I could connect to every single word of those accounts. As I am sure every single woman who read your letter would also have connected with – the frustration of being helpless, the anger of societal indifference and the guilt we are made to feel. You correctly pointed out that the victim has nothing to be ashamed of. It’s the perpetrator’s shame. Your letter will give courage and confidence to a lot of young women like myself, to talk about sexual violence and not be quiet about it. We, as victims, have nothing to be ashamed of.

shenaz treasurywala

However, I would disagree that we as women from middle class India have nothing to be ashamed of. I think it’s our shame that the police officer responsible for the rape and brutal sexual torture of tribal activist Soni Sori is today a presidential medal awardee and we kept mum. I think it’s our shame that people responsible for the rapes of Kauser Bi and Bilkis Bano are today our national political heroes. I think its our shame that while we expect Uber to do background checks for its drivers, we kept quiet when a rapist was given a cabinet berth despite his background check clearly revealing rape charges. I think it’s our shame that we allow for a law that provides impunity for rapes to our army in Kashmir and Manipur. I think it’s our shame that we produce and consume objectification of women in our movies and other forms of media. Every time we choose to be silent against impunity we contribute to the culture of sexual violence and rapes, which haunts us all. We, the women from middle class India, need to drop that “I could have been that woman” attitude that allows us to raise our voice against rape and sexual violence only when it happens in spaces that our class is likely to occupy. Our fight against sexual violence has to go beyond our elitism and we need to use our privilege of belonging to a certain class to empathize and not give up until this country develops zero tolerance to sexual violence. We need to stand up against unchecked sexual violence in the bedroom, in areas of conflict in this country, in custody, in the khaps as well as in our community spaces.

I also think that sexual violence cannot be understood in a narrow men vs women dichotomy. Yes, change the laws. Criminalize marital rape, include provisions for punishment of custodial rape and repeal AFSPA. We will be fooling ourselves if we think that the solution lies in hanging a couple of rapists and making an example out of them. I agree that anybody who is responsible for rape should be severely punished and the Uber driver shouldn’t have been out on bail. But I do not think that changing the law and bringing death penalty is the answer. In fact the late Justice Verma Committee that was set up to recommend changes to our rape laws post the December 16 rape in Delhi considered the option of compulsory death penalty for rapes and then decided against it because it was realized that it wasn’t the solution. It is a myopic solution to the grave problems of patriarchy in our society. Rape is only a symptom of that patriarchy. Castration, which was also on your wish list, on the other hand is a disastrous step in the wrong direction. It reinforces the wrongful notion that rape or sexual violence is only about sexual gratification. Sexual violence needs to be understood in the larger framework of our power structure.

If death penalty would have been the answer, then the suicide of Dec 16th rape accused Ram Singh in jail would have deterred the uber driver who, in fact, even used the reference of that horrific incident to threaten the victim. Rapes and sexual violence in India are highly under-reported. One of the big reasons for it is that in a lot of cases the victim is raped by somebody she is known to. In the wake of a compulsory death penalty, reporting of sexual violence will further be affected. It is a misconception that death penalty will end rapes. I understand your anger. In fact I empathize with it. Being a woman, a victim of sexual assault and working with various other victims, I feel that rage daily. But is vengeance really the solution, or will we end up doing more damage to our fight against sexual violence by suggesting solutions coming out of knee-jerk reactions? Death penalty makes us more violent as a society. It’s a patriarchal symbol of a collective thirst for blood. How is something that makes us more violent and patriarchal supposed to make the streets of this country safer for its women?

So lets take this debate against sexual violence forward. Ask for changes in law in the right place, work towards gender sensitization, introspect on how we contribute to sexual violence and stand up for zero tolerance against sexual violence. But lets not be governed by our desire for revenge. Sexual violence needs a much more objective answer. Thank you again for speaking up.

Sincerely
Guneet

Guneet Kaur is a legal and research fellow with the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group. She obtained a BA LLB (Hons) degree from the Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur. Subsequently, she obtained an LLM from the UC Berkeley School of Law in California, USA. She focuses in the field of transitional justice and has worked as a Research Associate with the Project on Armed Conflict and People’s Rights at Haas School of Business, UC-Berkeley. You can get in touch with her on twitter at @GuneetKaurAhuja

Also Read: Gauhar Khan slapped for ‘wearing skimpy clothes’, and that slap echoed across the country. Remember that time when The Times of India basically told Deepika Padukone that she was ‘asking for it’?

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  1. anita

    Sorry Guneet but this is pure shit. Whatever you have written.

    1. Arun

      I completely agree with you Anita.

    2. Akshat

      Can you please articulate more words than that? If you really want to me make a change, and be something more than a mere troll, please englighten us with your logic and reasoning by which you pronounce the article in question “shit”.

    3. Manish

      Yeah..Let me play the counterpart to Arun then..
      “I completely agree with you Akshat”

    4. deeya

      It is pure shit because it’s a ramble posing as a rebuttal to a powerfully written article.

    5. Mohit

      I completely agree with Anita…this article is total bullshit.
      In the time that you will take to educate 125 crore people about gender sensitization, lakhs of rapes will happen…What you are saying is not completely wrong, but there is a time for everything….right now…it will not stop unless very very very tough laws arent brought about regarding rapes.sexual assaults.
      We have been talking and educating people for a loong looong loong time now….nothing has changed. In fact the situation is getting worse everyday.
      ‘Bhay bin hoye na preet’ stands true in our society. People will not change unless they know that there will be severe consequences against it.
      Examples need to be set…and the Time is NOW!

    6. summan

      I was once bullied by this guy to the point of me nearly suiciding for it. Today, that guy works under me. Should I kill him?

    7. sefali

      There is a huge difference between getting bullied and being raped !!
      If tomorrow he tries to rape you.. wouldn’t you get angry that even after reporting it to the police, after all the criticism you get from the society, after all the courage you put in to narrate the incident in front of others. He gets of with a few years in prison ? Or maybe just get out on bail !!

    8. Aman

      @Anita..How come a shit be pure? Be respectful to the view of others. Thanks

    9. deeya

      Agree as well. Sample ‘repeal AFSPA’.

      How well thought out!

      PS: Post-scripting that you went to law school does not eschew the need for reasoning, of which there isn’t a trace in the poorly written article.

    10. Aravindhan

      So is your comment

    11. Vasundhara

      Sorry Anita but your comment is pure shit. Really.

    12. Ankit

      I agree with Akshat! Simply calling something “shit” without explaining your point of view merely categorizes you as a troll.

    13. balaji

      Agreed. No more words required to justify

    14. balaji

      Just saying it shit does not justify a shit. He raised 100 points and you just raised a SHIT.

  2. Krithika Sairamesh

    I agree with most parts of this article, but I am skeptical about changing the laws. In my opinion, it is not enough to alter laws such a marital rape, forced attacks etc. Recently, there was an article about a 3 year old girl getting trapped in a school in old madras road in Bangalore. How do you expect a 3 year old to even realise that something horrible is being done to her? It is completely unfair that she will need to live with such disturbing thoughts all throughout her life. Such men deserve death punishments like it is enforced in other countries. Some countries even have stone to death as a punishment for rape. Spare the kids and women of India.

    1. nilu

      get a life krithika .This stupid girl shenaz treasurywalas movie Main aur Mr right just released and she is trying to get maximum publicity .Actually women like Shehnaz should be put behind bars and given the same punishment as that of rapist .Then these uncultured people will stop milking a national issue like rape to promote a stupid movie .

    2. PD

      According to me death doesn’t do justice for such a horrific crime as raping a 3 year old. Solitary confinement & life sentences are the way to go. No trial – just direct life sentences & solitary confinements for pedophiles specifically.
      When they suffer & when their stories are shown to the world, it would drive fear into the minds of those who think of exerting their power by destroying lives of little children.

  3. Arun

    Gurneet, it is a real shame that you have decided to take on Shehnaz on her open letter. Instead of empathizing with her and millions of other women who have been victims of this sexual abuse for ages, you have instead chosen to pick holes from a legal perspective – something that you lawyers are always good at. From the stories that I’ve heard from my friends, my wife and my cousins, I know that a lot of these things are done for the sake of pleasure and gratification. Maybe rape is not done only for pleasure, but the incidents of touching girls in inappropriate places are nothing but mere pleasure. A pleasure that is at the cost of the girl’s freedom and is supported by inaction of the government, the police and the society.
    Instead of finding loopholes in her theory, it would have been better if you used your ‘legal prowess’ to support her in building up a good case against such crimes.

    1. Nandini

      actually Arun if you bothered to read the first part of Guneet’s letter you will realise that she did appreciate Shehnaz’s stance and letter.

    2. Sehaj Bir

      She has not take on shenaz in any way all she has done is voice her opinion on the matter just as shenaz voiced her… Not every comment contrary to your own needs to be treated as crap

    3. Chaitanya Vegi

      And Arun it’s shame that you do not either understand the article or haven’t even read it completely, but just decided to comment cause you read the heading and started thinking she is against the previous article.

      There is clear empathy from this author to the other author of previous article and other women who were effected, but that does not stop her from trying to look for a logical reasoning.

      Legal decisions are taken out of empathy but from logical reasoning and sincere effort to understand the core problem and work on the core issue rather than rage and take a life taking decision.

      I’m sorry to say but your reaction is the one of a MOB mentality, you do act on your instincts and rage out of emotion that might give you the gratification against the injustice done but it will never resolve the problem.

      You come down to critiquing an profession cause a person who expresses a different viewpoint !

    4. thisisshantzz

      Why is it a real shame to pick holes in an argument? You think mob justice is the solution to the problem? There is a difference between justice and revenge. There is no place for emotion and empathy when it comes to dispensing justice. It is done with pure reason alone and that is how it should be.

    5. deeya

      Agree with everything except the ‘you lawyers are always good at part’.
      This is done rather poorly.

    6. Ankit

      Arun, this is a country with a billion people in it. Everyone with their own concerns, reaction, and opinion about an incident. To change a society this big, you need a strategy not harsh laws. The point that Guneet makes of the Uber driver using the Nirbhaya case as an example to threaten his victim, speaks volumes about how much this approach is going to work.

      Shenaz’s letter contains anger and frustration, which is justified. But it, or any other letter like it, just cannot be used as a guide to creating laws. A law applies to all the billion-plus people in this country, and as such, they should be balanced and not a product of emotional bursts of anger.

  4. nayan

    I am not happy with ur reply…this u might be thinking but most of”US” would disagree with ur words.

  5. kunal khaitan

    Finally an article which is well researched, logical and sensible. way to go guneet!

    1. Shweta Dhingra

      Can you tell me what is so sensible and well researched article about this article?? Maybe then I will ask more questions from you??

    2. Chaitanya Vegi

      It is a sensible article because it recommends to take action considering the complete scenario rather than just taking a decision out of rage anger and vengeance.

      If you think rapists do rape only for the sole reason of pleasure and even if that reasoning it is right (which it is not) punishing them with death will NOT deter other people from doing such acts.

      The bigger concern here is to bring about a mental change in the society about equal sexuality throughout the general public and not giving death penalty for single person, and the research is looking at the cause of the problem rather than to take a vengeful reaction which will never give you the ultimate desired result.

      First read the complete article before posting a comment. Sensibility lies in understanding the situation rather than acting on our wild instincts.

      FYI why do you just want to kill the Rapist ? Why not even kill the people who mistreat the victim (that is the common society), why should they be left off the hook? Is it because we fall in that category ? A rape/sexual assault victim goes through immense trauma and the society adds more to it which is more damaging to the mental stability of the victim. That is why addressing the issue here is more important rather than hanging a bunch of outta control guys !

    3. Alv pat

      I would second shewta in her question! What is so well researched about Guneets article. To me it seemed like she did half of her homework and forgot to conclude it with anything sensible or logical.

    4. Tapan

      Yeah right. Is your IQ same as the author?

    5. Himmy

      If you think this is a sensible and logical article, then you’re an idiot. You’re probably looking at this from a males point of view, aka the ‘rapists’ point of view.
      Yes, that is the stereotype Indian males have. Why? Because rape of women continues in India. Why? Because the laws don’t change. Why? Because people like you and people like Guneet avoid addressing the issue in a manner that will actually make a difference. Cowards.

    6. Chaitanya Vegi

      “Males a.k.a rapists” I bow in shame to your disgusting analogy. You are so pathetic that if a person does not agree to your viewpoint in anger you are going to label him as anything you want. That’s the most disgusting and worst mob mentality that persists, which is the reason for most of the problems.

