Friday, October 07, 2005
Hello everyone.....Just wanted to let ya know that I have to moved from Blogger to Wordpress.However, I am facing a few problems concerning Wordpress. I managed to transfer all my archives to Wordpress BUT the comments from my previous months (except OCT) got skipped by Wordpress.So if anyone of you have some expertise in the above matter...pls pls....leave your message in the comment section and don't forget to insert your e-mail add and I shall mail ya...or you can directly mail me at blog_at_sakshijuneja.comIn the mean time, kindly configure your blogroll and change my blog add to this. And if you don't have my link on your blog...then it's high time that you do.*Pls don't leave any more comments here.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Learn it from the Chimp.....
A chimpanzee in a Chinese zoo has successfully kicked a 16-year smoking habit after becoming hooked when two spouses died and her daughter left. Ai Ai, a 27-year-old chimp at the Qinling Safari Park in northern China's Shaanxi province, ended her tobacco dependency when zoo keepers put her on a strict regime that included walking, music therapy and exercise sessions, Xinhua news agency said. It took a month of painstaking efforts to get Mama Chimp to give up the fags after 16 years. To dispel her loneliness, Ai Ai relied much more heavily on cigarettes. She was up to eight to 10 cigarettes a day before the zoo's management, concerned about her health, decided to help her quit in late August. "In the first few days, she squealed for cigarettes every now and then, but as her life became more colourful, she gradually forgot about them altogether," one zoo employee said. Apparently, China is the world's largest cigarette consumer, with education about the dangers of tobacco not widely known.
My love message for 'ET'.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
RAPE LAWS - Are women really protected ?
Yesterday was the trial hearing of the Marine Drive rape case involving police constable Sunil More. Then a police constable attached to the Marine Drive police station in South Mumbai, was arrested on charges of allegedly raping a College girl, a minor, on April 21 inside the police station. The first trail was not a successful day at court since the victim fainted during the proceeding and therefore the court was adjourned. The Supreme court has issued an statement, asking the police and Mumbai court to complete the investigation and give out the verdict by latest April2006.
The above is just one in thousands of Rape incidents occurring in India every damn year. Today women have to be alert always any where, may it be park, public transport, cinemahall, education institute or work place. Mahila Ashrams and orphanages are also not spared. Worst can be expected from people whom a woman trusts fully, especially in metropolitan cities, even the homes are not safe. Traditional socio cultural notion of ownership over women's body and sexuality by the male is another factor leading to women's sexual harassment.
In most of the rape cases the victim is branded as a woman of loose morals. Child and adolescents rape are on the rise, about 58% are below 16 years. In recent years girl children in the age group of 6 - 12 years have been more victimized. Then we cases of Custodial rape which is extremely heinous since the offenders are supposed to be guardians of the law. Witnesses refuse to testify against offenders or men in power, which makes it impossible for the victim to get justice. Overall a look at the status of women in India today is a cause for concern. Right from female foeticide, infanticide, child marriage, domestic violence, sexual violence, sexual harassment at the work place to the treatment meted out to elderly women makes any thinking person to wonder at the nature of the society.Though the law is said to grant justice to the innocent, the same is sadly not true in many cases involving crime against women. This stands true especially when it comes laws imposed by the Indian judiciary system involving sexual assault and rape cases. The laws governing rape are not very just and to top it they are in urgent need of a review. Till time it happens rape victims have little solace......
Justice prides herself on being blind to everything but the truth-yet as far as rape is concerned, the facts paint a different picture. Rape is a weapon that distorts a woman's sexuality, restricts her freedom of movement and violates her human rights. It leaves a woman feeling exposed, humiliated and traumatized. A rapist not only violates the victim's privacy and personal integrity, but also causes serious physical and psychological damage.However rape laws in India are extremely antiquated.Although the laws outline the crime in clear terms, the courts are filled with people who favour the accused and challenge the veracity of the victim's allegation.Laws governing 'rape'According to Section 375 of Indian Penal Code, a man is said to have committed `rape' when he has had sexual intercourse with a woman under these conditions:
1. Against her will2. With her consent when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in, in fear of death or hurt.3. With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.4. With her consent, when at the time of giving such a consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication on the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature of the consequences of that of which she gives consent.5. With or without her consent, when she is under 16 years of age.
