On the Cambria Press Facebook, we recently made a post about another kind of terrorism and this was the five-year-old child being raped and left to die in India. Why was this classified as terrorism? Because, according to Merriam Webster, terrorism is defined as the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. Is this systematic? Yes, the fear of rape is very much an entrenched part of life in India for women. This is reinforced by a CNN interview by Erin Burnett with ‘Top Chef’ Host Padma Lakshmi, who has lived in India and said that even in broad daylight, she (as a teenager) and her cousin would fear for their safety in crowded places like the market because “we were leered at, we really felt intimidated. this was not routine guys kind of whistling, this was much more aggressive and intimidating than that, and that happens every day.”
Padma Lakshmi also said that even riding the bus to school was a terrifying experience. She said, “I used to ride the bus in India to school and I hated it. I hated going on a crowded bus because they [men] would always pinch you or grab you” and went on to say “You never feel safe … it doesn’t matter what your technical legal rights are, what matters is your safety and you just don’t feel like testing that.”
However, she is encouraged by the protests and said that “the reason that you’re seeing all of this incredible demonstration is because women feel empowered to speak out” and said that “there may just be real change … the internet and news programs really help because Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, and all the rest of parliament understand that the world is watching. And to truly be respected as a world power, as a dominant force on this globe, which is what every Indian wants, whether they are in office or not, they are going to have to tackle this subject head on. They are going to have to explain to the world why they are a democracy and yet over half of their citizens are abused, verbally and otherwise, assaulted, sexually and otherwise, and also discriminated against.”
Kudos to Ms. Lakshmi for speaking out and bringing much-needed attention to this! Now it’s our turn to step up …
Please spread the word and share this link http://wp.me/p1WqrY-oe and ask everyone to do the same on Facebook, Google+, and Tweet #IndiaRapesMustStop. Let them know that “the world is watching” and wants this to stop for “over half of their citizens [who] are abused, verbally and otherwise; assaulted, sexually and otherwise; and also discriminated against”!
* * * * * * * *