      FYI rape continues everywhere in the world even in middle east and in the most developed countries. Just because you happen to see only the news updates from your country that does not make it the complete world.

      And where we discuss that hanging a couple of heads is not going to stop others from doing it, you had no input to that thought and kept going on in your imaginative world.

      And FYI the laws don’t change cause a couple of people or most of the people get real angry and want them changed, LAW dose not work based on emotions it works on dealing with justice. People like you say a rapist to be hanged but have nothing to say about a person who murders (man/women), Oh he can get out that’s fine cause it’s not a sex related issue.

      An industrial accident can take thousands of lives and they too can get away and we shall stay silent cause it too is not related to sexual assault. Having said that I do not agree that the Rapist should go un punished. But that punishment is for the law to decide. As we common people are easily influenced by emotions and which is really not a good platform to make law.

      Tobacco increases the risk of getting cancer, its right there on the box we smoke and see at lest 1 person effected by it in our life time who’s facing the consequences of it, but do you think that keeps other off of smoking?, NO absolutely not the only way to deal about it is to generate awareness among people, Yes there are a billion people we have to make them aware it is going to take time, but that is what has to be done.

      Before that if you really care about the society and victimised women first learn to sympathize with them and even more than that stand along their side to support them against the society which treats them in a rather harsh way. And wait let me guess you have not even thought about it so far of how to punish them right ? Or just maybe let them be left of the hook cause they are not the rapists and not the cause of woman suffering right ?

  6. Shweta Dhingra

    How come my comments are not there ? people are too afraid to publish truth when spoken

  7. Anchal

    Guneet I must say that you’ve gotten into the depth of this topic and written about the root causes of this heinous crime. You’re absolutely bang on about how patriarchy leads to objectification of women.
    I just wish that you had given more concrete and substantial solutions to put an end to sexual violence. Why I agree with shehnaz is because she’s asked for the laws to become stricter which is the only way to inculcate fear amongst criminal minds. What you’re talking about, that is the change in mindset, will take a very long time. With the rate at which crimes against women are increasing, we need to enforce tougher laws fast track courts which can somehow control the scenario.

    1. Nandini

      Guneet does point out that not only the speedy trial of the rapists of the 16th December rape of Delhi did NOT deter this rapist. and he had the audacity to use the same fear (of iron rods) with this woman as he had already gotten with two. perhaps surety of punishment is more important than severity as suggested by Shehnaz.

    2. Khalida

      I totally agree with you Anchal. The social fabric, patriarchal laws, the basic mind-set and attitude of Indian Male- I mean, come on! Do we still need to discount those perverts on these grounds? Enough of debates and discussions on what needs to be done, and what is the “right” way to deal with this. How can you deal with something so wrong with a “right” course of action?

      Now is the time for action, and the only and the quickest way to make social reforms and even change the pathetic mindset of these sex-depraved jerks is to call for Capital punishment. If it becomes a law, then there will be confirmed and visible decrease in these crimes. Once more Shenaz, kudos girl. Thanks for speaking up on our behalf.

    3. thisisshantzz

      Criminals and potential criminals will fear the law, not it is made stricter, but when they are implemented fully by the police and the judiciary.

    4. Tshering

      I agree with you Anchal. Changing the mindset is a long term process but that should be the ultimate goal. At the rate rape crimes are prevalent punishing rape criminals is the short term measure. Women should feel safe when they are out on roads.

  8. poonam das

    i kind of agree with ankita…. i feel that what you have written is indeed a piece of shit…. i might be wrong but i feel that “rape” is more of a sick kind of behavior/feeling than just an ideology itself… (yes, in most cases rape does happen because of patriarchal tendencies but that’s just not it, there are other factors we still don’t know about.)
    secondly, it easy to give solutions like “educate people not to rape but hard to be done”, coz one or two class on gender does not erase a rapist mentality…. there needs to be strict measures like death penalty to say no to sexually violent behavior immediately….

    1. Nandini

      Nope better parenting is what is required. Instead of crying punishment punishment punishment how many of us have the inclination, will and perseverance required to get item songs out of bollywood films?
      how many of us are willing to teach our daughters and sons better?
      yes the change of mentality will take a longer time that is because even rapists are not born and they are not produced randomly. Your silence and mine contributes to a man becoming a rapist.

    2. thisisshantzz

      Well, the people who committed the Dec 16 rape of “Nirbhay” did get the death penalty. But that didn’t stop that Uber taxi driver from raping. There is a problem with society in general and the only way for it to change is for society to change. Unfortunately, these changes don’t happen overnight. It takes generations for such changes to be seen.

  9. Harshita Prachi

    Seriously? This letter is stupid. Just cause you can write, doesn’t mean you can write anything.

  10. Arjun

    it is hip these days to write “womens rights” articles, make video, and it is very high changes that those videos articles will go viral generating money or pr hype needed by the film maker or a celebrity. women’s harassment is the not only issue we face today, but the women rights activists want use to believe that we only have this issue to be solved. so what should we do shut down every other department, and give 100% of resources to womens right because suddenly women want a perfect world. 79,000 men suicide every year in India and no one talks about them, not to forget other biased law which only victimize men. the whole environment is being created to brand the indian male as being a molesters, and rapists, (despite the fact that rape stats are 10 times less than that of developed world which these activist dream of living in.) the same thing media did to black male in US is being done in India, Indian men should realize this and dont fall for this trap.

    1. Fem

      “it is hip these days to write “womens rights” articles”‘

      Hip for you. Extremely essential for all the women and lot of men who is looking for a fairer and safer society. You feel others are doing it for fun. It would have been much better if women would have kept their mouths shut as always and kept on suffering in silence. That would have not been ‘hip’ at all and fairly good for many who are not able to take the fact that women’s issues are finally seeing the light of the day and being discussed. Sooo not cool! Lets shut them up again and let men do as they please because after all this planet belongs to them.

      “women’s harassment is the not only issue we face today”

      No sir. Its not the only issue. But then you are on the wrong page. You choose to ignore all the issues spoken about and come on a page which is regarding problems women face on everyday and whine about how it is all about women. Yes it is! Because you are on this particular page or topic or news item!! Why do you do that? Because you are obsessed with the notion that women do not deserve the same kind of status you have always taken for granted. So do not like when someone talks about it. Rather than cry about it maybe you would like to click other pages on this site itself or switch on the news channels or open a news paper. Its full of news about all the kind of topics and issues India/World is facing. Why do you choose to ignore that? If you would just be fair and equatable you would in-fact know that its not about women all the time everywhere.

      “but the women rights activists want use to believe that we only have this issue to be solved.”

      Wrong! Women’s right activist do not indulge in making you believe there is only one issue in the world. They put all their efforts into speaking and trying to solve this one issue. Because they are after all ‘women’s’ rights activists. What else would they do. The only thing you would have to do it concentrate on other news items. you would be spared. Not very hard it is. Just click on other pages on this site itself and do not go proactively looking for places where they are talking about women and then dish them out.

      “suddenly women want a perfect world”

      Its not sudden. They always wanted it. Every one wants it. Nothing wrong in wanting better things in life. Do you ‘want’ an imperfect world? Then you are in minority.

      “the whole environment is being created to brand the indian male as being a molesters, and rapists”

      No one is branding them. They are doing it out of their own initiative. Respect women and do not rape/molest them and people would stop talking about it.

      “79,000 men suicide every year in India and no one talks about them, not to forget other biased law which only victimize men”

      You talk about suicides. No one’s stopping you. Gather support and start a movement. Why try to suppress another movement which is completely different from men’s suicide. Is talking about women increasing suicide rates in men? Then how is your anger directed at them?
      Biased law – I guess borrowed from Babar. Have wasted lots of words on him and this so would not say more, except — Proof?

      “despite the fact that rape stats are 10 times less than that of developed world”

      Stats are different from actual incidents as we have discussed to death many time earlier. But then again we get the same statement. One recent example – The cab guy who raped a woman recently has committed 5 rapes earlier. 4 of which were silenced and came out just now in the light of the media sensation. So for 2 reported case we have 4 in the shadow. And this is a very good situation. Most of the rapes go unreported in this country. How about that?

      “developed world which these activist dream of living in”

      Have they told you personally about their location preference? Was it an email or a personal phone call? And just a reality check – If someone is trying to run away from an unsafe situation maybe instead of pointing fingers at the person you could try to look inwards and worry about a place becoming so unsafe as to make its inmates run away.

      “Indian men should realize this and dont fall for this trap”

      What trap? What should Indian men do instead? Not try to give a safer environment to women around and keep on raping/molesting/torturing/exploiting females?

    2. Arjun

      It is true that not all women report crime against them due to social pressure, but even if you multiply by 4 times indian stats with South Africa, US, Sweden it will still be lower, and how you are so sure that non-indian women report every rape case?. here is something for you. india is not in list. 🙁
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics
      http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/top-5-countries-highest-rates-rape-1434355

      it is wrong to compare a nation of 1200 million with a tiny nation with few million population. it is statistically wrong.

      so whats the solution you are proposing, writing article without proposing a solution only makes it a rant. so what your solution, more gender-biased law against men.

    3. Arjun

      “the whole environment is being created to brand the indian male as being a molesters, and rapists”

      No one is branding them. They are doing it out of their own initiative. Respect women and do not rape/molest them and people would stop talking about it.
      ———–
      Congratulation for identifying 600,000,000 (60 Crore) rapist in India, you can apply for asylum now, Obama is coming to award you a US citizenship.

    4. Fem

      Proof about biased laws. Not proof about suicides.

    5. Fem

      Thanks for letting me know about Obama itinerary. Got to go now to buy a dress to wear while he awards me the citizenship.

    6. Arjun

      > Proof about biased laws. Not proof about suicides.
      —-
      search on internet you will find many, like save Indian family, 498a misuse. http://www.498a.org

      Misuse of Dowry and Domestic Violence Act is a Human Rights Issue
      http://ibnlive.in.com/news/misuse-of-dowry-and-domestic-violence-act-is-a-human-rights-issue/484787-3.html

      No arrests under anti-dowry law without magistrate’s nod: SC
      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/No-arrests-under-anti-dowry-law-without-magistrates-nod-SC/articleshow/37661519.cms

      Anti-dowry Law Misused, No Automatic Arrest in Such Cases: SC
      http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Anti-dowry-Law-Misused-No-Automatic-Arrest-in-Such-Cases-SC/2014/07/02/article2311152.ece

      Centre re-examining ways to stem misuse of anti-dowry laws
      http://www.deccanchronicle.com/140903/nation-crime/article/centre-re-examining-ways-stem-misuse-ppc-section-498a

      The fact is city women are big time greedy whiners, the rural women needs help and all the laws are created while considering the rural women and these city women just misuse these law because they cant fulfill their greed, city women are big time worthless who dont want to move finger, just want to marry a rich boy and live a comfortable life while he work day and night. and no matter how many laws are being created the city women wont top whining for more and more.

    7. priyanka

      Well said Fem..

    8. Fraz

      Thanks for taking the time to write this. Very well done.

    9. Priya

      Well said!

    10. aditya menon

      Hello Fem,

      I just want to let you know that there are people who see the sensible side in the conversation above. Please don’t think you are fighting a hopeless battle, you aren’t alone.

      I am reading this with a friend here, and we are both impressed with your patience in answering the abrasive ‘opinions’ and myopic ‘arguments’ presented by your opponent.

      Do keep trying to spread the light.

      Best,
      aditya (and friend)

    11. TempleTwins

      Hip for you. Extremely essential for all the women and lot of men who is looking for a fairer and safer society.

      We don’t live in a fairer and safer society. So simply asking for molestation and rapes to go away will not happen, because we don’t live in a fair society. I am gonna quote Harvey Dent here, ‘The world is cruel, and the only morality in a cruel world is chance. Unbiased. Unprejudiced and fair’. That chance includes women who want to sleep with their bosses and go up their professional life, women who uses their sexuality to coerce their husbands to get bribe, women who uses their social support and gynocentric sympathy to attack men and ruin their careers, you want to talk about fairness? where are the repercussions for the actions of these women? At least rape and molestation is illegal but none of these have any consequence for the women who manipulates her way in this society.

      It would have been much better if women would have kept their mouths shut as always and kept on suffering in silence

      I don’t think so, women keeps on whining and patting their own backs how tough their lives are, we are constantly bombarded with womens hurdles in life through movies, news, serials it’s literally everywhere. I wish someone would put them out of their misery if their lives are so worst but I knew it simply survival tactic employed by women in order to exploit the gynocentric sympathy and their inherent social value women have in our society. Like Warren Farrel would put it ‘ A mans weakness is his facade of strength and a womans strength is her facade of weakness’. Hence they blow their horns on victim pullpit in order to gain more sympathizers who would go out of their way to bury their humanity and support the bloodthirsty needs of outraged women folks.

      why do you do that? Because you are obsessed with the notion that women do not deserve the same kind of status you have always taken for granted.

