Thursday, January 31, 2013

So, what's the story?

In his introduction to The Oxford India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets(1997), Arvind Krishna Mehrotra wrote: “To edit an anthology is an opportunity to revise the literary map, bring neglected works back in circulation, and shift the emphasis from certain poets to others.”

Over the last decade or so, there have been half a dozen anthologies focusing on modern Indian poetry, mostly in English. The Harper Collins Book of English Poetry has sought to redraw the map, and perhaps, broaden the sweep of the net. Editor Sudeep Sen writes in his foreword: “There are not enough discerning anthologies of contemporary Indian poetry published in India and even less abroad — and the few that exist have tended to be rather narrow, inward-looking, and unsatisfactory.”

Has the book succeeded in broadening the pantheon? Has it revised the literary map? Well, there are definitely a couple of new voices, such as Aditi Machado. However, one of the joys of anthologies is discovering the editor’s tastes and his engagement with the themes explored by the writers. Of what do our young poets sing? And how different are their voices from the voices we heard before?

In his introductory essay, Mehrotra dismissed Sarojini Naidu’s work outright, but also winced at how he’d compared anthologies to graveyards. He acknowledged the ongoing tussle between “the language we licked off our mothers’ teats” and English. Subsequently, in an introduction to The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets , editor Jeet Thayil contended that English is no longer the ‘outside’ language. It is all around. Sen takes the argument no further. He simply sidesteps the issue by saying that including translated poems would make the book too voluminous.

The Bloodaxe anthology had 73 poets, many of whom lived outside India. The book was not such a long way off from Fulcrum’s Give the Sea Change, and It Shall Change: Fifty Six Indian Poets , also edited by Thayil, and Penguin India’s 60 Indian Poets . Many of them, if they were born after 1950, find room in the Harper Collins book. All these anthologies were published just a couple of years apart. Therefore the question begs to be asked: What changed? How different is the Harper Collins book from its cousins?

There is also the question of cohesion. Sen has arranged the 85 poets alphabetically. He chooses not to dwell on how old each poet is and when they began writing, so we get no sense of how Indian poetry has changed over the last few decades. Newness here seems a facet of age rather than sensibility. The poets are united by an Indian ancestry and the fact that they’re born after 1950. This means that contemporary poets like Adil Jussawala are not part of the ‘new’, even though his new book of poems was published recently.

Besides, there are thousands of young Indians who write poetry in English today, and hundreds who write quite well. If you add the Diaspora, the number is staggering.

Sen believes the poems speak for themselves. And there is no doubt that each poet adds a new note to the program. On the question of language itself, in Tamil, Sharmila Voorakkara writes: “ I hacked down a jungle/of a tongue from myself ”. Priscilla Uppal’s ‘Identity Crisis’ is so unexpected in its avoidance of cliché that she forces the reader to think about the cliché of identity itself. Priya Sarukkai Chabria conducts flagrant experiments like footnoting poetry.

But for an anthology to bear his imprimatur, the editor must speak for the poems too. Does Amitava Kumar’s prose-leaning ‘Forty Takes’ converse with the crystal form of Anand Thakore’s ‘Ghazal’? Do the Caribbean-influences in David Dabydeen’s ‘Slave Song’ correspond with Daljit Nagra’s ‘Phallacy’? Is the politics of Rabindra K. Swain, Amitava Kumar and Monica Mody the same colour as Rukmini Bhaya Nair’s ‘The Terrible Calamity’?

To be included in this sort of anthology is to be seen as part of a generational narrative. So the question remains: what’s the story?

Published in The Hindu Literary Review

"Burn, baby, burn" she says

"The narrative is strong and sublime in just the parts they should be, not letting the weight of the words take down the scenes you build. And, even though some pain from the prose and that striking cover picture lingers on after a read, you love it, for it’s as bitter yet true as love gets."

From HT City 

"With this collection, Zaidi presents a refreshing syntax. Poignant and poetic, each story makes one explore the magical depths, colours and the very soul of this emotion like a deep sea diver"

From The Tribune

Monday, January 28, 2013

For the love of the land

The other day, I went to a movie. As usual, we stood up for the national anthem. For some reason – perhaps because there was no video accompanying the singing – I found myself concentrating on the words of Jana Gana Mana.

