A Supreme Court ruling says there cannot be more than 30 female sterilization surgeries by a team of doctors in a day. The ruling also says a doctor cannot perform more than 10 such surgeries in a day. The convention also says such surgeries can only be performed in a government run facility.

The doctor in question, rewarded by the state health minister of Chhattisgarh for scoring the 50,000 mark of such surgeries and arrested now, performed 83 surgeries in five hours in a private hospital that was not in operation for months.

13 of these women died after developing complications. Many are still serious and in hospitals. And there are reports of hospitalization from some other camps as well.

And ‘such’ deaths make for regular news flow. What happened in Chhattisgarh is not a standalone incident. Yes, but the way it happened pulled the global attention. A Google survey will return with reports in almost every language.

Every human life lost owing to such misplaced and ill-conceived human priorities is an utter shame but we are living in an age of lost priorities.

Smaller number of deaths don’t figure at all beyond the local news coverage. Even this huge calamity was not potent enough to storm a national outrage and serious debate. No social media campaign was launched. No ‘such’ self-proclaimed advocates came forward. It did not trend beyond the realm of news making machinery.

And ‘such’ deaths just didn’t happen now. They have had a long history, dotting the timeline of the independent India.

Female sterilization surgery has been in regular use. Earlier, it was a state policy tool, with targets explicitly fixed. In fact, it was a state policy forcefully implemented during the Emergency years. Later, to make it look more progressive and inclusive, the process was made voluntary with more emphasis on educating the participants on family planning practices.

But most of it remained on papers, especially in small town, rural and hinterland India. Targets were fixed unofficially. Targets are still fixed unofficially. And ‘such’ surgeries have continued with their botched-up legacy.

Statistical reports say 12 women die every day in India owing to the botched sterilization surgeries or complications arising after the surgeries. Official figures say over 1400 people died in ‘such’ surgeries between 2003 and 2012, almost of them being women, and the statistical history dates deep back in time.

Now, India is a vast country when we map it in terms of its population. Around 1.25 billion people, distributed mostly across the small town or rural India, and most of the them just somehow surviving their living conditions. Enough is a word seldom arrived in their lives on their day-to-day requirements.

Hunger, healthcare, education and shelter are chronic issues still affecting the large swaths of Indian demographic landscape and the ‘subjects’ of most such female sterilization camps come from these population realms.

According to the reports, the governments offers monetary and other incentives to the ‘subjects’. Yes ‘subjects’ because the conceiver and developers of such plans don’t see them beyond this as revealed by the continuance of such target driven practices.

The reports say the monetary reward for women (tubectomy) is Rs. 1000 while the monetary compensation for men (vasectomy) is Rs. 2000. Why this gap? This is when tubectomy has greater complications than vasectomy. Some other reports say the incentive is Rs. 1400 adding that the National Population Policy discourages it. At the same time, the local health workers and doctors are also provided with incentives to bring more and more women to the sterilization surgery camps, like this Chhattisgarh doctor was awarded by the state government.

It is by now a deeply entrenched social malaise made permanent by the tentacles of a patriarchal society. Women are still considered secondary or inferior family members in social formations that make for most of the ‘subjects’ of ‘such’ female sterilization camps. The extreme position it has taken should become clear from the fact that we never discuss ‘male sterilization camps’ or ‘male sterilization deaths’.

And all for Rs. 1000 or Rs. 1400 or so! From an urban, metro middle-class lifestyle, that doesn’t make anything.

But for poor families dotting the Indian population across its geographical formations, it is a great sum that they rarely find in their possession in one go. And crushed by the conceited male egos and libidos, they choose or are coaxed to opt for or are forced to go for that ‘elusive stash of cash’, never thinking or questioning that their husbands doing so would be easier and probably more lucrative.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Getty Images – In this 1950 photo, a group of women sit below posters advocating family planning in a doctor’s clinic in the Indian village of Badlapur in Maharashtra.

A well thought out photograph tells all. It is the essay in itself. The sayings say so. And it is true always, as this photograph tells.

