Delhi Police advises the ‘Seven Sisters’

This is disturbing at so many levels that I don’t know where to begin. The Delhi police has printed a booklet titled Security Tips for Northeast Students/Visitors in Delhi , which among other things, advises them to cover up to avoid being raped and not cook their ‘smelly’ food so there is ‘no ruckus in the neighborhood’. Firstly, there is the issue of “othering”. As many are pointing out, why on earth are people from the north-eastern states being singled out for this helpful advice? The comments about food and the insinuation that they dress in revealing clothes are totally unnecessary and indicative of attitudes that are, frankly, frightening. The fact that the police think like this essentially means that if there is a ‘ruckus’ in the neighbourhood, they will blame somebody for cooking what they want in their own house! Food habits are intensely personal and closely tied up with cultural identity and if people cannot eat what they want in their own house, we may as well trash all notions of being a multi-cultural, secular country.Secondly, for heaven’s sake, how long are women going to be told to ‘cover up’ to avoid ‘inviting’ rape? Delhi has a dismal record as the most unsafe city in the country for women. As usual, instead of addressing the perpetrators and doing more to make the streets safer, the focus is being shifted to the women. Don’t wear revealing clothes. Don’t go on dates. Don’t party late. Don’t walk the streets. What next? Should we just wear veils and stay at home since between the beastly tendencies of men (which they can’t control, apparently) and the hoary patriarchal attitudes of our legal and political institutions (not to mention, plain inefficiency), we are bound to get screwed (literally or otherwise)?

I’m sure we’re all very grateful for the father figure-ly advice but it would be nice if the police stopped printing paternalistic pamphlets and got down to some actual work.

Link via Anjulika.

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14 Comments

Filed under Culture, Gender

14 responses to “Delhi Police advises the ‘Seven Sisters’

  1. Anonymous

    >> Food habits are intensely personal and closely tied up with cultural identity and if people cannot eat what they want in their own house, we may as well trash all notions of being a multi-cultural, secular country.

    OK. But if you cook something that has very strong odors in a poorly ventilated building with people who find those smells offensive, its sensible to avoid that kind of cooking. Why should other people in an apartment complex be subjected to smells that they find disagreeable, that too in their own homes ?

    >> Secondly, for heaven’s sake, how long are women going to be told to ‘cover up’ to avoid ‘inviting’ rape? Delhi has a dismal record as the most unsafe city in the country for women. As usual, instead of addressing the perpetrators and doing more to make the streets safer, the focus is being shifted to the women. Don’t wear revealing clothes. Don’t go on dates. Don’t party late. Don’t walk the streets. What next? Should we just wear veils and stay at home since between the beastly tendencies of men

    nice rhetoric, but given that Delhi is an unsafe place for women – not wearing revealing clothes when alone and having a male companion when going out late in the night is pretty good advise.

    Sudeep

  2. rohit

    This booklet has not been published by Delhi Police but by an officer of Delhi police in his individual capacity.

    One may or may not agree with the contents (I don’t), but to blame the organization for personal endeavorers reveals laziness and a disinclination for fact checking.

  3. N

    anon:
    1. They can close their windows
    2. There is no dearth of offensive smells that come from outside the house including sewage, smoke, and dog piss. Somebody’s food can hardly be worse and should hardly be targeted.
    3. Good advise undoubtedly. That’s why I just extended the logic and said the best advise would probably be for us to stay home.

    rohit:

    According to The Hindustan Times, the booklet has been issued by the western district police and penned by the DCP. If you have other, more reliable sources, do let me know. Would be grateful.

  4. the mad momma

    how typical that men would come out in support of such a piece of crap.

    this is the first i have heard of it and i think its extremely offensive.

    perhaps it was published in a personal capacity.. but when u wear a uniform and dispense advice, you are taking advantage of the fact that you are a cop. if anything the slime should be pulled up for going around doing such stuff instead of really protecting people.

  5. the mad momma

    had to add: as for offensive smells, manyppl find the smell of fish offensive, others find mustard oil and coconut oil offensve… why single out the northeasterners and why not tell everyone to shut their windows and cook?

  6. Dev

    You would be surprised how many people think it their right to dictate your food habit and if you said “Food habits are intensely personal and closely tied up with cultural identity and if people cannot eat what they want in their own house, we may as well trash all notions of being a multi-cultural, secular country.” in places like say Gujarat you are likely to be lynched.

  7. Unjun

    where there is a majority, there is a way!

    (not that i subscribe to the thought… it just got me thinking…)

  8. N

    mad momma: thanks and i totally agree.

    dev: not surprised at all, just don’t think that we should subscribe to that view. Also don’t think that Gujarat is necessarily the best place to take as a role model for certain things.

    unjun: sad but true. but are these people the real majority? or are they just the loudest majority?

  9. confused

    N,

    Unfortunately, I don’t have it online. I have a couple of friends in DP, unfortunately, no one will speak officially especially when it involves a fellow IPS officer. But if I find something, I Will definetely let you know.

    Mad Momma,

    ”how typical that men would come out in support of such a piece of crap.”

    Seriously, how easy for women to pass sexist remarks! Why don’t you do a survey and you will find out how many women support such codes.

    And about your other comment, you are a journalist–I assume your employers should monitor and approve everything you write on your blog?

  10. confused

    See this TOI link,

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Dos__donts_irk_N-E_students_in_Delhi/rssarticleshow/2204228.cms

    ”When a senior IPS officer from the north-east decided to counsel students from that region through a booklet, ‘Security Tips for Northeast Students/Visitors in Delhi’, all that he intended to do was to speak from experience and with the credibility of an insider.”

    Also, Hibu is the DCP (West). the two main D.U campuses as well as J.U.U campus fall either in Southern or Northern Zone. Absolutely no reason for West Delhi police to publish it.

  11. Anonymous

    The fact that the police think like this essentially means that if there is a ‘ruckus’ in the neighbourhood, they will blame somebody for cooking what they want in their own house

    Why and How? What kind of rubbish argument is that? Your argument gives an idea about the size of your left hemisphere.

    If a police was to tell you about harms of leaving your doors and windows open, Should that mean that they will refuse to register a FIR for the theft in your house or that if and when the catch the thief they will let him go scot free because you kept your windows/doors secured with a 7 level lock.

  12. F

    Oh hello! Fellow outraged Indians!! Greetings from the Northeastern Gulag( i am from a Christian tribal gulag in South Manipur) I love it when such mundane issues concerning the so called ” north-easterners” “inadvertently” land up in the Indian media. We in the gulag get so little national attention, hemmed in as we are, by the over protective Indian army and our failed revolutionaries, we have special rules like the AFSPA( a rule that does not apply to fellow Indians like you-never worry). On the issue, The IPS officer had good intentions, but the wording was very unfortunate and it reinforced some of the rather “quaint” ideas people in nayi dilli have of “us”.

  13. Ethnocide: The Great Hibu Fiasco << mizohican.blogspot.com

    […]He came. He saw. He spoke. He blundered. The internet is full of prominent newspapers and illustrious NE writers expressing their views on this whole Hibu incident. Given below are just some of the results Google churned out:
    Sickening Delhi polices 7 sisters – Journalist + Blogger “N” […]

  14. its disgusting when people say that women ‘invite’ rape!!!….people have just stopped thinking and have shut their eyes… 😦

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