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Rally

March 2013


Rally

March 2013


Cruz Baskar Joseph S.

“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” Virginia Woolf No Womanity no Humanity Know Womanity know Humanity A great deal of debating goes on concerning the role of womanity The role of today’s modern woman varies significantly From that of being primarily a grandmother to a great grandmother From simply being a house wife to a significantly manager of household From simply being at home to keepers of home From just being a mother to working mother From merely bearing children to coping with odds of children From being a wife to being a prudent wife The roles gets diversified as women are on the verge of a worldwide crisis Unprecedented in human history and unequaled with anyone She is a unique individual and a noble personality Anyone who picks up a newspaper anywhere in the world reads nothing but woes of womanity No one nation has an answer to these problems No system of government has proven so successful that it can avoid these problems Instead of celebrating women as a wellspring of new hope She is enslaved by men’s dominance and weighed down to his lies and deception Instead of catering to early hopes of new freedom She is thinned down with chaos, unabated crises, violence and bloodshed She is the blooming flower in the garden of life that breathes perfume all around She has the inner strength to endure labour pain Rally

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March 2013


She helps man to grow in moral height She is the sustaining power of the life of man She suffers silently and hides her grief and smothers her tears A woman is always surrounded by freshness and sweetness but All her hopes and dreams are shattered and torn to pieces to the whims and fancies of men SHE IS THE EPITOME OF LOVE A MONUMENT OF SACRIFICE A PINNACLE OF CARE IF SHE ….. Refuses to marry, carry and bring up children, Refuses to cook and feed the family, Refuses to relate, operate and co-operate The very many unanswered questions of women Can it be answered my men We are in this world it’s because of HER. Our mere breathing is the gift of her treasure house Our very upbringing is product of her untainted nature Our smile and our happiness is byproduct of her genuineness If we cannot make her happy at least let her live a peaceful life Men need to ostracize this boorish thought “think like men” Every women is diverse in her nature, thinking and acting She can’t be bundled into a single makeup of man Womanity is humanity and if not for womanity No humanity can exist and come alive Let’s cheer Womanity

“Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.” ¯ Joseph Conrad

Rally

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March 2013


M. G. Selvin Raj, S.J. National Adviser

HUMANITY is in peril. Do the men and women think and

continue to remain unworthy of their responsibility towards

act alike? Certainly it is not! We need to become aware

people and nation. The judicial system is becoming more

of our own mindset that propels our thinking and leading

and more complex, complicated, inactive and slow.

to action. Our upbringing down the centuries has highly

How long the demand for Dalit Christians’ reservation,

influenced us to possess a “patriarchal mindset”. We need

women’s reservation could be set aside by the Supreme

to liberate ourselves (both men and women) from the

Court and Parliament? Protest against nuclear energy by

clutches of this mindset. An attempt is made by the

the university students is a search for new and clear energy.

students to look at humanity with a perspective of women

A wide spread non violent agitation by the student

and they call it “Womanity”. How women can concretely

community to declare Mr. Rajapakshe the Srilankan

offer something to this world. What is their uniqueness in

President as a “war criminal” is a legitimate demand of

building a human society that safeguards human dignity,

the students seeking for justice. They have become the

mutual respect and equality? Women’s role in the civil

voice of the voiceless Srilankan Tamils who are butchered

society accompanied by men is a challenging task today.

and killed in cold blood. The iron lady of Manipur Ms. Irom

We cannot exactly define what is Civil society and

Sharmila is all alone fasting for the removal of the

women’s role in it. But we can describe and understand

draconian “Armed Forces special Power” (AFSP) from

very well how Civil society operates. In contrast, we need

her land for the last 13 years. Is the student community

to understand that the State society is at the service of

has anything to learn from her dedication and

the Civil society. The State society gets its legitimacy and

determination to fight for justice in Manipur?

credibility from the Civil society. But unfortunately what

The emerging Civil society activism (Student activism)

we experience / witness is the domination of the State

is repressed, suppressed and every effort is taken to nip

society over the Civil society. Precisely, because of this,

in the bud. But any repression is bound to explode.

the Civil Society Activism is taking momentum and being

Students have understood that ‘Silence is Shame and

strengthened everywhere by people belonging to different

Tolerance is Not a Virtue’. Student community being the

walks of life irrespective of their gender role.

part of the civil society rightly perceives what is happening

Civil society is ‘inherently a political project’ whose

in and around us. They are determined to see a clean

purpose is to resist dominant structures of power, enhance

politics and if necessary they are ready to clean the dirty

the hold of popular sovereignty in decision-making and re

politics.

conceptualize the rights of poor and disadvantaged

Educated and intelligent students especially the

people, locally and globally. The recent outburst of

AICUFers in every college campuses who are capable of

students in Chennai and many parts of Tamil Nadu, by

thinking critically for the marginalized people should never

means of non violent protest in various colleges

shun joining hands with the civil society activism. Educate,

demanding the Indian government to declare the President

agitate and organize is the process through which our

of Srilanka Mr. Rajapakshe as a ‘war criminal’ in UN

demands are put forward to the public.

General Assembly at Geneva, show that now the student

The problem that we face in India is that many civil

community has realized its legitimate role in politics without

society organizations and individuals are viewed with

being influenced by any political party.

suspicion when working among the marginalized

On the contrary, the State society manifests itself in

populations. Binayk Sen, Irom Sharmila, Arundathi Roy,

the form of Government, Legislative bodies, Executive

Aruna Roy, Medha Patkar, Udaykumar, Pushparayan,

bodies, Administrators, Bureaucrats, Judiciary, Military,

Swami Agnivesh, and many other social activists are good

Police, etc. What we witness today is a global unrest and

examples who continue to face the wrath of the state,

common people are not happy with their Governments,

since they completely indentify with the civil society’s

with their elected representatives in legislative assemblies.

concern and totally keep away the party politics. Students

Thugs and criminals have got entry into politics and

in Loyola College Chennai and many other colleges

Rally

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March 2013


claiming justice for the Tamil population in Srilanka are

punch, slap, or even kill. And if you killed, your lawyers

also suspected. It is a challenge for them to prove their

can free you safely because it is a game. And once the

credibility in the process of humanizing the world,

game has started, you can never change the rules. This is

development, change and transformation in a democratic

the situation of politics today. But the present generation

country.

of students think differently. They want to change the rules

What we find in India is a representative democracy

of the game. Thus ultimately the players are bound by

rather than a participatory democracy. Today people at

the new rules set by the students. ‘No wonder the civil

large and especially the students lost their hope in our

society activism and the active involvement of the student

elected leaders who represent us in the parliament and

community will always triumph and move forward!

assemblies. Students are fed up with party politics that

In the name of Nationalism our politicians propagate

ruins our country. Students lack role models to imitate in

communalism, fundamentalism and fanaticism. But the

our present political scernario.

student community will not be easily carried away by the

The time is ripe that the university students (youth)

pseudo sentiments of Nationalism. Various social, religious

should take to informal politics such as protests and civil

and political issues affecting the people are uniting the

society activism to gain entry to the formal, mainstream

student community to come to the streets as a mighty

politics. Youth should get involved in politics with values

power.

and discipline. They should enhance liberty, freedom and

Gandhi developed a novel idea, Sarva Dharma

justice in the country. It has been the educational system

Sambhava: equal respect of all religions. His daily morning

and parenting that are acting as inhibiting factors for the

sessions began with prayers and hymns and recitations

youth to enter politics undergoes a drastic change now-a-

from the Bhagwad Gita, Quran, Bible and other religious

days. We admire those parents who expressed that they

scriptures to underline the common moral roots of all

are proud of their sons and daughters when they get

humanity. As per Gandhi, Religion is a moral order and

involved in non-violent and peaceful demonstration for a

different Religions are sets of belief systems and rituals.

social cause. Politics does not mean only contesting in

This is the reason he advocated entry of Religion into

election, winning and capturing power. It is reaching out

politics but not Religions into politics. Gandhi wanted India

to the masses. How many institutions of higher learning

to be secular, based not on majority of any religious

recognize such political involvement of the students when

community but on the representatives of the whole people

they decide to reach out by ways and means of non violent

without distinction of religion. But the dirty politics played

protests and agitations?

by our politicians has only encouraged people to become

Poverty – in India is visible to the students when they

communalistic, fundamentalist and fanatical. Student

see Adivasi, dalits, sex-workers, homeless migrants,

community has decided to unmask the politicians from

street-vendors, squatters, bonded-labourers, displaced

their selfish agenda.

people, transgender, construction-workers, riot-affected

A common understanding is that politics is a dirty

people, excluded Diaspora citizens, refugees, street-

game and students should stay away from it. But everyone

children, and slum-dwellers. These people lack the

belonging to student community and in particular being

resources, opportunities and participatory avenues in

an AICUFer, politics is the first lesson we should learn

collective-decision making. Their poverty is sustained not

and teach our progeny to be politically vigilant and

by their own failings (or past karmas) but by the structural

conscious of our political rights and duties. Politicians and

injustice perpetuated in the realm of – both economic (the

politics should not be looked down upon. We make a big

inequitable distribution of global capital, the exploitation

mess of our lives by criticizing politics and not actively

of cheap labour) and political nature of our country (the

participating in the political process of our country. Today

manipulation of global institutions of governance, the

our challenge is not to stop our march but to continue our

legacy of authoritarian and ineffective states).

march with the marginalized in order to be political and

By all means, politics is a dirty game. It is not a game

act political. Another world is possible! In search of human

of definite rules with definite players. Even the onlookers

values in the perspective of women (Womanity) will

of the game too can join! Politics is exactly like a free-

strengthen the entire Humanity.

wrestling game; you can use everything; you can kick, Rally

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March 2013


Malini. S

“Woman is a builder and molder of nations’ destiny. Though delicate and soft as lily, she has a heart far strong and bolder than that of a man. She is the supreme inspiration of any man’s onward march” - Rabindranath Tagore.

THE

QUALITY of being human; the peculiar nature of man, by

woman refers to an idea about the

which he is distinguished from other beings is known as Humanity

legal rights and constitutional

and Human rights refer to the basic rights to freedoms to which all

rights given to them for their

humans are entitled. The study of human rights occupies a very

empowerment.

important place in the world. Humanity not only includes showing

It has been said that before

love to a puppy, feasting friends and going to an NGO on special

becom ing somebody’s wife,

occasions and taking photographs, using etiquettes, or being

before becoming somebody’s

democratic, but also loving our mother, treating every woman with

mother, become somebody. I am

respect, acknowledging and sharing the hardships of one’s wife,

a woman, a mother, a wife, a

celebrating sisterhood, etc..

daughter, a companion, I am

It is a common feature of any society or nation that it discusses woman in the frame of development (Education, Health,

proud of it, I live my life and I celebrate womanhood.