Midst the controversy (that didn’t pull the outrage it should have, nationally or locally) on 10 sterilization deaths in Chhattisgarh (which got global media pull), I came across this photograph in a The Wall Street Journal’s web write-up*.

The photo tells us how wrong our priorities were when we began, as it dates back to 1950, shot in a Maharashtra village.

And it also explains why, in the 21st Century India, that claims to be a space power, a missile power, an Information Technology power and an economic power house, we still come across regular news headlines like this.

This 1950 photograph had family planning posters hanging in a doctor’s clinic in a Maharashtra village.

And the posters were in English, in a village, probably Marathi speaking (as being in Maharashtra). It was not in some town, city or metro. Also, way back in 1950, literacy rate in India was in pathetic situation. And here the subjects were women. Education for them is still a secondary priority across a large section of the Indian society. So, think of 1950!

And in those days, we began with wrong priorities, this photograph is symbolic of that. The messages were packaged in alienated words and the ground work was supported with draconian practices like ‘forced’ female sterilization camps. Yes, the camps.

Such camps and such ‘forced’ practices (though some would like to say incentivized) can be seen throughout the history of independent India.

And this Chhattisgarh camp was also a forced (incentivized) one where 10 women lost their lives owing to the expertise of the state medical practitioners who botched up the surgical process that is routinely performed at ‘camp’ levels in many parts of India.

*Why India Continues to Sterilize Its Women

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


It is on the expected line, the ugly politicking, swarming like bees to exploit the last drop mileage to score silly points of caste politics – the tragic incident of gangrape and murder of two teenage Dalit sisters in the stronghold of Uttar Pradesh’s father-son power-duo of the moment, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav, was bound to get the politicians rushing to the place once the issue started making its way to the national and international newsrooms.

So, after three days of the May 27 incident, on May 31, Rahul Gandhi reached the nondescript Badaun village where the humanity was raped, mutilated and chopped into countless pieces by the predatory animals many of whom are prowling among us misleading us by their human appearance.

And it was enough to start the detestable race to claim the political gains.

The so-called Dalit messiah Mayawati reached the village yesterday claiming the victim families were ready to accept the compensation amount from her only.

Now it is another sorry extension of such sordid tales of political opportunism that some children, possibly from the weaker sections of the society including the Dalits, were caught on camera cleaning the ground for landing of Mayawati’s helicopter, something that cost the labour commissioner of the district his job after the visuals were flashed on TV channels.

Then it was turn of the local MP and cousin of the chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav. Not even a single word heard from him on the incident till then, he propped up from somewhere all of a sudden but had no answer than irrelevant verbal manipulation on his long absence, that included some angry expressions as well (on reporters’ questions he had no answers of).

Today, two other names claiming to be at the forefront of fighting for the Dalit cause are lined up to visit the village – Ram Vilas Paswan and his son Chirag Paswan.

Let’s see what other names crop up.

Meanwhile, there is no word on Mulayam or Akhilesh visiting the families.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Etawah‬: Home town of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav – mother of rape survivor badly beaten by rapist’s father (a Yadav) on May 26 – no action, no arrest so far – no reaction from Mulayam and Akhilesh so far..

‎Azamgarh‬: Constituency of Mulayam Singh Yadav – a teenaged girl gangraped on May 28 – just 1 arrest, 3 still absconding – no reaction yet from the MP..

‪Badaun‬: Constituency of Akhilesh’s cousin Dharmendra Yadav – 2 teenaged Dalit sisters gangraped, killed on May 27 and bodies hanged from tree – 5 accused and 2 policemen who let it happen even if the families of the girls approached them to save their daughter (all Yadavs, in fact the local police post in-charge is also a Yadav) – no reaction from Mulayam and Dharmendra so far, routine reaction from Akhilesh after the national and international outrage, only to throw another shocker – the policmen, clearly involved in the crime, were suspended only initially – their termination only came after the outrage..

The insensitivity reflects in comments political statements:

Mulayam on a manifesto promise – “when he proposed to scrap the new anti-rape law which provides for hanging for the horrific crime. – ‘Rape ke liye phansi par chadha diya jaayega? Ladke, ladke hain. Galti ho jati hai.’ (Will boys be hanged for rape? Boys are boys. They commit mistakes.)”

