Archive for March 8th, 2010

March 8, 2010

Miéville in India links

As most of the people who read this blog already know, China Miéville was in India last week (I think he’s here for most of this as well) as part of the British Council’s LitSutra programme. I’ve been enjoying the Litsutra blog over the last couple of days – it turns out that the people organizing this thing are also pretty good writers. Krish Raghav has a piece up on the Mint books blog about the Delhi event with Samit Basu. There was also an event at JNU the next day – unfortunately the people at JNU seemed to think they’d be getting a reading from Kraken and an interactive session, while the author had been told he was supposed to be giving them an academic paper. It all resolved itself quite happily; the reading was excellent (though some of us had heard it the night before) and the discussion of SF that followed was reasonably academic – I may refer back to it soon when I read Adam Roberts’ Yellow Blue Tibia.

For me, though, the highlights of the whole thing were discovering that Miéville had read this blog (he recognised said nice things, I stood and looked horrified and wondered if I’d ever written anything here that I’d be embarrassed to say to his face) and, possibly more significantly, confirming for myself that he really was a Samuel Beckett person. For various reasons this was very important.

Incidentally, judging by the chapter I heard read out twice, Kraken is going to be brilliant.

March 8, 2010

In which the Chief Justice asks us not to judge

The Chief Justice of India, K.G Balakrishnan, has been quoted in a number of papers today warning people against being “overtly paternalistic” with regard to a rape victim’s personal autonomy…when it comes to her choosing to marry her rapist.

A couple of things:

One, he’s absolutely right about respecting the victim’s decisions. People do what they can to cope, and it’s not always the most progressive or universally useful action. One sees a lot of this when complete outsiders hint that someone is not doing her duty by reporting a rape, whatever it will cost her.

Two, and this is where I say but. But does Justice Balakrishnan live in a different world from me? (Answer: yes). Because while I’m sure there are plenty of people disapproving of and passing judgment upon rape victims who choose to marry their rapists, should such women exist, I’m aware of many, many more stories where it hasn’t been a choice. Rape victims in this country are still treated with a great deal of disapproval for bringing the rape up in the first place, and not choosing to take this easy way of ending the scandal quietly is likely to bring upon them even more pressure. The choice between marrying one’s rapist and being cut off from all of ones support systems is meaningless, and I see no reason to “respect” such a choice or the people who forced it.

Three, would the number of victims marrying rapists be lessened if said rapists were found guilty by the courts and put in jail? I suspect it would.

(Oh and here is some further weirdness from the Supreme Court. Via Nanopolitan)