An anthem is supposed to express the love a citizen feels for the nation. Our anthem is a hymn. It addresses a higher force – whatever force controls the destinies of nations – and seeks blessings for a victory. It also describes what ‘Bharat’ implies. It hints at languages, at diversity. It speaks of mountains and rivers. When we sing this hymn, we are really praying to protect all this, and the people who live on this land.

Later, I spot a girl, a teenager at the traffic signal. It’s a bit nippy in the evenings, and I start to wonder if she has warm clothes, where she lives, and what her daily sales targets look like. In her wake, a little boy appears. Shorts and a torn shirt, barefoot in the winter, waving an Indian flag.

There’s no getting away from the sight this week – tiny, cheap, China-manufactured flags in the hands of little children at traffic signals. Perhaps they were made in India after all. But how much would the worker get paid for making a cheap plastic flag?

And the kids – even if we ignore the child labour aspect, how do we ignore the fact that they are possibly homeless and almost certainly don’t have health insurance. If they are sick, they will go to hospitals where it will be impossible to get a bed. And if they cannot find the money to eat, how will they buy medicines?

For too many of us (readers of English newspapers), patriotism remains confined to the national anthem; flags; cricket matches; taking offense if somebody says India is a dark, desperate place.

But that’s just what it is for the majority. There’s a 2012 report by the Working Group on Human Rights in India and the UN. It reminds us that 77% of us live on less than Rs 20 a day. Although the average growth rate was 8.2%, the decline in poverty levels was only 0.8%. Which means that more and more people find themselves pushed to the margins.

At least 92% of our workforce is unorganized. Which means that they cannot effectively demand a share of India’s growth in the form of better working conditions or social security. Most workers lose jobs easily, are hired only occasionally, and have no pension or provident fund or health insurance.

Besides, where we have grown, the growth has been costly. The Indians who paid the price were the most vulnerable. The report estimates the number of people displaced since 1947 by ‘development’ projects at 60-65 million. 40% of them were tribals and another 40% dalits and the rural poor.

Not that our cities are glowing with health. 60% of Mumbai and 50% of Delhi still lives in slums or “informal settlements”. India’s urban slum population is over 158 million, most of whom don’t have access to safe water or sanitation.

And slums will continue to grow, because the farming sector is facing such a crisis. Official figures for farmer suicides are available for 2010 – that was 15,964 in the year, or one every 43 minutes.

This, then, is our republic – ranked 134 out of a list of 187 on the UN human development index. And while I’m glad that we’re a sovereign nation, we’d better start thinking real hard about how to make political democracy translate into human democracy. Buying flags at traffic signals won’t cut it.

First published here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Bill on the Table

Can you think of one thing that is common to all festivals? This element cuts across race, religion, class. This element is at the root of all civilization. This element is food.

Human beings have always appeased their gods with food and water. It is our way of saying that we acknowledge what is dearest, and we hope to always have this. If there was only one thing we could guarantee for ourselves, it would be food (and water and air). But, although we live in a democracy where the will of the masses – the undernourished masses – is supposed to prevail, we have not been able to guarantee this one small, sacred thing. Food.

I wish they’d just put it in the Constitution – that every citizen has a right to food. After all, fundamental rights such as equality, free speech, or the right to practice your religion – all of it hinges upon the right to life. A citizen who doesn’t have the means to produce food for herself/himself and the kids – a citizen who has not inherited enough land, whose access to water has been cut off – how do we guarantee life to such citizens?

For starters, a decent Food Security Act might help. Yet India has been dawdling on the National Food Security Bill. Although it aims to cover over 67% of our 1.2 billion population, the bill itself is far from ideal. Activists have argued against too much emphasis on APL-BPL. There will be questions like: Is s/he above or below the poverty line? What is the poverty line?

The Bill was cleared by the Union Cabinet in 2011 but Parliament has always been distracted by other debates. Finally, the Parliamentary Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution has reportedly adopted the Food Security Bill, so this draft can be tabled in Parliament.

But the BJP in Chhattisgarh has beaten the UPA on this front. Last year, the state pushed through the Chhattisgarh Food Security Act (CFSA), whereby nearly 90% of the population will be entitled to basic foods through the Public Distribution System. It also allows free meals for children and pregnant women, and even rations to taken home, through anganwadi centres and schools. Also, keeping protein needs in mind, Chhattisgarh has followed the example of states like Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, and included subsidized pulses in the ‘grain’ package, as well as iodized salt.

