India gang rape suspects charged in court

Lawyers at the district court in New Delhi refused to defend the accused men — the bus driver, his brother and four of their friends, all residents of a south Delhi slum near the site of the attack.

“We have decided that no lawyer will stand up to defend the rape accused as it would be immoral to defend the case,” Sanjay Kumar, a lawyer and a member of the Saket District Bar Council, told AFP.

Kumar said the 2,500 advocates registered at the court have decided to “stay away” to ensure “speedy justice”, meaning the government would have to appoint outside lawyers for the defendants.

While there’s no sympathy for the perpetrators of the Delhi gang rape – ensuring at the very least a defence for the right to due process is the only appropriate response.

Sure, Mr Kumar says it’s simply a symbolic gesture, but to me – it’s a deeply problematic gesture – what if every counsel in the country would choose to do this?

We all create the conditions in which rapes can flourish

No amount of severe (capital) punishment, “improved” policing or Bollywood moral outrage will ever solve the problem as long as the systematic treatment of women as long as “the elaborate everyday control of women’s lives by families and institutions” is in place. 

While “marital rape, date rapes and the sexual violence that takes place within the family are systematically ignored” there are no safe places for women, or frankly speaking anybody else – especially not anybody in a vulnerable or subaltern position whether of an alternative sexuality, sex worker, muslim, working class or adivasi.

Especially if you’re in any position of power – whether that be upper middle class, educated, man or white (all four which I check) – you do certainly do have a share in the responsibility for the culture that creates the context in which these rapes are happening. 

Being supposedly outraged, calling for beheadings or speedy justice is nothing but trying to shirk that responsibility making this an isolated event perpetrated by people who have nothing to do with you. 

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Who is a Dilliwala?

For millennia people have come from outside Delhi from within and outside India and made Delhi their home. It is the same for any urban settlement. Any city and any culture that closes itself to mixing of new elements ceases to grow, any attempt to privilege the claims of one set of arrivals over those of the others can only lead to strife and disaffection that may not remain confined within the city. Delhi will continue to be Delhi as long as it keeps its doors open, welcoming all comers, ‘if you live here you are a Dilliwalla’.

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Drizzles and loshedding

NEW DELHI: After a sizzling, hot day, Delhi experienced some respite on Saturday evening as a drizzle brought the temperature down by 2.6 degrees Celsius in the national capital.

According to an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official, the temperature at 8:30 p.m. was recorded at 35.4 degrees. At 5:30 p.m. it was 38 degrees Celsius.

Saturday’s maximum temperature was 44.2 degrees Celsius, four notches above what is average for this time of the season, while the minimum was six notches above average at 33.2 degrees. The humidity levels wavered between a high of 41 and 30 percent.

In several parts of the city, it was a double whammy for the residents who not only weathered high temperatures but also had to grapple with long hours of power outages.

According to a power department official, long power cuts were reported from south and west Delhi.

Ah, Delhi summers.

Thankfully we can now reach Khan Market easily

“While working on the redevelopment plan of the community centre at Khan Market, we stumbled upon the drawings of Land and Development Office. We found that the Amrita Shergill Marg extended all the way to Humayun Road, which had been encroached upon over a period of time,” said Amit Prasad, spokesperson of NDMC.
“A boundary wall had been constructed by people and some hutments had come up there. We have removed all of them” said a senior NDMC official.


So, thanks to NDMC the 3000 daily visitors can now visit their market easily and the pesky squatters have been cleared out of city. Another victory for the world class city!



Where the Mehrauli flower market ain’t no more


I was told that this market had been there for 100s of years – in fact
maybe one of the oldest in India. Thankfully, on my last visit to
Mehrauli I was relieved to see that such a blotch on the face of the
world class city of Delhi had been conveniently relocated.

Begumpur Masdjid take 2

Begumpur used to lie in the middle of the city called Jahanpanah which was one of the many capital cities founded around Dilli. The village, which is now integrated with colonies like Malviya Nagar, still feels separate from the urban sprawl of modern South Delhi in the way that Shahpur Jat, Hauz Khas, Mehrauli and other villages around are. On the road between Mehrauli and Shahjahanbad it has probably traditionally always been a bustling, happening place. Apart from the mosque there’s the remnants of a palace called the Bijay Mandal. Both of them offer views (something of a rareity in squat south Delhi) if you dare the stairs up.

From archnet:

The Begumpur Mosque is situated at the center of the sultanate capital of the Tughluq dynasty, Jahanpanah, now part of south Delhi. It was built during the reign of Muhammad Shah Tughluq (1325-1351) or his successor, Feroz Shah (reg. 1351-1388). The mosque is congregational, with a corresponding generosity in size; it measures 307ft by 295ft. It was in its time an important social center of the capital, and included within its walls a madrasa and a treasury. It is a courtyard mosque of the Timurid type, with single-vaulted arcade wings on the northern, southern, and eastern wings surrounding a large courtyard. A deeper prayer hall closes the west, facing Mecca. The mosque is entered through a single gate on the eastern side, and the whole is built in an austere style of rubble masonry.

The mosque contains 64 domes, with one central one with a height of 9ft. The Begumpur Mosque is known as the first Indian example of the “Brhatmukhi” mosque type: at the center of the 24 arches on its main façade, an extremely large arch stands out, flanked by massive tapering pylon-minarets.