Monday, December 24, 2012

Indian protesters defy law as Manmohan Singh calls for "calm"

Manmohan Singh, India's Prime Minister is calling for calm as protesters defy bans and battle with police for a second day in response to the rape of a young woman by a number of men on a bus, including the driver. She is alive but on life support.So far six have been arrested including the driver.

The daily harassment and sexual violence against women is an epidemic in India often suppressed  until breaking out in New Delhi with these protests against such brutality.  The injuries to this woman are horrific.  The demonstrators are calling for more protection of women on the streets and tougher laws.  Most rapes are never reported due to the shame the victim feels, the culture around rape in Indian society and the failure of the authorities to deal with it properly.   There are 900 rape cases in in Delhi alone that are "waiting to be heard" the Wall Street Journal reports.

Calls for "calm" from government spokespersons whether from the mouths of Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, Putin or others are standard faire when the anger that people feel due to the violence and injustices of capitalist society turns in to mass action against the state. One politician in India not unlike his western counterparts claimed that 90% of rape allegations "involved consensual sex". We hear that all the time.  It's no wonder Marx was so reviled for attacking the so-called "sanctity" of marriage.  "To the moralist, prostitution does not consist so much of the fact that the woman sells her body but rather that she sells it out of wedlock.", wrote Emma Goldman.

Now the government attacks the protestors and wants to "enable dialogue." It wants "dialogue" on its own terms which means maintaining the status quo if they can.  The violence in India against the poor takes place daily amid incredible wealth.

These developments terrify the ruling classes of global capitalism.  The power of the masses terrifies them, they have to contain it at all times, stifle it, violently attack it in the name of calm and dialogue. 

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