April 11, 2014, DNA

Badaun gangrape and murders

Why are the political parties like SP, BSP, RJD or similar outfits with bunch of criminal elements and operating with a feudal mindset voted in?

Countless idiots among us are primarily responsible for electing them and equipping them with power to slay us later.

The crime is Talibani and the attitude of administration in most cases forces us to desperately think of a swift Talibani way of justice.

But….Alas….The perils of democracy!!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Saying so — It is not fashionable. It is not patronizing. It is not as looking down on some lesser important ally. It is not biased. It is rooted in deeply disturbing trends.

When the world, when the global community, when the rich nations that constitute for the bulk of the tourist inflow in India – when they warn their citizens on traveling in India, labeling the world’s largest democracy as the rape capital of the world, it has reasons, reasons that should have ashamed us to take corrective measures long ago.

And ‘taking corrective measurers’ is not just about formulating some policies. We have had many policies strong enough to check and put the effective control. In fact, an already robust legal framework was given even more teeth after the December 16, 2012 gang rape of Delhi.

But, the number of rape cases, or to say the number of reported rape cases, has increased significantly since then.

‘Taking corrective’ measures must mean implementing the measures to correct the system, and that must be ‘without delay’.

The task at hand becomes even more herculean with the fact that it is a mindset problem of a male dominated society where, in spite of all the progresses and the claims thus made, women are still treated as lesser, inferior counterparts, that further pushes for their stereotyping and commoditizing as objects, to be used, to be exploited, by the sick and perverted male mentalities.

The devil was always there, cryptically exposed, dwarfed by the inhibitions of a patriarchal society. Now, with chronically increased number of rape cases, it is telling us it doesn’t care what the morality thinks about it. It, in fact, is boasting its perversion with a shameless new audacity.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Civilizations! Societies! Contradictions! Barbarism! Insanity! Savagery!
Again and again!
Complicity, explicit or implicit, an essential part of it!

In West Bengal’s Birbhum district, a 20-year old woman was punished with gang rape by 13 men.

Her crime: she was in a relationship with a man outside her tribe/community.

Punishment: The couple was ordered to pay fine, some say Rs. 25,000, some say Rs. 50,000, but that is irrelevant here. After the couple said it was unable to pay such a hefty amount, the village chief, the head of the Panchayat (village court) ordered she be gang raped while her partner was tied up to a pole in the village square. The village head headed the bunch of 13 who were ordered to extract the quantum of punishment from the couple (especially from the girl).

This incident, from a backward district like Birbhum of a backward state like West Bengal, is not a standalone incident. Rapes and killings by Panchayats (and by the societies) have been taking human lives (more specifically women lives) in India.

This incident, a direct replication of what we have seen so many times in Indian movies of all languages, is a real-life horror story of many Indias that are dying in the world’s largest democracy.

This incident, from a tribal dominated region of India, is one of the countless incidents of gender crimes perpetrated by the feudalism of male psyche.

And such incidents are not limited to the culturally and economically backward regions like this, they are uniformly distributed even to the metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai, reports and gender crime data from the National Crime Records Bureau say.

India is known as a land of diversity, but at least, there is one universally, uniformly, distributed aspect of it – its megalomaniac composition of the male domination psyche.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Female Foeticide and Infanticide

Last year, the Indian government said the country had nearly 3 million girls less (‘missing’) in 2011 (75.84 million) than their count in 2001 (78.83 million).

In a country, facing the acute crisis of a skewed sex ratio, female foeticide and female infanticide continue shamelessly.

The situation has worsened to this level that there are not enough girls to wed the boys of this patriarchal system and women are being trafficked to continue families in culturally backward states like Haryana or Rajasthan where women are treated like mere objects, tools to satisfy carnal pleasures, to carry out house chores and to give birth to the sons (daughters have no place).

A write-up of UNICEF India website says: Eligible Jat boys from Haryana travel 3,000 km across the country to find themselves a bride. With increasingly fewer girls in Haryana, they are seeking brides from as far away as Kerala as the only way to change their single status.