Where rape is proved, the minimum punishment is ten years for custodial rape, gang rape, rape of pregnant women and minor girls under the age of 12 and seven years in other cases.
The debatable points on the above definition of 'rape' -
1. Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, where the wife is over 15 years of age, is not rape.
2. Sexual intercourse in a custodial situation is deemed an offence(policemen, public servants, managers of public hospitals and remand homes or wardens of jails), even if it is with the consent of the woman.
The victim is the accused in the eyes of lawAs a whole, the process of law is biased against the victim. If the victim is a minor, the onus is on the accused to prove his innocence. But if the victim is a major, it is up to her to prove her charge. Therefore, the defense finds it worthwhile to prove that the victim is a major.
Also, in rape cases, unless the woman is examined medically within 24 hours, it becomes difficult forensically to prove that rape has occurred.
The laws too are discriminatory in nature. According to Section 155 (4) of Indian Evidence Act, "When a man is prosecuted for rape or an attempt to ravish, it may be shown that the prosecutrix (victim) was of generally immoral character." Section 54 of Indian Evidence Act says, "In criminal proceedings (including rape) the fact that the accused person has a bad character is irrelevant, unless> evidence has been given (by him) that he has a good character, in which case it becomes relevant."
Here are synmposis of three cases, which highlight the need to immditetely review the laws pertaining to 'rape' and 'sexual assault'.
1. The Mathura Case -
On March 26, 1972, 16 year old Mathura was raped by two policemen in the compound of Desai Ganj police chowky in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. Her relatives, who had come to register a complaint, were patiently waiting outside even as this heinous act was being perpetrated in the police station. When her relatives and the crowd threatened to burn the police chowky down, the two guilty policemen, Ganpat and Tukaram, reluctantly agreed to file a panchnama.
The case came up for hearing in the sessions court on June 1, 1974. But the judgment pronounced turned out to be in favour of the accused. Mathura was accused of being a "liar". It was stated that since she was "habituated to sexual intercourse," her consent was given. Under the circumstances, only sexual intercourse could be proved not rape.
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court set aside the judgment of the sessions court and sentenced Ganpat and Tukaram to 5 years and 1 year of rigorous imprisonment respectively. The judgment was that passive submission due to fear induced by serious threats could not be construed as willing sexual intercourse.
However, the Supreme Court again acquitted the policemen. The judgment said that Mathura had not raised an alarm and there were no visible marks of injury on her body. The judgment did not distinguish between consent and forcible submission.
Fortunately, the outrage, resentment and demand for more stringent anti-rape laws, generated by the Mathura case, led to the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1983. It amended section 376 of the Indian Penal Code and stipulated that the penalty for rape should not be less than 7 years. It also provided for trial in camera and inserted a clause, making the disclosure of the victim's identity a punishable offence.
2. The Sakina Case -
Sakina, a poor 16-year-old girl from Kerala, had been lured to Ernakulam with the promise of finding a job. There, she was sold and forced into prostitution. For 18 months, she was held in captivity and raped by clients. A complaint by a neighbour led to her rescue. Aided by her parents and an advocate, Sakina filed suit in the High Court, naming the upper echelons of Kerala's bureaucracy and society.
The High Court quashed the case, observing "It is improbable to believe that a man who desired to have sex on payment would come to a reluctant woman." The judgment added, "The version of a woman of this disposition is not so sacrosanct as to be taken for granted." This despite knowing that the girl had been beaten and held against her will.
Clearly the law needs to be more sensitive to the feelings of the victim, who has had a traumatic time and scarcely needs to be reminded of it. Often in Sakina's case she was abused and humiliated with questions such as "Don't try to tell us that you didn't enjoy it.
3. Case of an eight year old (Identity dis-closed) -
An eight-year-old child, penetrated in three orifices by her father, could not be considered either rape or an 'unnatural offence'. The problem here was that the abuse didn't fall within the definition of rape or outrage of modesty or 'unnatural acts' as laid down by law. She had been violated mentally and physically. But rape laws only recognize sexual crimes involving penile penetration. Here the violation was oral, anal and involved finger penetration.
Finally The CSO Sakshi, a women's resource centre working with victims of sexual abuse, filed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 1997 after the Delhi High Court declared that the case of an eight-year-old child, penetrated in three orifices by her father as invalid.
The PIL questioned the legal procedures during a trial and urged the apex court to alter the definition of sexual intercourse [with reference to section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)].
