Showing posts with label #lastingrose. Show all posts

The day a U S couple got arrested for Kissing!


Few Americans know that there still is a Connecticut law in force in Hartford, which states It is illegal for a man to kiss his wife on Sunday. At least one American couple couldn't believe itself when the pair were hurled in to a police vehicle  for kissing in public on a Sunday!

This bewildered couple was not in Hartford but was visiting Kerala, an Indian State which takes great pride in calling itself  God’s Own Country, where laws written by Gods are still Gospel truth.

In fact the local police chief, who happened to be a lady, was simply enforcing an Indian law which makes it illegal for anyone to kiss in public on any day, when the couple, unaware of the local law, kissed before a camera at the request of a journalist who was covering an unusual event.

Anti Kiss of Life protesters being chased by police.
The event which was christened as Protest By Kissing was organised by a Facebook group called Kiss of Love, exemplifies the Indian struggle to catch up with  modernity. This unusual protest by breaking an age old law was a public reaction to the high handed puritanical moral policing of the BJP of Prime Minister Modi, whose members had ransacked a local hotel for allowing its customers to kiss and romance.

The unusual media coverage the event received in India and the way the whole episode sort of fissile out show the double standard on morality most Indians can’t shed despite the progress the country has achieved.

Though initiated by a group of people with progressive views on liberty and freedom of speech and expression active on social media, the movement soon gained political overtones inevitable in one of the politically conscious states of India.

The  puritanical moral policing was an act of the BJP, backed by India’s Hindu religious fundamentalists, who aim to grab the power from the Congress party who currently govern Kerala.
On the other hand, Kerala’s communists who are constantly fighting off the BJP has seen a political opportunity.

The result was that the Kiss of love event which was organised to be held peacefully was opposed and disturbed by various organisations under all of these political set ups, forcing the police to remove the handful of the participants even though the government did not intent to enforce the law.

The disruption by the political parties were organised with an eye on the coming election so as to position themselves on the right side of the kissing divide. But it clearly demonstrates the hypocrisy of a society which wants to align itself with the  free and liberal outside world.

Though this was an isolated incident which occurred in Kerala, a state  politically and socially ahead of rest of the country, the approach of the BJP which has succeeded in grabbing power at the national level by unifying and concentrating the votes of the Hindus who form the majority, in holding on to the archaic social set up of India is what worries the progressive minded in India.
New York Times cartoon on the success of Indian Mars Mission.

Incidentally this was reflected in a cartoon by the New York times on the occasion of the success of India’s Mars mission, which lead to widespread protests and  eventual apology from the paper.
Kiss of Love Facebook Group.


Meanwhile, the Kiss of Love brigade of Kerala has actually claimed success of their movement and promised to regroup and continue their efforts to change the social attitude of their countrymen  regarding freedom to love and expression of love. 

Memories of an autumn day assassination

No summer's high, no warm July, no harvest moon to light one tender August night. No autumn breeze, no falling leaves, not even time for birds to fly to southern skies. 

So wrote Stevie Wonder about an ordinary day he sang three ordinary words which meant almost everything to a generation. It was on such an ordinary autumn day that a woman who touched the hearts of a whole generation for her courage was felled by assassins.

It is exactly thirty years since that day dawned in the life of many people as an ordinary day and set like an extra ordinary day they could never forget.

For me, it was a train journey which started as boring as any in an Indian train but grew very frightening towards the end and ended with a very unusual and uncomfortable experience of having to be pulled home by another human being. That is what  stand out as the background of the events of that tragic day for me.

It was because, the train which departed early morning on that day had all but one stop and there was nothing called a mobile phone.  The news of an assassination at last trickled down towards the afternoon when the train pulled up at an unusual stop, waiting for clearance to proceed to the destination as massive disturbances started to occur all over India.

Not knowing what happened or if it was only a rumour, the immediate concern was getting home safe and the shock and the sinking feeling had to wait till watching the news being flashed on the TV screen of a neighbour.

Events that caused immense shock to the whole world has occurred before and after like the assassination of President Kennedy and the 9/11. Days everyone remembers what they were up to when they heard the news. The cold blooded murder of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi however was unique and different.

Though President Kennedy was assassinated at the height of his popularity as bold leader of the cold war era, the world was only on the verge of media revolution and less connected for the news to dissipate. Time lapse perhaps diffused the shock though the angst and agony of the aftershock  of an entirely unexpected and bold assassination and the immediate events which followed undoubtedly shook the conscience of the free world. No doubt the assassination of the young president Kennedy  has left a indelible mark on everyone’s memory.

In contrast, Mrs Gandhi’s murder did not come as a surprise, at least to those who were aware of the Indian politics. But when it came, it came down like a ton of hot metal on India’s conscience and a world at large which couldn’t believe such a tragedy could strike India and the Gandhi name twice.