The write-up further says: Decades of sex determination tests and female foeticide that has acquired genocide proportions are finally catching up with states in India.

And it is not just about female foeticide or aborting the female foetus. It is also largely about female infanticide, killing the girl child before one year of age.

Naturally, differently laws have been put in place to prevent foetal sex identification, foeticide and female infanticide.

And as expected, these laws have failed, naturally, as is with laws on many other intrinsic socially mandated patriarchal gender crimes like dowry (a major reason for female foeticide and infanticide in India) or witch-hunting.

Not just foeticide or infanticide figures, there is a whole bunch of statistically incriminating data set that tells us how insanely criminal we have been to the other half of the human population.

2011 Census sex ratio is 940, i.e., 940 girls per 1000 boys. Though it is a slight improvement from 933 of 2001, the child sex ratio saw a decline from 1991 to 2011, from 945 to 914.

Female foeticide and infanticide – 10 million female foeticides – one million infanticides of every 12 million baby born – a media report says.

The girl child population was around 16 per cent of the female population in 2001 that declined to 12.9 per cent by the Census 2011.

A BBC report quoting the medical journal the Lancet said in 2006: More than 10m female births in India may have been lost to abortion and sex selection in the past 20 years, according to medical research. Researchers in India and Canada for the Lancet journal said prenatal selection and selective abortion was causing the loss of 500,000 girls a year.

And the problem is not limited only to the culturally backward states like Haryana or Rajasthan or culturally-skewed states like Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra or Punjab, it has become a pan-India pandemic, a social menace that is corroding the fabric of the Indian social formation.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Though it was coloured in black and white, it was not black and white. One year after the December 16 gangrape in Delhi was a point to stop and look back on what all has changed.

Have there been changes? And when we talk about ‘changes’, what do we mean by ‘change’?

It was so brutal and animal that it stirred not India only, but pulled the attention of the global community.

The two weeks of protests that followed the December 16 horror slapped the Indian psyche, laid it threadbare, thrashed the Indian administration, made the world worried about women safety in India (their women as well as the Indian women) and thus gave India the tag of the rape capital of the world.

And if we see the developments leading to the ‘desired’ ‘changes’ in this context, we can say nothing ‘much’ has moved.

On paper, a stronger anti-rape law was put in place. But rape cases reported have doubled since the December 16 incident, if we talk of Delhi, the national Capital of India. True, it may be that the increased attention and a tougher anti-rape law have led to the higher reporting of such cases. But it also tells us about the uncomfortable truth about us, the central reason behind crime against women, a truth that we all know but do want to realize to work on.

The truth behind increased reporting of such cases tells us how deep the murk is. If an anti-rape law can result in over two-fold increase in reporting of the rape cases from Delhi alone, imagine the horror at the pan-India level where most of the cases are still not reported!

It is good more cases are being reported. It is bad the accompanying legal machinery is still not responding to it in a satisfactory way. Some special courts were made to handle rape cases only, six in Delhi, the Chief Justice of India had inaugurated. All are trailing with unimpressive outcomes.

Again, that is for Delhi only. Think of the problem at the pan-India level and link it with the flood of rape cases being reported from across the country and you would feel ‘nothing’ has changed.

It cannot, until the mindset changes. It cannot, until the male-dominated Indian psyche remains skewed.

We are a country of the men who still kill their five minor daughters in cold blood, shooting them in the head, to get rid of them, as happened last week in the Gaya district in Bihar where the father was the killer.

We are a country of the men who kill millions of girls even before they see the world. Last year, the Indian government said the country had nearly 3 million girls less (‘missing’) in 2011 (75.84 million) than their count in 2001 (78.83 million). In a country, facing the acute crisis of a skewed sex ratio, female foeticide and female infanticide continue shamelessly.

We are a country of the men who still brand women as witches to exploit them, to settle scores with them. We are a country of the men who still marry their daughters in an age when they can’t realize what marriage is. UNICEF statistics say 18 per cent of the Indian girls are married by the age of 15 and the share gets disturbingly higher with 47 per cent of the girls getting married by the age of 18. The October 2013 report published in the Times of India puts the number of child brides in India at 24 million out of the global count of 60 million.