      You got it backwards, it is women who already have more rights than men, who also denied the rights of men to have its day by utilizing the gynocentric sympathy and pushed male rape victims who were raped by women back to their closet. In fact we are questioning the status quo, why the society is overtly concerned and sympathetic towards women? Why you as a woman who already have the rights which men don’t have is being threatened by these questions?

      No one is branding them. They are doing it out of their own initiative.

      It is just one incident but it is gynocentric sympathizers like you blow it out of proportion and make it all about men doing this to women, men this and men that etc. You are projecting the evil boogeyman on maleness, manhood, if you check Shenaz Treasurywala article there was emphasis of MEN a lot more than it is needed, she projected men as the enemies and women as the victims and want white knights to come in aid for them.

      Its not sudden. They always wanted it. Every one wants it. Nothing wrong in wanting better things in life.

      Nothing wrong in wanting better things for you but wanting better things only for you is bad, selfish and narcissistic which has to be called out.

      Is talking about women increasing suicide rates in men? Then how is your anger directed at them?
      Biased law – I guess borrowed from Babar

      Talking a lot about womens victimization in a country like India brings out more biased laws, if our society is going to bring about these biased laws as a stop gap solution for the collective cackling hens who scream ‘the woe is me’, then perhaps we have to call out on them, because your movement is hindering our rights and the due process in the court of law.

      One recent example – The cab guy who raped a woman recently has committed 5 rapes earlier. 4 of which were silenced and came out just now in the light of the media sensation.

      That is an anecdotal evidence, I can give one too when Arnold was caught on cheating there were more women claiming that they had sexual relationship with him to tarnish his image further and to gain a celebrity status. You can’t understand what motivates one to come forward with allegation, we had Rohtaksisters who are using the gynocentric sympathy to falsely accuse men and to gain spot light as empowered women. So if we are to talk about unreported cases we have to go about how bold our fantasies are, as anonymous reports which can’t be investigated can’t be trusted.

      What trap? What should Indian men do instead? Not try to give a safer environment to women around and keep on raping/molesting/torturing/exploiting females?

      Not our responsibility, would Indian woman give us a society where they don’t feel men obligated to provide and protect them? Would they give us a society where issues of men are not over shadowed by womens preference? Would Shenaz Treasurywala will write an article calling for the deaths of hijras as they molest and harass men for money? Of course it won’t as hijras are social minority you have to only sympathize with them, it is politically incorrect to criticize them, it certainly is not about harassment or molestation, it is about molestation of WOMEN, that is a narcissistic hypocrisy which I want to point out.

    12. Deepti

      Well put Fem!

      Arjun, I don’t understand the point in turning this whole issue into indian men vs women battle. No one is saying all women are good and all men are bad. Nowhere in this article (or Shenaz’s article) the author has generalized perpetrators as all Indian men.

      And, in response to the proof submitted by you – all I have to say is that the article only states the stats and mentions social and economic reasons are the cause. I don’t understand how that is related to women’s right activists. If you think something has to be done please go ahead and voice your concerns as a separate blog/article.

      If you really want to stand up for men, then please be relevant and talk about how this article does not address the fact that there are young boys who have been the victim of molestation and laws framed must address the issue and not the gender.

      Please stop misinterpreting the articles.

    13. priyanka

      Arjun..have u ever had trouble travelling in public transport vehicles(excepting the trouble u myt hv had to stand up in a full bus)? Did ur parents ever have to warn you to come home back before 9 PM and u cant even deny their fear..coz of the incidents happening around us. 6 months year old girl is raped in this country and i really would like to hear from all those ‘great’ men of the country who blamed few past rape incidents on the way girls these days are dressing commet on this.. So please understand that many small liberties that u(all men) would never know existed in this world are snatched away from women for safety sake.. Look around and if u see something unjustified happening to anybody irrespective of gender, age, background etc…help them out.
      Finally..we women talking in this forum arent doing some social service, we are just trying to figure out a solution to the very problems that we face in our day to day lives..
      Nobody is trying hype anything here..

    14. Girl

      Hi Arjun
      Did you wake up in middle of the night in a bus to a ghastly feeling of some one fondling your nipples when you’re 8, breasts, hips when you were 8 and when you were 9,10,11,12…… 40.. Oh no you didn’t .. You don’t have breasts.. At school, on streets, at a neighbors house, in a theatre, bus, train.. Literally every where.. some one groping your penis while you were in a bus trying to go to school.. When your were 5 or 6 or 7 or 8, Offered you sweets to pull your pants down so they can just look and touch.. I saw a bunch of boys fondling a 80 year old woman.. I was 9 and terrified to see that they could do that in open. I ran in fear and didn’t know what else to do. I remember the woman’s face even today and how she was trying to push them away .. and my stomach still churns..
      Do you have a mother, sister, girl friend, a future child, an woman in your life that you care for. Imagine them to be 3,4,5,6,7,8 and imagine a strange man with his hands rubbing, inserting, fondling their private parts . And imagine them being helpless and terrified..
      And then say what you are saying now.
      Again when you have your own children , remember to just imagine ….
      And just imagining gives you chills, spreads fear through your spine, and makes you sick.. Then you are human.
      And then think about the little girls and grown up girls and woman , young , middle aged and old that are living that moment every single day..

    15. Iru

      You probably don’t have a female in your family or your life Mr. Arjun.

    16. Akash

      More or less I agree with you.
      I will speak only in context of India, India as a country to live in. Lot of people whose thoughts reverberate strongly across our societies give examples of first world developed countries saying how safe it is over there compared to here.
      Allow me to give you one small example: One fine day, when Angelina Jolie woke up, she decided she wants to act in the movie “A mighty heart” depicting the slaughter of American journalist Daniel Pearl. All good, right? all set for the shoot. So, which country and city they chose that would closely resemble the lanes and by lanes of Pakistan (they couldn’t shoot in Pakistan for obvious reasons)…ta da….it was PUNE. Yes, that Indian city which can claim to have an office from any big MNC from the developed world.
      Do you get the message? Doesnt matter what souls from the third world country say. Those first worlds would still find the best of third world – as simply that – third world, unsafe, dangerous.

      Now, all of you will hate me for saying this. Agreed that the systems in India are helpless and hopeless. So, for these celebrities or whoever for whatever reasons bring in the foreign lands for comparisons and in turn “mark” third world men as rapists, please get the basic right – You feel safe in western societies because they largely prevail in the concept of “EACH ONE, TO ITS OWN”
      Next time, you face any such incident, please stop going to social media and hit it where it hurts. Grab us by our balls if we behave inappropriately and squash it flat.

      If you think there are some scanty few good men left in this country, who subscribe to your views and agree this should stop then let me tell you what they are thinking right now. They are afraid to play that shining white knight in armour rescuing the damsel in distress. Those men, with brawn are thinking twice before intervening in any injustice met out to women in public. Because they are afraid (just like you). Because they never know if the act of rescue will be tagged as act of touching you inappropriately by the police, the journalists, the women welfare societies or the woman herself.
      Men are idiots, and going by the noise created for “rape” this is what is going to come out next in India:
      http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006/04/04/did-pedophilia-hysteria-cause-child-death/

    17. sumit

      I agree with you boss.These Women activists never say anything about the men who suicide because of women harassment.These women talk about feminism and reservation to women in India.But then suddenly they come and say that men and women are equal.Women never understand and accepts the truth that cinema and their downfall towards western culture has also helped in increasing these incidents.

    18. Deepti

      Sorry to say this, but you lack empathy and humanity. May be that’s because you did not have to go through it when you were young. You cannot dismiss this issue by attributing the cause to women’s attire/lifestyle. As someone who has been through this phase I can tell you, no matter how conservative we are dressed/how cautious we are , we face this dreadful situation at very young age. There are a fraction of men who doesn’t let us live peacefully(note that I’m talking about those who commit this heinous act, not all men).

      Don’t turn this issue into gender war. The article is addressing a valid issue very much relevant to current situation in India. No one is saying women who are wrong must not be punished. Avoiding stringent laws in the fear of being misused is not the solution. This loophole must be tackled and women who misuse must be punished as well. If there is one woman who misuses these laws, there are 1000 innocent ones who will feel safer. Please don’t turn this valid issue into senseless gender fight. I also believe that these laws must be gender neutral.

    19. Akash

      Deepti: This is not a gender war.
      but, when we speak of rights, then is it to be implied that ONLY women are entitled towards them and not men. And if men by any chance of pity have rights. Then what happens when those get violated ?

      its okay, you dont have to answer because, nobody does, not even the legal instituions have an asnwer to that.

      Google up: Child abuse is more rampant among boys then girls. So please dont associate the “growing years” as another rabid men attack towards the fairer sex, statistically, man as a child face that more then girls and later its these mentally fractured boys who grow up without concern that leads to rape or in some cases, close their will to interact with the world in a holistic manner.

      Apoligies for swivering around. Coming to the topic at hand.
      As an individual and you as my sister, the best thing i can tell you (yes, i have females in my home and i tell them the same) – To each one on its own. When it comes to Women and sexual attacks on them (be it in any form) – ANY ACT YOU DO TO COUNTER ACT THE SITUATION, SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN LIGHT OF YOUR SELF DEFENCE. So, please dont shout about it 3 hours later on the internet. I grope you, you squeeze my balls.
      Unfortunately, its India, where might is right and law respects the powerful. Unless you show some yourselves not even the judiciary will come to your rescue.
      We are men and we are idiots, we understand only the language in which we speak. So if somebody misbheaves, do the same to him.

  11. kini

    Gurneet .. don’t take this into a completely wrong direction. We all know how slow is our system. By the time laws would be changed and enforced , we would have two three more such cases to discuss over. Because all we do is just discuss over it and forget. People like Shiv kumar and Ram Singh indulge into these heinous crimes because they know the slack in our system. They go fearless, because they are well versed with the poor enforcement of laws in our country. So one thing that definitely needs to be changed is the punishment for such rapists.

  12. Nagesh

    Why did Ms. Kaur invite the name of Shehnaz in the article? I wonder if Shehnaz wrote the letter to promote her movie but then this author is trying to promote her article by including her name. Shehnaz’s letter has no relation with this article. This is a shit piece. Its like This is a sheer attention seeking attitude.

    And just read the bio at the bottom. Its like “People I am working for the cause of poor. Help them while I flaunt my American degree and get a job at UN and come o TV shows.

  13. Fem

    Agree with you Guneet. As much as I was moved by Shenaz’s letter (being a woman and having gone through similar things, as we all have, I understand her pain….its our collective pain), it still is more of an expression of pain then a logical thought out solution based approach.

    We need better governance and a value system which would not let this disrespect for women grow or nip it in the bud. Death sentences or castrations is never the answer. Those are our private fantasy. The same way she talked about having a machine gun and killing all molesters. The same way I fantasize about cutting to pieces the hands that touched me and melting alive rest of the person attached to it, starting with his face and eyes. Before cutting away my body part which was touched and getting a new one. Maybe cutting away the part of my mind which never lets me forget those touches.

    But we need a better thought our solution paths without letting our emotions overcome us.

    A very frank, courageous and important letter nevertheless. I feel for her and every woman who had to go through anything like this.

    1. Nandini

      Your replies to Arjun are bang on. I have a feeling that sarcasm may be lost on some people?
      But thanks for being so articulate.
      p.s hope you blog. such clarity of thought is a delight to read

    2. mehul

      Dear guneet and fem,
      Then, what is the other way of stopping rapes and sexual violence to women..?
      Can you imagine how a mother feels when her 3 years old daughter is being raped..? Suppose its you who can give justice to her, then how will you make it.?
      As per your thinking, she needs to wait until the change of mentality of men take place right.?
      Have you observed the countries where least number of these types of incidents take place to women and why..?
      Is it because their men have different kind of mentality than us..?
      Make listened your reply to shenaz’s latter to any rapist, literally he will have a big laugh.
      Fear of death, may some way stop men to go forward to rape or sexual harassment of women….
      And if no then suggest some fast and effective tools that can stop this because how long the victims can wait for justice..?

    3. Chaitanya Vegi

      You can stay in your illusion that punishing people by death sentence is going to keep others from doing it. But in reality that is not how it works.

