‘First Try and Put Your House in Order’ Shabnam Hashmi Writes to Narendra Modi

It is ironical that a Government which refused to acknowledge the gang rape of more than 300 Muslim women during the Gujarat carnage of 2002 is proposing to give shelter to Taslima Nasreen. The forces of hatred that you and your government unleashed in the society have caused havoc during your regime against ordinary women…

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Mr Chief Minister,

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It is ironical that a Government which refused to acknowledge the gang rape of more than 300 Muslim women during the Gujarat carnage of 2002 is proposing to give shelter to Taslima Nasreen.
The forces of hatred that you and your government unleashed in the society have caused havoc during your regime against ordinary women of Gujarat.
It is a well established fact that there is a direct and deep connection between the ideology of hatred and growing violence against women. If a society allows hatred to breed and spread against any section of the society, it ultimately engulfs every other section too and has direct impact on the women in that particular society. The hatred and violence that you unleashed in 2002 against the women from a particular background has engulfed women of all classes, religions, castes and socio-economic backgrounds.
It is shocking every morning to open the newspapers. The news of dowry deaths, female feticide, domestic violence and rape glares at the reader. One wonders if it is the same Gujarat where the Mahatma was born.
A pilot study conducted by Ahmedabad Women’s Action Group (AWAG) under the ‘Mental Health Care Pilots in Gujarat’ project undertaken by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) revealed that a whopping 58 per cent of the surveyed women in ‘your mega city’ of Ahmedabad suffer significant mental distress.
The study revealed horrendous forms of physical violence which include slapping, punching, biting, kicking and even branding with cigarette butts!
According to the sample survey, 65 per cent women conceded to being abused in public and in front of neighbours! 35 per cent women reported that their children, especially girls, were victims of violence and were physically and verbally abused by the father. 70 per cent reported verbal abuse, threats, 68 per cent reported slapping, 62 per cent reported kicking, 53 per cent reported punching, 49 per cent reported hitting with hard objects, 37 per cent reported biting, 29 per cent reported choking and 22 per cent reported branding with cigarette butts.
It is the result of the hatred which you have sown in the hearts and minds of the people. The men whom you encouraged and sent to rape and kill in 2002 were brothers and fathers and husbands. They were part of this society. Did you expect that they will indict violence on ‘other’ women and be very nice to women inside their own houses?
Mr. Chief Minister, you could not protect women in Gujarat. It will do you good to first try and put your house in order.
India is a large democracy and Indians will protect and keep Taslima safely.
Shabnam Hashmi
November 28, 2007
1914, Karanjwala Building, In Front of Khanpur Darwaza,
Ahmedabad
Tel-079-25500844