What Politicians Do To Remain In Power

President Hamid Karzai – what can I say…When he first came to power he claimed to be a moderate on women’s issues but it now seems power is more important to him than humanity and integrity…In March he signed the Shia Personal Status Law which regulates the personal affairs of Shia Muslims who make up 10-20 percent of the Afghan population…“The initial version of the law included articles that imposed drastic restrictions on Shia women, including a requirement to ask permission to leave the house except on urgent business, and a requirement that a wife have sex with her husband at least once every four days.” And now he has signed a law which gives a Shia husband “the right to withdraw basic maintenance from his wife, including food, if she refuses to obey his sexual demands.” It also grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers, requires women to get permission from their husbands to work and allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying “blood money” to a girl who was injured when he raped her…

This is what I have to say to Mr. Karzai – “Sir, you are no better than the Taliban who you replaced by pretending to be someone you are not…Stop using your power to rip off the rights of women by using them as pawns in your political games…If you want to win the elections, be a humanist…Remember, women have also been created by God…They have the same rights as men…If you think God will love you for doing what you are doing, you are wrong…”

Update on my post on Burma:

I just read that John Yettaw has been deported back to the United States…If you remember, it was his bizarre stunt in May (he used a pair of home-made flippers to swim illegally across a lake in front of Suu Kyi’s house to meet her and stayed there for 2 nights…According to Burmese law foreigners are not allowed to stay overnight at Burmese houses) that led to Aung San Suu Kyi being detained for another 18 months…This decision by the ruling junta only confirms my belief that she was set up by the generals because this incident occurred just weeks before Suu Kyi’s latest round of house arrest was set to expire…Also, according to one of her lawyers even before the Yettaw incident her latest appeal for freedom had been denied by the junta…

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16 thoughts on “What Politicians Do To Remain In Power

  1. This really is disgusting. Things are so different in India, everyone has so much of a better life. After living here, I have better understood, how the religion works, and my views have changed so drastically. I really really pity the women.
    Why don’t you elaborate in one of your posts?

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  2. The situation there is really sad.

    But are we really much better? The Government of India discriminates against women, by letting the Muslims dispense justice regarding civil matters, according to the Sharia’.
    Again, a vote getting policy

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  3. No different from the Taliban. I wonder why don’t women just refuse to get married? Because they have no say in that either, they must obediently get married to any man their fathers or grandfathers choose for them, and then follow all these unthinkable, unimaginable rules. Its such a helpless, hopeless situation. I need to blog about this… my mind is so full of an endless, helpless, hopeless rant Bones.

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  4. I think what is happening in India and Afghanistan is not very different.

    In Afghanistan, the ruling party is pandering to the demands of the majority community, the Sunnis, to enforce a variant of the Sharia that is already in position in Saudi Arabia.

    In India, some political parties are doing as much as they can, without invoking a serious backlash from the majority community due to which alone India remains a secular state, to pander to demands of minorities. Separate personal laws as per Sharia are already in place, with no hope of a UCC being implemented ever. Given a chance, even criminal laws as per Sharia will be demanded and put in place. Remember how the westernised and modern Imran Khan had defended their implementation in the Swat Valley of Pakistan last year? Why blame Karzai alone?

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  5. Sickening 😡 no politician is good… they deserve their place in hell… no equality among men and women 😦 whats happening in a so-called civilized world… and for Su – ki its well planned and my heart goes to her

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  6. I agree with wat all u said. But there is another side to it. I am a regular visitor to Vinod’s blog and here is the link to his original post.
    http://winnowed.blogspot.com/2009/05/afghanistans-shia-marriage-law-clerics.html

    I am copy pasting a part of his article.

    There is another reason why the Shia marriage law was a very bad idea even though it reflects the values of many Afghans. A law which legitimises marital rape makes it practically impossible to change existing values and social norms on women’s rights. Laws can be used to modify social values. For example, child marriage is illegal in India (though not invalid) even though it is a common practice in many parts of the country and the law prohibiting child marriage is rarely enforced. If India were to legalise child marriage, you can be sure that it will make child marriages even more common. In a country like Afghanistan where woman have very few rights, it is important to not give legal sanction to domestic rape and abuse, though these are doubtless very common.

    On a totally different plane, it is possible that Karzai may lose out at the upcoming elections (to be held in August 2009) on account having revoked his consent to the Shia marriage law. If Karzai were to be defeated and Afghanistan were to get a genuinely conservative ruler, it would be a great set back for Afghanistan in general and Afghan women in particular. Should Karzai have been allowed to approve such a ridiculous law so that he can stay in power and win other battles? I don’t know. Please consider the following facts:

    In India, marital rape is still not an offence, unless the wife is below the age of fifteen. Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 makes a specific exemption for marital rape by saying that “Sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.” Sexual intercourse with a woman below the age of fifteen is rape irrespective of whether the accused is married to the woman or not.

    In October 2006 India brought in a new piece of legislation, namely the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, which has created a civil remedy for victims of domestic abuse. However marital rape is not a criminal offence even under this new legislation.

    In the United States, marital rape was not an offence until 1976. At present even though marital rape is a crime in all states, some states don’t treat it on par with other forms of rape. Only a few states like Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia make no make no distinction between marital rape and rape by a stranger. In all other states, marital rape is a lesser offence.

    In England and Wales, marital rape was made a crime only in 1991 on account of a ruling by the House of Lords. Turkey criminalised marital rape in 2005, whilst Mauritius and Thailand did so in 2007

    It was only in December 1993 that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights got around to publishing the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women which established marital rape as a human rights violation. In 2006, the UN found that marital rape is not an offence in 74 states.

    Of course in the last fifteen years, women’s rights and the jurisprudence behind it, has grown in leaps and bounds, it is so easy to forget that marital rape was not an offence in the UK until seventeen years ago and that even now it is a lesser offence in various parts of the United States, In such a scenario, is it fair to arm twist Hamid Karzai into rejecting the Shia marriage law? Afghanistan is more than fifty years behind western countries in various social indices. That being the case, why force Afghanistan to adopt a measure that did not exist in the UK in 1990? What if Karzai loses the next elections to be held in August 2009 as a result of this? What if Afghanistan is stuck with a genuine Islamic fundamentalist who doesn’t believe in women’s rights?

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  7. News like this just makes me wonder what century we’re living in. When will we see the light? When will we be able to start living within the spaces and boundaries of normalcy and simple decency.

    As for the news update on Suu Kyi, sigh! What can one say? Her situation just keeps getting more and more heart-breaking. Yet, she just keeps getting braver. So much to learn from her!

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  8. Sickening! Supressing women seem to be the overriding sentiment there – be it Taliban or Hamid Karzai’s govt..

    As for the update on Suu kyi – I would not be surprised at all , if what you have surmised is true..

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  9. Karzai’s surrender to fundamentalist forces is shameful. Is he the best option for Afghanistan? I do not thing so. The leader who is ready to trample the heads of his subjects on the way to power will not be able to deliver them from misery.

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  10. Pingback: Slavery by any other name « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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