Box Populi
  • Who are we to deny closure?

    There was no ‘revealing insight’, there was nothing that we already hadn’t read or heard before about the horrific crime.

    Is it imperative to watch India’s Daughter?

    There was no ‘revealing insight’, there was nothing that we already hadn’t read or heard before about the horrific crime.

    Leslee Udwin, the documentary maker, had said that the purpose of the interview with the rapist Mukesh Singh was to understand why rapes happen in India? Why do they? While we spend time debating and delving deep into the rapists’ psychology, Mukesh Singh says that he and his friend had drunk too much that evening and were heading to GB Road for some ‘fun’. On the way, they saw a girl and realized why drive down all the way when ‘pleasure’ was right at hand.

    Basically, a group of men from a society where respecting women was never a part of the social discourse, were having FUN. Remember Mulayam Singh Yadav’s ‘boys make mistakes’ quip to a cheering crowd during the election campaign?

    It was merely ‘coincidental’ that the girl fought back and things got out of control.

    This was not a premeditated crime; the perpetrators

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  • It’s not girls, but guys who need lessons on 'Rape'

    The predominant noises since Dec 16, 2012, have only been limited to what women ought to know and do. What we need most is a ‘Beta Padhao, Beti Bachao’ programme.

    Women are fighting a legitimate battle, and men must become a part of the solution.Women are fighting a legitimate battle, and men must become a part of the solution.

    Disclaimer first. Some of the content below is likely to puncture a few male egos.

    For long, our patriarchal upbringing has led most of our men to believe that they are modern day versions of one or all of these: the righteous Yudhisthira, the valiant Arjuna or the mighty Bhima.

    But truth must be told. An outright majority of our men are none of these.

    The predominant noises since December 16, 2012, have only been limited to what women ought to know and do. Hardly any voice has advocated education for men to deal with their own impulses or to be prepared for an assault on their womenfolk?

    Last week, the Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher suggested a sensible starting point.

    Speaking about the controversy surrounding the documentary ‘India’s Daughter’, she raised a valid issue: clothes do not cause rapes, mindsets do. So rather than bury our heads in the sand, it is critical to transform the thoughts of little children and elderly men, Kher argued.

    Misogynistic beliefs are embedded in these

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  • Why ban on the Nirbhaya documentary is justified

    Why would someone interview men who openly profess that women should be in chains? Why offer a platform to a rapist whose acts are so vile and violent they defy comprehension?

    Leslee Udwin speaks during a news conference in New Delhi.Leslee Udwin speaks during a news conference in New Delhi.Any form of suppression goes against my grain, but for some reason the ban on the broadcasting of Leslee Udwin's 'India's Daughter' doesn't make me too unhappy.

    And even though YouTube is flooded with copies of the documentary – mocking the ban, as it were – those against disallowing free release of the film seem to be disproportionately miffed.

    ‘Liberals’, Facebook activists and trolls of their ilk might now call for my head for supporting the ban. But is not this debate also about the right to one’s opinion?

    Let me first lay down the basics: I am not an opponent of free speech, but images of Mukesh Singh describing -- in gut-wrenching detail -- what happened on that ill-fated night of December 16, 2012 make me question the very motive of making this documentary. Was it Udwin’s effort to showcase to the West the misogynistic beliefs of the Indian men? The answer could be a yes or a no. Not that we live in a society that is pure as rain. Yes, we as a nation are plagued by this

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  • What could still go wrong for the BJP

    The Congress might surprise itself by putting up a far better show than it is expected to. Even a couple of dozen extra seats in its kitty could queer the pitch for the BJP.

    While the Bharatiya Janata Party is fully justified in being euphoric, it would do well to just hold off the celebrations for a while and reflect on George Santayana’s words: ‘Those who cannot remember the past are destined to repeat it.’

    Although the exit polls overwhelmingly favour a BJP-led government at the Centre and predict a complete rout of the Congress, a bit of caution – and some humility – might be in order.

    The Times Now-ORG exit poll survey gives the BJP and its allies 249 seats on the lower end of the spectrum (going up to 265 seats on the upper end), just short of simple majority of 272 seats. It gives the UPA 148 seats and ‘Others’ 146.

    The CNN IBN-CSDS poll gives the NDA a comfortable 270-282 seats, while it says the UPA would get 91-102 and Others 159-181. India TV-C Voter poll too pegs BJP (and allies) way ahead at 289, followed by Others at 153, and the UPA at 101.

    The India Today-Cicero puts BJP+ at 261-283; UPA+ at 110-120, and Others at 150-162. ABP Nielsen exit poll

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  • Kejriwal has my sympathy, not my vote. Yet

    He seemed destined for greatness. But the price of greatness is responsibility. And it was here that Kejriwal stumbled.

    For a judicious homemaker who’s not aligned to any political ideology, my wife is quite well informed and aware of her democratic rights and duties.
    Acutely alert to issues that affect the common Indian, Anju has no-nonsense, down-to-earth solutions to many a complex problem that politicians brazenly avoid tackling.
    Her often-politically-incorrect opinion on matters of import is nothing short of astonishingly sagacious.
    She, like a million others, reserves unabashed contempt for most politicians. Thus, it was like a punch to the solar plexus, when one fine winter evening she suddenly declared she might join the new political kid on the block, the Aam Aadmi Party, and work to ‘cleanse the system’.
    When she sets her mind at doing something, it is imprudent to get in the way; thus, I decided to button my lip and nod wisely.
    Knowing she wouldn’t trust a politician, no matter how honest his cronies might profess him to be, until she is entirely persuaded by his argument and intentions, I

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  • The dummy’s guide to Congress's downfall

    Apart from allegations of corruption, perceived policy paralysis, inability to deal with price rise, and ten years of anti-incumbency, the continuing infatuation with the Gandhis could well be the start of a long winter for the Congress.

    This election season has been dirty: from name-calling to hate speeches, we have heard it all. But the one statement that takes the cake is a gem by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra where she says that the 'Congress will fight back against all those who have maligned the Gandhi family'.
    In a way these words sum up the dipping fortunes of the grand old party of India's politics and why it is in the doldrums.
    It's common knowledge that the Gandhis perceive the Congress to be their personal fiefdom and ruling the party comes as a right, as an inheritance. But such blatant use of this understanding is rarely seen.
    Priyanka's statement that the Congress will fight back against those who try to humiliate the Gandhi family stinks of pomposity and points to the already known fact that it is ‘family first’ in this party. But that begs the question why the Congress should do a 'Kill Bill' to avenge the slurs?
    Almost all Congress leaders have been viciously attacked by political rivals, but the family has

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