The South Asian Life & Times - SALT   
  January - March 2013          



 January - March 2013


Editor's Note


 Cover Story
 Ravi Shankar - A Life
 Truly Lived

 50 Years of Solar
 System Exploration

 Makli - Crumbling &

 Real Issues
Women on Sexual

 Kiran Bedi

 Suman Nalwa 

 Richa Anirudh 

 Pages from the Past

 Maldives - Back in

 -The Wonder Herb

 Mahakumbh 2013




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Editor’s Note

The year 2012 was celebrated in the Indian sub-continent as the centenary year of Saadat Hasan Manto – the defiant and the merciless writer who chronicled the pain and torture suffered especially by women at the time of the partition, through his short stories. He wrote of rape and murder. He wrote of depravity. As we came to the close of Manto centenary year, a tragedy –heinous and barbaric in its execution – left the world stunned and shocked. It happened in Delhi on a wintry night when in a moving bus a young lady was gang-raped and brutally assaulted. The young lady fought bravely for her life for a fortnight but eventually succumbed to the trauma that her body had been subjected to. It seemed like another Manto narrative – or worse.  Sixty-five years after he wrote of the ordeal that women faced at the time of the partition, his writings remain just as relevant. Women are still facing it.

It has been said by many that the public outrage against the heinous crime is in global spotlight because it happened in the nation’s capital. I disagree.  The nation’s capital has been humiliated time and again with violent crimes against women. This particular incident was the last drop in a vessel ready to spill over. Enough is enough.  The public outcry was all about – “No More”

There has to be zero tolerance towards violence against women. Culprits should be given the maximum sentence possible. Such offences should be made non-bailable.  The need of the hour also is male support to fight and eradicate this evil from our society. We need to emphasise moral and spiritual values both at school and at home.

Two women from the Indian Police Service – Kiran Bedi (now retired), and Suman Nalwa, the Deputy Police Commissioner for Security of Women & Children in Delhi, very kindly spoke with SALT on the safety of women in public spaces. We share their views with our readers.

Hoping 2013 will be the Year of the Woman in India,

Roopa Bakshi



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