Economy, etc.) only, but women

My voice of celebration is thus

may also be sketched

a voice of hope, yet also a voice

as cultural woman

of warning, because the confusion

and constitutional

in modern society can confuse all

woman. Cultural

of us about the aspirations of

woman

women.

carries

values, traditions and

all

I

other

believe

in

complementarianism, whereas

behavioral aspects

life is sharing and not domineering

which are necessary to

one among the two. If you go and

maintain and retain a culture societal Rally

frame

whereas

in

the

ask a kindergarten kid to relate the

constitutional

verbs “cooking, cleaning, feeding,

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March 2013


making the bed …” with any person he knows means, definitely he

atrocities and violence have made

will say “mom”! So, what does it mean? This is the portrayal of woman

women in general as a Dalit class.

for years in our country. The issue is not that any woman or mother is

So far as Dalit women are

not to cook, but it is that they are not only to cook! Repel the concept

concerned they suffer from all

of connecting such ignominious words like frying pan, washing

kinds of inhuman treatment like

machine, villainous mother-in law, chatter box, diaper, wife material,

torture, starvation and humiliation

sex object, weaker sex… with Woman.

under the traditional caste

It is encountered that 92 out of 100 Delhi men in the 18-25-year

hierarchies. The husband who

age say some or all of their friends have made ‘passes’ at women at

earns daily wages, consumes

public places, while more than 78% women in the Capital have been

liquor and molest his own wife and

sexually harassed in the past year, according to a survey done

this is the constant scenario in

by Hindustan Times in 2012. I can’t ignore the sad truth that today,

every

India is sunk in unprecedented national sorrow over the death of a 23-

uneducated family. Despite a

year-old woman who was gang-raped in a Delhi bus on 16 December.

number of legislative provisions,

Despite being tear-gassed and beaten, thousands of young Indians

the plight of Dalit wom en is

have taken to the streets to call for justice, social networks are awash

pathetic and their fundamental

with rage, and there has been much soul-searching over how and

and basic human rights are in

why such a crime could happen. Bride burning is other major prevailing

constant and continuous danger.

issue still exists! The bride burning very well conjures up images of a

The contemporary challenges and

cruel husband and his family members dousing a young woman in

issues of human rights of women

kerosene, flinging a lighted matchstick on her and gloating as the

and Dalit women needs to be

hapless bride goes up in flames. Are we so cruel that we do not

analyzed to provide a common

understand the humanity? The same is shown even in the movies and

framework for developing a vast

TV serials. Will the tragic case of this dead woman change anything?

array of visions and concrete

It’s hard to see real

strategies for change in order to

change in a climate such

include all women

th

India’s

underprivileged

and

in the

as this, and generations

mainstream of their life. And it is

Iron Lady

of oppression cannot be

the voice of every woman to the

Irom Sharmila

undone easily. Instead of

Gentlemen: I love my Family, I

has been

simply listing down such

love my country, and I do love

protesting against

cases, it is the duty of

myself too. Don’t Exhaust me, but

India’s use of

every human to knock

educate me. Consider and treat

Armed Forces

down such incidents.

me as how you treat yourself, let

(Special Powers) Act in Kashmir and Manipur since 2000. “I love life. I do not want to take my life, but I want justice and peace,” Sharmila remains unbowed “I will continue my fast until the special powers

It is really a serious

me not be tamed, let me live my

and pathetic case with

life and get my identity on the crisis

the women who are from

of who am I and not by, to whom I

underprivileged

belong to. Because, I am what I

background. Subordinate

am

position of women in

womanhood.

and

I

celebrate

my

Indian society, cases of

act is withdrawn,” she said. Rally

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March 2013


M.V.Vasant Viswanath

Every tear that sheds from an eye, Every drop of blood that has fallen to the ground, Every scream of woman that goes unheard in the night, Every sigh that escapes the lips of the woman, Every soul that is destroyed, Shouts out: Enough! I am a woman respect me enough!

WOMAN was created as a companion for man. The

In 2010, Amnesty International reported that mob

first woman Eve was made from Adam’s ribs not from his

attacks against single woman were taking place in Hassi

head to rule him or from his feet to serve him but from his

Messaoud, Algeria. According to Amnesty International,

side to walk with him as his equal, but what do we see

“some women have been sexually abused” and were

today? We see woman as a second-class citizen. We often

targeted “not just because they are women, but because

see them hopeless, destitute, wronged only because this

they are living alone and are economically independent.”

world has stopped giving importance to the woman. And

State violence

we all have eyes that can see the injustice done to women

War rapes’ are rapes committed by soldiers, other

and ears that can hear the cries of the women being

combatants or civilians during armed conflict or war, or

victimized.

during

Any act of gender-based violence that results in,

or

is

likely

to

military

distinguished

occupation, from

sexual

result

assaults and rape committed

in, physical, sexual harm or suffering to

amongst troops in military

women, including threats of such acts,

service. It also covers the

coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty,

situation where women are

whether occurring in public or in private

forced into prostitution

life comes under Violence against

or sexual

women.

slavery by

an

occupying power.

Domestic violence

Violence in empowerment systems

Women are more likely to

When police officers misuse their

be victimized by someone that

power as agents of the state to

they

physically and sexually harass and

are

intimate

with,

commonly called “Intimate

assault victims, the survivors,

Partner Violence” or (IPV). The

including women, feel much less able

impact of domestic violence in the

to report the violence. It is a standard

sphere of total violence against

procedure for police to force entry into the

women can be understood through the example that 40–

victim’s home even after the victim’s numerous requests

70% of murders of women are committed by their husband

for them to go away.

or boyfriend.

There are crimes against women that can neither be

Mob violence Rally

understood nor be justified. I ask you why a female infant

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March 2013


is buried alive in Arabia? Why is a widow burnt with her

Pleas by national and international human rights

dead husband in India? Why is a new bride beaten or

groups to get Soni Sori released in time for International

tortured for dowry in Pakistan? Why is a sister, a mother or

Women‘s Day 2012 were ignored. Almost a whole year has

a wife killed in the name of honor in Bangladesh? And there

gone by and Soni Sori still remains in custody with little

is only silence. In a world full of men there comes no answer

hope of bail for an alleged crime of which there is little

from any corner to tell this ferocious, greedy world that

evidence. Both Essar and the Maoists deny that they were

women are important without them no country could be

parties in the alleged extortion racket at the centre of this

made and no nation could progress.

case and although local contractor BK Lala as well as Essar company manager DVCS Verma were also arrested at the

We should promise ourselves that we will never deny women their rights.

same time as Soni Sori, both men have been out on bail

A woman has no one to go to-especially not the

since early 2012. Meanwhile, Soni Sori, who is a mother of

police!

three children, two of them under ten at the time of arrest,

In recent months, the eyes of the world have been

and should therefore, under the Indian law been presumed

focused on the rights of Indian women as a consequence

to receive bail, continues to suffer ongoing neglect and

of the horrific rape and murder of a young Indian woman

abuse in prison.

by six men in December. A previous assault on a seventeen-

Far from being an oppressed and downtrodden

year old in July was well publicised because people chose

woman, as an outspoken critic of both the Maoists and the

to watch and use their mobile phones to film the crime rather

mining companies, Soni Sori is being punished for exerting

than go to the young woman‘s assistance or call the police.

her democratic right to speak out in defense of her Adivasi

As International Women’s Day approaches, how will the

community rather than for a crime she has not even been

world view the position of women in India? However, the

tried for. She is being punished by those who would not

finger of blame is increasingly being pointed at the Indian

have the authority to meet out punishment even if she were

state, nationally and globally.

found guilty of a crime and the form of her punishments

There is a danger that these events simply confirm to

are not to be found in any penal code anywhere in the world.

the rest of the world the age-old stereotype of South Asian

If the Indian government is not willing to protect women

women being so downtrodden and oppressed that men can

from the illegal actions of its own agents when in their

act with impunity against them with little fear of punishment

custody, then what message is it sending out to Indian men–

or social condemnation. The Indian government not only

that women are fair game just for going out or speaking

fails to protect women from sexual and other types of

out?

violence, but in fact sanctions, indeed rewards such crimes

The arrest and trial of those that perpetrated the rape

when they are committed by its employees and

and murder of the young woman in Delhi is to be welcomed.

representatives to silence women who speak out in defense

But justice for Soni Sori and others like her also needs to

of human rights.

be seen to be done to send a clear message that rape and

On the 4th of October 2011, Soni Sori was arrested

violence against women under any circumstances is

in Delhi, where she had fled from her home in Chhattisgarh

unacceptable. Recently Soni Sori has been exonerated in

in fear for her life. Three days later she was transferred to

four cases. It is important that Soni Sori be released from

the jail in Dantewada in Chhattisgarh where there is

jail. It is also important that government sponsored awards

compelling evidence that she was tortured and sexually

should not be given to representatives of the State, such as

assaulted at the command of the then District Police

Ankit Garg against whom there is evidence of crimes such

Superintendent Ankit Garg. Three months later, on the

as torture and rape.

Republic Day in 2012, Garg was awarded the Presidential

Many people, men and women alike, are horrified by

Medal for Gallantry. Sori continues to be held on a plethora

the case of Soni Sori and how it reflects on the Indian

of false charges including one in which she has been

government. They are organising events and protests to

accused of being a courier between the banned Communist

highlight such abuses, nationally and internationally. Women

Party of India (Maoist) and the Essar Energy Group which

are not only victims of violence in their homes or on the

has mining interests in Chhattisgarh, even though she has

streets. It turns out that she is in extreme danger and in

recently been acquitted in several other cases.

open arms of violence when she is with the police.

Rally

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March 2013


Rally

9

March 2013


Renisha Mall NC , Maharashtra.

‘MAN’S

DISCOVERY that his genitalia could

The 2011 census showed the sex ratio of the

serve as a weapon to generate fear must rank as one

children under age seven to be 109 boys to 100 girls.

of the most important discoveries of prehistoric times’,

That meant approximately 7 million fewer girls than

wrote Susan Brownmiller in her 1975 book Against our

boys in our 1.2 billion populations. In India, we follow

Will: Men, Women and Rape. Men ‘think’ they have

a certain hierarchy where we don’t like interfering with

the ability to exercise power over women and treat

a lower caste like a dalit or an adivasi. But yet we see

them like merchandise. Nowhere any difference is

dalit woman being raped by upper castes people, rural

made between voluntarily and forced prostitution. A

woman being sold in cities and the list goes on. What

survey reported by Azad India Foundation found

kind of caste enthusiasts are we? We feel ‘unclean’ at the sight of lower castes and with the

women from Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka being shipped

same attitude we enjoy sexual

to Kenya, South Africa, and the Middle East

pleasure with them or enjoy

where they are sexually abused and are

inflicting injustice upon them. In

vulnerable under HIV infections. If the

ancient time, we see ‘widows’

Delhi rape case victim would have

being ill-treated, but yet we find

survived, she would have been a

cases of ‘sexual violence’

mascot to change in this country and would have made

against them. What sort of pleasure is that? Isn’t

strong defensive statements not only concerning her

rape(sexual pleasure) more than authority of a man?

rapists but all those who feel that women can be raped

You think in a patriarchy system, men don’t have

and thrown out of the car, used like small dolls whose

enough ways to showcase their authority? Thus, rape

legs are in their hands to be moved apart and above

is used to become a ‘cheaper’ alternative as it does

all, all those who feel women ‘have to get married by

not come with any price. Don’t get agitated with me

16’, ‘call her victim Bhaiya’ and ‘dress neatly’.

for portraying rape as an instrument.

