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article imageOp-Ed: Westernized women and Kali Yuga? Indian law vs. 21st century?

By Paul Wallis     Jan 10, 2013 in Crime
Sydney - The trial of alleged murderers/rapists responsible for the death of an Indian woman some weeks ago has produced an astonishing array of ancient, misogynistic cultural excuses for rape. Apparently “Westernized” women are to blame for assaults.
The legal defence and many other Indian public figures are claiming that the murdered woman was responsible for her own assault and murder.
Sydney Morning Herald:
Manohar Lal Sharma said his clients will plead not guilty to all charges tomorrow when they make their next court appearance. His comments come as Indians have reacted with outrage to the opinions of politicians and a religious preacher who have accused westernized women of inviting sexual assaults. Sharma said the male companion of the murdered 23-year-old was "wholly responsible" for the incident as the unmarried couple should not have been on the streets at night.
"Until today I have not seen a single incident or example of rape with a respected lady," Sharma said in an interview at a cafe outside the Supreme Court in India's capital. "Even an underworld don would not like to touch a girl with respect."
Interesting how morals are invoked after a crime to justify it. Like the Taliban and other religious extremists/apologists around the world, apparently it’s considered a credible defence that any crime can be condoned in the name of accusing others of immorality.
Rape is illegal. Is that so hard to understand?
There is no basis for claiming anyone “should not be” going about their own business, anywhere, any time.
It’s interesting, however, that any Hindu should consider an immoral woman as a target of rape. According to Hindu scriptures, the demon Kali responsible for the hideous, multi-millennial Age of Kali Yuga, lives in “licentious women”. (English translation, selectively chosen). So does this mean that having sex with a notorious ancient demon, voluntarily or otherwise, and in this case the epitome of the worst of Hindu cycles, is OK? Alternatively, is this merely yet another dogmatic soapbox for old, out of date, out of touch extremists, regardless of contradicting their own beliefs?
(Kali Yuga is the Age of Corruption, more or less. Note also that neither use of the name Kali in this case relates to the goddess Kali.)
It’s also interesting to note that Bollywood-style Westernization is one of India’s biggest exports. Presumably, that’s all entirely coincidental, too. It’s no great surprise that given the alternative of a prosperous Western lifestyle and the sickening, unfathomable poverty of so many Indians that the choice is prosperity. Is that a crime, too?
Anti-Westernization is also pretty bizarre in economic terms. India’s popularity as a credible modern nation which is easily equated to Western business and cultural values is also responsible for its booming IT industry and exports. Is that another myth or a solid fact?
India’s best interests would be better served by silencing these strange ancient noises in the courts, preferably permanently. This is an ugly situation, being made worse by excuses mired in absurd, inaccurate dogma and mindless parochial prejudice. Either India is living in the 21st century or 3102BC, which is when the Age of Kali Yuga is said to have begun. Which is it?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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