      If you kill a person who smokes cigarette that does not stop others from smoking, it’s the awareness you need to generate among the population, Yes it’s going to take time is this gigantic country, but I’m sorry to say that’s the only way to go about it. Short cuts and mob mentality is not the quick solution to keep women safe.

      Having said that I do not support the rapist / abuser should get out of the clutches of the judiciary system with ease, the law for him coming out into the general public has to be made stringent and maybe life imprisonment is one suggestion. Again im not lawyer or the best person to talk about the judicial system.

    4. rohit

      So miss self righteous how are we supposed to tackle this rape thing.?
      You don’t support hanging the rapist.After reading this article,the nation wants to know how would u prefer treating a rapist if not death penalty.
      So you think like most of our politicians that “Rape is just a mistake of youngster’s,hanging is no solution”.Thirst for blood is not the solution.we got that…plz elaborate how do u want the laws to be strict without this “death penalty”.so u want to let those monsters go free after sum 6-7 years of jail?thats it??
      Will that stop rapes,harassment.?if not then plz tell us how should we tackle this.
      dont criticize anything if u dnt know shit.
      Acc to u changing the laws and death aint no soln.
      Then what is the soln plz tell us.

    5. Abhinav

      There is no doubt that Shenaz’s solution to this issue is simply childish and purely out of anger and frustration. What Guneet has written is true, but again she does not provide any solutions and is more like a ‘management’ sort of take.
      As for death penalty for rape, i think that’s just the start, you can see a country on the footsteps of Middle East, once you handle things like that. Now, unless we want an eye for an eye, we have to take more logical measures. Furthermore, even if death penalty law is passed, what are the measures to curb the false positives. I think Guneet can tell us better, how people will find loopholes in such a law. Hence, when stakes are so high (one’s life) i don’t think a decision can be or should be made hastily.

    6. Priyanka

      I agree but disagree with Guneet, as it is very easy to say that death penalty is not the solution, but in-fact it is the only solution, if there was no fear for law, people would be killing each other even for small things. And death penalty is the solution. Only people who have gone through such incidents can understand the pain. I wish no women has to go through such barberic incidents, but just a realty check for you Guneet and I do apologise in advance, but what if something like this happens to you (with height of cruelty- like in Nirbhaya case) or if it would have happened your own daughter and you knew every little detail of how it has happened and you would have found that there was a glass pepsi bottle found in her private part .. I am sure you want death penalty for the rapists then. Easy to say but hard to follow when it is personally applied. Kudos to Shenaz. Death penalty for rapists is the solution. Shenaz has done something great, which nobody had the guts to do and you Guneet decided to take a pick of few words and wrote an article with most of the utterly rubbish things being a women. Guneet you don’t know what the victims or their families feel so just SHUT UP!!!

    7. Prarthana Bhuyan

      Sorry to say Guneet..but you need to wake up. This is not as you say “thirst for blood”. This is making the criminals pay for their crime and giving them death is the only way, otherwise these rapist will never stop. I believe it’s a shame that instead of supporting Shenaz you wrote against her letter. Please wake up..!!

  14. Madan S Dhingra

    This is a completely directionless article.
    More disappointing was the bio. Appears the author is trying to sell her story.

  15. Sonal Garg

    To me it was thought through and gimmicky. Possibly ideated by her PR team. Made a comic on “How to write an open letter like Shenaz Treasurywala” at http://www.sonalgarg.tumblr.com

  16. Lolia Mary

    Dear Ms. Guneet, … Law amendments, sensitisation and such very foundational changes and solutions would take longer time to reflect on ground.. But yes that is the need and unless we start on those at least now there is never going to be a change.. Having said that.. I cannot ignore the fact that there exist many people who weren’t brought up sensitized about these things… What about dealing with those.. ?? And what is wrong with revenge… !!!??? Yes we ardently advocate Gandhian principals.. But arent we not doing that only where it suits our convenience.. The revenge/ punishment.. shouldn’t be taken away from the victim.. It shouldn’t be decided by a group of people or a consortium of people… It should be for the victim to decide what she/ he wants to do with the offender…Let’s not train our children for tolerance against crime..let’s not give the wrong examples.. And its not the question of a choice between a more scientific approach of sensitisation etc. And a more radical one… The former one is preventive ..n the later consequential …

  17. nidhi

    i read this article twice..just to find out if i missed something ..but i didnot find anything substantial to think upon. the only crux i cud get was to change patriarchal mindset of the society and all sort of thought set which contribute to rapes.
    but i cud not find HOW?
    if you say – we should think of changes in laws in right direction..i would really want to know what changes are you talking about? what actions according to you can be correct ?
    Ms. Guneet… we have had a lot of discussions, debates, speeches, but no actions unfortunately. if you can come up with some actions with your just thougts..it would be helpful and productive.
    thanks

  18. SREEJYOTHI

    I just do not understand the point of relation between death penalty and patriarchy!!just because its imposed on some Arabian countries where patriarchy is deep rooted one can’t say that it should be done away with!And what guarantee you have that men will start behaving better??If its done away with,more rapes can happen as whatever you do you would just live your live away in prison or even go free as its happening now!!Nobody will be afraid to do any crimes!!

  19. Dr krishna

    Hello everyone there,
    I am Dr. Krishna and I deal with mental health, and will you all just stop those arguments only, where you are just forgetting the real facts, that at the end of the movie, only the women is being a sufferer and your all Bul……t laws and principles are of no use, when ultimately a women has lost her …..!!!!!!. you can only understand from the outer perspective only, I know, how my clients(i don’t call them patients) narrate their stories to me. Just those who are just talking about principles or laws may not have gone through these stages, once you know the pain, than all those will just will be in the books only.

    so guy, come up and open your eyes and mind, here no one is going to give you some certificate or medals for your impractical comments, lets talk some thing which can really stop this……..suffering..if you can really see from my eyes, than you will understand how much a small teenage girl of just 12 or 14 comes to me for something and than narrates her painful story..try to understand,, this will not help us come to a solution.

    I am not her for giving you all a suggestion, cause I am nobody to give you anything, but just a appeal, think with your great brains to do something which will be useful to our women and for their safety.

    I have my own opinions which I will do, cause no one will ever agree to my opinion, so why to just waste my time, your time by just writing something, and than someone will start some other argument and goes on…and the injustice also goes on.

    No body has to be blamed, as everyone has their own logic, so we should respect it, but not to take a chance at the cost of our Daughters, sisters pride.

    (Will anyone agree to me, that if I say that anyone Rapes or does similar things to a women, should be just without a condition sent out of this world) I am also a man, and I know, after a sin, these men will give some excuse or something,,but ultimately, the thing gone cannot be brought back.

    so…guy..wake up from your dream and false thoughts and let see that our women are happy and make this world happy.

    Jai Hind
    SWC

  20. Avantika

    Gurneet, sorry to disagree here. Unless we put the fear of consequences in the people for the crime, there is no way of stopping the crime. A rapist should think twice before he/she tries to do the act..they should have the fear that if they are caught (and our govt. should help ensure that we catch them) where they are going to end up. A life sentence is no punishment to such a heinous crime. Before they lay hands on an innocent victim the death penalty should flash before their eyes. I am not saying the penalty should be restricted to men. Any person, men or women, should face the same consequence for destroying another person’s life emotionally and physically.

  21. JP Singh

    Well what I see here in the comments is mostly rehtoric without a meaning. Well both the writers of the Articles are propounding a different approach to the issue. I maybe off the grid on the issue – firstly we have to accept that we have a problem on our hands. This problem is rampant in our society. Its in our homes, villages, schools, institutions, businesses – you name a place its there. It has to be tackled at everystep. We have to stop those old uncle gropers in our homes, those big bully cousins. What we need is to come out in the open and stop denying that these things happen. Its starts in our homes where most kids male and female are groped and molested sexually. Lets start stamping that out. Lets not take cover of family shame and naam ki barbadi to sweep these issues under the rug. Lets form Vigilante groups for the protection of women in our society. They should be visible everywhere – wear badges or half jackets with WOMENS PROTECTION GROUP written on them. This will be a detterent to those who who indulge in these practices in public. Its the awareness that has to be created in our society against this malady. Yes legal steps should be tough and examplary. Application of law on ground has to be tough to. The law and order authorities need to be sensitised to the whole issue.

  22. Andy

    I am in almost complete agreement with the author. But I cannot agree with the author’s tendancy to treat rape accused as proven guilty. Because any person can accuse another of rape. But if such charges result in barring a person from a job, it will be a contradiction to our policy of “Innocent until proven guilty”

    One more query i have is regarding the maritial rape issue. How exactly can a woman prove rape in marriage. How does she prove that sex wasnt consensual?

  23. Rahul

    Hello

    I’ve seen law people so calm about some sensitive subjects like this. But you need to be both calm and aggressive to actually understand the gist of such letters and discussions.

    I consider your’s and Shenaz’s letter almost the same, both advocate strong laws against rapes in different ways. You as a law-enlightened person, wrote so well. She as an actress wrote so true.

    You being somewhat disagree with Shenaz or Shenaz being writing such a “blood-thirsty” letter, could be slightly more than the differences in opinions.

    You being a law person keep calm and talk about laws. She being an actress who might have not known much of laws, might have been through lots of such odd situations that she has that muffled hatred to throw out.

    What I’ve noticed while reading her letter:

    She wrote the letter in order to attract the attention of highly influential men in the nation. Her letter was full of hatred towards perverts and rapists.

    She continuously repeated “it’s their fault”. Now see: a man raped a women. It’s the rapist’s fault. The words “they” or “their” in her letter didn’t sound like she’s pointing on Ambani, Bachhan, Salman, me, you or others, she pointed the rapists, the pervs who roam fearless nowadays. She asked for help from these influential people. I don’t see anything wrong in it.

    Coming on to your reply letter, I fully agree that these laws should be changed. We’ve heard of so many rape cases in India in past 2 years. What did the law do against those rapists? Nothing special.

    There are so many challenges against the law makers, not only about hardening the rape penalty, but to detect false rape claims also. Be it the marital or custodial, rape should be considered an unforgiven crime, and there is a lot of scope for the strict and sound amendments in this direction.

    I think it’s not about vengeance. What as a person I think when so many women are getting raped in my country: rapists should be given the strictest punishment, that’s it. What kind of mindset keeps someone away from not thinking about death penalty in such cases? A rape destroys a life.

    To people like me, the straightforward solution to such crimes is to harden the penalty, and increase the security. But waiting for some much-more, good, objective solution in this direction, as you’ve said, lets see when.

    Thanks.

  24. Agrima

    I totally agree with your point of view or your opinion. And kudos to Shenaz for showing the guts to share her and her family’s story with us. However, I also feel that what we ALSO need is implementation of the laws. There are laws which are made for women’s safety but there us lack in implementation. The responsible parties are not fulfilling their duties to the core. Making laws does not mean that women will be safe. Laws only come into affect if they are implemented properly.

  25. Vidya Chinoy

    There are a number of academic statements and essays one can produce on this subject. The issue of allowing rapists to participate in political life is a separate one and needs to be addressed separately. Let us not mix the two. Is our society going to really become more violent by advocating the death penalty for rape? More than it already is? Severely punishing rapists will not eradicate this evil, but will undoubtedly act as a deterrent. What possible reason could any society have to not hang or sentence to life, a man who rapes innocent children (or women for that matter)? Quick and effective justice is what we need. Justice delayed is justice denied. Women need to start a fight for immediate and effective, time bound, legal procedures in rape cases. We have a number of women lawyers, like yourself, in our country. Could one of them not start the wheels of change from within the legal system?

  26. priyanka

    By punishing severly, we can incorporate fear in the minds of perverts and rogues who grope and abuse women for fun if not put a stop on the sickness of all those who ever had the thought of touching a woman or girl child.. We cannot change the core nature of people be it rapists or thieves or thugs or any mentally ill person who tries to steal something that is not his or he does nt have a right on..we nèed to imprint fear in their minds. This is not a solution, ther is no solution except awareness at individual level. Severe Punishment is a remediation by force.. We will not ask them to change because it is inhuman..they will nit understand us. They will have to change because they want to live their lives..not rot in jails or not be ‘not-males’ anymore..
    correct me if i am wrong..