It didn’t go down to the bottom of every heart with the force of the bullets which ripped her body but as a deep strike of knife which pierced the deepest affection and admiration for a leader who willingly sacrificed herself for what was right for the integrity and unity of the nation.

Unlike President Kennedy Indira Gandhi was not at the height of her political career. Mrs Gandhi could have run away from it all.  She was warned. She knew it was coming.  She could have the protection she wanted to avoid it.

Yet she was a leader who somehow knew that it will not be her political legacy and achievement but her courage and valour as a woman which will be the most precious gift she could leave for the nation and the world, which will make them to hold her close to their heart.

The nation heard with apprehension and discomfort when she spoke on the eve of her death about her premonition but couldn’t fathom her courage of conviction about what she will be dying for till that actually happened.

Nobody knows how many attempts have been made to shoot me; lathis have been used to beat me. They have attacked me in every possible manner. I do not care whether I live or die. I have lived a long life and I am proud that I spent the whole of my life in the service of my people. I am only proud of this and nothing else. I shall continue to serve until my last breath and when I die, I can say, that every drop of my blood will invigorate India and strengthen it.

Indira Gandhi will be remembered not as woman who wanted to build a dynasty and leave it behind but as someone who spoke out those words loud and clear for the world to hear, fully aware of the approaching death before her.


Naturally, you need to have a feel of what women are made of to appreciate the greatness of Indira Gandhi.

Delhi Was In Flames, Not Long Ago!! Have Forgotton, Why ?

An Angel Was Brutally Raped


"Victims of sexual violence anywhere, in any part of the world require our compassion, care and a space for healing My fear is whether all this outrage will pass of…not just for the media but for all us when the next story comes in... I am suitably amused by the number of comments on the facebook, tweets etc on how everybody is feeling guilty and ashamed. The time is not for guilt and shame…the time is for action. Can we all join hands to form the largest movement of real men that will engage with men to sensitize…transform…reform…treat…so that they do not turn as perpetrators of crime. It could be as an eve teaser…molester…abuser…rapist. Can we engage with men so that do not become ‘buyers of sex’…because as buyers they rape… for the girl who is being bought for sex has absolutely no bargaining power on the needs of the man who is buying her. Is this such a tough proposition… we do not need to go searching for men…they are all around us…our fathers, brothers, boyfriends, husbands, uncles…We can start now within our own families" These are the words of Dr.Suntha Krisahnan, a living legend according to a Washington Daily, a brave girl who was gang raped and discarded.

Sunitha was brutally gang raped when she was 15 by 8 men. " I dont remember the rape part of it so much as much as the anger part of it. " This gang rape had stigmatized her for several years and had let her become isolated. She says in her speech sighting the plight of the victims "In [India] and across the globe, hundreds and thousands of children, as young as three, four, are sold into sexual slavery. But that’s not the only purpose that human beings are sold for. They are sold in the name of adoption. They are sold in the name of organ trade. They are sold in the name of forced labor, camel jockeying, anything, everything." And when they are resucued they are considered as victims and isolated from the society. “My biggest challenge is society. It’s you and me. My biggest challenge is your blocks to accept these victims as our own. It’s very fashionable to talk about human trafficking in this fantastic AC hall. It’s very nice for discussion, discourse, making films and everything. But it is not nice to bring them to our homes. It’s not nice to give them employment in our factories, our companies. It’s not nice for our children to study with their children. … That’s my biggest challenge.”

Sunitha was inspirational because even though she was a victim she did not let it get the best of her life and ruin everything that she has dreamed of. Today Sunitha talks to people about sex slavery and helps them build confidence for a better future and to take away the power of the pain that they are faced with. Sunitha Krishnan has recused over 3, 200 girls, as young as 3 years of age to 40 years of age. Many minors who were rescued after gang rape succumbed to death because of brutal sexual abuse. It is people like Sunitha that have a big heart to take a stand and help project others from what she has been through and to help build confidence to the ones who have been through it.

Dr. Suntha Krisahnan is the co-founder of ‘Prajwala’, an organization which rescues and provides shelter for sexually abused and trafficked women and children. Most of the rescued victims were forced into prostitution by their own relatives and hence go through sex slavery and are faced with the life time disease of either HIV, AIDS, gonorrhea, or other sorts of disease.

I was raped, but it didn't end my life,
 I'm a phoenix. listen to her speach:


To all the citizen of the world who are reading this, this is not a piece of wonderful literature, this is not a note to create social media attention, but this is a hand-out to all those who believe they can be instrumental in changing this barbaric social stigma, before it becomes the part of our deteriorating civilization. It’s easy to say “Bravo, Sunitha you a doing a good job” or “Hats off to you”, but the question is how many of you can be a Sunitha or rather how many of you can bring in a society like Prajwala. It’s time to act than to sit and applaud.

It’s my right to protect,
I’ll do it,
Adarsh Damodaran

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