Rape is mostly defined as a ‘situation worse than

I know it is a grave and serious matter. But we

death’. With tens of thousands of rapes each year but

don’t tend to take it seriously as we still hear stories of

only two executions in the past 15 years, has left us

‘blaming the girl’ or ‘suppression under powerful

hopeless about the usage of ‘capital punishment’ for

positions’. There are examples of men role models

rapists. Also the other argument that stands against

like ‘Kenen and Rubain Santos’ who died defending

this punishment is that threatening to hang rapists

their female friends from those who sexually harassed

provides incentive for them to kill victims and eliminate

them. But the question that still troubles me is where

witnesses in order to avoid identification. What is the

is humanity going wrong? or Is there humanity left in

preferred solution is social and moral education. I

this country?

wonder, whether the protests for the Delhi rape case

‘Rally’ is the mouth piece of AICUF and is specially

would have been on this scale if they had not raped

recommended to students to write and voice their

her but only assaulted her and her male companion

opinion. I too am doing just the same. But I can’t stop

with iron rods. Would you still join campaigns of ‘one

after this. What about those people who have a fixed

billion rising’, like comments on Facebook or even wear

and evil mentality about women? What about those

black for a day. Instead we would still favour views

who feel woman are sex objects? I want to be an

that woman who ‘dare’ to ‘cross boundaries’ should be

instrument of change. What about you?

taught ‘a proper lesson.’ Rally

10

March 2013


Dr. Udaya Mahadevan Former Professor at Loyola College, Chennai

IT

WAS A BUSY

morning during a weekday. At the outskirts of

free herself from this man. With the

Vandalur Station, huddled in a corner and covered by rags, adjacent to a

help of another sex worker, she

dustbin, lay a ‘pencil thin’ woman, who was probably in her early forties.

boarded a train to Chennai. At

A young field work trainee from Loyola College was by her side, trying to

Chennai, the pavement dwellers at

help her to sit up and sip some water from his water bottle. The trainee

Indira Gandhi Nagar willingly

had contacted his teacher over telephone to inform her about the deserted

accommodated her. They also

lady’s pitiable condition. The teacher, along with two Nurse-Aid Sisters

helped her to earn her living as a

from Jeevodaya Cancer Hospice, arrived at the scene. In spite of their

domestic worker. This freedom and

repeated efforts to obtain some details from the sick lady, she failed to

peace in Ponni’s life were short

respond to any of their queries. She was too frail and weak to even lift

lived. A placement agent lured her

her head up or talk to anyone. After providing first-aid, the woman was

into a job as a residential domestic

gently lifted into the Jeevodaya ambulance and shifted to a Welfare Home

worker, with a rich fam ily at

for Dying Destitutes at Ennore, where she was given immediate medical

Tambaram. The agent secured

care and support.

Ponni’s first m onth salary as

A day later, the teacher visited the same spot where the woman was

commission fee and disappeared

found abandoned. The teacher was keen to get more details about the

from the place. Ponni’s employer

woman’s background. Some shopkeepers in that area, stated that they

learnt about Ponni’s past life as a

had seen her begging at times. However they could not give additional

sex worker. She became vulnerable

details. Enquiries revealed that the sick lady’s only companion was another

to exploitation. The employer’s son

elderly woman, found begging in that area. After several efforts, the

sexually abused Ponni. Ponni was

teacher was able to locate the companion, who readily agreed to share

forced to quit her job.

some information about her friend, whom we shall hereafter refer to as Ponni (named changed).

Due to advanced Tuberculosis and probably HIV too, Ponni was

Domestic violence, family disintegration and poverty, had forced

unable to take up any physical work.

Ponni to leave her tiny hamlet and escape to Vijayawada city in search of

The streets of Tambaram and

a job. She was then in her early teens. At Vijayawada, she was trafficked

nearby

by a gang and pushed into commercial sex work. Years later, a pimp who

permanent Home. She wandered

took her as his third wife, forced her again into sex work. The money she

around the market place and station

earned was used by the pimp for his liquor and drugs. Forcible and

areas, begging for alms and food.

repeated abortions became part of her life. Unable to cope with the

Her health condition deteriorated.

extreme physical torture and sexual abuse, Ponni, one day managed to

Ponni was unable to walk or even

Rally

11

areas,

became

her

March 2013


sit up for long hours. Her meager earnings as a beggar, were snatched

moments the doe is torn to pieces

away by the local gangsters, who were addicted to alcohol and drugs.

and reduced to a lump of victuals,

Ponni was dying a slow death.

after the orgy. Here, the prey and

The teacher was deeply shaken by Ponni’s story. Her immediate

the predators belong to the animal

thoughts revolved around involving the human rights groups, in order to

species. In our Ponni’s case, she

seek justice for Ponni. The teacher wanted to spend quality time with

was continuously attacked by her

Ponni so as to caress the wounds in her spirit. However it was all too late!

own human species.

Ponni had passed away that afternoon in the loving hands of the Divine

Is Womanity destroyed by

Sisters of Charity. That was the end of a sorrowful journey of Womanity

‘Humanity’?

- A Tragic Tale of Deceit, Disease, Desertion and Death!

Lets us all reflect and act.

Allegorically, imagine a scene in a forest where a helpless doe is surrounded by a pack of hounds with fangs bared. In a few fleeting

Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, (born 1 March 1983), also known as MC Mary Kom, Magnificent Mary or simply Mary Kom, is an Indian boxer belonging to Kom tribal community of north-eastern state of Manipur. She is a five-time World Boxing champion, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships. She is the only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, competing in the flyweight (51 kg) category and winning the bronze medal. She has also been ranked as No. 4 AIBA World Women’s Ranking Flyweight category. Rally

12

March 2013


Ranjeetha.G Ranji

I

AM NOT HERE to praise women but in the quest for individuality, identity, dignity and safety, I have

realized that the word “WOMEN” itself has lost its individuality (WO-”MEN”). Even the word is not allowed to be an individual word in this Patriarchal society. Then how can woman be an individual. According to society, women are considered as a mere object,”THE CARE TAKER OF THE FAMILY” though women are like the pillars that support the family. Through her sacrifice she helps in the development of the society. Women are not given any importance and respect by their husband, children and their relatives, and the society at large. Woman posses various talents and potential, still they are unable to express themselves in this modernized world. She has been curbed by various biased social norms in our patriarchal system. Many consider, women as only “Pleasure giving creatures” but not

as

a

“Precious

creatures”. This happens because of the

influence of media,

which shows women as mere commodity,

rather than projecting

her as a human person. Media is

responsible for denying

women their dignity and identity. Media

projects

a

wrong

picture. The women of today are forced to

lead a life of fear and

harassment, kidnapping, torture, domestic

violence etc... These

violence occur when men fail to check their

beastly

instincts.

Women’s issues are left behind because of the very fact that we never voice out our problems. The rape case in Delhi is a clear sign that men can escape by any fraudulent means or keep prolonging so as to lose the attention of people. The “VACHAATHI VANKODUMAI” could have been avoided and also Irom Sharmila would have been respected and supported by the society. Issues related to women are seen as someone’s problem and not a problem of the humanity.

Jayalalithaa Jayaram Commonly known as J. Jayalalitha. Jayalalithaa’s given name was Komalavalli. But her pet name is Ammu. The first Woman Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu. The first elected woman chief minister of Tamil Nadu in 1991- 1996, from 14-05-2001 to 21-09-2001 and again for the period of 02-03-2002 to -12-05-2006. Jayalalitha again w on the elections in 2011. Rally

There are a number of NGOs, GOs and feminist movements to raise voice against the violence against women. But their voices are unheard in the authoritative world. Even Manu says, “WOMEN ARE LIKE GODDESS”. We, women do not want to be worshipped as an idol but at least to be respected, guarded and to be treated as human beings. Women are defenders of all but when she faces trials and tribulations, she is left all alone. If there is no female , there won’t be a healthy community. So the choice is left to you. Women expect a supportive hand to assist and to get rid of various problems. Can you be the one to support and accompany them?

13

March 2013


I wish I were a man

Julia Pradeepa, Loyola College.

For I need not compromise in life I wish I were a man For I need not give dowry for getting

And I do not want to be a man

married

Who is a victim of the societal structure?

I wish I were a man

And treats his better half in a beastly

For I need not change my dressing style

manner

and food habits after marriage

But I am Proud to be A Woman

I wish I were a man

Who in spite of being oppressed

For I can go on outings and hang out with

Is strong to stand up for her rights

friends like a bachelor

I am proud to be a woman

And not miss my family

For I am Half of Humanity

I wish I were a man

And one day the patriarchal society

For I can boss over my wife

Will treat me with dignity.

Treat her like a servant Crush her dignity And still be a ‘respectable’ man in the society…. I wish I were a man For A Son in Law is treated like a prince But I know I cannot be a Man Because I am a woman Who is a victim of – Sexual Harassment Domestic Violence Acid Attack Eve Teasing

Meira Kumar First Woman

One of the m any c olorf ul

Speaker of Lok Sabha

characters in Indian politics,

Indian Speaker of 15th Lok

Mayawati Kumari is leader of the Bahujan Sam aj Party and a

Sabha Meira Kumar is the

prominent politician in India’s most

First Lady Speaker of Lok

populous state Uttar Pradesh.The

Sabha

51-year politician is unmarried and

and

an

Active

Participant of movements

often referred to by her supporters

Meira Kumar

as Bahenji (sister).Mayawati’s first

relating to Social Reform.

Mayawati Kumari

key elected office was as a member

Meira Kumar, an Indian Politician, is the member of 15th

of the Lok Sabha (Upper House of the Indian Parliament) in 1989.

Lok Sabha, who serves as speaker of Lok Sabha. This well

She was elected to the Lok Sabha two more times later.Mayawati

educated eminent Lawyer turned Politician represents Sasaram Constituency. Miera Kumar is a member of Indian

as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh3 June 1995 to 18 October 199521 March 1997 to 21 September 19973 May 2002 to 29 August 2003, 13 May 2007 to - 2012.