‘Priority’ households include not just landless labourers but also those who work in urban areas in the informal sector, and construction workers. What’s more, to avail of these benefits, on the ration card, the eldest adult woman in the family will be considered as the head of the household.

Computerizing the PDS is one way of trying to plug leaks, and the state is also working towards bringing these records into the public domain. It hasn’t happened overnight though. Chhattisgarh has been working at this since 2004, and reportedly, these moves are showing results. Reports say that there is a dramatic decrease in the amount of ‘diverted’ subsidized grain.

The big question, of course, will be whether we can ‘afford’ this ‘burden’. But as anyone who feeds a family knows – we just have to! We’re not talking about new toys or a fresh coat of paint. We’re talking about food. Even if every single resource has to be diverted from every alternate use, we must do it.

Unless we can commit to making land available to all citizens so we can grow our own food, and enough water for irrigation. Until that happens, we owe ourselves this much – the right to food.

Published here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Some reviews of the new book

"Tantalisingly subtitled and numbered 1 to 14, yet arranged haphazardly—like random numbers in a slot machine—these stories tell of the chanciness of love, the odds you may or may not bet on.... The tonic to your seasonal cheer" - Outlook.

"Zaidi doesn’t distort or overly complicate her subjects, merely studies their symptoms and the effect of their desires on their actions. Neither indulgent nor critical, Zaidi offers, if not liberation, at least the comfort of sharing a fraught human emotion." - Time Out.

"So warm and attentive is the writing in Annie Zaidi's new short-story collection that it comes as a little shock when you think about what some of her characters are really going through. This book's tone is consistently hushed, reflective, shorn of hysteria — even in a description of two people arguing, with a lifetime of companionship on the line — but beneath its still surfaces there is much emotional turbulence." - Jai Arjun Singh in the Sunday Guardian.

"Zaidi rolls up her sleeves and digs in to the emotional core of her protagonists, with nary a nod to their externalities... There’s no excavation that the reader needs to perform to get to the emotional core of the characters, they’re stripped of flesh and laid bare for all to see. But in this book it works wonderfully, because Zaidi tells us such wonderful things... She has an eye for detail that would make a falcon blush... once she has you by those heartstrings, she rarely lets go." - Mid-Day

"None of the love stories in this collection by Annie Zaidi are comforting, happy-ever-afters – which is a good thing. Nothing’s tied in a bow and presented to the reader, nothing could present a danger to your teeth or sugar levels. Cloying, bland or limp, these are not." - Reader review 2 on Good Reads.

"Annie’s stories are not teen romances that are aspirational and otherworldly, but they open up small little worlds that are hidden to us and makes us wonder about the stories of people who we meet in our everyday life. Her stories are filled with real people." - Reader review 1 on Good Reads. 

"In the 14 stories, Zaidi explores every aspect of this ‘not so brief’ madness through situations that could belong to any part of the country. All the stories are characterized by a deep sense of compassion, though their titles – hashtags, aka and all – offset the compassion with a modern quirkiness." - Women's Web

"It’s about love and its manifestation in its platonic, obsessive, unrequited, unattainable, complicated, and unpredictable forms... Zaidi manages to weave every nuance of this overwhelming emotion into stories that one can relate to. What sets the book apart is that through the fourteen stories, Zaidi covers the entire social spectrum and the complexities that accompany love in a conventional society." - Blog Review 1

http://mynascence.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/annie-zaidi-and-complicated-love/


Monday, January 14, 2013

A suspect piece of paper

Last week, I mentioned that a group of us had gone to Carter Road with a pledge to help create safer cities. Some men held up pledges saying they’d speak up against sexual harassment. Someone promised not to give sexist toys to kids. Someone else promised to use public transport.

One of the major reactions we got was from the police. A cop came up to ask what this was about. Since we were standing right next to a tiny chowky, it was natural for the cops to be curious. One of the girls explained, and invited a cop to join in. He declined politely, citing duties. So far, so good.

Carter Road faces a promenade lacing Bandra, a suburb in Mumbai. Families come to enjoy the sea. Joggers jog. Walkers walk. Friends of all ages sit on benches and gossip. It’s an ideal spot to address issues of public safety, without disrupting any of these activities.

