“Re-Thinking Violence Against Women” discusses how there can be no doubt that violence against women, especially sexual violence and rape, has gone well beyond being headline news. Something extraordinary happened in the wake of the Delhi gang rape of December 2012, whether at the level of the scale of the protests, or the range of institutional responses both negative and positive. Contestations through speaking and writing have also been prominent. This lecture seeks to contribute to this moment by opening up to further analysis of the following. First, the commonsense experience regarding rape as the most heinous of crimes. Second, the construction of normal and ‘aggravated’ sexual assault by the law. And third, new feminist thinking on rape culture and impunity. It will be suggested that the universal framing of violence must go beyond gender and patriarchy and take the risks of including those structures – both everyday and institutional – that divide both women and men.
It was heartening to see a full house in early evening in Delhi; people from all walks of life… From this event, we will definitely cherish and keep warmly in our memories the translators’ meet, with Anamika (Hindi), Roomy Naqvy (Gujarati), Rabiul Islam (Ahomiya), Himanjali Sankar (Bangla), Kaif Ali Taqvi (Urdu), along with Salma herself. Nivedita Kalarikkal, who did a sensitive Malayalam translation of Salma, unfortunately could not join us as she fell ill, but Satchin Joseph Koshy of LILA represented her. As the translators had to work on the basis of Rizio Yohannan Raj’s English translation, this was also a good chance for the translators to exchange notes, and observe the possibilities of translation among different Indian languages.