We are a country of the men who still treat women as secondary, lesser counterparts professionally as well as socially. Dowry is social menace deeply rooted. Dowry murders still happen. Girls form the larger chunk of ‘forced’ illiterates and dropouts. Glass Ceiling is common.

How can there be a change of gravity until this borrowed mentality of male domination changes, a borrowed mentality anointed for ages?

One year after, and it was to be coloured in black and white, all across. But, the undercurrents remain in the realm of grey!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Witch-hunting (Dayans of India)

Witch-hunting, the erstwhile tool of medieval and early modern period of history is still existent in many places of India. The recorded cases talk of over thousands of women victims murdered in this decade only – in India of 21st Century.

And we don’t need any ‘ifs and buts of a rational thinking process’, to say that the cases not reported would certainly be multiple of it, given the kind of ‘prevalence belts’ this witch-hunting or ‘punishing the Dayan’ exists in. Dayan is the Indian term for witches.

Witch-hunting cases are commonly reported from states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal but we do come across victimization of women in the name of ‘witchcraft’ from other states, be it Uttar Pradesh or Kerala, representing two geographical extremes of India, or many other states in between or across, to support the claim.

Google is a wonderful tool. Do a simple Web-search with tags like ‘Dayan + India’ or ‘witch-hunting + India’ and you will come across pages and pages of results on victimization of women in the name of witch-hunting. And mind you, you can come across cases that happened just yesterday or the last week.

Victimization of women under the garb of punishing witchcraft is basically an easily available tool to the patriarchal mindset of the rural and semi-urban areas of many states in India. Though it is more virulent in the socioeconomically poorer segments of the social formations, well-to-do families are found it practicing as well.

The purpose is more or less similar in almost of the cases of witch-hunting as it is found on investigation – settling score, usurping property in the name of the victim, getting rid of a wife a man no longer wants to be with, efforts to discard a daughter-in-law a family wants to throw out – there are varied reasons – but all target women, causing them mental and physical torture.

And most of these women do not report. They cannot report. Being hounded by the family and the immediate society, they are not allowed to approach the police even if they are fortunate enough to have the police officials ready to act on such complaints of socially mandated crimes.

Their fate is more or less similar thus. Yes, the background only exacerbates the problem. Many have to suffer and live the life of outcasts. Many are forced to make compromises. Many die living such lives. Many are killed outrightly.

Yes, there is a law again, to contain and eliminate this socially mandated crime but it is failing again. The social humiliation and the subsequent personal assassination in the name of sanitizing a society from a Dayan’s presence continue.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Underage Marriages

Underage marriages are prevalent in many states of India. In some parts where it was thought to be effectively put down, the social blot is witnessing resurgence.

India is known as the child marriage capital of the world. On mining statistical analyses and news reports for information and data, we come across harrowing details.

An October report said India refused to sign the UN Human Rights Council led resolution on child marriages. Countries like Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Chad, Guatemala, Honduras and Yemen were among the 107 countries supporting the resolution. The report quoted these supporting countries as having high rates of child marriage.

The child marriages involve both the boys and the girls but no deep sociological understanding is required to arrive at the conclusion that not boys but girls are at the receiving end of such ill-intended practices of a brutal, archaic, patriarchal society that treats its women (and thus girls) as secondary, inferior counterparts.

UNICEF statistics say 18 per cent of the Indian girls are married by the age of 15 and the share gets disturbingly higher with 47 per cent of the girls getting married by the age of 18. The October 2013 report published in the Times of India puts the number of child brides in India at 24 million out of the global count of 60 million.

That is 40 per cent of the lot – India is statistically and thus justifiably the child bride capital of the world!

Marrying girls when they are not even able to understand themselves and then expecting from them to understand the needs of an entire family and act accordingly – it is inhuman, it is barbaric – but it is what is exactly happening.

There is a law to prevent child marriages, like there is one to stop dowry cases. Both are glaring example of nationalised social apathies. Both have been meek in checking the menace because the implementers are from among us only, the progenies of the brutal, archaic, patriarchal society, who refuse to budge.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/