Saturday, February 16, 2008

Online petition to protest against remarks of Karnataka CJ and SHRC chief

Arpita Joshi, Harminder Kaur, Gitanjali Mahanti, Bhargavi S Rao and Dolly Kalita, women activists of Karnataka have issued the following statement:

On the 9th of February 2008, the media reported remarks by two eminent judicial personalities, the Chief Justice of Karnataka, Cyriac Joseph and State Human Rights Commission Chairperson Justice S.R.Nayak, stating that immodest dressing was the cause of increasing crimes against women.

The Hon'ble Chief Justice further elaborated his statement by mentioning that "Nowadays, women wear such kind of dresses even in temples and churches that when we go to places of worship, instead of meditating on God, we end up meditating on the person before us" and that the "provocative dresses that women wear in buses" put the "men travelling in the buses" in awkward situations and hence "women must dress modestly." (Kindly see the report in The Hindu on the Chief Justice’s speech: “CJ has some 'modest' advice for women”)

The Chairperson, SHRC, speaking on 'Human Rights and the Lawyers Role’, gave his opinion on the Mumbai New Year’s eve molestation issue by saying “Yes, men are bad, but who asked them (the women) to venture out in the night? Women should not have gone out in the night and when they do,there is no point in complaining that men touched them and hit them. Youth are destroying our culture for momentary satisfaction.” Kindly see the New Indian Express report “Women were to blame: SHRC

Thousands of crimes like molestation, domestic violence, rape etc go unreported in the country because the patriarchal society we dwell in refuses women the space to report violence. Where it should be the prerogative of the seat of law to protect the privileges of the vulnerable and the victims of any violence, we have seen the perpetration of subjugative regressive ideology.

As people who believe in systems of Justice and the value of equity, please join us in raising a voice for the cause of women in the country and sign the petition below:

Do share the petition with as many people as possible.

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