National Congress Party. Rally

14

March 2013


Interview with

Mrs. Sharda Chandappa, a Social Worker

MRS. SHARDA CHANDAPPA, a young,

understanding in order to bring them up gently and politely.

talented and caring personality manages a Shelter Home

She has put in all her hard work and her daily toil is visible

at Dharavi, Mumbai where she looks after 30 young girls.

through these girls. She treats them like her own. Never

Indeed a strong and daring woman, who at the age of 22

distinguishes between her 2 children and the others. Since

started a center for girls, all below 18 years of age, namely,

theses children have been neglected from the very

Shranam Ashram, with the first 4 years being the most

beginning, the values of friendship and sharing have to be

tedious and challenging. As I interview this blooming star,

thought to them.

after every smile she gives me, she says, ‘it was all I looked

While I spoke to many children at the shelter home I

forward for.’ I have been associated with CORP(Community

asked them what is their aim in life and they had big

oureach program) for about 9 months and whenever I go

answers. But many just wished to complete their 10 th grade

to teach the girls, this environment makes me feel proud to

only. To which I asked Miss a question, ‘how to get around

be a woman! And as I Miss Sharda, I am taken aback with

such students?’ she says that the values of education has

the will power to a peaceful co-existence; after all, managing

to be instilled in them. Now there are small and too young

30 girls from different backgrounds is not that easy!

to understand what they want, so thus, a little more exposure

Her journey with CORP started in 1998 as a teacher.

and guidance. Mostly, in these families, education have

When I asked her what made you stay back, she tells me,

never been a necessarily. Thus, they have to be taught a

“I studied in a Local village school and this environment

world of responsibility, hard work and humility.

exposed e to a number of injustice decisions and actions

She further tells me that she has sacrificed a lot of for

taken on a girls and women. From then on, I promised

this place to be a success. She has faced family and

myself that I have to do my part towards empowerment of

neighborhood problems, but today, they are proud and

women.” And with a broad smile I know what would be her

happy that she is their friend, daughter, wife and teacher.

next sentence, “That’s why I am here.” It was just 2 years

Her husband is the Director of CORP India and she has

after her marriage that she started her shelter home,

always his support with her. When this project started, they

“Shranam Ashram”. I was thoroughly inspired by the way

had just one sponsor and today, many NGOs have come

she spoke about her life and how in this period of 13 years,

forward to help them.

she has helped 30 girls to grow. It was never as easy as it

AICUF teaches us to reach out in society, and this

would be. The girls are not from very well established

issue’s theme being ‘Womanity’, I would like to salute this

backgrounds. Most of them have no roof under their head,

woman for all the great things that she has done in society.

street children, some even who have ran out of their houses

She says, “What is the use of doing social service at the

at a tender age of 8. As they are most likely to get spoilt,

age of 40 and 50, when you don’t have the energy to receive

Sharnam takes them in their care and helps them to learn

the blessings and opportunity of your works. Youth is not

and grow in a healthy environment. When I ask her what

only an age to enjoy, but also to develop a kind of sensitivity

challenges she faced, she tells me that initially the girls

towards the society you live in.” when I ask her the success

were never used to such an environment, sleeping in one

of her ‘womanity’, she says I just prayed to God for love so

room was too congested, they couldn’t mix with the other

that I could give theses children more love. She then quotes

girls, their language, habits, and manners were to some

the Bible to me, Proverbs, Chp 14,

extent unethical. In some cases, substance abuse was

the wisdom of women, but are destroyed by foolishness.”

rampant. They would find chances to run away back to

This beautiful, pretty, success story has thoroughly touched

these dangerous places. I was just shocked to know that

my heart and I hope it continues to touch the hearts of

these children (all girls) had a fearful and traumatic past.

many as you read this. She has truly dedicated her service to ‘WOMANITY’

But today, when I see them, they look young and sensible. How did she manage to take care of so many? She just

As interviewed by, Ms Renisha Mall Maharashtra.

says one word, “LOVE”. She is a woman who strongly believes that children have to be given love, care and Rally

“Homes are made by

15

March 2013


also took up cudgels to stop this illegal practice but all failed and with the passage of time these tests became a major contributor to bias against a girl child. There are two main inequalities as pointed out by Amartya Sen, the educational inequality and health inequality; these are the indicators of a woman’s status of welfare. In India irrespective of the caste, creed, religion and social status, the overall status of women is lower than men and therefore a male child Tanayjeet Das, Kolkata

is preferred over a female child. A male child is considered a blessing

INDIA is growing dynamically in

to support the birth and nurturing

and his birth is celebrated as

every field. Today, the boom in

of a child. In such cases, the first

opposed to a female child where her

economy, innovative technologies

prenatal visit actually happens prior

birth is not celebrated and is

and improved infrastructure has

to actual pregnancy, to see whether

considered more of a burden.

become nation’s pride. The country

one is ready to go off the

Therefore, education and health

has witnessed advancements in all

contraception pills and conceive a

care of the female child in India is

fields but bias against a girl child is

baby. However, in maximum

an important social indicator to

still prevailing in the country.

conceptions, one is unaware of the

measure equality between men and

This social evil is deep rooted

pregnancy until actual realization

women. According to the 2001

in Indian ethos and the most

dawns after one skips the first

Indian census, overall male-female

shocking fact is that the innovative

menstrual cycle. Normally doctors

ratio was 927 females per 1000

and hard high end technologies are

except ladies to pay their first visit

males. However, the 2011 Indian

brutally killing the Indian girl child.

anywhere between the sixth and

census shows that there are 914

Innovative techniques, like biopsy,

twelfth week after conception.

females per 1000 males.

ultrasound,

scan

tests

and

Amniocentesis started in India

During the last decade the

amniocentesis, devised to detect

in

fetal

number female children to male

genetic abnormalities, are highly

abnormalities. These tests were

children in the youngest age group

misused by number of families to

used to detect gender for the first

fell from 945 per 1000 males to 927

detect gender of the unborn child.

time in 1979 in Amritsar, Punjab.

per 1000 males. As per the data

These clinical tests are highly

Later the test was stopped by the

available, there seems to be gender

contributing to the rise in genocide

Indian Council of Medical Research

disparity depending on the location,

of the unborn girl child.

but it was too late. The benefits of

as the Northern states (particularly

Now a days most couples

these tests were leaked out and

Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal

prefer the process known as a

people started using it as an

Pradesh) seem to be more biased

planned pregnancy, because of

instrument for killing an innocent

than the Southern states. The

various factors; prime amongst

and unborn girl child. Many of the

sharpest decline for the age group

them being the financial well being

traditional women organizations

of zero to six years is observed in

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1974

to

detect

16

March 2013


the Northern States particularly in

three forth of an hour more on

birth to a girl child, the journey

Punjab (793 per 1000 females) and

domestic work than a male child

begins once again. She misses all

Haryana (820 per 1000 females).

and therefore lesser hours of social

roses of life and is finally fitted to a

These new figures point out that the

activity/resting than boys. Despite

graveyard. That’s where she gets

use of new technology contributes

progress in advancing gender

peace of mind.

to

composition.

equity from a legal standpoint, in

The nation of mothers still

Furthermore, the availability of and

practice many women and female

follows a culture where people

access to new technologies

children still lack opportunities, and

idolize son and mourn daughters.

provides new ways for parent to

support for the socio-economic

UN figures out that about 750,000

achieve such goals of sex

advancement. Because of the sex

girls are aborted every year in India.

determination before birth. Due to

preference of male children in India,

Abortion rates are increasing in

the widespread use of this

female children are denied of

almost 80% of the India states,

technology the Indian Government

resources in the areas of health and

mainly Punjab and Haryana. These

banned the sex determination

education.

two states have the highest number

the

gender

before birth. In spite of these bans

Female feticide and infanticide

of abortions every year. If the

imposed by the Government, the

is not the only issues with a girl child

practice continues, then no longer

law is not widely followed.

in India. At every stage of life she

a day will come when Mother India

A social development report

is discriminated and neglected for

will have no mothers, potentially, no

presented in 2010 to the World

basic nutrition, education and living

life.

Bank and UNDP, found that the time

standard. When she is in the womb,

Historically, the inclusion of

a female child and a male child

she is forced to miss the moment

young girls and women in education

spends on various activities is

when is supposed to enter the

has helped challenge gender

sim ilar, with the exception of

world. At the time of birth her

stereotypes and discrimination.

domestic work and social/resting

relatives pull her back and wring her

This suggests that providing space

time; a female child spends nearly

neck. After killing her she is thrown

for

into a trash can.

leadership skills, through education

girls

to

develop

During childhood, her brother

and healthy living is important. This

is loaded with new shoes, dresses

can shape attitudes towards women

and books to learn while she is

capabilities as leaders and decision

gifted a broom, a wiper and

makers especially in conventionally

lots of tears. In her teenage,

male domains and male dominated

KIRAN BEDI Kiran Bedi, Ph.D, is India’s first and highest ranking woman police officer. She joined the Indian Police Service in 1972 and retired in 2007. Kiran has also become an international activist on crime prevention, drug abuse, police and prison reform, women’s issues, and human welfare. She founded and runs two nonprofit organizations: Navjyoti and the India Vision Foundation., which provide education, vocational training, and treatment for drug addiction to women and children living in India’s slums, rural areas, and prisons. Kiran is probably the most decorated police officer in the world.She is consistently voted one of the most admired women in India. MSN Most Admired Indian Female Icon 2011

Rally

young

she misses tasty delicious

cultures.

food to eat and get only

The need of hour is to realize

the crumbs. During her

our responsibilities and give a halt

college days, she is

to this evil crime. What can we do

forced to get married, a

to curb the brutal and undesirable

stage where illiteracy,

practice of mass killing of girls? A

lack of education results

determined drive can initiate a

in high fertility rate,

spark to light the lamp and show

aggravating the condition

the world that we all are part of the

of females in the country.

great Mother India.

Again if this female gives 17

March 2013


SENIOR OFFICIAL SUSPENDED FOR MOLESTING WOMAN COLLEAGUE.

SIX PERSONS ARRESTED FOR KILLING A 25 YR OLD MAN AND ATTEMPT TO MURDER HIS LOVER

Deputy director of Tripura’s urban development department, S.S.S.B.P. Mishra was suspended for molesting a junior woman employee at office here on Dec 7.

On New Year’s Day, Saini said, Sarita’s father Prem Singh, her brothers - Raju, Kiranpal and Ramlal - and two unidentified men cornered Devendra at the village’s main crossing and fired several shots.”After this they made for his house, where Sarita was alone. They beat her up and fired several shots.

of

North,

Haripad, was arrested old daughter of his doneighbour. The victim is

AFTER 6 MONTHS, HUSBAND CHARGED UNDER SECTION 304B INA RUCHI BHUTTAN MUDER CASE.

a

school

dropout.

Source: TNN | Jan 2, 2012

In July 2011, A 28-year-old woman, Ruchi Bhuttan committed suicide at her residence in Gurgaon after a brief scuffle with her husband who is allegedly having an affair with a model.

TO APPEASE GODS. 7 yr old Lalita Tati disappeared in October and her dismembered remains were found a week later. Police arrested two men, both farmers, last week and they told police they killed the girl to appease their gods and get a better harvest. Tati was walking home after watching television at a neighbour’s house when she was kidnapped.

Source: TNN | Jan 3, 2012

35 YR OLD DOCTOR COMMITS SUICIDE. HUSBAND AND INLAWS BOOKED. A 35-year-old doctor Sheetal Patil, a homeopathy doctor, had committed suicide on Sunday after an alleged argument with her mother-in-law and her husband Kiran.

Source: MidDay 2012-01-03

MAN WHO RAPED AND MURDERED HIS COLLEAUGE IN 2010.

Source: Indian Express Tue Jan 03 2012

h

81 YR OLD MAN ARRESTED FOR RAPE AND MURDER OF A 10 YR OLD GIRL. The Accused Mohiniraj Yashwant Kulkarni(81) was in a physical relationship with the victim’s mother, Rekha, 30, since 2008. raped the girl, Rohini(10), and later strangled her to death at his house in Narayan Peth. Source: DNA Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012

Source: Jan 2, 2012 DNA

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Muthukulam

mestic help, who is his

TWO ARRESTED FOR KILLING A 7 YR OLD GIRL IN A RITUAL SACRIFICE

Jadhav then called her up as both of them worked for the same company and offered to drop her home and she accepted. But when they neared Shilaj Road, Jadhav first raped her and then strangulated her with a nylon rope, killing her.

