Wednesday, February 12, 2014

India: Update--Forcible Rape Continues Nationwide, India's Solution: A Handgun That Costs US$1,953!

According to The Diplomat2014 has begun with a shocking spate of attacks against women in India, to no one's surprise.

We should also caution our readers that perhaps as many as several dozen solo foreign women have also been raped in recent years, both reported and unreported.

Earlier this month, a Danish tourist, 51, was robbed, beaten and gang-raped in the national capital after getting lost and asking for directions. 

In Haridwar, a holy city in the northern state of Uttarkhand, a Dalit school girl of thirteen years of age, was gang-raped, tortured and killed. 

In West Bengal last week a young Indian woman of 20, was publicly gang-raped by as many as thirteen men upon the order by a council of elders, for her illicit relationship with a local man.

In India, citizens and foreign women are raped every 22 minutes, yet this data involves only reported incidence of sexual assault and rape. 

Unreported cases of sexual assault and forcible rape (not to mention gang-rape) are considered to be much, much higher. 

COMMENT: Interestingly, India's latest solution to unchecked sexual assault and forcible rape, not to mention gang-rape, which is particularly common in India, is a .32 caliber, six-shot revolver produced by the state-run Indian Ordinance Factory which marketed as "the first gun for women."

Abdul Hameed, the factory's general manager,  has said that the .32 caliber revolver even comes in a bejeweled maroon case.

Now, here's the interesting part: a firearm that should not be priced more than US$200 in most countries is priced at 122,000 rupees or the equivalent of US$1,953.00!! So who is actually making money from a state-owned company?

Even more interesting is the fact that the per capita income in India is $1,219. So who can afford such a cost prohibitive firearm?

Unless the bejeweled maroon presentation case that the revolver comes in is adorned with precious stones stolen from The Smithsonian Institution's Hope Diamond, a firearm manufactured at a state-owned company in India should ideally be priced that an India woman of all classes can reasonably afford.

Engraved on one side is the word “Nirbheek,” Hindi for “fearless,” a tactless tribute to Nirbhaya, the name given to the December 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim who was gang-raped on a city bus. 

The association has outraged many, who accuse the manufacturer of attempting to profit from the “frustration, fear and anger” that violence against women provokes. The guns are being sold as a vehicle of empowering India women, but who can afford it?
Last year, in a publicity stunt aimed at capitalizing on the gender-equality movement, the far-right Shiv Sena party issued 10,000 small blades to women in Mumbai.

What is really absurd is that a firearm designed primarily for women comes with no firearms training, competency qualification or even whether a "concealed carry permit" is required to possess such a firearm?

Assuredly, in the majority of cases, arming women with knives and pistols will only make them more vulnerable to greater exploitation by men who seemingly are socialized to abuse women who bear them children.