  27. aashrai

    Nice to see someone finally putting some thought into what they say about such a sensitive issue sure men who rape deserve death penalty but it can’t stop there. Its just an excuse for all of us to blame the govermerment for not passing a law,if the “concerned” citizens really cared you would stand up to the people who do such crimes we are equally responsible for all the wrongs in the society maybe we should be as critical about ourselves as we are of those who lead us

  28. Nina

    What ur saying is okay but not realistic …
    And abt making example out of them by punishing severely to rapist is CORRECT as illiterate men in india will only understand that language …

  29. Sunil Raj

    While not commenting upon the two open letter/reply, I would like to tell all the women out there – My mom, my twin sisters, my wife and my dear daughter. “It’s upto you guys to physically fight it out!! Am ashamed but cant be with you beautiful women always… I respect women and I want to help…but am helpless, its you who will have to fight it out there! Forget the laws, repercussions. .when you are trapped; just give all the energy you have to save yourselves.. in the buses, markets, metro trains, trains, desolate places…at home!? Just give it to that guy….. which I can’t do coz am not always with you! Don’t ever think you are weaker….. Just fight it out!

  30. Soumya

    While I agree with the ‘an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’ philosophy, I’d like to ask this – In a country where the police force and greater legal system is full of the same kind of people that perpetrate sexual crimes and victimize women, do you really think the laws are really going to change to benefit victims of sexual assault? And even if the laws did change, that someone couldn’t just pay a fat bribe to the police officer or judge to make the crime “disappear”?

    Your methods might work in a country that has some respect for legal action and laws, but sadly, India isn’t in that space right now. There has to be a more effective course of action to start rooting out a centuries-old evil that has a very deep chokehold even today.

  31. Raj

    “Nicely drafted Guneet, but disagree…”0” tolerance, rapist to be hanged.

  32. Shruti

    Dear Guneet,
    I also have been traumatized early on by molestations. On the street ,on the Bus, once by my cousin, once at my home by an old uncle and once in some wedding by the inebriated groom…all this before i was 13!
    And you are right, these events don’t get reported… after all I have never spoken about this to anyone. Speaking up is the first step but tell me this…is that the major reason for such crimes? You have taken an example of Delhi rape case but tell me this, out of how many incidents of reported/convicted rape did anyone get a death sentence? or a punishment that befitted the crime? I disagree with you that a harsh treatment to such people wont scare at least some of these guys who are now becoming brazen.
    In my college i overheard a group of guys discussing that it would be fun if they tried to scare a girl as if they were going to rape her. Imagine! joking about such a matter, wouldnt they think about it twice if it was a standard death penalty for rape crimes? that it would be considered as big a crime as homicide?
    Everyone knows that corruption is rarely punished ….even in this case zero tolerance and speaking up against it is the right step but what stops a person from asking a bribe is the fear of getting punished.
    True, I am promoting death penalty for rape crime and therefore violence but sadly the state of things are such that the time for “objective solution” has come and gone. You may call this vengeance but unless and until the punishment is according to the crime there is no justice and truth is sometimes a law has to be made effective first to hurry along the sensitivity for the issue.

  33. Vivek Agarwal

    First and foremost, I am unhappy that Shenaz did not address her letter to Arvind Kejriwal also. He was the one who, inspite of being the CM of Delhi, slept in 4 degrees to protest against police’s indifference to crime on women. His party have promised not to field any criminal candidates which precludes inclusion of any rapists etc. Problem is that we are more greedy than truthful. That’s why we want a developed India – doesn’t matter whether there are any number of such incidents in that developed India.

  34. NOM

    Finally a sane and logical and well reasoned reply which is so much needed.

  35. XYZ

    It’s really sad that Miss Guneet couldn’t fathom the severity of crime and violence against women India. Perhaps her minds, stuck in the US.

    You are talking about the law amendments but u ignored the level of “law enforcement ” i our society. Also, such amendments would take ages to get passed and, if the punishment for such crimes is not strict then no one would think twice before committing such a violent crime.

    It’s sad that most women istead of reporting keep mum about it partly because they want to avoid the media attention and the social hypocrisy .Also , they know reporting would lead nowhere as the guilty would be bailed out soon!

    Punishments create a sense of fear in the minds of society and then people try to repeal the severe one by not engaging in such acts.
    Shenaz’s letter may sound aggressive but if you think rationally whatever she spoke about the big names protesting and strict penalties do make a lot of sense.

  36. Pranay

    “Zero tolerance”
    Quite contradictory in the above article. If you keep on debating about the crime (rape) with the convict, victim, lawyers,laws, relevant punishment i.e, afters years rather than punishing ( capital, life imprisonment etc) . Than zero tolerance seems like some tolerance. So cannot agree with the above article.

  37. Doktor

    This doesn’t help , Miss Treasurywala. Don’t expect these people to compromise their ideas of justice and self righteous image. Amir Khan has done much for society even in this regard. The others you are writing to … some of them spent their entire lives evading justice.
    And liberal know-it-alls like Guneet Kaur have made their careers by working against the death penalty. She would have you ‘confront’ your oppressor and ‘tell him how you feel’.
    No , sister. The most powerful person in your life is you. Kill one yourself. See how it feels , it washes away some of what was done to you. I live in Chandigarh and have ‘offed’ two rapists an castrated one with a garden scissor. Now when a fool tries to leer at me , I laugh within.

  38. Pooja

    Bullshit article! Makes no sense to me

    1. Rahul mehra

      Yeah really coz u can’t understand this. Re read this & then it will make sense to u.

  39. VSSO

    The article was a good read and completely agree with you on many points that were mentioned in the article. However, the problem lies in the beliefs, mentality that we all are so proud of and put it under the umbrella of ‘Indian culture’. Girls should be docile, should listen to elders as they know whats best. Our education system does not support independent and analytical thinking. We don’t question or lets say we haven’t learnt to question and disagree without sounding confrontational. All this is looked down upon. And Lets say that urban Indian does embrace this, what about the uneducated, illiterate section of the society for whom these concepts are so alien. They cannot look beyond the next meal. We need to revamp the way we look at education, how we educate people. Educate and empower the woman in the society and the society will improve. Laws and regulations are tools to help the society progress. This change will take 2-3 generations. Once we can get over the caste system successfully then we can certainly be confident that attitude towards women will change. Well lets forget caste system once we can look beyond ‘gora-kaala’ there is hope. Can we truthfully say that we can have a conversation without even thinking about ‘goora-kaala’, ‘yeh to punjabi hai yeh bangali hai yeh gujju hai’ – I haven’t met many who can do that. So when at an individual level we cannot change that – dharna and morchas are just dharnas and morchas. No one will give up their job to go and protest.

  40. vijay kaul

    Death penalty may not be the answer but justice served in 3 months could be with the least harrasment to the victim.May be we need a rape sensirive Police force much like the NSG to protect the dignity of our women.
    We need role models who promote gender equality and gender sanitisation.we certainly can do away with CM’s who promote violence against women to capture vote banks.we need to kick and kickstart our politicians who have delayed all legislations to make women equal to men.we need to boycott all films and videos that promote titilation.it may take 100 years but let us find the right path atleast.

  41. saraswati

    So what is that you suggest..no castration, no death….how you are planning to deal with the situation..haven’t we had enough, debating on it, its time for some final hearings..with all due respect to you guneet, its high time, we create some strict rules or strict punishment around it. father, father in law, husband friends..raping young kids, their own kids..its devastating..and there is no cure, some goes to depression for life, some kill themselves, some lose confidence..there is no undo for their doings..so ideally, even the punishment which they get is should be for lifetime..we follow rules, do homework..only if there is a supervision by our teachers and there are strict disciplinary rules..in absence of that, people will behave abruptly..over a period of time. Shiney Ahuja’s case, you take dna came to be positive, still he was relieved..the person whom he raped is now married..most of the time, people do it and get away with it..because of weak laws..salman khan, 12 years..to decided, where he is at fault or not..he is Mr being human..first thing to be a good human being, is to realize that he has done a mistake and correct it. Salman doesn’t know, who was in drivers seat, who rammed the car over those Pedestrians. but due to weak laws in india, the case is pulled for 12 years now..enough of debate, time for execution, for god sake, lets GROW UP

  42. saraswati

    So what is that you suggest..no castration, no death….how you are planning to deal with the situation..haven’t we had enough, debating on it, its time for some final hearings..with

    all due respect to you guneet, its high time, we create some strict rules or strict punishment around it. father, father in law, husband friends..raping young kids, their own kids..its

    devastating..and there is no cure, some goes to depression for life, some kill themselves, some lose confidence..there is no undo for their doings..so ideally, even the punishment

    which they get is should be for lifetime..we follow rules, do homework..only if there is a supervision by our teachers and there are strict disciplinary rules..in absence of that, people

    will behave abruptly..over a period of time. Shiney Ahuja’s case, dna was positive, still he was relieved..the person whom he raped is now married..most of the time,

    people do it and get away with it..because of weak laws..salman khan, 12 years..to decide, whether, he is at fault or not..he is Mr being human..first thing to be a good human being, is to realize that he has done a mistake and correct it. Salman doesn’t know, who was in drivers seat, who rammed the car over those Pedestrians. Cant he go and confess it. but due to weak laws in india, the case is pulled for 12 years now..enough of debate, time for execution, for god sake, lets GROW UP

  43. Jack

    I haven’t read the whole thing but it doesn’t matter… Asking for death penalty means a collective thirst for blood? Absolute BS!!!! Grow up… There’s no relation… So you mean America has a thirst for blood since they have the death penalty… It’s the fear of being punished that deters people from committing crimes… In our bharat, there is no fear… You have to make an example of someone and then people will fall in line…
    Dumb moron is what you really are… A disgrace to women!!

  44. Kartar

    I agree only on the comments, that its our shame that we are quiet and making leaders out of rapists, but i would blame education system for that. Secondly, Shenaz’s opinion is just to bring powerful people into the picture and seek justice cause if an “aam aadmi” sits for a dharna at Jantar Mantar, no justice would be served. Until we have like super solid laws in place for rapists, i dont think anything would change. The mindset of a a girl should defened herself, is a long term solution and will take years before it’s in place. For now, girls need support, they should know if they hit someone back or resist rape or go after a rapist, somebody is their to back them up and not the kind of law which sets the culprit free on streets.

  45. manoj

    As we all agreed that touching or raping any girl shall be severely punish but when we are asking for death penalties and life prisonment looks too much. Its not only to safe guards the innocent person but it also in the best of interest of the victim girl. Giving death penalties to a rapist mean that after raping a girl he knows that if a punishment for raping and killing is same so why not kill her. lets see 2 cases one was nirbhya case where those guy not only did it brutally but also try to kill them, clearly attract death penalty. now take the case of shiv kumar he raped the girl but same time he droped her at her home without injuring her. so think which is a better situation. nirbhaya’s situation where she is no more with us or the 2nd situation where she is alive and back to life. In second case shiv kumar definitely deserve lesser punushment from nirbhaya.’s rapists for not hurting her further.
    what we require is that every rape shall be bring to justice and every rapist shall be punish according to the situation. what we require is not blaming girls for the rape, not restricting them from roaming around. what we require is that we the society shall give due respect to each and every victimised girl. what we require is to tell the girl that its not a big deal and she can live happily after a rape. she dont require to take it personally as it can happen to any.
    same time we need to think about young guys also. marriage age is now crossing 25 to 30. guys get their ejection start as early as 13. so living without sex is nearly living in a hell when you have a lot of porn stuff available on each and every mobile n pc. Lets talk about those guys who are residing far away ftom their families. same situation for them. what we require is the legalisation of prostitution. Any man can have sex legally rather than doing it forcefully.
    If we dont look the situation in all prospect it will not gonna change.

  46. Muthu

    I don’t get it. We have been talking about changing laws since many years but has anything ever changed?
    Your reply makes no sense and I don’t know why you would even try to give such a response to Shenaz.

    If Death sentence is not a solution then what do you suggest?

    ” Sexual violence needs to be understood in the larger framework of our power structure” – What do you mean by this?? What are you trying to understand? All over the article you are speaking diplomatically on both sides going nowhere with your thoughts.

    “Ask for changes in law in the right place, work towards gender sensitization, introspect on how we contribute to sexual violence and stand up for zero tolerance against sexual violence. But lets not be governed by our desire for revenge. Sexual violence needs a much more objective answer. ” – What are you trying to prove here? Does it make any sense on what needs to be really done to help our Women from Sexual Violence?

  47. Mallesh

    You want to repeal AFSPA and see our soldiers die? It is because of those soldiers that you are free to write and speak out……It is those soldiers who protect your freedom of speech! You should make a detailed study of AFSPA and look at both sides of the story first!