Chandramohan

for raping the 14-yearSource: IANS via daijiworld Jan 3,2011

Source: TNN | Jan 3, 2012

On the day of the incident, the victim, Pooja Nayak was to visit her friend Dhara.

h

45 YR OLD ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY RAPING A 14 YR OLD MINOR GIRL. KERALA.

18

FED UP WITH HER ALCOHOLIC AND ABUSIVE HUSBAND, 22 YEAR OLD KAVITA COMMITS SUICIDE. The deceased, Kavita, hanged herself in her house, her husband Madhusudhan, an alcoholic, used to harass her. The incident came to light when the house owner called on Kavita. When her repeated knocks on the door went unanswered, she peeped through the window to see Kavita hanging.

March 2013


JILTED LOVER KILLS 24 YR OLD GIRL WHO REFUSED HIS MARRIAGE PROPOSAL.

2012 Delhi Gangrape case The 2012 Delhi gang rape case involves a rape and murder that occurred on 16 December 2012, when a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern was beaten and gang raped in a bus in which she was travelling with her male companion. The only other passengers on the bus were five men and the bus driver, all of whom raped the woman. The woman died from her injuries thirteen days later while undergoing emergency treatment in Singapore.

Subbu alias Subramanya, a married man works in a cyber cafe. He fell in love with Nayana, 24. He has been pressurizing her to marry him, but she has been persistently refusing. On Saturday afternoon, an infuriated Subbu came to the taluk panchayat office and stabbed Nayana in her neck and fled. Source: TNN | Jan 1, 2012

Woman dies in Chennai after acid attack, Feb 25, 2013 – CHENNAI: Vidya, 20, who had acid Suryanelli Gangrape case

thrown on her by her fi-

The Suryanelli rape case concerns a 16-year-old girl who was sexually harassed and assaulted continuously for 40 days by 42 men in 1996. The girl from Suryanelli in Idukki district of Kerala in India was transported from place to place across Kerala. The accused included some wellknown and well-placed individuals including the congress leader P J Kurien. The girl was enticed, threatened, abducted and sexually exploited by a bus conductor on January 16, 1996.

ance, was undergoing treatment at government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital died.

HONOUR KILLING: MAN KILLS HIS SISTER FOR MARRYING A BOY FROM ANOTHER CASTE. In a case of suspected honour killing in Ghaziabad, a man allegedly strangled his sister who had an inter-caste marriage against his wishes. The accused Shamim strangled his sister Shajiya on Saturday night when she came to visit her mother.

Acid horror in Tamil Nadu February 12 2013 The face of J. Vinothini, a 23-year-old software engineer who died in Chennai on February 12 following an acid attack on her three months earlier, will haunt Vatsalya Janani Balasubramanian, a stu-

FATHER AND SON DUO LET OFF AFTER A 10000 INR FINE FOR MOLESTING WOMAN. On May 23, 2008, both the accused abused the victim and tore her dress. Subse-

dent of Asian College of Journalism, for a long time. “I did not expect her face to be so disfigured,” said a traumatised Vatsalya, who had been to Aditya Hospital where Vinothini breathed her last. In the attack, Vinothini had lost vision in both eyes.

quently, Severely attacked the victim with an iron rod on her forehead. Source: TNN Jan 2, 2012

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19

March 2013


Tanvir Panesar, Jamshedpur. “ONE WOMAN CAN CHANGE NOTHING, BUT MANY WOMEN CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING”

THERE ARE 5 major phases in human-life. The first is the kindergarten, then comes the teenage stage which can also be known as the stage of learning, then comes the ‘youth’ which is partially a learning age and partially an age where one takes up several responsibilities and fulfils his/her dreams. Then we have the family life stage where one takes up responsibility of building up a family which is followed by the old age. Whether men or women, the phases of life are the same but the ways of performing responsibilities are different. Since women are forms of Goddesses, they can always out-perform men in every sphere of life and position! This is not the story of today, but since a very long time there have been women who have set examples of being a multitasking agent1.

Mother Mary, the mother of God’s child ‘Jesus Christ’. She carried out her responsibilities as a true and devoted wife and mother.

2.

According to the Hindu mythology we have Goddess Sita who went against all odds to accompany her husband for 14 years of exile. She symbolises the duties and worship which a wife does for her husband.

3.

‘Rani Lakshmi Bai’- who led her battlements to fight against the Britishers, carrying her little baby behind her back. She was a freedom fighter and a protector of her motherland India and her son too. Now let us think about the importance of woman in

our society. She has been the torchbearer for centuries. She is responsible for the miracle of birth. In most cases she is also a provider of the family and embodiment of morality. Woman is also responsible for the image of the society. It is the woman who is considered the guardian of the respect and honour of a family. She is a mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife. These are multiple roles that woman elegantly fits, but she is, in our so-called modern world, still living in chains!!! Women also serve the country by being teachers, professors, lecturers, by being a guide for students who would soon turn out to be like Dr. Abdul Kalam, Einstein,

to be highly verbal, speak with ease and more importantly, listen with ease and I think that they are quite capable like Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth, Hilary Clinton and of course Benazir Bhutto A woman works day and night only to make peace in the country. They set an example for the women of present generation, that women can not only give birth, but can also work to earn a living for their families, support them, and if required they even fight for them, in a single lifetime. After all that is what womanhood is all about! Don’t you think that she helps to strengthen the world’s economy? Don’t you know that she helps to build a nation? The half of population consists of women. She is a doctor, an engineer, a business woman, an architect, an author! Women are also in media. She is everywhere and as Barack Hussain Obama says: “She was the cornerstone of our family and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength and humility. She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chance” ! Do we still need examples to portray the vitality and power of womanhood? When women can fight for her nation, up-bring her family, and perform all duties as a wife, daughter-in-law and a mother, then isn’t she a Multitasking

Agent? and Graham Bell. Moreover women are leaders who tend 20 Rally

March 2013


Udhay Shankar, Jamshedpur

WOMEN play a dual role in politics

majority of illiterate rural women are also politically sensitive and aware of the

–

political

various issues confronting them. Women get easily mobilised in the political

representatives. On the voting front,

as

processes by the political parties who approach women very often for party

though adult franchise was granted in

issues and for short-term goals by winning elections, but not for long-term goals

1937, it was the progressive spirit that

of bringing about social changes and gender equality in political power-sharing.

pervaded

voters

the

and

the

In all the elections held since independence, women had the voting rights.

constitution that made it a reality. The

making

of

The percentage of seats won against the seats contested is showing a declining

Constitution of India guarantees equal

trend only because the number of women contesting elections has increased

rights to men and women as voters and

sharply. However, it may be seen that voting by women in all tiers of Government

citizens.

has always been a feature of the Indian Polity since 1947. Due to the paternalistic

Generally, in India, registration and participation of women as

family and male dominated political structures which do not provide space for women in decision-making bodies.

contestants is less than that of men.

The number of women

In recent past, records show that there

contestants in Parliamentary

has been an increase in the percentage

elections has not increased

of women who vote. Again, a note of

significantly over the years.

caution is required, lest it be assumed

Political parties are still

that political participation always

reluctant to field women

indicates political awareness on the

candidates at national level. In

part of the woman voter. But it is not.

the early days of the Indian

Usually, however, countries that

republic, the number of women

do hold regular elections show an

representatives was a mere 22,

improved recognition of women as a

which was a lowly 4.4% of the

political constituency and parties and

total seats in the Lok Sabha.

candidates tend to adopt pro-women

The sixth Loksabha in the year

stance and appeal specifically to

1977 saw an all time low of just

women’s votes, especially at the time

19 woman representatives. The twelfth Lok Sabha had 44 women i.e. 8.8% of

of elections. This becomes very evident

the total. Even as early as the 19th century Indian women had begun to appear

when we look at consecutive elections

on the national scene in public and political activity. Women were not only

in the Indian context, wherein there is

being accepted in public activity but were organizing themselves to fight for

a growing consciousness of the need

their rights in different walks of life. Though women constitute nearly half of the

to woo the woman voters and the need

population of the country, it was only after Independence that efforts were made

to pay attention to the needs and

to promote women’s participation in public life.

issues of women, in the election manifestos of political parties.

Though the Constitution of India provides for the Government to make special provisions to safeguard the interests of women as detailed in Article 15

Since Independence, due to

(3) and Article 39, it has not made any provision for reservation for women in

exercise of their franchise, Indian

respect of jobs and political offices. However the 73 rd and 74th Constitutional

women have been exposed to the

Amendment Act mandated reservation of one-third seats in the village, block,

political processes and are showing

districts, and municipal elected bodies in India.

increasing awareness about not only

Women had not advanced much politically and economically. From the

lack of rights but also their utility. A

records available of the past 50 years, since the independence, it is seen that

Rally

21

March 2013


the strength of women in the political

against police repression, etc. While there is an increased participation in grass

field as reflected in State legislatures

root political movements, it is not getting translated into a growing share of

remained at an average of 3 % to 5%

women in the formal political structure of the country. Amongst the several

of those elected.

At the level of

reasons for such a situation is the growing money power and muscle power

Parliament, the position of women

required to contest even the smallest of elections in India, the intimidation,

members has varied between 5 to 7%.

violence and slander that a woman candidate has to face combined with the

Women in large numbers have

traditional male domination that seeks to keep her indoors.

come out against atrocities on women,

Narrow electoral arithmetic and the necessity of fielding a winning

in defense of their traditional control

candidate makes most political parties shy away from fielding more than a

over crucial resources, water, forests,

token number of women candidates. And if they are fielded at all, kinship and

and land, mass literacy drives and

affinity factors play a major role. It is very common to observe that the relatives

other issues. They are also coming out

of politicians are promoted and supported to emerge as politicians. Only these

in large numbers over ecological

women have stood for elections and got elected as members of State Legislative

degradation, price rise or protests

Assemblies and the Parliament.

RIGHTLY said, women are beauty with brains holding all the colours of the earth, spreading it to every corner, and every sphere. In the very beginning women were considered as the pride of nation and today pride is left as just a word. She is no more Binita Tigga St. Aloysius  College considered the pride of Nation. They are abused, misused and JBP AICUF exploited in every way, in every field they step into. Nowadays every woman is looked down as a thing merely. A thing that can make money. A thing that can bring wealth. A thing that can give pleasure. A thing that can produce babies. People still do not understand the worth of women. Every year March 8th we observe women’s day. Is this the only day when women should be respected and appreciated? Just a single day is not enough, woman should be respected and appreciated for every work she does and all through her life! So many rights and laws are made for women protection and uplift but not practiced. They are unaware of the laws and rights meant for them. Efforts should be made to familiarize women with their laws and rights. Lastly stop treating women as a toy or a thing to be used instead treat her simply as a human being, who deserves respect, regard and human dignity! Rally

22

March 2013


Medha Patkar is a well known social activist of India. She was born on 1 st December, 1954, in Maharashtra in a freedom fighter’s family to Indu and Vasant Khanolkar. Medha Patkar On 28th March, 2006, Medha went on a hunger strike, in protest of the decision taken by the authorities, to increase the height of the Narmada dam. The strike continued for a long period of 20 days and finally came to an end on April 17, 2006. The Supreme Court rejected the plea of Narmada Bachao Andolan to stop the construction of the dam. Being the Member of the Indian Parliament, leader of opposition and a wellknown political figure, Sushma Swaraj is a role model for women who are looking to achieve great heights.

