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India Dishonoured: Behind a nation's war on women (Kindle Single) (Guardian Shorts) by [Hundal, Sunny]
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India Dishonoured: Behind a nation's war on women (Kindle Single) (Guardian Shorts) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 379 KB
  • Print Length: 27 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Guardian Books (7 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CPCYPQQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,643 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition
'India Dishonoured' is by no means an easy read - on more than one occasion I had to stop reading in order to let the weight of the information sink in. But I think this shows just how important a book this is.

I had a vague sense of some of the problems Indian women are facing, but this book deepened my knowledge and opened my eyes. I feel that Sunny did a good job of not pointing a blaming finger at only one cause, and instead explored the many contributing factors in a fair and balanced way, including highlighting the influence of British invaders.

I hope this book receives the praise it deserves. I highly recommend it.
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Sunny Hundal may not be the greatest writer ever but he has produced a book and a number of statistics that deserve far greater attention. Just taken by the numbers, the slaughter of women and girls, and the abortion of foetuses (because they are female) in Asia generally and India particularly, is a greater crime than the holocaust.
One hundred and fifty million women and girls missing in Asia! Fifty million missing in India alone! Hundal's book blames this on the dowry system, the so called honour system, whereby families feel justified in murdering their daughters, just because they have dared to chose 'unsuitable' male friends or lovers, and also on the availability of ultra sound scanning which allows the sex of a baby to be known before birth. There are heart rending individual examples of cruelty suffered because of this apaling prejudice.
The practice is so intense and so widespread that it has upset the normal population balance. In some places in India there are around six hundred girls per thousand boys in the under seven age group. (A normal population would show a near fifty fifty split with a slight preponderance of females)
Having read the book I was left wondering how it is possible that a world that is so prepared to interfere in the internal politics of so many countries can stand by and do nothing about this horrific crime.
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This short essay - almost an article - covers the subject matter in a broad and not particularly deep manner.

It highlights some sociological roots of violence against women, for example dowry payments and sex-selection during pregnancy (with preference for boys).

The problems associated with honour are briefly touched upon.

The thing that strikes the reader most is the institutional nature of anti-female prejudice. Several accounts relate how victims must work hard even to get their crimes registered by the police, and the lack of professionalism by the police and local governments in relation to this issue.

I was expecting a more academic text, with perhaps more insight into the particular failings of specific institutions, possibly interviewing Indian lobbyists, politicians, women's groups, police officials etc, however these are lacking. Aside from some references to the differences between oral and written portrayals of female gods, you'd be hard-pressed to recognise these problems as being specifically Indian.

Therein lies the problem with the text and the gravity of the situation. The issues covered will be familiar to anyone familiar with feminist approaches to societal bias against women.

The emergence groups of sexually frustrated young men is highlighted as an effect of sexually-selective birth and a cause of much female abuse (from abortion and infanticide to rape and polyandry).

The text offers little in terms of a solution, political or otherwise. It does suggest that a cultural shift where women/wives are permitted to look after their OWN parents in their old age would lead to a greater valuing of female worth.
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This is an excellent, quick and thought provoking read but extremely disturbing in content. For those in the West who thought only the more extreme examples of islam treated women so viciously and discriminatory, you're in for a shock. For completely different reasons, although religion once again plays it's part, women in India are subject to insane treatment, if indeed, they're allowed to be born at all! Cultural prejudices and religious interpretations conbine to make a women's life in India increasingly difficult and dangerous. The repercussions for India and Indian society as a whole, including men, are truly frightening. Unfortunately, some of these more backward cultural prejudices have been, and are being, carried on here in the West, endangering and negatively affecting the quality of women's lives even now. It's time for the full force of the law to be used to protect women, regardless of their culture, and equality fully implemented for this discrimination cannot be allowed to carry on, it degrades both men an d women!
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This book is written with plenty of figures and statistics, but is not dry or passionless. It is extremely saddening, very illuminating and an articulate reminder of the real unacceptable position of women in India, and other countries, today. Although I live in a First World country, I could also see the fundamental similarities to India - the book illustrates that women are vulnerable because of misogynistic social structures (institutions, laws, traditions, patriarchy) not because we are innately vulnerable. And so, some hope is inherent in the book. Excellent.
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