  48. Rahul

    Hi Guneet,
    Its a shame you have written this letter to a helpless, hopeless girl who somehow gathered courage to write something for the right. This seems more to grab some attention then putting your views across. I see you talking about Gender Sensitization and Introspection. What sensitization are you talking about, what sort of Introspection. These are ways to correct people who have some conscience left, but the rapers in question don’t have any. Mending the laws and setting a good deterrent is the only solution for these monsters. For Arab countries, They have strict laws for rapes and misconducts and people found guilty are sent to Gallows. Nobody dares to be on the wrong side of the law there, as there are precedents which deter them from doing these shameful activities. Lastly, there might be other ways of gaining popularity; Undermining someone’s view just for the sake of some cheap publicity is tantamount to supporting rapes….Beware…

  49. Mir

    I dont agree here , the more strong law is the only solution here…this guy was already punished twice but he did it again .why are countries like Dubai and Saudi safe for women because the law is super strong … That is the only solution .

  50. SB

    Well written. While I too emphathize with what Shenaaz has written, and can in some way understand the anger, a lynch mob solution will never work. And more importantly, any quick fix solution which try to get around principles of natural justice should be looked at with suspect – any accused has to be given a fair trial, no matter how horrific the crime.

    The important changes to be done here is to make it easier for women to report crimes – move all sexual assault cases to a women’s court, where the victim is less likely to be shamed more than the accused.

    And I agree about the environment to be changed – India is a society where people would go for protests against rape, etc, and the next day will take their children to movies with vulgar portrayals of women, and will encourage their kids to dance to the same vulgar stuff they seen on movies and television. If you grow up watching women being treated as objects, as an adult you won’t be able to see the difference.

  51. Manish

    Why are you writing this open letter to Shenaz? Shouldn’t you be saying this to everyone? You should points to support what Shenaz wrote and take the struggle forward. Why are you writing this to oppose an already good view that you initially agreed to? Stop trying to build readership by sensationalizing a relatively popular post. You can build readership even by agreeing and building on what Shenaz wrote.

  52. Am

    ” Death penalty makes us more violent as a society. ” – are you kidding the world with that line ??? Wake up and realise that it’s already an extremely violent place for all – not only for women . It’s easy to contradict letters and not doing anything about . I won’t say u wrote a letter full of shit , but I would definitely pledge to open your eyes and read shenaz’s letter -again and understand it like a normal girl rather than pointing out loopholes and thinking on basis of the law .

  53. poo

    Keep waiting. Till then 1000s nd 1000s get permanently scarred ..

  54. Prachi

    I agree with your opinion in the article, Guneet. Really well written and articulated. Most of the people who are talking here about sexual violence go mum when it comes to mass rape violence during riots, in relief camps and in conflict areas. I love the fact that you mentioned about objectification of women in movies. Why nobody and Shenaz want to talk about that? And of course, the widespread belief in the “chop off” attitude just doesn’t serve anything except the middle class hunger for vengeance.

  55. S.A.Borges

    In India we have one problem, and the problem is we look for solutions after the problem has occurred. And then we realize that the solutions found don’t solve them. We have to prevent them occurring in the first place.
    My son who is eleven years old asked me one day what is this rape news you are watching on TV. I seized the opportunity to explain to him that violence against women and girls is a crime which can put one in prison, and hitting them and doing things to them against their will is not acceptable in society and punishable.
    From that day on-wards he has stopped fighting with his sister. Today I feel proud that I have taken a step in the right direction in educating my son to respect another person, especially women. This is what is required to be done today by parents, in educating their children how to become good citizens, rather than debating about the type of punishment to be given after the crime has taken place.

  56. Himmy

    This is an awful response! What a load of shit. She is just piling excuses on top of excuses. It’s like she is not interested in helping at all. If the methods she mentioned above were to work, they would have by now. It’s time to take further action and more severe consequences. Sometimes, you have to take the eye-for-an-eye approach.

  57. Ruchi Mehta

    I agree with mostly everything that the author here or Shenaz says, however my question is that why make them responsible to protect us, or why make them responsible to punish the rapists or change the laws, or why make us responsible for not speaking up; rather than making them responsible to behave in a better way. Why behave in such a fashion in the first place, why not make them responsible to become more responsible human beings. And at some point or another, we as women have also been responsible to make them think that they are men and it is ok for them to behave in such a fashion.

  58. S Kamath

    That’s just what we need, quibble over whose shame it is!!! Ms Kaur needs to see the letter for what it is, articulating our collective angst over the state of Indian society today….there was absolutely no need and no justification for her, tripping over herself to correct Ms Treasurywala!! And diluting the powerful message in that letter, in the bargain!!! Stupid, stupid, stupid!!

  59. Sanjay Choubey

    I disagree with several sections, written by Guneet; especially comments about Army without any proof !!! I personally think, people like Guneet try to write these type of articles to sell to the West “About how bad we are in India” !!!
    Although I agree about the comments about Uber, however, I don’t like people become Judge, Jury and Executioner based on filmsy knowledge about the situation…

    Although, good way to become famous !!!

  60. Jayant Shetty

    Shernaz Treasurywala has addressed an open letter to the Nations Icons/Legends viz; Narendra Modi, Amitabh Bachan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan on the subject of molestation women are subjected to in the their day to day life. They have been campaigning for Swatch Bharat, Tourism, Green Revolution etc. They could as well take up the matter raised by Shernaz on behalf of women.

    Guneet Kaur has also added matter to the subjec by pointing out why action is not taken on rapist who have been given cabinet posts and not been disqualified! One instance of a rape taking place in UBER, has been the reason for the Govt. Banning the Service. Why not the rapist who are in Parliament?

  61. I A

    Good One!

  62. Aditya

    Okay So I went through the article and the comments here. There are people who are haters and they will never bring about any change. There are some who mildly agree which is alright.

    Anyways, I read Shenaz’s Letter and I read Guneet’s reply to it. Shenaz’s letter makes women seem weak. It seems like she’s begging to some powerful men to bring about a change that is required. Rape no doubt is a traumatic incident for anyone and it is definitely sad whenever such a thing happens in our country and I feel terribly sorry for it. But I feel, as Guneet’s article says, Women need to stand up for themselves instead of depending solely on men for their rights and justice. We are indeed a single human race but incidents like these divide the race based on gender. Wherever division has occurred in the Mankind’s history the Darwinian principle of Survival of the fittest has prevailed.

    If women don’t lead a fight to survive and prevail then you will keep having these repetitive incidents and it will always be a shame for you and me. It is pure animal instincts that these men act on and if you come to think it is not really wrong. If you don’t really educate humans and I am not talking about traditional education, but spiritualism, religion, moral development then these men or women (I am sure it is not just men but also women who are uneducated and rely on pure animal instincts. Just that in the animal kingdom the weak succumbs to the strong and then therefore these women feel that its their plight to be treated like that) will keep falling prey to such acts.

    A fight does not necessarily mean violence but an organized way to go about educating both the genders, organising the system, having a liberal society, spiritual education. I feel women need to show that they are strong as a gender too to avoid exploitation.

    If you let yourself come across as weak then its a shame too.

    P.S- Women should definitely study about the age of kali. Maybe that will comfort you and give you the strength you need.

  63. Abhinav

    we need the vengeance seeker Shenazs and objectivity seeking guneets in this world for the world to be a better place. I would prefer your call to seek an objective answer than the vengeance seeking Shenaz..bt both of the opposing sentiments r pertinent for the objectivity u seek..me and m sure scores of men across india are ashamed of such heinous acts done by our ilk..but I dnt mind this male bashing and retribution seeking men & women of India..if it wasn’t for their naïve angst ridden cries of ‘We Want Justice’ post Nirbhaya.had they sought objectivity at tht moment i wonder whether the likes & retweets would have been of the same scale..I dnt think we would have seen the change in the psyche of the Indian male(sm r incorrigible), the media & especially the women..especially the reporting of rape and sexual violence incidents has increased (increase in rapes coincides with incrs in reporting).. change is a slave to time..we cnt expect things to change overnight..but in the past 2 years I have seen more women standing up more for themselves thn it ever was.. at times nt for valid reasons bt i ws glad..yes thr r issues with the verma recommendations its too female centric & a bit partisan..not mch for queers in thr too.. media at times has been prejudiced towards men bt tht happens when u see women being leched groped harassed every day..every1s angry & everyone wants to pitch in..the hearts in the right place i.e all desire safety & security for women..so at times objective journalism eludes them …bt time is also a great leveler so..for centuries women have been on the margins and they have experienced discrimination fr ages..abt time they had thr moment..it is only thru the feeling of shame the african american civil rights & dalit rights movement made an impact in society..Only hope shenaz follows up on this letter with the same vigor & aggression as elicited in her words post her movie release.

  64. ash

    Hi Guneet, expectedly, your article has apparently divided the opinions amongst the very gender it is aimed at… and it is quite paradoxical to realize that as a society, today, we are so freaking clueless about how to deal with the societal parasites that we have cultivated ourselves. Hang the rapists. Kill the terrorists. Sure. But show me one country, just one society, where such a unifocal solution has been successfully implemented.

    You praise the Islamic countries for stringent punishment for rapists; those very same countries are infamous for suppressing women. We praise west for liberating woman; but they have got their own set of relationship woes due to this very liberation.

    If we have to punish, let us collectively punish:
    1. yourself for selecting such idiots to parliament who browse erotica during parliamentary hours
    2. the govt. for being impotent despite its power to make change
    3. but most importantly, every single man and woman on the road, who passes by silently, conveniently putting the responsibility on someone else’s shoulders to save the helpless victim

    Thank you Guneet for balancing the viewpoints with your article.

  65. richi

    its a Publicity stunt…

    bcz her movie is releasing…..

    Abb Tak Kaha Thi :p

  66. anirudh Goel

    like a typical lawyer, you have ripped apart the argument and have not offered your defence till your fees is paid. Thanks for wasting 10 mins of my life to lure me into reading an article offering a solution to a problem which i don’t think exists, other than actually doing a psycatric analysis of the rapists themselves to see what makes them turn into such devils.

  67. Mehran

    Having read the open letter by Shenaz Treasurywala

    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/actor-shenaz-treasurywalas-open-letter-to-pm-amitabh-bachchan-srk/1/406410.html

    And the response by Guneet Kaur

    http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2014/12/shenaz-treasurywala-open-letter/
    This is the conclusion I came to.
    It is a known fact that sex has been used as an instrument of control since the dawn of civilization, for instance religions often set strict guidelines to sexual activity for the religious leaders to exercise control over the masses.

    In India we have religions (lots of them), we have interfaith rivalry, we have inter-caste rivalry, we have class based issues and then we have western style materialism, and ancient cultural traditions added to the mix and then again we have politicians with their own agendas and corporations and Media Houses with their own agendas. And then we have varying public attitudes towards the matter, attitudes which will vary from city to city village to village, etc, etc. All of these will at some point seek to use or exploit sex and issues related to sex to meet their own agenda’s, this is what makes us a “Sexually Repressive Society”

    A few bikini clad models on our fashion ramps and raunchy skin flashing dance sequences on our cinema screens does not make us a “Sexually Pluralistic Society”. It is not about men’s attitudes or the way women dress. It is a social problem and we need to understand it in a social context and approach it in an introspective manner and accept that our is a sexually repressive and sexually suppressive society and respond accordingly, again it has less to do with men’s attitudes, the rights of women and punishments for offenders, these are fringe issues, our societies attitude to sex is the core issue an issue that needs to be addressed as a whole and not by focusing on its smaller components, we could for instance have a lively debate on the merits and demerits of legalizing prostitution, or something of similar nature, that’s my opinion, let me know what you think.

  68. varsha

    I feel you have taken shenaz’s letter out of context. You hint at sexual violance not being just about sexual gratification but also a mental condition; similarly you need to realize that shenaz’s suggestion of death penalty and castration come from deep mental agony. Considering you seeming to be an educated person its shocking to see you chide shenaz’s voice of protest. Above everything else all you had to understand is that the letter is simply a form of protest for bringing a change in our society towards the treatment of women and mankind in general.

  69. anushree

    Part 1 ..completely agree with you! its a shame that many of our political leadees have rape charges against them.
    There should be zero tolerance towards such people.
    Part 2 .. Are you kidding me??? Its not about revenge..it is the want for a tougher law.
    What do you propose should be the punishment then??
    The reason this particular uber driver dared to commit this crime was because he got away with it previously..
    When people know that there might be consequences for their action,they might rethink and stop..even a 1% chance of that possibility can save someone’s life..
    Its a shame that on an average 93 women are raped per day in India!
    I agree with the point on gender sensitisation..an humble request to everyone,next time someone tells a girl that she should be doing the cleaning/cooking etc because you are girl..i urge everyone to stand up for it..a work is not specific to a gender..so please we as a nation need to stop discriminating ..
    By the way, why is this addressed to shenaaz??