Sheila Dikshit is a powerful administrator and a popular leader who was elected as the Chief Minister of Delhi for three consecutive terms. She is a member of the Indian National Congress She is only the second woman Chief Minister of Delhi. Sheila Dikshit

1998: Became the Chief Minister of Delhi. 2003: Re-elected as the Chief Minister of Delhi for the second consecutive term. 2008: Re-elected as the Chief Minister of Delhi for the third consecutive term. Sonia Gandhi (Born as Antonia Edvige Albina Maino) on December 9, 1946 is an Italianborn Indian politician and the President of the Indian National Congress (INC), one of the major political parties of India. She is the widow of India’s former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi and belongs to Nehru-Gandhi family. She became the longest serving Sonia Gandhi president in the 125-year history of the Congress party. Gandhi was named the 3rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes Magazine in the year 2004 and was ranked 6th in 2007. In 2010, Gandhi ranked as the ninth most powerful person on the planet by Forbes Magazine. She was also named among the Time 100 Most influential people in the world for the years 2007 and 2008. The British magazine New Statesman listed Sonia Gandhi at number 29 in their annual survey of “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures” in the year 2010.

Sushma Swaraj

Awards and Accolades Best Speaker, Haryana State Assembly Best Parliamentarian Award 2008, 2010

FORM IV Statement about ownership and other particular of the RALLY to be published in Chennai - 600 034. 1. Place of Publication

: AICUF House, 52, Sterling Road, Chennai - 600 034.

2. Periodicity of Publication

: Monthly

3. Printer’s Name Whether citizen of India Address

: Fr. K. J. Louis : Yes : SIGA, 22A, Taylors Road, Chennai - 600 010.

4. Publisher’s Name Whether citizen of India Address

: Fr. M. G. Selvinraj, s.j. : Yes : AICUF House, 52, Sterling Road,

5. Editor’s Name : Fr. M. G. Selvinraj, s.j. Whether citizen of India : Yes Address : AICUF House, 52, Sterling Road, Chennai - 600 034.

Wholly owned by

6. Name and Address of : the National individual who own the Secretariate of newspaper and partners All India Catholic or shareholders holding University Federation, more than one percent of AICUF House, the totoal capital

52, Sterling Road,

I, Fr. M.G. Selvinraj, s.j. hereby declare that the particulars given above are true to the best of my knowledge and belief. Rally

23

March 2013


March 8th, 2013 “THE FASTEST WAY TO CHANGE SOCIETY IS TO MOBILIZE THE WOMEN OF THE WORLD.” - CHARLES MALI Sr. Roseline O.S.M

ONCE AGAIN we are celebrating women’s day and

marked on March 8 every year. The first International

the usual arguments about 33% started. It becomes a

Women’s Day was officially celebrated on the 19th of

fashion to celebrate without any change. Even the

March 1911. The date

fundamentalists and the persons

was selected because

with male dominance talk

on this day in 1848 a

about women’s day.

Prussian king had

Thousands of events

prom ised to make

occur not just on this

some

day but throughout

reforms for women.

March to mark the

However, the ground

economic, political and

work for this blessed

social achievements of

event has its beginning

women.

from the turn of the

Importance of IWD

unfulfilled

century. This was at a time

International W om en’s

when women force was entering

Day is the story of ordinary women

into paid-jobs market. Obviously the conditions

as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old

weren’t gratifying - were rather wretched.

struggle of women to participate in society on an equal

United Nation International Women’s Day themes:

footing with men. International Women’s Day is a major

Organizations, governments, charities and

day of global celebration of women in all walks of life,

women’s groups around the world choose different

from their importance in the home, in their profession,

themes each year that reflect global and local gender

and in public affairs, but it has also evolved into a day

issues.

of solidarity for women suffering hardships and for their

“The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum” is the

rights. In different regions worldwide, the focus of the

2013 theme of our International Women’s Day.

celebrations of International Women’s Day ranges from

The UN declares an International Women’s Day

general celebration of respect, appreciation and love

theme for 2013 which is “A promise is a promise:

towards women to a celebration for women’s economic,

Time for action to end violence against women”

political and social achievements. First International Women’s Day International Women’s Day (IWD), originally is called International Working Women’s Day, is Rally

Many organisations develop International Women’s Day themes relevant to their local contexts. For example, the European Parliament’s 2012 theme was “Equal pay for work of equal value”. 24

March 2013


2012:

Power Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty

2011:

2010:

Equal access to education,

to provide for higher punishment to rapists, including those belonging to police and public servants. New offences have been created and stiffer

training and science and

punishment has been suggested those committing it

technology

like leaving the victim in a vegetative state. The new

Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all

2009:

government suggesting amendment of criminal laws

offences include disrobing a woman, voyeurism, stalking and trafficking. The present law provides for punishment for rapists of imprisonment ranging from

Women and men united to end

seven years to life.

violence against women and

Women Empowerment is the need of our time

girls

Women Empowerment is the ability of women to exercise full control over one’s actions. We put a

2008:

Investing in Women and Girls

2007:

Ending Impunity for Violence

because we believe they hold the key to long-lasting

against Women and Girls

social change in communities. Empowering women

2006:

Women in decision-making

2005:

Gender Equality Beyond 2005:

special focus on empowering women and girls,

must be a united approach, a cause that requires continued attention and stewardship by all. We need to augment our efforts for empowering women and

Building a More Secure Future

enhance their progress. It is our moral, social and

2004:

Women and HIV/AIDS

constitutional responsibility to ensure their progress

2003:

Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals

2002:

2001:

by providing them with equal rights and opportunities. Today women with their smartness, grace and elegance have conquered the whole world. They with

Afghan Women Today: Realities

their hard work and sincerity have excelled in each

and Opportunities

and every profession. Women are considered to be

Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts

2000:

Women Uniting for Peace

1999:

World Free of Violence against Women

1998:

Women and Human Rights

1997:

Women at the Peace

more honest, meticulous, and efficient and hence more and more companies prefer hiring women for better performance and result. Status of majority of Indian and Global women Majority of women are still oppressed. Violence against women is going on increasing. Domestic violence is the worst among all other. There is no safety for women anywhere. Dear NWC members….. Let us take the pledge to work for our vulnerable

If every International Woman’s Day event held in 2013 includes girls in some way, then India will be inspired globally. Verma Committee recommendations After the cruel death of Delhi student the threemember Committee headed by former Chief Justice J S Verma submitted its 630-page report to the Rally

women society. Let us all get rejuvenated by recalling great women! Be motivated to achieve goals!! Feel proud to be a woman!!! Let us work to make this 21st century into women’s century. 25

March 2013


Carmel Rasquina

THE

EXPRESSION of ‘feminism’ stands for and is often used for empowerment of women, for

supporting women’s rights in all domains of life. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. It has proved beneficial for women all these years. Due to the efforts of some feminists who raised their voices against oppression of women, we are enjoying a respectful and decent life. Most women, today, have equal opportunities to ancestral property, employment in maledominated fields, higher education, equal salary, etc; however, this may be true in mostly urban areas; also, this may be true in certain parts of the cities. The picture might be different in rural areas. Thus, one can say that a small percentage of women’s lives have improved with the rise of feminism. But has the aim of feminism which is being on par with men really been achieved? According to me, women, instead of establishing equality with men, are all the more trying to rule over them. Feminism is becoming more like a strong reaction to patriarchy. Women, I believe, want to dominate in all fields and go ahead of men. The fact that they have taken up posts in offices which were previously reserved for men like managers, executives proves it. Also, they have a say in family matters and can work outside the four walls of their home freely. I have a strong feeling that feminism is being misinterpreted by many people nowadays. This can be seen through the laws being passed in Parliament supporting and empowering women. , We see the increasing demand for all - women trains, ladies special and also special coaches for women in Metro trains. According to the recent budget all women banks will be set up which will be reserved for women employees and will cater to the financial requirements of only women. The feminists are strongly of the view that through this, women are empowered and can have equal and safe access to the public places by having a separate institution exclusively for them. But I personally oppose it. In my opinion, how can men and women be on equal ground when women want to have a separate domain and do not share it with their male counterparts? The major question one needs to reflect upon is - Where are we heading for in this fight for women’s rights? Even though the feminist theory may be right and just, are the means to achieving it practical in modern day and age? Rally

26

March 2013


- Clayton Soares

WOMANITY has been silenced by cruelty, liability and inhumanity, She is suffering, we call her kind womanity. She relied on men, a mistake she made, Harassment, torture and finally death are the price she paid. Men obeyed her once, loved her then,

All she begs is for the society to love and respect Respected their mothers, sisters and all other women. her, unfortunately assault, harassments and Now they grow to be savage showing cruelty on the disrespect is all it has to offer. female kind,

They have suffered a lot on their part,

It seems the greed for dominance has made them

It’s time for a revolution to start. blind. They are no toys to be played with, no games to For equal rights, for respect, for love in the society, be enjoyed, they are the reason the world lives, and It’s time to get up to the cause Womanity. they do not deserve to be toyed.

Fight the obstacles, the dominance that lay before,

Woman will be your better half said God one day,

stand on equal grounds with man to love and be Will be treated as the latter half is what he did not say. loved more. The entity that gave birth to human race faces danger, To lead a better life in this cruel world, Whereas man acts as the causing stranger.

Break the old habits and vanquish the silence curled. She lives each day dying for the man she cares about, Play the dice turns the table; show this world that All she gets at the end is a doubtful stare and an you are capable. ungrateful shout.

Speak up now to the call Womanity,

She may survive today, yet to die another day,

Be not silenced by liability, cruelty and inhumanity.

Her life unfortunately walks this endangered way.

Mamata Banerjee is the 11th and current Chief Minister of West Bengal. She is the first woman to hold the office. Banerjee founded All India Trinamool Congress in 1997. She is usually called “Didi” (meaning elder sister). She is often cited by the media and critics to be as “megalomaniac, eccentric and populist politician”. Mamata Banerjee Banerjee pulled off a landslide victory for the All India Trinamul Congress (AITMC ) or (TMC) in West Bengal by bringing to an end 34 years of Left Front rule in the state by communist government. Banerjee previously served as a Minister of Railways twice, Minister of Coal, and Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Department of Youth Affairs and Sports and Women and Child Development in the cabinet of the Indian government. In 2012, the Time magazine named her one of the “100 Most influential People in the World”

Global symbol, but still just a kid: Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan. The youngest nominee for the Malala Yousafzai

Nobel Peace Prize in history. The ninth-grade student has criticised Taliban for its

opposition to women’s empowerment in the country. On 9 October 2012, Malala was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. “I have the right of education,” “I have the right to play. I have the right to sing. I have the right to talk. I have the right to go to market. I have the right to speak up.” Rally

27

March 2013


Arun Tamilyazhini,

A. MonikaCeles,

Auxilium College, Vellore.

Auxilium College, Vellore.

