Conversation on acid attack between two women

Urmila Chanam
Posted June 5, 2019 from India
Phoolan Devi, a woman in India who avenged her rapists and became a bandit.

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:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/1-500-acid-attacks-recorded-165918301.html?so...

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

This story was submitted in response to Gender-Based Violence.

Comments 10

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Hello, Sister Urmila,

How disrespectful of some Indian men to throw acid on women! It’s clearly a a violation of humam rights.

Thank you for sharing your interesting discussion with Sharon. It seems like you two are birthing out a new advocacy. :)

Urmila Chanam
Jun 06
Jun 06

Dear sister Karen,
Its unthinkable what men have done to women. Do we see women do similar inhumane atrocities on men?????? When will we fight the bull with the horns. Our power lies in our resilience and our way forward is to unite with women around the world.
Love and prayers from India
Urmila Chanam
Urmila.chanam@gmail.com

Hello, sis Urmila, you are right. It is also more unthinkable that society allows this to happen. Thanks to women like you for breaking the silence and addressing important issues that women face today. You are indeed India's champion.

Hugs!

Marie Abanga
Jun 06
Jun 06

Some stories still leave me speechless - this is one of those
For heaven's sake, man's inhumanity to man may never be fully understood
Keep up the good work my sisters

Urmila Chanam
Jun 06
Jun 06

Sister Marie, the number of organizations working on acid attack victims rehabilitation or treatment or even litigation support is very less in the country. It's as if everyone is uncomfortable or scared of this particular crime. We have to rise over our fears and like I was saying to Karen take the bull by its horns.
Love and hugs
Urmila chanam

Jill Langhus
Jun 06
Jun 06

Hi Urmila,

Thanks for sharing this deep and important conversation. I find this particular abuse really difficult to handle. I was following an FB acid attack group for awhile to help support them, but it literally got to be too overwhelming for me when I read a story about a couple that were deeply in the love and his family didn't approve of her and forced her to swallow some acid. I literally couldn't deal with it and left the group every since. This kind of crime is unfathomable to me. How someone could be so evil to inflict this sort of harm on someone, and why it would even enter into their brain as a course of action. It doesn't help that acid apparently is very easy to get a hold of in areas where it's most prevalent, but I don't agree the proper recourse is to throw acid back at someone. Violence and hatred always beget more of the same. We need to get to the root of the matter and also change the way boys and men are perceiving women and their rights, as well as girls and women need to become more outspoken and have their rights upheld.

I hope to see this particularly evil and thoughtless crime end in my lifetime.

Urmila Chanam
Jun 06
Jun 06

Dear sister Jill,
The pain women have borne is an endless pit. Only women will have to undo them because no one else will. Rape and acid attacks are glaring ar our face. Even with more national level awareness created by media and civil society and sterner laws we still grapple with safety big time in India. Acid attacks is not being dealt with similar iron hand. Everyone experiences emotional upheavals in this particular area because all of us cannot comprehend the nature of such infliction of suffering by one to another. I am also left speechless.
Love and kisses
Urmila Chanam

Jill Langhus
Jun 07
Jun 07

Hello dear,

I hear you:-( Oh:-( I wish this problem was being taken more seriously.

I will continue to hope and pray this epidemic is addressed and healed in a timely manner. It's unfathomable:-(

XX

Lisbeth
Jun 06
Jun 06

Thanks for sharing your conversation with a friend with us. Its a sensitive topic this acid issue and so sad.
Another reasons is the controlling attitude of men. They may think if a girl become deform, the easier it is to control her. In general itself men are very unsecured. Haha!

Urmila Chanam
Jun 06
Jun 06

You said it sister. It's all about power dynamics and whatever we do we have to work on the core.