Yet, minutes later, another police official arrived. He demanded to know what this was about, who we were, why we were here etc. I explained. But this cop was not satisfied. He said, “You’re supposed to take police permission.” I said, “But this is not a rally, nor a protest. It is just a bunch of friends standing with pieces of paper, taking a personal pledge.”

He wanted to know which NGO I represented. I said none; I’m just a citizen. He didn’t believe me. He kept saying that he needs to know who is ‘responsible’. I asked, “Responsible for what? Standing near the sea, holding a piece of paper?”

But apparently, establishing ‘responsibility’ was important, in case something happens. I asked what he thought might happen as a result of a few people pledging to take public transport. He had no answer. He did have a dozen questions – who I am, my full name, phone number, address. He took photos on his mobile phone. He even told me not to worry; the police wouldn’t bother me. Which would’ve been funny if it wasn’t so sad – that a citizen should have cause to worry while giving her address to the police?

I spent forty minutes arguing, persuading, pleading. He argued too, saying Mumbai doesn’t have the kind of problems other places do (aka Delhi). He began to blame youngsters for going down to the rocks, away from the promenade. Since we were talking about safety, I thought he was worried about youngsters drowning, until I realized that he was actually suggesting that their snatched moments of intimacy were a ‘safety’ problem. Then he asked us to clear off in a few minutes.

And all along, I kept wondering what kind of society we are that the cops can waste a whole hour asking people to leave a space that was created for the specific purpose of allowing us to communicate and mingle. They waste hours chasing away hapless couples, but don’t have the time or manpower to answer distress calls.

Recently, there was a report of a woman being assaulted on a beach. When she approached the nearest cops for help, they told her they had no personnel to spare, and asked her to go to the local police station. Naturally, no arrest was made.

At the heart of the security problem is this – the police force seems to be spending far too much time being suspicious of people who are not causing harm, just expressing opinions – or affection – and not enough time responding to citizens who are being subjected to violence. If the cops would only pledge to fix this one thing, we’d feel safer.

First published here

Sunday, January 13, 2013

On how to begin


Begin at the very source of your need. Begin the way waterfalls begin – with a rush and headlong tumble towards the unknown depths. Crash into rocks.
Begin with the image of hurt. Most of us need to share pain, above all things. Our joys we sequester, most of us. We need them too much, and we are afraid of jealous eyes. Of jealous gods. Until we lose them. Then those joys become pain. And we are finally ready to share them with the world.
Begin with the sound of grief. Is it an absolutely still house at midnight, with the very faint sound of traffic filtering up from the bedroom window as you lie in bed, alone?
Begin with the shape of grief, its texture. Is it round, or mottled like a sulky, unattractive child? Does it look like stained gauze bandages? Does it feel like cracked heels in too-new sandals that were worn only once to a wedding where you felt you must look your very best even though you were related neither to the groom nor the bride?

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Dear Yo Yo Honey

Words are one of the first things we ache for. A baby learns to say ‘Ma’ or ‘Pa’ or ‘Daadi’ because those are the words of first love. Then comes ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘Biscuit’... 

Words are the tools through which we assimilate, and learn to negotiate society. This process never ends. Every year I change a little bit because of what I absorb, mostly through words. What I read, watch, experience, dream, overhear.

Society is a mish-mash of image, word and experience. This is what culture is. Artists are not loved for nothing. They grasp our shared truth. They help us derive meaning from the chaos of life.

... Art is not witnessed or dismissed overnight. Just like violent ideas are not assimilated and put into practice overnight.
Extracted from a longer letter addressed to rap musician Honey Singh, after I signed a petition calling for his show (scheduled at a hotel in Gurgaon) to be cancelled. 

Monday, January 07, 2013

Are you on the side of the rapists?

This afternoon, finally, I want to cry. Not because of the gangrape-murder that caused such outrage. Not because such rape-murders are reported everyday. Not because I’m frightened about how I will live, with such violence all around. Today, I’m feeling defeated.

Some of us have been thinking about how to direct public outrage into constructive channels. Somebody organized ‘Take Back the Night’. I know of groups that held condolence meets where people talked about rape, harassment and the fear infecting women’s lives. Even this was new. Before, nobody wanted to talk about sexual violence. As if, it would go away if we ignored it.

