Lounge Review | Satyamev Jayate Episode 1: The rape roadmap

Redemption really came in the final segment of the show when Aamir Khan interviewed two remarkable rape survivors.

In the two hours that it took to telecast the first episode of Star Plus’ second season of Satyamev Jayate, over five women and girls would have reported rape somewhere in India. In a country where a woman is raped every 22 minutes, over five women would have lived out what Aamir Khan outlined as the ordeal of a rape survivor. Somewhere a girl or woman would have been telling police the details of how she had been raped and by whom; she would be preparing to submit to the humiliation of a medical examination as described in the show though, of course, there would have been no way of her knowing just then that her fight for justice would take her through a long legal battle that could take decades. Continue reading “Lounge Review | Satyamev Jayate Episode 1: The rape roadmap”

A new courage, a new defiance: changing the status quo

Sexual harassment is an abuse of power, a betrayal of trust and one of India’s worst-kept secrets. But one thing has changed, and it is the refusal of an increasing number of women to remain silent.

You could say it’s just another week in the life of working women in India. A retired Supreme Court judge is probed for sexual harassment. A high profile editor faces charges of sexual assault. And revelations emerge of a massive surveillance effort on a working woman in Gujarat, allegedly by then home minister Amit Shah at the behest of an unnamed “saheb”.

Each instance involves powerful men in roles that demand public accountability. Two cases bring home the terrifying brutality of that violence, and the inordinate courage it takes to stand up against it.

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An inconvenient truth

In India we are leap years away from giving women a just work environment.

The unlamentable fall of Phaneesh Murthy should have been a clear signal of zero tolerance by managements towards sexual harassment. The collective tut-tutting by the IT industry — ‘message to all leaders in business’, ‘right decision’ etc — should have come with the acknowledgement that sexual harassment in the workplace does exist. In fact, neither has happened.

Murthy hasn’t been sacked for sexual harassment, as some headlines seem to suggest. He’s been shown the door for failing to report a relationship with a subordinate, a decision taken after she threatened legal action against the company (iGate) and Murthy. A potential multi-million lawsuit can be a rather powerful motivation to act.

Continue reading “An inconvenient truth”