Original article by
Rina Dutta (Assam Times) and my reply
THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE
NE girls and Delhi
As far as we know, the student and professionals working in Delhi includes
both boys and girls. If the offences committed were of racial nature, even
boys should be attacked. But why is it that only girls are harmed? There is
no incidence of north-east boys being attacked in Delhi.
Morever *there are chinky students from Bhutan, Nepal, Korea etc. studying
in Delhi. Why is it that an Arunachali, a Naga, a Mizo being in the focus?
It is time the girls from hill states introspect. *
The media in north east talks big of 'free culture' in the region. But in
reality, all people in hill towns like Kohima, Aizawl and Itanagar are
indoors right in the evening. After 7 pm, one will not find any shop open,
any vehicle or girl on the streets and roads. Why is it that a Mizo girl
thinks that she can roam about in Delhi at 2 'o' clock in the night. It is
known that north east tribes like Nagas, Mizos, Arunachalis etc did not wear
clothes some decades back. So they have the habit of wearing short and
skimpy dresses. Since this is their habit, they can go and study in
Australia. There they will get the royal treatment which chinkys get in
Delhi doesn't need lessons of discrimination when the north east tribes are
best in it. They are good in emotional blackmail and blaming others for all
their wrongs. And they have a north east media like Dhritarashtra who
supports the nonsense blindly and throws all blame on Delhi. To know why
some NE girls get into trouble in Delhi, one has to go to Delhi and see what
a weird, vulgar and awkward image they have made for themselves and the
region. North East boys also dress in a very unsmart and third class manner,
with cargo pants, half pants, tattoos and rings, spikes etc. Maybe because
they are tribal, they do not know to dress decently.
MY REPLY (Shreema Ningombam)
ON THE NORTHEAST BOY NOT BEING ATTACKED
The attack here pertains to sexual harassment, molestation or rape. Girls are sexually harassed by men and if men had to be ‘attacked’ who will do it? Is another man to sexually harass another man or is a woman to harass a man. Is it feasible for a woman to sexually harass a Northeast man/boy or for that matter any other man belonging to any community or race? It is a universal phenomenon that no man can be in the legal sense sexually harassed. The maxim goes ‘Man can’t be raped’. The point is men’s sexuality is never in danger. Each of the sex perceives their sexuality differently. For women sexuality is associated with morality and prestige but for men they are free from any such associations. So what does it matter if a man is raped? It does not make any difference at least socially if not personally. They have nothing to lose nor their prestige or morality but for a woman who is raped nothing is left because the social norm snatch away from her something un-seeable, intangible things called prestige or morality.
ON THE TERM CHINKI
Chinki is a derogatory term for the people belonging to mongoloid race just like Mayang is for brown Indians or Yankies for the Americans. Derogatory words are part of common language spoken and written. But in a public forum if someone utter such derogatory term directly pointing to the other then it not only shows the person’s prejudice and biased attitude towards the people of other community it also shows the level of insensitivity and immature attitude of the speaker. It is indeed a pity that a forum can publicize such writings without a second thought. It shows the forum’s indifference and disdain for the people involved.
ON ROAMING IN THE NIGHTS BY GIRLS
There is a huge difference between the life of some sleepy towns or villages in Northeast and the life of metropolitan cities like Delhi or Mumbai. These are metro cities with vibrant night life which one cannot find in a remote small town or village of any part of India. If a man venture out in night and enjoy then its ‘macho’. But when women do then they are blamed to be inviting dangers. Let us say dangers are invited then why men are so willing to take this invitation? Why these man have no judgment over their own choice on whether a woman walking alone in the road can be raped or not. If a woman bares her breast or open her legs why some specific men are so willing to grab the opportunity. All men would not like to taste the parts of women who are strangers. Let us say some men want to then there is brothel where women of all kinds and colors that attune to their fascination are available. But why hunt unwilling women in nights; there is indeed a dark psyche involved.
The perpetrators are the prisoners of their own uncensored and unrealized conscience. They are positively un-free. It is not woman who had to be freed from the clutches of man’s unholy hands and undignified eyes but it is the men themselves who had to be salvaged from their unrealized conscience. The unholy hands and the undignified eyes are the shadows of their unrealized conscience. As much as the shadows disappear with the disappearance of the real object the former will disappear with the realization of their conscience.
We cannot blame the women’s desire to venture out in night just because some men are there to hunt them as prey. Why are some men hunters in the first place? Why can’t they stop hunting women? Or is it something like it is inherent nature of some men to hunt women as sexual prey. It cannot be; it can never be.