  70. aparna

    Ms. Guneet Kaur,
    You are a very literate woman and have complete knowledge about the situation. You have studied in india and in california.. which means you can compare the situations both there and here.. I live in dubai and in this part of the world, a rapist is stoned to death.. also at the same time these incidents are rare.
    There is a fear that runs in everyone’s blood.. that if I misbehave with this woman here, cops will be around us in less than a minute
    This structure is not available in india.. security is bleeding and you have nobody to count on.
    To your point of being thirsty for blood against rapist is wrong, I would say you are wrong.
    I have been in the same situations where shehnaaz has been. Touched and felt by random men. This had become a routine as I was using public transport in mumbai. Each day was horrific and helpless for me. I fought, slapped and complained. But nothing changed.
    Ever since I have moved here, I feel like an equal. Someone who is being addressed as sister by men I don’t know. There is a huge difference. Suddenly I feel that I got out of a dustbin and I have freedom to walk around freely without being concerned that someone will walk past me and slap my breasts or pinch my ass
    Hanging or castrating the rapist should be done to all the rapists and just not a couple of them to set an example.
    Your practical thinking of law and goddamned attitude of changing the ideology has brought us to this position. And these actions cannot wait. You can call it revenge or whatever you want.. but pain that every woman carries with her after her life is ruined by some man is traumatic. It can only be cured once you teach these basterds a lesson.
    Save your sensibility and knowledge to enlighten people. It maybe useful for future generations to change their mind sets..

  71. gaurav khurana

    This letter has some mature points. But i am in favor of death sentence because that does not show violence its a kind of punishment which is implemented in different countries and there such incidents are less. Laws are the best way to implement things. People will never be wise on their own.

  72. hero

    Am I only one …confused and lost !

  73. Isha

    This is the worst article a woman can ever write. A woman getting degrees from foreign universities will not understand the pain through which we go everyday. I am a 20 year old woman, living in so-called safe city Mumbai. I have been whistled at many a times. Passing lewd comments, singing songs, trying to touch and grop women is like an everyday deal for men here. Many of my friends have shared their experiences of molestation and broken down in tears, when I was doing counselling sessions with them. Taking a stroll, wearing kurtis, Punjabi suits are some solutions they think would work on this problem. With increasing no. of migrants in Mumbai, this problem is increasing. If we demand death sentence for rapists and stronger punishment for other sexual offenders, should we be condemned? Do you take the responsibility of getting fear out of our mind, helping us lead a free and dignified life, to reach home safely without being eve teased and molested after 9.00pm. NO, YOU DON’T!! then please do not come in our way of demanding justice and leading a human life which we deserve.
    Sorry, we deny to tolerate armchair philosophy.

  74. pratibha

    Is that a cheap stunt to gain publicity… ?
    No woman would want such a man to have a life who ruins another woman’s life. The actual effect of death penalty would be fear of law. And don’t quote that-one-rape-case-with-death-penalty for your argument.

  75. Prarthana Bhuyan

    Sorry to say Guneet , but you need to wake up. It’s not what you say “a collective thirst for blood”. It’s making the criminals pay for their crime and death is perhaps the only way left. Otherwise these rapist will go on and on and will never stop. I am surprised that instead of supporting what Shenaz wrote in her letter you had to say something against it too. Wake up, please wake up Guneet..!!

  76. ISHA

    This is the worst article a woman can ever write. A woman getting her degrees from foreign universities will never understand the problems and pain through which we suffer everyday. I am a 20 year old woman, living in so called safe city Mumbai. I have been eve teased many a times. Whistling, singing songs, passing lewd comments, touching and groping women is like an everyday deal for men here. Many women have shared their experiences of molestation with me and broken down into tears while I was doing counselling sessions with them. Wearing a Punjabi suit or kurti doesn’t really seem to solve problems here. If we demand death penalty for rapists or strong punishments for other sexual offender, should we be condemned? Do you take the responsibility of getting fear out of our minds, providing us with freedom that we need, helping us to reach home safely without being molested and eve teased after 9.00pm??? NO,YOU DON’T!!! Then please don’t come in our way of demanding justice and fighting for a free and dignified life that we deserve.
    Sorry, we deny to accept armchair philosophy.

  77. Subrata

    I think what Shehnaz wrote is only a reactive solution. A problem like rape can never be solved by reactive measures because it has deep roots in our society and family structures. The same woman who gets assaulted today will probably as a mother pamper the male child more in her family and that is when men in our society learns to look down upon the women from childhood itself. Until women are considered equal human being in our family and eventually in society, there could be no permanent fix to this issue.

  78. Siddharth

    Totally off the topic and trying to catch the new “write an open letter” to all fame of 15 seconds. Whatever Shenaz has written seems and what you are raising are different issues. So dont try to make your letter read by everyone by replying to her. If you would have written a simple open letter and not a reply letter this could have made some sense. Sorry!

  79. vicky

    Sorry Guneet but this is shit in the purest form, Whatever you have written.

  80. Jai Bharath

    Dear Guneet,
    I appreciate your efforts here. But, this is not the possible solution to debate. Do you think 1 billion people in our people really have time to debate about this issue? Coming to the root cause, i think it is that the justice is delayed here with long interrogations and court adjournments and also only in a few cases, death penalty is rewarded. May be say 1 out of 10 cases. That is the reason why law is not equally respected among the people in our country. The best possible solution is death penalty and it should be rewarded instantly.

  81. Reema

    That is exactly what Shenaz T. is doing – SPEAKING up, and giving women the courage and example TO speak up.

    Extreme measures of punishment can sure be deemed violent. However, we have come to a point where extreme times indeed call for extreme measures. We need to set a new bar for repercussions of extreme, heinous rape crimes currently occurring in our dear motherland. Thus, we need to show the EXTREMES will are willing to go to protect the women of our country. And, letters like Shenaz’s will only be heard – let acted upon – if it is as passionate and extreme as it currently is.

  82. Chris

    Hi,

    Would you write the same if you would have been molested or raped..put yourself in the shoes of the person who has been molested and raped before writing..You would have hated everyone around you…..I want my mother, sister, wife, daughter to be safe in this country….However the law is such that the one who is at fault gets bail or gets to be this countries ministers…….Shame on us and them…imagine if you would have undergone the same you would want the strictest punishment unless you are one who enjoys it…. Every woman in this country has the right to walk upright… and when their pride is struck the person should be struck Down…….Today in India no one cares….Do the same in the countries that we look down, MEN DO NOT DARE as it means life for doing something terrible like that….

  83. Shahazad

    Dear Guneet,

    Agree to few of your points. But cant agree to the fact that death penalty is not a solution. In a country like India, law can be enforced only through fear. People have not yet acquired the high levels of social etiquettes and manners which we are dreaming off. And it wont happen in pretty near future as well. In such situations only strict and severe punishments can bring in a feeling of fear. “What if I get caught.” This thought should stop him from doing any crime. Curing the moral side of the criminal doesn’t work as quick as you are aiming. Ultimate solution if we conduct a 5 why technique may reach up to the mental state of the person or his ignorance, but correcting it from grass root and all is not a quick fix.

    In existing law every one knows even if convicted, its just a matter of few years or even months and they are back in action with same criminal mind. There are many further steps to be taken as precautionary measures, but my single point is unless there is a fear of punishment , crime cant be stopped in INDIA. Law has to be more strict, severe and have to be enforced without bias or corruption.

  84. Vivek

    The outrage for violence against women’s is justified but misplaced. The biggest problem in India is the rule of law. Its not just the women that are suffering in India. Society is suffering due to lack of rule of law. Implementation and execution of rule of law and eventually the justice affect so many lives, while money and power is used to buy justice. Fix this and everything else will be alright even the violence against women

  85. Karthik

    What would you want kids to learn “I should not rape because I may get caught and I will get hanged”. Which may even let the kid think getting caught is the problem. You can also teach the kids “Rape is a horrible crime like murder and torture and I don’t want do anything like that to another human being”.

    She wrote the letter to the most influential men in the country thereby inferring only men could save women from rape and that too influential man. If that’s the case, why there are rapes in Rajasthan, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu where the most influential person is a woman chief minister. Why not write the letter to all influential women in the country. Every women and men is responsible for improving the society. India’s sex ratio is 1.12 (9 women per 10 men) and voter turnout is only around 60% so if all the women voted for the good politicians who take action against rapes, they could have done it. But it is not happening because of low awareness and education.

    If you want really to stop rape, then awareness should start from each home rather than from the parliament. We don’t realize how much our culture, religion, and movies are against women. Changing that is the long-term solution. Also this is not a problem that is only in India, but is widespread around the world. In her letter she is making claim that US doesn’t have problems like in India, but the problem is very well present in US too. Just search for how many rapes occur in college campuses in US and how many of them are not reported or even not acted on.

    Some videos I like in this topic:
    https://www.ted.com/talks/colin_stokes_how_movies_teach_manhood?language=en#t-171113
    http://www.ted.com/talks/tony_porter_a_call_to_men?language=en
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP3cyRRAfX0

  86. Asha

    Why do you people think Guneet is against what Shenaz wrote. No she is not . You guys please read through it and understand before blindly pointing out at anything and branding it wrong . What Shenaz said totally made sense and I as a kid , a teenager ,an adolescent and an adult have gone through all of what she has and I empathize with her and also wish for a better and a safer place to live in . I currently live in the US and I really wish all my life I stayed here. Just because I can walk on the streets in the nights, alone , when situation calls for and not be frightened of anyone walking behind me. Or be forever worried about being groped or raped or flashed at. But I want to be in my country where I will not dare to be out in the streets in the night. You guys think, that by giving death penalties such people who do that will change ? No , they won’t . It has to be dealt more psychologically. All that she tried to say is that a different approach to this entire issue would make things better in a longer run . God ,I pity you people who cannot understand things put as simple as this. Do you think just by some protest, new laws are going to be implemented or laws are going to be changed ? NO! it doesn’t work that way. What Guneet has expressed is not an opposition to what Shenaz wrote , but a mere addition to it ! Open your eyes to the bigger picture .

  87. Uss

    Ok fine… then chop off their D.. maybe that might bring some fear out there in the world!

  88. Gaurav

    Guneet is displaying her idiotic wisdom on topic to get admiration.

  89. Trojan

    Rape has been practiced long before homo-sapiens created a term to describe it. Just like the fact contraceptions existed since industrial-aged people practiced sex. This problem in “India” has the same cause and effect of other nations and cultures. It’s roots are with the individual(s) and community. Ending this problem requires strong fundamental teaching from parents to their children. Build a healthy environment for children. You people need to realize, it begins with children. Multiple clinical research shows rapist and pedophiles all suffer traumatizing childhoods. More than likely, many of these individuals have been victims of molestation and sexual misconduct. I agree with the rebuttal of this author that aggression is not how to solve this problem. Criminals don’t get discouraged with tougher laws, they get smarter and more cruel (trust that). Life sentence imprisonment with rehabilitation programs would suggest a civil means of ending this frowned upon “problem”. Stop the spread of these phenotypes in the population, but do it logically instead of emotionally. Serial or novel rapist don’t do it for pleasure, it’s more about control. This problem is PURELY psychological. It ALL has to do with parenting and child rearing! As for men vexing about feminists. Equality-that one word sums up the core value of feminism. Fuck you’re class and cast system! That’s where your problem starts India.

  90. Alv pat

    Your letter doesn’t make any sense. Are you simply trying to garner publicity using the reference of shehnaz’s letter and contradicting her.
    Capital punishment is a big deterrent.
    You can’t change the mind set of indian men to those like in western countries, that is not going to happen anytime soon.
    Perhaps you should sit back and let shehnaz do the talking instead of ‘I don’t agree with this or that’

  91. Diniz

    Hey Guneet, it’s sad that you choose to target a woman who has spoken about a crime and assorted actions, instead of the problem itself. You have also not suggested anything concrete in your blog post in terms of a solution to the problem, just general gyaan that is all over the Internet The ones who need to be criticised are rapists, MCPs and misogynists (both male and female).

  92. Monistaf

    Here are some quotes from the original article that this article refers to.
    “This is a SHAME. And it’s YOUR SHAME.
    “You are now RESPONSIBLE FOR US.”
    “I won’t ask for public castration which is what I want and all the women want”
    “This is our NO1 issue. FIX THIS before anything else.”
    “The government wakes up and CHANGES the LAW so these men are terrified to touch us. Death to rapists. No bail. Just death.”