What we need is a good hard look into the mirror. What is it about our culture, our morals, our public spaces, our infrastructure or lifestyles that enables rape? The rape not only of young, urban women but of babies? Why do we dismiss sexual harassment or even assault as ‘eve-teasing’?

I used to do my bit by campaigning against street sexual harassment or ‘molestation’ through a public participatory art project called Blank Noise. Mostly, it’s young people who get involved. But this time, we hoped all kinds of people would join us in looking inward, questioning our contribution to this climate of fear, taking responsibility for change.

Those of us who want to live in safe cities must think of how to help create them. So we decided to take pledges. A call was sent out – show up with a pledge. People gathered in a public space in many cities, and each one took responsibility for creating safer cities, one small step at a time. We tried asking other citizens if they’d do the same.

I stood on Carter Road with a piece of cardboard in my hand. An elderly woman walked past. She asked what this was about. I told her. She asked me not to mind, then proceeded to say that it was our own fault – “Aaj kal ki ladkiyaan”. The women of today. Our clothes. Our behavior.

The girl who died had been a medical professional. I wanted to remind this elderly woman that if she visited a hospital for back pain, the girl helping her heal would have been an ‘aaj kal ki ladki’. But before I could, the woman began to say things like: “If your fist is closed, nothing is lost. If you open your fist, you cannot hold on to anything.”

I reached out for her hand. I said, this isn’t about our generation – that things were bad for my mother’s generation too; that I was covered head to foot when I was stalked, groped, threatened; that village women get raped in sarees and in broad daylight.

But this elderly woman was parroting the same thing: “You girls, not you personally, but… How do you expect men to react?”

I said, I expect men to react with respect. She stared at me for a moment and started laughing. She asked: “Can anyone control men?” I felt the bile rise. I snapped: if they cannot be controlled, they need to be locked up.

She laughed again. She apologized again. Again, she said that it was mainly our fault.

I’ve been talking to other friends. Almost all of us have had recent conversations with fellow Indians who believe that women are to blame for being assaulted and murdered. Despite this girl whose “sacrifice” has supposedly awakened us!

So, all I want to do today is cry. And I want to tell those who blame women for this rampant sexual violence – YOU are our biggest problem. YOU aid and abet rapists.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Interviewed


"Has your approach to writing changed, since you became a published writer?"

I've become more aware of the need to edit myself. I've also realised that getting published is just stage 2. There is stage 3 (distribution), 4 (visibility), 5 (staying in print), 6 (staying relevant), 7 (finding and keeping other jobs that will subsidize the books), and there's stage 8, 9, and 10 maybe, where I have not yet reached. So I have learnt to treasure the writing itself, and am trying to protect that part of my mind which creates from the rest of the world.

Friday, January 04, 2013

In a rape culture


Once, a man in a car followed me in Saket. He asked for directions to PVR, then asked me to come with him, and ended with calling me a bitch. I remember wondering what ‘provoked’ him. I was wearing an off-white saree. When I wore it in Benaras, people mistook me for a grieving widow.

I drove away that man by noting down the car’s registration number. But what if I didn’t speak English, or looked poorer than I am? What if there were three men in that car?

You might say, don’t think about it. But we must. What is it about groups of men that makes them a grave threat? It must be a shared value system that helps them draw courage from each other, instead of working as a check on sexual violence. It must be that deep down, they condone sexual violence.

If rape is all around, in every state and every caste, then our collective culture is rape. It’s a horrible thought. But what else do I think?

The New Year approaches and I think of mobs gathered outside nightclubs. I think of women trying to enjoy life, instead of just existing to reproduce sons. But in our culture, we think the problem is the nightclub, rather than the men outside.

In a village, there was a curfew recently. Some boys tried to rape a schoolgirl. The tragedy was averted. But the curfew was on account of the fact that the girl and the boys were from different communities. The local administration worried that the incident would lead to a clash. People would die. Women and children would be raped. Because rape is how our culture expresses anger.

I think of the girl’s classmates. Have their parents talked to them about the difference between wooing a girl and inflicting violence upon her? I doubt it. It’s not part of our culture, is it?

I sit with a friend one night on a promenade in Mumbai. I think of the girl raped by a cop after she was walking with a friend on the promenade.

