Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Raina: India, Australia

What is the Difference?

By Badri Raina , ZNet, Feb 9, 2010

Badri Raina’s ZSpace Page

I

The Victorian police chief, Simon Overland, has finally found the answer to the attacks that Indians have been subjected to down under.

“Try to look as poor as you can,” he advises Indian immigrants to Australia: “don’t display your iPods, valuable watch, valuable jewellery.”

The implication here is explicit: if you don’t flaunt, you will not tempt.

Thus, the onus that the state and law-enforcement ought to bear is neatly transferred to the victim on a principle of the call of “nature,” if you will. To wit, men will be sinners; so the best course is to seduce as little as possible.

The Indian community has characterized this approach to crime as “ridiculous”—with justice.

I have no doubt we shall soon have fiercely outraged debates on Mr.Overland’s take on crime here on Indian TV channels.

But do ask yourself: how is Mr.Overland’s advice here any very different from what Indian women are routinely advised by our own custodians of morality? Or custodians of morality in large parts of the world?

If you flaunt, you invite rape—and on the same principle of “nature” that informs Overland’s counsel to Indians down under. Thus, bigots of all hue argue that it is not the rapist and the molester who is out of order but the women who are thus raped or molested.

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