Sharon Mather: Urmila Chanam, why do you think Indian men do this( acid attack on girls and women)?I know other cultures occasionally are also guilty but it seems very common in India/Pakistan/Bangladesh. I’d like your opinion on it please
Urmila Chanam: Sharon Mather this article and data refers to London not India. Additionally I am afraid our rates may be higher. I myself have come across dozens of young women( most cases are young women or unmarried women) and at times travelled with them in bus or met them in a cinema hall or library. And out of utter shock my eyes would get fixed on them till I realise staring is impolite! I am still trying to figure out what and whys but a lot of analysis point out to jilted and jealous lovers. Young men who proposed an affair or even marriage and girls declining them. As if it validates such monstrous reaction. Young men who were left for pursuing education or career, by left I dont mean girls left them but these girls didnt agree to just being their girl friend or wife and dreamt of an identity. Women seeking own identity apart from these young men seems to bring their wrath on young women. Many cases of vengeance when it involves young women also has led to accidents attack on them. Please note the action is not to kill girls but aims at their face and neck. Does it not speak volumes about how insecure young men are about women's beauty and confidence? They want the girl in question to never be admired by another man or woman for that matter, never feel confident, live on a daily basis in pain. This is the physiology of acid attack as known to me and I would like to know and understand more. I am opening a center for healing of women who have experienced violence of any kind so finding an answer to all the questions playing in my head is important. Thank you Sharon for asking these questions.
Sharon Mather: So important we start talking about it. I wonder why women do not respond with acid in the man’s face.If it were my daughter I certainly would make sure he gets it back and hopefully blind him.
Urmila Chanam: Women in India do not have the mental make up to be offensive. The good girl upbringing is so deeply rooted in our social conditioning that they are unable to rise over it and even defend themselves. While there may be few women making changes but at scale we are yet to protect ourselves. Forget even attacking the man. However in our history there indeed lived a woman who avenged her rapists her name was Phoolan Devi.
Sharon Mather: Thing is the contained frustration and anger women must feel. Who do they take their anger and frustrations out on??Because it must bubble up in them
Urmila Chanam: I am yet to talk to any burn survivor heart to heart. But I did exchange some small talk with one girl who was sitting with me in the bus. I saw deep sorrow even in her smile.
Article being discussed:
Sharon Mather and Urmila Chanam are both women's rights activists from Australia known for its high domestic violence and gender based violence and India known for its female feticide and infanticide, dowry deaths, acid attacks, domestic violence amd rape.
Date of conversation 6 June 2019