Monthly Archives: February 2013

Ducking the hate DC | Deepika Ramesh | 13th Feb 2013





Social networking sites are not to be scoffed at, perhaps. They help parents with NRI children stay in touch in the quickest way possible. But such benign interactions are only one aspect of them. They are increasingly becoming a medium of bullying and harassment. A recent report suggests that there is a spike in the number of complaints lodged regarding the abuse being posted on online platforms. There were 19 cases registered in Chennai in 2010 and 35 in 2011. It’s also believed that 80 per cent victims withdraw their complaints after learning the identity of the perpetrator, who, in most cases, is a relative of theirs or a friend. Celebrities who use Facebook and Twitter to interact with their fans often quit after being dogged by online harassment.

After getting several derogatory comments from her followers, Shriya Saran has become the latest celebrity to quit Twitter. Her twitter post read: “Done with twitter. I’m not on twitter from now on. Crazy stupid people. Can’t take all the trash written.” The Midnight’s Children star said she’d rather not comment on why it became such a personal issue for her as there was “too much controversy involved”.

While Shriya took the ultimate decision of leaving the forum, actor Siddharth wishes that his friends were strong-minded enough to avoid the hate mail. He tweeted saying, “So many of my friends have quit twitter because despite warnings to ignore, that one mean personal comment got to them on a bad day. Sad! Haters exist everywhere. In places of worship, in movie halls, stadiums and in political groups. My 2 cents, never quit because of them!”

Last year, singer Chinmayee was harassed by a few men, they passed lewd comments. The wrongdoers were arrested based on a complaint that the singer and her mother registered. But Chinmayee hasn’t quit any of the social networking sites. She put up a bold fight and continued to interact with her fans on Twitter. Talking about the case, Chinmayee’s mother, Padmhasini says, “The case is pending in the court now. Yes, we were asked by many to withdraw the complaint. But we refused because such targeting of women should stop. People should appreciate the fact that celebrities and politicians who use Twitter and Facebook are also human beings. Those who pass bad comments about them on Twitter would not be able to say it to them in person. They should be decent enough to understand how these portals have to be handled.”

Dr Dheep, psychiatrist, observes that social networking websites have entered our lives very recently and people are still not exposed to this new form of proximity. “When women get harassed, they feel absolutely threatened. Though they lodge a complaint, the immediate reaction would be to escape from such portals. We still haven’t learnt the right way to use such networking websites. We need to mature and equip ourselves to handle such people. If we become a part of such portals, we should be brave enough to handle the wrongdoers as well,” says Dr. Dheep, who also advises that one should be familiar with the privacy settings of one’s account thoroughly. “Users should understand how the medium works. Men and women have to be extra careful. Anything you say and do might turn against you. We should change our mindset and understand that the perpetrators want to do what they can’t do in real life,” he points out.

Nirmala Kotravai, founder, Movement Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexism (MASES) points out how important it is to go beyond the tip of the iceberg that online harassment is. What happens on social media forms 1 per cent of the abuse happening in society.  “When we talk of punishments or action against any misdeed the administrators seem to only address the superficial layer to satisfy their conscience. This is of no use. What we need is ideological transformation. Men, a male-dominated society should be made gender-sensitive. The authorities should first root out all the ‘poisonous ideological weeds against women’,” she says.

Saudi Father Who Is A Preacher Rapes And Tourtures His 5-Year Old Daughter To Death


A court in Saudi Arabia has ruled a father who admittedly raped and tortured his five-year-old daughter to death has only to pay blood money to be absolved of any charges.

Lama Al Ghamdi was a five-year-old girl who was admitted into a hospital on the December 25, 2011, with multiple injuries, including a crushed skull, broken ribs and left arm, extensive bruising and burns. One of her fingernails had been torn off. The child’s mother reported that the hospital staff told her the child’s rectum had been torn open and the abuser had attempted to burn it closed.

Randa Al Kaleeb, a social worker from the hospital, said in a phone interview that Lama’s back was broken as well and that she had been raped “everywhere”. Lama died of her injuries on the October 22, 2012.

Lama’s father, Fayhan Al Ghamdi, confessed to being the perpetrator and to using cables and a cane to afflict the injuries. The father is an Islamistpreacher and a regular guest on Islamist television networks. According to Dr. Suhaila Zain Alabdeen from the Saudi National Society of Human Rights, the father had doubted five-year-old Lama’s virginity and went as far as to have a medical professional check that her virginity was intact.

Her mother said in an interview on a regional talk show that she felt that there was something wrong three months before Lama was admitted to the hospital but that her ex-husband would only allow her short telephone conversations. She begged him to give her the girl but he refused. By the time she finally got to see her, Lama was in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.

According to local papers, the judge in the initial court session on January 26, 2012, ruled the prosecution may only seek blood money and the time the defendant has served in prison since Lama’s death suffices as punishment.… … tegoryID=3

The ruling is based on a Sharia argument that fathers cannot be executed for murdering their children, nor can husbands be executed for murdering their wives. Fathers and husbands who murder their children or wives are consistently sentenced to five to twelve years in prison at most. This leniency is not extended to mothers and wives. In the history of Saudi Arabia, there has only been one case in 2008 where a father and his second wife were executed for torturing his daughter to death.

The courts’ leniency towards male abusers and murderers reflects the larger problem of the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia, wherein ALL women are considered minors and are automatically assigned to the care and judgment of their most immediate male relative. This guardianship gives the male relatives the power to sell girls legally into child marriages and to ban adult women from work, travel and obtaining medical operations.

Read more: http://www.disclose….l#ixzz2JlKGFNdl