I take the train to visit my mother who’s feeling ill. A cop sitting opposite has dozed off. I’m suddenly sorry for him. We now have cops in the Ladies compartment at night. But if five aggressive men boarded the compartment now, the cop would be as helpless as me. I think of the woman raped in a moving train, several men looking on from the next compartment. Too shocked or too polite to interrupt an ongoing rape.

I think of the school where I went to kindergarten, in Lucknow. The girls in senior classes now wear salwars, I hear. There are rumours that the uniform was changed after a boy tried to put his hand up a girl’s skirt. Instead of boys being taught that it isn’t appropriate to touch girls without permission, the girls were asked to cover up. As if their legs were at fault.

Rape happens because schools and colleges ask girls to cover up. And because teachers are too embarrassed to talk about sexual justice. And because, when your sons rape, you look for ways to lessen guilt by blaming their victims.

Because you tell your daughters to ‘be careful’ instead of your sons. And because you wouldn’t fix your son up to marry a raped woman. And because you expect daughters and sisters to stay in marriages even if rape is part of the deal.

Rape happens because soldiers raped and the kings who led them in battle were silent. Because mobs rape and politicians are silent. Because cops rape and other cops are silent. Because, when men from your caste rape, you don’t testify against them in court.

Rape happens because we believe that some women have it coming. Like sex workers. Or militants. Rape is all around because if we let it happen to one person, we cannot prevent it happening to all. 

This first appeared in The Hindu.

An open letter to the UPA ladies


Dear Ladies of the Ruling Coalition,

What was that about? The water-cannons and unnecessary beating up of citizens in Delhi… You were all acting like frightened rabbits cowering in a hutch. Maybe you too were thinking – what is this about?
Clearly, this gang-rape had no politician involved, nor cops. And once the rapists’ brutality had jolted them into action, the police did arrest the accused. You can say the police did its job. Then why the howls of protest? Here, let me offer some answers.
  1. People are feeling helpless. Each time that happens – in any context – they will turn to the state for solutions. Your voters demand that rape be prevented. I know you’re thinking: “How?” How, when you know that the rapists are also citizens, perhaps from the same demographic thronging Raisina Hill? It is not like the protestors know the answer. It’s your job to offer answers, fast. If you’re not up for the job, quit.
  2. This is not about one gangrape. It is a lifetime of outrage. It is the fear and rage one feels after being assaulted, or when one sees a loved one suffer, and the criminal is free. Perhaps one cannot find the criminal, or even recognize him. Perhaps the police didn’t take the investigation seriously. Mainly, we are angry because we know something like this might happen again. This is the rage of assaults past, present and future.
  3. There are daily reports of gangrape from every state. Today I read about three cases in one paper. One report was about a girl who drank poison because she was being stalked and harassed by her rapists. The police had released them. When we read of such cases, we lose faith in the police and the judiciary. You can prevent injustice being heaped upon injustice by ensuring that the rape-accused do not get bail so easily.
  4. The police force – both, male and female cops – is notoriously insensitive. The force urgently needs a training module on how to deal with sexual crimes, starting from beat constables and going up to Inspector Generals.
  5. You urgently need a witness protection and rape survivor protection program. Make it happen.
  6. Talk to women – including girl students – about their fears and desires. It has been a long time since you lived like ordinary citizens and so, you come off as indifferent or clueless. If you had a clue, you’d know that time of night, location, dress or profession has nothing to do with sexual assault. Except, perhaps, in identifying the poorest women to potential rapists. Leave your laal-batti gaadi at home. See for yourself how we experience public spaces.
  7. You need to stop looking for ways to blame a victim. You need to stop restricting women’s as a way of controlling crime. If anyone terms the assault a ‘political conspiracy’, you need to smack them down (non-violently). You need to tell your colleagues to shut up, publicly.
  8. People are angry about everything else. Corruption and filth and traffic jams (even if they themselves are responsible). But fix street lights. And take away all power from the corrupt. Rapists often go unpunished because they bribe the police.
  9. As part of social education in schools and colleges, let young boys be taught about correct, respectful, humane ways of approaching girls. Teach them to dance. Teach them to express their feelings.
  10. Punish all kinds of rapists. Punish armymen. Punish cops. Punish the rapists of 1984. Punish the rapists of 1992. And 2002.
Show us that you’re in charge. Talk to urban planners. Talk to psychologists. Talk to women’s groups. Fix this.
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