The decision on the above case was received in June 2004, more on this, hereNeed for ReviewWhen the laws themselves carry an inherent bias, how far can the victim beassured of justice?
The National Commission for Women has identified nine areas for review. These are:1. Review of the definition of rape2. Reduction of procedural delays3.Uniformity in age of consent under sections 375 and 376 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, to bring it in conformity with the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 18694. Whether exception to section 375 should be deleted 5. Whether section 155 clause 4 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872 needs to be amended or deleted. 6. Whether statutory provisions are needed for compensation to the rape victim 7. Whether provisions for counseling legal aid should be made mandatory under laws. 8. Death penalty to persons convicted for rape 9. Recommendation for enhancement of punishment in cases where the accused, with the knowledge of suffering from HIV infection/AIDS, infects the victim as a result of rape.
Violence against women exists in various forms in every day life in all societies. Women victims of violence should be given special attention and comprehensive assistance. To this end, legal measures should be formulated to prevent violence and to assist women victims. However since law, the legal system and society are closely interlinked it is not possible to enforce the rights provided in law without changes in social institutions, values and attitudes. Social change cannot be brought about through law.
It is only through the process of sensitizing various branches of the government and more importantly the members of society to the rights and concerns of women can gender justice become a reality. Law is only one method by which the various problems of women can be resolved.
*Important Link -A must read write up on "Harassment and Rape Laws in India" by Dhruv Desai - 4th year law- Symbiosis Society's law college, Pune.
Why Ask Why?
There are so many instances in life when we come across weird issues, weird people, weird situations....that leave us some-what clueless. In most cases we donot have any answer to such events and that's what makes them unique.Here is a small list of 'Why' questions, which basically have no answers and even if they do, it will take you ages to figure them out completely and in most cases you will realise that the 'question' itself is far more interesting then the answer....so read them and amuse yourself.1. Why are there flotation devices under plane seats instead of parachutes? 2. Why are cigarettes sold in gas stations when smoking is prohibited there? 3. If a cow laughed, would milk come out her nose? 4. If nothing ever sticks to TEFLON, how do they make TEFLON stick to the pan? 5. Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways? 6. Why is it that when you transport something by car, it's called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship, it's called cargo? 7. You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes, why can't they make the whole plane out of the same substance? 8. Why is it that when you're driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio? 9. If corn oil comes from corn, where does baby oil come from? 10. If it's tourist season, why can't we shoot them? 11. What's another word for 'thesaurus'? 12. Why do they sterilize the needles for lethal injections? 13. Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny? 14. Do cemetery workers prefer the graveyard shift? 15. If you're cross-eyed and have dyslexia, can you read all right?
What's in a name ?
After 19 years of getting into fights over his name and hearing it mispronounced, Shia LaBeouf can't believe celebrities are still coming up with weird names for their kids. LaBeouf says not only was he teased because of the sound of his name, he says his full name means "thank God for beef" and "who wants to be named that?" Asked what he would say to parents planning to give their kids strange names, LaBeouf says "name your kid Billy and Timmy! What is the problem with that?" Obviously, Nicolas Cage doesn't agree with LaBeouf. Cage just named his son 'Kal-el' after the name Superman was given when he was born on Krypton. I personally feel that 'Kal-el' is quite a nice name....but then would I give the same to my kid....hmmmmmm, I don't think so. However I do feel that it's time that we think outside the box and go ahead with different and unique names. I am so sick of hearing the same old 'ghasa-pita' names. The important aspect according to me what should be looked at is the 'meaning' of the name and to a certain extent how it sounds when 'pronounced'...afterall you don't want your kid to be embarrassed thru out their lives and blaming you for being the cause.I remember what a pain the tosshie it was, when we were looking for names during my sister inlaw's pregnency. Endless hours spent reading name books and searching the internet to find the 'perfect name'. It was even more painful because we had decided that we would go for 'out-of-the-ordinary name', something that was not very common. Finally after weeks of backaches and research, we found the perfect name for my nephew. We named him 'Krtin', in Sanskrit it has 13 different meanings such as blessed, satisfied, OM.Three years later the same process was repeated, only difference this time was we looking at girl names for my 'niece'. This time we went in for a greek name and named her 'Arianna' which means 'holy'.
