Gurpreet Singh: Ujjal Dosanjh uses Twitter to shame traditionalists who blame women for rape

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Former B.C. premier and ex-M.P. Ujjal Dosanjh has remarked on Twitter that if men cannot control their penises, they should have them removed.

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It came in reaction to those suggesting that women should dress "appropriately" to avoid being raped.

Dosanjh's bold tweet has shamed traditionalists who are pinning the blame on women for rapes and sexual violence in India.

Ujjal Dosanjh elaborated on his first tweet (above).

Ever since a 23-year-old female student was gang-raped in Delhi, there have been angry protests in India and other parts of the world, including Surrey and Ottawa.

Poor women in rural India continue to endure sexual violence.

Despite this, Mohan Bhagwat, leader of the RSS—an ultra-Hindu nationalist organization—has claimed that rapes are taking place in urban India and not in the rural areas.

According to him, that's because of the increasing influence of western culture in big cities.

Likewise, a legislator of the Hindu nationalist right-wing Bhartiya Janata Party, Banwari Lal Singhal, recently asked schools to ban girls from wearing skirts.

Not to be left behind, the head of the Akal Takhat, Giani Gurbachan Singh, asked women to wear traditional attire to avoid sexual violence. The Akal Takhat is the highest temporal seat of the Sikh religion.

These suggestions are totally absurd.

"Shabbily" dressed women in tribal and rural areas continue to be raped by those who enjoy political and social influence. Most of these victims are generally from the Dalit community, widely known as "untouchables'' in the caste-ridden Indian society.

Due to feelings of shame and guilt, many of these women avoid going to the police, who generally try to shield the rich and the powerful.

Prominent figures making statements like the ones above are not only indirectly shielding rapists, but these unscientific and irrational observations completely obscure the reality of life in rural India.

How can people, including elected officials and clergy in India, blame women's attire for rapes when even minor girls are being sexually exploited? 

This goes on despite the fact that Indians, particularly Hindus, revere goddesses.

Those indulging in moral policing—including these dumb leaders—should be excommunicating or ostracizing rapists and sex offenders and working to provide space and comfort for victims.

Women have also been victims of numerous sexual crimes at religious places in India.

Even the insistence of giving capital punishment to rapists is rhetorical. This would only encourage rapists to murder victims to destroy evidence.

Victims of sexual violence in India only need assurance and support from their family, society, and authorities instead of hysterical responses. 

Speaking from a Canadian perspective, this country does not execute rapists or killers, yet women can walk around freely even in so-called skimpy attire.

This is partially because women know that if anything goes wrong, society will stand behind them and not the sexual offender.

In India it is the rape victim, and not the perpetrator, who get stigmatized.

Suppression of desire in the orthodox and sexually starved Indian society also contributes to sexual violence.

Instead of being hypocritical about sex, Indian society should learn to recognize it as a reality and talk more openly about it. 

Gurpreet Singh is a Georgia Straight contributor, and the host of a program on Radio India. He's working on a book tentatively titled Canada's 9/11: Lessons from the Air India Bombings.

Comments (9) Add New Comment
David L.
I applaud Mr. Dosanjh , he is a well spoken intelligent person for whom I have a lot of respect.
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FJetson
This would not work for the same reason chemical castration doesn't work. It isn't just about the penis, it's about the power. Take away the sexual aspect of it and people use brooms or pipes, or whatever phallic object they can find.

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David L.
So FJETSON are you saying there is a case for the death penalty ?
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Larry
And rape is being done in a country that practices aborting females! What is the male to female proportion? Have the men banned from eating spicy foods and feed them a diet of Tim Hortons dounuts, it should put a damper on their sexual urges.
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some Sikh woman
I'm really curious about your source for the Sikh leader Gurbachan Singh telling women to dress more conservatively. Checking Indian newspapers, which certainly would have had news about that, all I could find was that he suggested foul language be banned in Sikhtemples (a lot of the swear words in Punjabi translate into telling males to have sex with their mothers, sisters,and daughters, so maybe that was his reasoning, I don't know).
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Some Sikh woman
Considering Gurpreet Singh likes to write positively about communists of Indian origins be they poets or old women who want to have Sikhs kicked out Sikhtemple committees, it is funny he didn't write about the communist leader in India and his remarks pertaining to rape just recently.

Senior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)leader and former West Bengal Minister Anisur Rahman on Thursday embarrassed his party by mocking Trinamool government’s compensation for rape victims saying, “I would like to ask Mamata ( a senior politician) what her rate will be if someone gets Rs. 20,000 after being raped. What is your fee? If you are raped, what will be your fee?”
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Some Sikh woman
Gurbachan Singh the Sikh leader regularily campaigns for people to stop female foeticide, asks people to respect women, wants people to stop using swearwords that denigrate women, and has pointed out that had India prosecuted the thousands of rapists who raped Sikh women and girls all over India in Nov. 1984, it would not be having the issues it has with rape right now.
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Jesleen Bali
The head of the Akal Takht, Giani Gurbachan Singh,has NOT made the comment your have stated in your article.

He has NOT asked women to wear traditional attire to avoid sexual violence.

His official statment about this crime is that:

"He has directed the education directorate of the SGPC to make arrangements for training the girls in martial arts in the SGPC-run colleges. Besides giving confidence, the combat sport would generate fighting spirit among the girls. He has advocated self defence for girls."

Stop spreading bullshit Gurpreet.
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NK
Why is there even an article about what this political turncoat King Ujjhi(who left the NDP when it was convenient) has to say and he is advocating brutality too outside the law advocating Taliban style punishments, not a democrat for sure. He is a loud mouth opportunist who never lets a headline grabbing story go by without prompting his friends to write something about his "remarks".
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