“Women are eyes of the country” is a proverb in Tamil that  tells about  the Women.  The  proverb might sound positive but reality is alarming. Male domination has not ended through generations. In yester years, women  were not  educated  and they confined themselves to the house. But things have slightly changed. Women are more capable and  could  prove far  better  than men. Will  men accept such an undeniable truth? A fery few come forward to speak for and to stand with  women. History has  pushed  a few  women from across the fields to be a beacon to the rest. Our task today is to join the race in fighting for our very rights and standing tall with the oppression that chokes us.        Twelve years of fast by Iron Sharmila has not impressed the heartless rulers. An acid attack on young  Vinothini  resulted  in  death  but  has  not changed the mind set of youngsters who hunger only for romantic love.    A 15 years old school girl was raped by her school teacher. We  have  enough  examples  to  enumerate  but would there be an end to this assault on women. With the stringent laws in practice we have not found any progress in the mind set of men. Change of  mind set  is need  of  the hour.  Let’s learn  to r e s p e c t women  with dignity.

Rally

WITH the passage of time the world had witnessed many  changes.  There  are  mind  blowing developments  in  the  field  of  science  and technology.  Has  that  changed  the  mind  set  of millions of women around the world? The life of a woman comes to an end within the four walls of her house doing her daily chores.  They continue to face innumerable difficulties and  suffer many disadvantages.     We do find a hand full of women stand apart and proving themselves in numerous work spots. This change has not pervaded into all spheres of their lives. Emancipation movements are marred by caste and religion and lot of Dalit women are particularly  targeted.  In  India  we  have  women Goddess and also the rivers named after women. But the society fails to respect them. There is no safety  for  them.    Lakhs  of  girl  children  are kidnapped every year and disappear altogether. Since the tragic event at Delhi we hear more of crimes and atrocities.         To a large extent, media has created a negative impact  on  women.  It  has  projected  women  as mere commodities and objects of pleasure. The male dominance is at hand and so it’s projection has also out spread.         Women should stand against all these odds and put up a valiant fight. It calls for lots of  guts  and  will power.  So  each  and every  woman  must  have  an  inner  spirit within  herself  to  overcome  all  these difficulties  and  they  must  shine  like  a ‘LUSTROUS DIAMOND’ 28

March 2013


if u treat him nicely, he says u are in love with him; if u don’t , he says u are proud . if u dress nicely , he says u are trying to lure him; if u don’t , he says u are from village . if u are smarter than him, he’ll lose face ; if he’s smarter than u, he is great . if u don’t love him, he tries to possess u; if u love him! , he will try to leave u. if u don’t make love with him., he says u don’t love him; if u do !! he says u are cheap. if u tell him your problem , he says u are troublesome ; if u don’t , he says that u don’t trust him. if u scold him, u are like a nanny to him; if he scolds u, it is because he cares for u. if u break your promise, u cannot be trusted ; if he breaks his, he is forced to do so. if u do well in your exams, he says it’s luck ; if he does well , it’s brains . if u hurt him, u are cruel ; if he hurts u, u are too sensitive !! From My Friend’s Diary Rally

29

March 2013


1

Visit to Viveknagar Slum 25 AICUFers ventured into Viveknagar slum in Bangalore on 12 January 2013. They were to five different

centres of the slum. They engaged themselves in teaching the slum children. It was followed by house visits to the homes of the children. Indeed, it was an enriching exposure for the AICUFers to the struggles and

2

challenges of people living in

Rally against the Theft of Public Lands in Ejipura

slum areas.

Within a few days of the demolition of more than 1500 houses in Ejipura EWS (Economically

P V Joseph Buan Sing

Weaker Section) Quarters, the AICUFers, social work

Vice-President

students from our college, many individuals and groups volunteered to help the victims of the illegal land grab by providing food, drinking water, medicine, shifting their properties and many others. On 9 February 2013, 15 AICUFers, social work students & staff, and many groups and associations in Bangalore began from Ambedkar Statue, Austin Town Circle and ended near the demolition site. The rally did not end there and then. After a few

3

days, some of the AICUFers went to pay home visit to the people who have made their homes on the Celebration of “130 Years of St.

public foot path with saris, cloths and some other

Joseph’s College”

materials for their roof. The AICUFers saw the real

On 25 February 2013, the students

challenges of life by seeing the difficulties and

and the faculty members of St. Joseph’s

challenges faced by the people in their daily struggle

College, Langford Road, Bangalore,

for food, shelter, clothing, education for the children

celebrated the 130 Years of St. Joseph’s

and employment for the adults. The prevailing

College and 75 Years of Jesuits’ Presence

situation at the place, has yielded sicknesses like

in Bangalore, in the college chapel.

cold, cough, diahrrea, and other illness.

The Mass was celebrated by Bishop of Chickmagular, Rev. Anthony Swami, an alumnus. In his inaugural address, the

Advance Career Guidance

Bishop said, “The Jesuits’ pattern of education is reaching out to different classes of people in the society, the rich and the poor, Christians and non-

On 2nd February 2013, expert animators and speakers from KROSS

4

(Karnataka Regional Organization for Social Service) and STARTT (St. Thomas

Christians, but there is always preferential

Academy

option for the poor.”

Transformation) organized a programme for more

The students of All India Catholic

of

Research

and

Training

&

than 70 AICUFers, in AV Room, Huamanities

University Federation (AICUF) unit in St.

Block. It was an orientation programme on

Joseph’s College formed an angelic choir

Civil service exams and imparting

for the Eucharistic celebration and made

value based leadership qualities to

the liturgy worship more prayerful and

the participants.

meaningful. Rally

30

March 2013


Full-timer and the National Advisor’s Visit 24th To 27th February 2013

ON

FEBRUARY Fr. Selvin SJ , Br. Vincent and

W e had a sharing of the

Philomena started the journey to make the first ever visit of the National

problems they face with relation to

AICUF to the Darjeeling, Sonada, Silliguri and Rajgang unit of AICUf.

the society in the hills. It is much

The colleges we visited were Salesian colleges, Sonada on 24 February,

different from the other states.

St.Joseph College, Darjeeling on 26 February, Salesian College- Silliguri

Problems

and St. Xavier’s College-Rajgang on 27 February 2013. At Sonada

alcoholism, unequal wage pattern

Salesian college, we organised an orientation programme from 9.30am

in the tea estates and the demand

till 2pm for a gathering of 40 students in the presence of Fr. Francis

for a separate state is an important

Gomes, the unit advisor and Fr. Tommy - the Vice principal of the college.

issue there. We were fortunate to

In the other colleges we had orientation programme for 2 hours each for

have a view of the civil society

the students in the presence of Fr.Shajumon at St.Joseph, Fr. Nirmol in

protest in Darjeeling for their

Silliguri and Fr. Francis, Fr. Basil, Fr. Cherian and Fr. Victor - the Rector

demand for Gorkhaland. Each and

in Rajgang. We shared with the AICUFers about the history of AICUF,

every family is involved. Many of

detailed discussion on the constitution, student centrality in the movement,

our AICUFers and their families are

activities of AICUF in different states, the rally,

an active part of the movement

THE

21ST

OF

th

th

th

and involvement of

like

addiction,

the students in civil society and the

“Gorkha

Janmbhumi

mutki

struggles of the marginalised people.

morcha”. We had a discussion in

Each one of us spoke on separate

every unit about these issues and

topics to enlighten the young

how they felt about it, what they can

minds present in the room who

or wish to do for curbing such

were waiting to know about the

issues. It was surprising for the

movement to which they

students to know about the ideology

belonged.

of AICUF and for us as the spirit is

The enthusiasm and spirit with which they listened and

so alive in the students to keep

understood the movement was

AICUF alive without having any link visitors

with the nationals or other part of

from National AICUF coming to meet them so they had a lot of questions

the country. W e invited all the

in their minds which were indeed answered by all of us. AICUF at St.

colleges to send in articles for the

Joseph had been functioning for more than 10 years, in Sonada for 7

rally and also for the summer

years, Silliguri for 2 years and Rajgang for 4 years. Activities like visits to

camps. They also came up with

the agriculture farms, orphanages, home for elders, AIDS institutes,

various questions like:

cleaning the neighbourhood, investiture ceremony, children’s day in

 Why can’t we have AICUF

schools and various other innovative and social service oriented activities

after college as well?

remarkable. It was the first time they had

are a part of the North Bengal college agenda of AICUF.

 How can we write for the Rally?

Rally

31

March 2013


 How AICUF is a changing agent in the society?. Etc

our visits in the future and renew

All the questions were fruitfully answered and they were happy to

the spirit of AICUF in all the

receive them. We were honoured in the traditional way by offering katha

colleges. Now that the link is

to us by the students. We received a warm welcome. We are thankful to

created we wish and hope to see

all the colleges to host us and also for the effective role they play in

AICUFers from the hills to be a part

involving the students

of our meeting, camps and

in

other activates.

the

movem ent.

Since we went for the

Though it was a tiring

first time we did not

and long journey of more

have any information

than 40 hours yet it was a

about other colleges

successful

where

is

purpose to renew the spirit

functioning. But while

of AICUF was fulfilled totally

talk ing to the unit

and we returned to the

AICUF

visit.

The

advisors we got the information that there are many other colleges where

AICUF house with a learning

AICUF is strongly working with the student community. We shall make

experience as well. Philo & Vincent

Rally

32

March 2013


ON THE 3RD OF FEBRUARY 2013 the 1

st

were National Full Timers. Every batch had its reason behind

meeting of the core team as decided by the National

overlooking this convention. So finally we agreed upon

Team(NTs) for the 2nd Ex- AICUFers convention was held

starting the work for the convention this year onwards. We

at AICUF House in Chennai. The members present were

also considered the educational institutions and the

Anil, Dayana, Swaroop, Rinaldo, Franklin, Philomena,

academic pressure students have. Thus in the process of

Prof.G.John and Fr. Selvin SJ. The meeting was divided

implementation of the convention there will be 3 National

into 4 parts.

teams involved in executing the convention. We also

1. Facing our present challenges, a preliminary discussion

discussed means of contacting the Ex-AICUFers.

2. Knowing each other for better functioning as a team

In the next session we were given a set of questions to

3. AICUF at present

reflect upon and answer accordingly.

4. Should we have the convention or not?

·

How are you? Where are you? What are you doing?

·

Recall and share your experience as a NFT or convenor

We started our meeting by discussing about ExAICUFers from the perspective of the Nationals. We

in AICUF that you can never forget.

stressed on factors like the seniors as resource persons,

·

Can you find a few instrumental causes for your change?

convention to bring them together and its rationale,

·

What are the challenges that you face today after leaving

questions that can come in the mind of the Ex-AICUFers,

AICUF?

they could be facilitators as well as barriers, pseudo

Each one was given time and chance to narrate their

centrality in the movement, rationale for forming the core

experience. Through the sharing we came to know more

team and the necessity to construct a road map to

about each other, later Fr. Selvin explained that it is

convention. To answer the reason behind having a core

important to know each other before we start functioning

team of Ex National Fulltimers and Conveners from

as a team for the convention. It is a programme that we all

Rinaldo’s batch (2012 -13) was that besides the National

must own up for the nationals. Then Prof.G.John gave us

Advisor and National Animator, the Fulltimers and

details about the present scenario of AICUF. It was an eye

Conveners know the condition and situation of AICUF at

opener for us with the relevant changes that have occurred

the National level.

over the years. We then realized that the time gap and work

The National team meets regularly thus it is difficult for

culture was different in all our years. Information is power

all of them to come beyond their regular NT meetings. and

and after Fr. Selvin’s and Prof.John’s sharing we were much

hence the Convener can represent the National team. The

enlightened to take up the challenges.