Monday, October 03, 2005
'Angola' - Country Lost in Landmines
Africa suffers from an epidemic of landmines and Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and is the most heavily mined continent in the world with at least 40 million landmines. Over half of Africa is affected and 140 million people live in countries where the risk of being killed or injured by landmines can be considered high or very high. One of the most severely landmine infested country is 'Angola'. Just few days ago, I saw a heart-felt and a very emotional documentary on 'Country of Landmines, Angola' featured and produced by BBC Africa. The facts and gory pictures presented were so scary and frightening that it would leave even a stone-hearted human-being shudder with fear and sadness at the same time. Here are some in-sights on one of the world's largest number of landmines infested country 'Angola'.HISTORYIn 1482, when the Portuguese first landed in what is now northern Angola, they encountered the Kingdom of the Congo, which stretched from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. Portugal's primary interest in Angola quickly turned to slavery. The slaving system began early in the 16th century. Many scholars agree that by the 19th century, Angola was the largest source of slaves not only for Brazil, but for the Americas, including the United States. It also became a link in trade with India and Southeast Asia.By the end of the 19th century, a massive forced labor system had replaced formal slavery and would continue until outlawed in 1961. Colonial economic development did not translate into social development for native Angolans. Consequently, three independence movements emerged: the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas Malheiro Savimbi. From the early 1960s, elements of these movements fought against the Portuguese. A 1974 coup d'etat in Portugal established a military government that promptly ceased the war and agreed to hand over power to a coalition of the three movements. The coalition quickly broke down and turned into a civil war. By late 1975, Cuban forces had intervened on behalf of the MPLA and South African troops for UNITA, effectively internationalizing the Angolan conflict. In control of Luanda and the coastal strip (and increasingly lucrative oil fields), the MPLA declared independence on November 11, 1975, the day the Portuguese abandoned the capital. Augustinho Neto became the first president, followed by Jose Eduardo dos Santos in 1979.When UNITA's Jonas Savimbi failed to win the first round of the presidential election in 1992 (he won 40% to dos Santos's 49%, which meant a runoff), he called the election fraudulent and returned to war. The Angolan military launched a massive offensive in 1999, which destroyed UNITA's conventional capacity and recaptured all major cities previously held by Savimbi's forces. Savimbi then declared a return to guerrilla tactics, which continued until his death in combat in February 2002.THE LANDMINE PROBLEMMore than three decades of internal conflict have left Angola with one of the world's most serious landmine problems. Since no comprehensive national mine survey exists, the actual number of landmines in the country is unknown, with estimates ranging from 200,000 to around 6 million. Eight heavily mined provinces cover nearly 50 percent of the country in a band from the northwest border with the Congo to the southeast border with Namibia. These mines were planted by combatants to destroy or deny access to Angola's infrastructure. Mines are concentrated around roads, railways, bridges, and public facilities such as schools, churches, water supply points, and health care facilities. These mines hinder humanitarian aid programs, economic reconstruction, and the resettlement of Angola's 3.8 million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP). During 2000, landmines claimed 840 victims, 26 more than the previous year. Half the casualties occurred on Angola's roads, confirming that there is still no safe movement of people and goods in the country. As per UN survey reports -UN estimates, there are between 10 and 15 million landmines in Angola scattered across country. Complicating the issue is the fact that landmines continue to be laid in areas contested between UNITA and the FAA. In 1995, the UN estimated that 1.5 percent of the population had been injured in landmines or UXO incidents. With one amputee per 334 inhabitants (more than 70,000 victims, mostly women and children), Angola has one of the two highest rates of amputees in the world. In the past two years, the ICRC and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) have estimated that there are at least 120 new landmine victims per month in Angola. Nearly 60 different types of landmines have been found during clearance operations.EFFECTS OF LANDMINES & INTERNAL WAR ON ECONOMYAngola is in economic disarray because of 27 years of nearly continuous warfare. Despite abundant natural resources, output per capita remains among the world's lowest. Subsistence agriculture and dependence on humanitarian food assistance sustain the large majority of the population. In the last decade of the colonial period, Angola was a major African food exporter. Because of severe wartime conditions, including extensive laying of