Why do we see only Northeast women as available or cheap? Because their looks are different and they are vulnerable as they have come far from home, they can be easily distinguished in public. But we failed to notice the vast North Indian women who are too raped, molested and harassed because they merged in the North Indian Crowd. If one stays in any women’s hostel in Delhi one will get to hear every stories…………from sexual harassment to sex-sell by the girls to rich middle aged Indian for as much as ten Thousand bucks a night. These are gossips, stories and rumours. But you cannot have smoke without fire. One only wants to see the dainty Northeast girl standing beside the road waiting for a customer for the night but one willingly fail to notice another beautiful North Indian girl standing next to her waiting for another customer. But the regular customer knows her so she will be picked up surely. But the North Indian eyes want to see and blame only the Northeast girls. One sees only what one wants to see. We have to put another lens more secular enough to see all women as a whole not as North Indian or Northeast women. They are willing then who has the problem. One must accept the fact that it is woman as a whole regardless of caste, class or race is the victim. One must instead of hunting for unwilling women should go for women who are available.
The writer must too be born undressed from her mother womb. We were all undressed initially. If we trace the human evolution human ancestry can be traced to Africa undressed and raw. If someone is comfortable with his or her nudity who are we to tell him or her to dress. If you see all the high profile fashion magazine nudity and semi nudity is the best way to express the garments. If you see sculpture David made my Michaelangelo you will find the celebration in the beauty of male nudity from his limbs to his soft penis. And if you see the sculpture you will find it is indeed beautiful to be nude. Unfortunately the people of this world abandoned the aesthetic of nudity to clad themselves. And if the people of Northeast have dressed late they are lucky enough to be true to nature and to be committed to the aesthetic beauty of nudity for that long enough. Unfortunately now people of this region dress more than they are suppose to. I feel the slim and trim and sexy thighs of the dainty girls regardless of race or place deserve a decent look, an appreciation of its beauty not to look at it in the raw sexual lecherous way of a sexually frustrated man/ woman. The attire of a person or of a community can never be judged. The person who makes any such judgment is of cheap, shallow, biased, abnormal mind. Such person’s opinion is made to reach a public forum mean then it fails in holding responsibility towards its image and toward the general public. The point however is that it is much better to be a human, naked then be a full dressed beast.
DEMYSTIFYING THE TRIBAL NATURE OF NORTHEAST
The region is presumed to be predominantly inhabited by the tribal. This is contrary to the ground reality. According to 2001 census only about one-fourth of the population in the region is tribal. Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh are tribal in majority of its population but the whole region cannot be categorized as predominantly tribal. There is another assumption that the tribal population is still very ‘primitive’. On the contrary a large number of them are educated and western in lifestyle unlike the marginalized tribal in other parts of India. That is why unlike in other regions of India the policy of protective discrimination for ‘schedule tribe’ in the region raises serious questions of justice and equality for the non-tribal population. In these circumstances conceptualizing Northeast in the special ‘tribal’ way has to go.
The extent to which a state's population is tribal varies considerably. In the northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland, upward of 90 percent of the population is tribal. However, in the remaining northeast states of Assam, Manipur, Sikkim, and Tripura, tribal peoples form between 20 and 30 percent of the population. The largest tribes are found in central India, although the tribal population there accounts for only around 10 percent of the region's total population. Major concentrations of tribal people live in Maharashtra, Orissa, and West Bengal. In the south, about 1 percent of the populations of Kerala and Tamil Nadu are tribal, whereas about 6 percent in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are members of tribes. There are some 573 communities recognized by the government as Scheduled Tribes and therefore eligible to receive special benefits and to compete for reserved seats in legislatures and schools. They range in size from the Gonds (roughly 7.4 million) and the Santals (approximately 4.2 million) to only eighteen Chaimals in the Andaman Islands. Central Indian states have the country's largest tribes, and, taken as a whole, roughly 75 percent of the total tribal population live there.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A TRIBAL?
When we eat food we are tribal, when we have sex we are tribal, when we give birth we are tribal, when we kill people we are tribal. We are all tribals in cosmopolitan cities. We are the tribes of this world. Just because you wear sarees or trousers or just because you are in a world of gadgets you don’t stop being a tribal. In our elemental way of living we all are tribal. So to despise others as tribal is despising oneself.
Conclusion: Whore-house is a social institution and to seek for sexual gratification is an atavistic human desire. Both will remain as long as human remains. But the point is how you get sexual satisfaction –through willing partners or by forcing someone. Moral judgments are always full of bias and in the world of suppressed sexual frustration of highly orthodox and conservative society a dainty pair of Northeast legs is intolerably luring to them. Had they been watching these sexy legs since birth they would not have got so turned on watching it suddenly in a city and that too for the first time at the age of 30 years or so. The outlet they use is by grabbing on women’s breast, nudging their groin on women’s bottoms and at times bumping at women in the pretext of stumbling. This disgusting way of releasing their sexual desire is shown in bus or trains or in roads almost everywhere. Our world is filled with specific dirty hands and genitals. The problem is not with women be it Northeast, north Indian or belonging to any nation or race, the problem is in the vision these kind of man looking at women with the sinister desire to rape, to grab and at times even to kill. The problem is in the psyche of such individual not with the attributes of women. Her attire, her nudity, her legs, her semi or full clad nature or her being just a woman can lure man can seduce man but it is not a reason for a man to sexually harass her or rape her.