Reality Check India

Congress chief of largest state hate speech

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on July 17, 2009

This is not a rookie politician, this is the Congress party chief in Uttar Pradesh.

Here is a report of what she said,

A leading politician of the governing Congress Party was arrested Thursday and her house set on fire by activists after critics say she suggested that a rival leader be raped so she could better understand the plight of rape victims. Rita Bahuguna Joshi, the party’s chief in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, said her comments about Chief Minister Mayawati — who uses only one name — were taken out of context. Speaking about the increase in rapes in Uttar Pradesh, she cited a few cases in which rape victims were paid $520 in compensation. Ms. Joshi said the women should “throw the money at Mayawati’s face and tell her, ‘You should also be raped, and I will give you 10 million rupees,’ ” about $210,000.

Source : New York Times

The Indian media is working overtime now to twist the issue. 

This hate speech is obviously not going the way of that hate speech. The remarkable fact is this hate speech is targeted against a specific individual (Ms Mayawati)  – calls to action a more grievous crime (rape is more serious than chop chop hand) – and is targeted against downtrodden castes (specific context of compensating Dalit rape victims).  Not to mention that the person making the speech is not a rookie first-time MP aspirant. We are talking about the Uttar Pradesh Congress Party Chief who is a seasoned politician. Each of the above are punishable separately under existing IPC sections.  Seems like a really tough one.

Why did I quote from the NYT ?  Here is a what the Indian media has to say.

Express Buzz : Maya and Rita inflame passions in UP  (see it is Maya’s fault too !) 

IBN Live : Maya a woman wronged ?  (Intriguing, You tell us the answer)

Outlook : Out of the gutter (Tells us Maya herself as used such language in the past, tells us that just the tone of Rita was wrong – her reasoning may be right)

 Times of India : Over 50% crimes against women are from UP (See so Rita’s hate speech is not the issue here. This incredible statistic (based only on reports to NCW) is the key, so there is a “ring of truth” )

Calcutta Telegraph : Rap on Rita, Lawless warning for Maya (Its even – lets move on)

A lot of other Indian media outlets have nothing to say.

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4 Responses

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  1. TS Gordon said, on July 17, 2009 at 6:36 am

    This is a confusing read from an American point of view, but I would hope that leaders from all nations will soon admit that the recent wave of ‘hate speech laws’ is an assertion against our liberties and must be handled as a downwind portion of any punishable offense. This woman was treated unfairly in any event, and her so-called crime was probably based on some kind of political difference.

    Just for the sake of argument, let’s say every time I said the word ‘Packi’ it was intended to offend someone. And in this case let’s presume I meant ‘packrat,’ as in someone who collects things unnecessarily. My point is that ‘hate speech’ is not perceived the same way by all people, yet singling people out for their race sexual orientation or creed is clearly against the basic principals of Universal human rights. And, since half the gays I know enjoy being called ‘fags,’ and some of the blacks I know call each other ‘n***’- there is no ‘Universal definition’ for either word in actual usage. Obviously, the ‘N-word’ should forever be associated with George Bush, yet does this make me a ‘racist’ as I rally the world to accept it as Universally true? ..Can BoyGeorge not also speak freely and respond with a curt; “yo mamma, get a life, a**-hole?”

    • realitycheck said, on July 18, 2009 at 3:31 am

      Gordon,

      This post and all others in the blog are in the context of Indian politics and society.

      The Indian power structure (national and regional ruling formations) appears to be strong but rests on a bedrock of lies and contradictions. Much energy is spent by the state on feeding this bedrock and pleasing those who protect these contradictions from the prying eyes of the public.

      Words like hate-crimes are fairly well defined in the west. The legal system is equipped to adjudicate evenly which leads to a public consensus of where the ‘line is drawn’.

      We still have to evolve, these laws are nothing but vehicles for the entrenched political and feudal forces to nail challengers. The media is busy telling us that this incident does not qualify as a hate speech, while a cooler speech by a rookie was panned by the same media.

      Thanks for visiting – there is more to the Indian state than meets the eye. Remember is takes extraordinary effort to keep so many in abject poverty and not have them rise up in revolt.

  2. Atlantean said, on July 17, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    It really tells a lot about the state of India’s English media that we have to refer to American and Australian newspapers to get the real – “untwisted” – version of some events.

  3. Gayla Mapp said, on December 18, 2010 at 7:32 am

    You completed some fine points there. I did a search on the topic and found the majority of people will have the same opinion with your blog.


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