landmines throughout the countryside, agricultural activities have been brought to a near standstill and the country is now forced to import most of its food. Thousands of miles of riverbanks, and tens of thousands of acres of farmland, pastures, and forest are now unusable. In addition, the landmines have lead to a large migration of people from the countryside to towns and cities. The increased numbers of people in certain parts of the country place a strain on the resources of the land. Areas where refugees have been forced to move have been stripped of wood and wild game while water supplies have been depleted and contaminated leading to increases in reported cases of dysentery, malaria and cholera. In time the areas will be prone to desertification as the land is further stripped by the refugees in their attempts to survive. Some efforts at agricultural recovery have gone forward, notably in fisheries, but most of the country's vast potential remains untapped.ONLY SOLUTION POSSIBLEIn short, the Angolan landmine situation severely disrupts almost all aspects of the countries environment because landmines are a pollutant to humans, animals and fauna alike. For the time being the laying of landmines has stopped in Angola, but it continues at an alarming rate in other parts of the world and there seems to be no foreseeable solution to the problem. After the integration of both sides into a unified military and government landmines pose the largest threat to a long lasting peace, and the future of Angola both environmentally and literally. If the situation is not remedied with help from the international community Angolans will be confined to certain portions of the country which will not allow for industry and agriculture to flourish and will strain the land where landmines are not present to the point of desertification and severe species loss. *Sources for the above write-up and some important links –1. Country Profile 'Angola' - BBC2. Economic conditions in 'Angola' 3. Landmine conditions in 'Angola' - US based studies
The Blue Kangaroo
Went to a poshy restaurant in a very poshy hotel on Saturday. I ordered for a 'Blue Kangaroo Ice Tea' which was served in a impressive 'Big Boot' glass with curvy straw and a shovel stick. Blue Kangaroo Ice Tea consists of Vodka, Gin, Tequilla, Blue Curacao, Lime juice and Lemonade.
The bar tender was surely in a good and generous mood...cause I am sure he poured two large shots of Tequilla and Vodka in my drink, since i was feeling its after effects till next day. Overall a pretty good cocktail.
My previous post on some of the popular Indian cocktails.
Grandma @ 25
Yes..Yes...Yes....i have become a very happy grandparent @ a prime age of 25.Now before some of you guys..start thinking it the wrong way, here is my special message....
No Bones About It !
We Love Our New
I am happy to announce that
Dallas & Spike
are proud parents of litter of
Born on 20th September
they are simply a bundle of
The Whole Gang....
As Tiny As Can Be......
The pups are now 15 days old. Here are some latest snaps.
Having one heck of a dream.....
the ONLY brown one..in the whole gang
Saturday, October 01, 2005
'Absolute Icebar'- a chilling experience
A chilly bit of Scandinavia is coming today in the heart of London's West End with the opening of 'Absolut Icebar', a bar made entirely out of ice right down to the art on the walls and the glasses for the drinks.Situated next to the accompanying but room temperature Below Zero restaurant, the bar is kept at minus 23 fahrenheit year round. For a cover charge of 12 pounds ($22.20), patrons are given a thermal cape, thick gloves and a glass made out of ice before entering the second of two airtight doors designed to keep heat out. The Stockholm-based franchise launched the first Icebar in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, in 1994 within Icehotel, where visitors stay in the comfort of a warm sleeping bag in an icy room. Since then, Icebar locations in Stockholm, Sweden and Milan, Italy, have been met with success, prompting a fourth permanent location in London. Some Chilling info -All the ice for the bar is imported from the Torne River in the north of Sweden, where the pure water and river freezing process make the finished product "crystal clear". The entire venue will be redesigned and rebuilt every six months, because the ice will gradually melt with daily use and the body heat of the crowds. Icebar commissions artists to sculpt the decor on site, and opening day art includes a floor-to-ceiling vodka bottle and partial human figures along the walls.The 10,764-square-foot bar has a capacity for 60 people. Pre-booking for one of the 45-minute time slots is a must.
Insensitive Jerk - Help the 'Cause'
An appeal has been put up for "Google Bombing the saviour of Pakistan" aka President Musharraf.And here is my full support for the cause.Here's what one must do. Create a hyperlink to President Musharraf's web page - http://www.presidentofpakistan.gov.pk - and put insensitive jerk in the text.
Once you have done the above, the Link will appear like this : insensitive jerkThe theory is that if enough people do this, searching for "insensitive jerk" on Google will lead to, well, insensitive jerk. So go ahead and help the cause, afterall 'a Blogger in need is a Blogger indeed !!!'