National Fulltimers are the ones who visit units, meet

After the discussion we decided that on the 1st and 2nd

advisors and also interact with the students at large. The

March we shall have the next core team meeting at AICUF

knowledge of each state in different years can be integrated

house Chennai. The possible agenda for the next meeting could be as

with their help. Thus the team decided to have such a specific core team. The reason behind having the convention

follows:

in 2014 was that it is 20 years since the first Ex-AICUFers

·

Foreseeing the questions that can arise

convention in 1993. So, next year will be the apt time to

·

Theme

have the second convention. During the discussion, we

·

Date , place and time

came to know that the process and discussion for having

·

Road map for the convention Rinaldo

such a convention started with Dally and Aarons when they Rally

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ACTALYST is actually a deliberate spelling mistake of ‘CATALYST’. It just invites us to ‘act as catalyst’. These stories could be of great use for uniting the units in focus.

The world simply admires and adores those who have high degree of integrity. People look up to them for their guidance, inspiration and leadership. People of integrity preach what they practice and practice what they preach. A person of integrity is always honest, come what may. Integrity is being ethical twenty four hours and seven days. They set examples and influence others not by what they say but by what they do and by being what they mean.

Dr. G. John St. Joseph’s College, Trichy, National Animator

Your ‘Yes’ means yes and your ‘No’

standards with which people live their lives. People seldom practice what they

means no: that is integrity. Integrity is

preach.  Our  words  and  deeds  don’t  match  often.  This  double  standard,  not

the  core  quality  of  a  successful  and

following  what  one  preaches,  has  done  more  damage  than  any  other  social

happy  life.  An  integral  person  is  an

factors in the society. This has a trickle down effect.

ambassador of truth and honesty and

For  instance,  when  a  parent  who  tries  to  teach  his  child  the  value  of

the way she/he lives her/his life is the

‘honesty’, is not honest in small things (pilfers office things) sends a wrong and

advertisement  for  others.  The  world

contradictory  values  to  his  child.  Instead  of  picking  up  the  intended  value

simply admires and adores those who

(honesty) from the parent, child picks up the wrong value of ‘pilferage’. Small

have high degree of integrity.  People

and trivial things matter much in value system. This is how we have been for

look  up  to  them  for  their  guidance,

quite  a  long  time  in  India.  That  is  exactly  the  reason  why  we  have  all  the

inspiration and  leadership. People  of  integrity  preach  what

catastrophic  events  in  our  society.  Value  erosion  has  been  happening  very systematically, often  unintentionally.

they practice  and practice  what  they

If  more  and  more  people  are  dishonest  today,  I  would  blame  it  on  the

preach. In fact, people of integrity not

‘Heroes’. For  me a  hero  is  not the  one  who  overcomes  all  the  hurdles,  as  in

only  practice  what  they  preach,  but

films, but is the one who is in a position to influence the behaviour of others

they  are  what  they  preach.  They  set

by their words and deeds. They are our parents, elders in the family, teachers,

example and influence others not by

priests and  religious  leaders,  and  other  personalities  in  public  life.  He  is  the

what they say but by what they do and

one  who  inspires you.  It  could  be  anybody and  they come  in  all  shapes and

by being what they mean. A person of

sizes. They are the ‘Heroes’ who exert enormous influence on the value system

integrity is always honest, come what

of  our  children.  When  they are  honest, the  whole  world  is  honest, and  vice

may.  Integrity is being ethical twenty

versa.  If  ‘integrity’  is  lacking  in  society,  they  should  take  the  blame.  Life  of

four hours and seven days.

these  ‘Heroes’  is  under constant  public  scrutiny.  They  don’t  have  a  personal

Today  we  live  in  a  world  where

life and personal preferences bereft of value system.

there are lots of, in fact tons of, double Rally

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There  is  always  a  gap  between

honest, first  you  have  to be  totally  honest  with  yourself.  As we begin  to  act

‘words’  and  ‘deeds’  but  the  gap  is

with integrity in everything we do, our life becomes more and more beautiful.

minimal  in  case  of  an  integral personality. There are a lot of people

These  people  never  compromise  on  the  values  they  have  chosen.  These are  the people who  can be  depended under  all circumstances. These people

who mean  something when they say

keep their promises. It is easy to make promises and still easier to forget them.

but when it comes to doing, they just

But people of integrity will keep their promises by all means. Every time you

do  the  opposite.  They  are  the  ‘split’

keep a promise you have made, it is an act of integrity.

personalities.  The  world  is  not ready

Seeds of Integrity – sown

to believe  them and they will  not be

Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago.  Capone wasn’t famous

taken seriously. These people may be

for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything

compared to a tree that has a ‘split’ in

from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.

it.  This  tree  seems  to  stand tall,  firm

Capone had a lawyer nicknamed “Easy Eddie.” He was his lawyer for a good

and  stoic,  but  when  temptation

reason.  Eddie  was  very  good!  In  fact,  Eddie’s  skill  at  legal  manoeuvring  kept

strikes, when the wind blows heavily,

Big Al out of  jail for a  long  time. To show  his appreciation, Capone paid him

and the tree is no longer able to stand

very well. Not only was the money big, but also, Eddie got special dividends.

erect, it falls to the ground. So is the

For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced­in mansion with live­in help

‘split’ person. “People who know that

and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an

they should do one thing, but do the

entire Chicago City block.

other,  are  split.  People  who  cannot

Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to

decide if they will choose the right or

the atrocity that went on around him. Eddie did have one soft spot, however.

the  wrong  are  split.  These  are  the

He  had  a  son  that  he  loved  dearly.  Eddie  saw  to  it  that  his  young  son  had

people  who  go  to  drinking  party  on

clothes, cars, and a good education.

Saturday  night  and  Church  on Sunday”.

Nothing was withheld. Price  was no  object.  And, despite his  involvement with organized crime, Eddie  even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie

But people of integrity stand firm

wanted his son  to be  a  better man than he  was. Yet, with all  his wealth and

against all odds. They  are like a tree,

influence, there were two things he couldn’t give his son; he couldn’t pass on

with out any split that stands firm and

a good name or a good example.

stoic  during  the  times  of  trials  and

One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify

temptation.  When  the  storm  strikes

wrongs he had done. He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the

they  stand  tall  because  they  have

truth about Al “Scarface” Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his

integrity.  They  are  unified  within

son some semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against

themselves.  They  are  not  weakened

The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great.

within and hence they are able to cling on  to  their  value  system  and  stand firm. They  never  do  any  thing  for  the sake  of  others.  They  know  that integrity is “doing the right thing when no one is watching”. They are always

So, he testified. Within the year, Easy Eddie’s life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street. But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he would ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine. The poem read: The clock of life is wound but once,

driven by their value system. Integrity

and no man has the power

is  the  foundation  of  character  of  a

to tell just when the hands will stop

person. A person with integrity always

At late or early hour.

has an unblemished character in every

Now is the only time you own.

area  of  her/his  life.  You  are  either

Live, love, toil with a will.

totally honest or otherwise. And there

Place no faith in time.

is  no  half  way  mark.  To  be  totally Rally

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For the clock may soon be still. Seeds of Integrity – Grown

unfit  to  fly.   Finally, the  exasperated  Japanese  squadron  took  off  in  another direction.

World  War  II  produced  many

Deeply relieved, Butch O’Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the

heroes. One such man was Lieutenant

carrier.  Upon  arrival,  he  reported  in  and  related  the  event  surrounding  his

Commander  Butch  O’Hare. He  was a

return. The film from  the  gun­camera mounted  on  his plane  told  the tale.  It

fighter  pilot  assigned  to  the  aircraft

showed the extent of Butch’s daring attempt to protect his fleet.

carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.

He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft.  This took place on February

One day his entire squadron was sent

20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy’s first Ace of WW­II, and

on  a  mission.  After  he  was  airborne,

the first Naval Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honour.  A year later

he  looked  at  his  fuel  gauge  and

Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not

realized  that  someone  had  forgotten

allow  the  memory  of  this  WW  II  hero  to  fade,  and  today,  O’Hare  Airport  in

to top off his fuel tank. 

Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.  So, the next time

He would not have enough fuel to

you find yourself at O’Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch’s

complete his mission and get back to

memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honour. It’s located between

his  ship. His  flight  leader  told  him  to

Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

return to the  carrier.   Reluctantly,  he

SO WHAT DO THESE TWO STORIES HAVE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER? 

dropped out of formation and headed

Butch O’Hare was “Easy Eddie’s” son.

back to the fleet.  As he was returning

(Both the stories were taken from http://www.sugardoodle.info/Integrity/

to the mother ship he saw something

index.shtml)

that turned his blood cold: a squadron

Learning and Discussion

of  Japanese  aircraft  were  speeding

1.

their way toward the American fleet. The  American  fighters  were  gone  on

Integrity is a virtue every one adores and gets inspired. But we seldom aspire to be with integrity – most wanted and most lacking.

2.

When one is not exhibiting the character of integrity – it becomes

a  sortie,  and  the  fleet  was  all  but

highly contagious. Hence, it becomes obligatory for a ‘leader’ to exhibit

defenceless.  He  couldn’t  reach  his

the character of integrity.

squadron and bring them back in time

3.

It is very difficult and often requires a heavy price to be with ‘integrity’.

to  save  the fleet. Nor  could  he  warn

4.

To be or not to be, is a conscious decision everyone has to take. When you affirm with ‘integrity’, you make positive impact on people in and

the fleet of the approaching danger.

around you.

There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the

5.

fleet.   Laying  aside  all  thoughts  of personal  safety,  he  dove  into  the

There is always a gap between what we speak and what we do.. and try to reduce it.

6.

At the end of the day, before you retire to bed, spend some time in

formation  of  Japanese planes.  Wing­

silence to think about the day and engage in introspection to know the

mounted  50  calibre’s  blazed  as  he

gap between your words and deeds. Make a resolute promise to reduce

charged  in,  attacking  one  surprised

that gap.

enemy plane and then another.  Butch

 7. If you are an AICUFer, you are already a leader and as a leader you need

wove  in  and  out  of  the  now  broken formation and fired at as many planes as  possible  until  all  his  ammunition

to be an integral person. 8.

Integrity is the social lineage each AICUFer leader should be passing to her/his junior AICUFers.

was  finally  spent.   Undaunted,  he

Note:  Anecdotes,  cases  and  stories  are  not  mine  and  most  of  them  are

continued the assault. He dove at the

found while wandering in the ‘net world’. I have incorporated a few changes in

planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in

them to match the context. You are most welcome to add anything to it and

hopes  of  damaging  as  many  enemy

give  feedback  so  that  we  can  enlarge  and  expand  our  learning  experience.

planes as possible and rendering them

Send them to the Editor or to me [dnjohn@rediffmail.com] only by email.

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