    Honestly, I cannot believe that a magazine like India today would even print something that is oozing with so much hatred, revenge and violence. But, I think we have all missed the irony in this article. The “MEN IN OUR COUNTRY” are responsible for all these atrocities on women, BUT it is the only the “MEN IN OUR COUNTRY” who have to rise up to protect and fight. So, you demonize the men, hate them, want to hang them, but you want them to turn around and protect you. Why is the author not calling upon the female actresses, sports personalities, CEO’s and politicians to rally to her cause? After all, they should be able to relate to these experiences a lot more than the powerful men she calls out since female victimization is so widespread!! Does she not believe that women are strong enough to take up this case? Will the parade led by female actresses and sports figures be less visible? India had a female head of state for 15 years, and arguably even for the last 10 years, so female participation in the political process is well entrenched. Why can you not appeal to them too? And all this from a woman, who in spite of her claims of being victimized, has been able to rise and do well for herself.

    The problem with these articles and blogs is not that they are awash with feminism but they consistently blame “The Patriarchy”, the men for everything that is wrong, without accepting any responsibility or accountability on their part. The article that Shanaz wrote is one of many, but a classic example. The flood of articles here during the 16 days of activism, did exactly the same thing. Everyone knows that there are injustices on both sides of the gender divide. It is only natural that if women can relate to, acknowledge and begin to address some if the issues that men encounter, it will prompt more men to reciprocate in kind. While there are plenty of men who are active with women’s rights, there are very few, if any, women who are willing to look at the other side of the story because they are consistently brainwashed that they are always the victims and considered traitors to their gender. When there is a constant barrage of articles highlighting women’s issues and blaming the men for all those problems, demonizing them, calling for their castration, death etc etc, it is only natural that men will go on the defensive and respond with the problems that they have. It is time for all of us to learn that change which is affected by kindness, tolerance, sympathy and compassion is far more permanent than change that is affected by force.

  93. MSD

    All well said. But asking for repealing AFSPA is pure ignorance. If you want then ask for removing Army not AFSPA. It is just an act giving Army the power which police already has.

  94. Adi

    As much as your piece is a well written response that sheds some light on the ”other side” of the story, my only question to you id – Have you been ever raped? If not, then I hope you never ever have to go through that agony, pain, shame and self loath. If you unfortunately have been there then I salute your big heart to forgive and move on. But trust me, most of us would like nothing better than revenge so another female wouldn’t have to face this torture. It. Is. Just. Not. Worth.it.

    1. Chaitanya Vegi

      “have you been ever raped? If not, then I hope you never ever have to go through that agony, pain, shame and self loath.”

      I guess here you are inferring that if a women is raped she has to go through “shame and self loath”, this is the exact attitude of the society an women has to go through after undergoing all the trauma after the incident. Even after reading the shenaz letter of which the main gist is “It’s not our shame it’s theirs” you still write the above statement. So here what your looking for is just vengeance and sorry state of killing a person, but wont change your attitude and try to support the victim. As i quoted so many times as it’s plain MOB mentality !

  95. Ravi

    Just a Troll

  96. Arjun

    Indian youth, intellectual, media and everyone else always cite the example of Western society as Benchmark of womens safety/rights, totally forgetting few things.
    1. In West Laws are not Gender Biased like in India. There are already many anti-men laws in india, Yet there is always a demand for more and more laws.
    2. More rapes and molestation happen in the developed world than in India. all these stats are available online.
    3. It is not far to compare of nation of 1.25 Billion with tiny nations in Europe with few million population, even US population alone is just 1/4 of India.
    4. in every country whether US, EU Japan etc, certain parts of city becomes unsafe for people to go at night. so it is not really a Indian problem that women cant go outside safe at night. Even men think twice which route to take when they driving late night.

  97. Aditya

    You guys talk funny. We live in a country with 1.2 billion people or 1200 million people out of which 70 % live below 2$/day (world poverty line), where top 1% of population holds 49 % wealth of the nation. We try to learn a foreign language and try to call ourselves educated, a language that only 10% of the people of the country can identify with. We are sending orbiters on Mars in a country where 50-60 % of the people still defecate openly and can’t afford decent toilets and sanitation. And let’s not get started on corruption. Well, talking about female equality and safety in such a scenario seems more like a luxury to me. Go check the number of rapes that happen in USA, UK and other European countries. You will be shocked that india is extremely low in the number of rapes. Our society is hardly as sexual as they are. There are huge porn industries in US, Japan and European countries. Breaking virginity till high school ends is like a pre-requisite. Enthusiasts are into stuff like BDSM. The society being sexual isn’t a problem.
    Most of the problems occur because sex is so hush hush in india. Too many people are poor, illiterate,uncivilized and there is too much of a language and income gap between the rich and the poor and are just managing to leave . Our Police or the implementors of law are largely from this large pool of poor and disadvantaged lower or middle class who have no clue about living well or exposure of the English law till they get stuck in a legal matter.
    Improve educational infrastructure, have better universities in different states so that whole india doesn’t have to come to DU for higher education, stop reservation in education and jobs, have a 2 child compulsary policy. Make it a free market economy. Improve job generation. Women’s life will improve automatically when the society is financially and educationally well off.

  98. Payal

    A equal society is a ideal situation which will probably take infinite time to achieve. Rape is not a persistent problem of India, third world or back ward country but it is a world wide problem. If we want to eliminate rape from genesis, then we have to understand the psychology of the rapist and act accordingly (which is true for every crime like murder etc). So, even if we use an approach where we can attain gender equalization and sensitization, we should also enforce law that can punish the criminal and set an proper example.
    I totally agree with the first half of the article where you have stressed upon raising voice against any wrong doing. We all can contribute to it, by simply protesting against any derogatory remark made towards women in our family, friend circle or neighborhood. We all form the space around us called “society” and it is our responsibility to improve it or take responsibility for its degradation.

    1. Amit Singh

      The issue of death penalty for rapes has everybody up in arms. I am surprised why issues like population explosion, highest poverty rate s, illiteracy ,reservations ,lack of sanitation, lack of world class educational institutions or good education doesn’t pinch the nerves. These issues fall on deaf ears. We Indians only like to talk fancy. We are truly a third world country.

      Our men and women are happy to get a job at an american firm, eat an american joint nearby and talk as if they just landed from america.

  99. Amit Singh

    If a total stranger beats me up while i’m walking down a lonely road,steals my money. So i being a human would want him to be sentenced to death, i’ll want to crush all his bones in vengeance. So will the people around me and those who empathise with me.

    But that’s not what the court is supposed to do. The court will give him only the dire punishment he deserves. The justice system will also have to consider his financial and educational background. Also to be considered, whether he’s a serial offender or not. The tenure of jail should depend on that.

    No one is a born thief, criminal or rapist. By giving him death penalty we’ll only shy away from our responsibities as a society to tackle problems like poverty, reservations, population explosion and illiteracy.

  100. Kamal Sood

    I agree to all the points mentioned above.

    Now before the blind feminists start assaulting me, I would like to put forth a few points if they dare to read and think.

    The questions I ask will be for Shehnaz.

    1. Why is the letter coming up only when her new movie is going to be released ?

    2. She mentions UBER incident but no reference to the brave sisters (?) of Rohtak or the slapping incident in the recent bollywood movie music launch ceremony.

    3. The men she addressed in the letter have their own tainted backgrounds for women. No offence against any of these great men but its relevent to mention it in this case –
    NaMo- Seperated from wife
    Aamir Khan – Divorced his wife and married a woman half of his age. Also his recent nude PK poster (seemed artistic to some people).
    Amitabh Bacchan – Romanced with the most beautiful woman but married another homely girl.
    Anil Ambani – Google search for “anil ambani former miss world”
    Salman Khan – Every bollywood actress has stories about him. Playbody of the century. Do I need to tell more about him?

    4. Instead of directly SHAMING all men out their why does not she urge women to educate their brothers and sisters to respect and behave well women? After all good things should start from home. Why society first and home later in this case?

    5. She says she wants to kill men with machine gun. But still expects a MAN to help her. Why dont you ask a woman’s help for this heroic deed.

    6. If you consider all men as BAD, then whats the point in being a GOOD MAN?

    7. You remember every detail of the incident; the hand, your hairstyle, your dress, the market. But do not remember the face of the person which is the most important thing to receognise that culprit. Do I need to believe this story with Rohtak sisters videos still doing rounds on the internet?

    8. It was your MOTHER who told you to keep quiet about the incident. As a result one molester got scot free or more worse he could have turned into a rapist. Now who is to SHAME if he repeated his acts and destroyed other girls modesty ?

    Its easy to SHAME other people. But you need to introspect yourself if you are not in any way responsible to contribute to these atrocities against women.

    I know I am going to get a lot of thrashing for what I commented. I welcome your views and I expect readers to comment with valid arguments. Verbal abuses though welcome will not be answered.

  101. Prasanna

    “If death penalty would have been the answer, then the suicide of Dec 16th rape accused Ram Singh in jail would have deterred the uber driver… ”

    Ask yourself why such crimes are less in Middle East countries where the punishment is fast and severe.. Only fear factor can help reduce such crimes.

  102. Gaurav

    it takes courage to speak up when there are 10 people standing up against you. many men and women every day suffer indignities and prefer to forget and forgive. it is because somewhere our society is ok with violence and those who hold power are always right. the powerful side always wins and so people in india have been giving up knowing fully well that as victims we do not stand a chance. the system is blind and useless. that is the fact of the matter, if you want to restore faith in justice and humanity you will have to teach men and women to be honest, learn to get to the root of every issue and judiciary will have to be accessible and neutral, police has to be given powers, at the moment police does not do anything because they are also told to keep mum, so police will also say that they cannot help it.

  103. Gaurav

    every nation , culture and society has its own understanding of what is right and wrong. in india power is a valid argument, so if you are powerful, have a fan following, have money or connections then society will consider you to be right and the other side to be wrong. this creates heartburn and indignation in hearts of people who are right and do not get justice and infact most of the times victims get punished because they either do not know how to voice their opinion or raise their voice. many of us would wilt under pressure or get intimidated easily in real life and here we are arguing about so many things which are beyond our understanding. as for me, capital punishment is very important and everytime it is found that a person has committed a crime that person should be hanged quickly. but the process of arriving at truth should be very clear and fake witnesses should not be able to influence the process.

  104. Vidhi

    I’m sorry to say this, but it is this sort of introspection bullshit that is increasing crime in the world. We do have a conscience and it is right to say that just hanging those rapists and abusers won’t be the end of the violence, but my question to everyone is that WHAT WILL? How do you expect to educate the billions without letting them know the consequences of such gruesome actions? Death penalty and life imprisonment is just a step towards the greater goal of eradicating the problem once and for all. And after seeing these crimes again and again it just shows that the rapists are not afraid of the law in our country just because it fails to show them the consequences of their actions. It’s human emotion to be afraid of something and these bastards should be afraid of the law.

  105. Yashdeep

    Perfectly put into words.

  106. sarath

    Some things I would like to add to the point made by the author
    Yes it is the shame of women too
    The sexual objectification of women, often seen in Bollywood movies, while I respect the professional and artistic effort involved in the item numbers, I would like to see at least some celebrities and so called icons of women in our country saying no to such scenes and encouraging a movement within Bollywood actresses to say no to useless 2 piece and item number scenes.

    I would like to see women acknowledge that rape is not an Indian issue alone. Here are the statistics
    Adjusted for population growth over time, the annual rape rate in India has increased from 1.9 to 2.0 per 100,000 people over 2008-2012 period. This compares to a reported rape rate of 24.1 per 100,000 in United Kingdom, 28.6 per 100,000 in United States, 66.5 per 100,000 in Sweden, and world’s highest rate of 114.9 rapes per 100,000 in South Africa.
    I accept that it is not accurate, but even if we are to assume 100% increase (double the no of rapes per 100,000 people) or 200% increase if that is acceptable, India still is much safer for women compared to the so called developed countries including USA, UK etc. If you are a women you are 10 times more likely to be raped in USA than in India. Think very seriously about what this mass hysteria has done to an average Indian man’s image across the globe and how far it is from reality.
    This in no way is intended against the movement against rape and empowering women. In fact I am proud that we acted before things got as bad as it is in USA and UK
    It is just a fact that at least we Indians must be aware of, so that next time a foreigner calls our culture the rape culture, instead sharing it in our facebook walls, some of us will have a come back.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

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The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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