Wednesday, October 6, 2010

If you’re not bored silly by my anti-religious rants, or mockery as the case might be, here is another one for you. Boy, I’m sure destined for hell according to American fundamentalists. Anyway, here we go, some secular Jews in Jerusalem are up in arms as rabbis from an ultra-orthodox area are demanding men and women should walk down different streets. Right, work that one out if you can. I am a woman with five kids and I need to get to a particular shop but I can’t because men are on that street. Or, I am a man and I need to see my doctor but I can’t because his surgery is in the street where women are walking. And what if that particular street doesn’t lead to my destination? Isn’t it amazing how sex scares these people half to death?
In India there has been a row over an ‘untouchable’ dog! A woman by the name of Subita Jatav fed a dog, Sheru some leftover bread and police are investigating claims that she has been ordered to pay compensation to the high-caste owner of the dog because she is Dalit - untouchable. Subita says the village council wants her to pay a fine of 15,000 rupees ($330) for feeding the dog, which the owners have now kicked out as they now consider the dog to be untouchable but deny being motivated by caste considerations. Although widespread, discrimination against Dalits, who make up 20% of the population, is an offence in India but they say little has changed despite the government enacting various laws banning caste-based discrimination.
The woman said ‘I made some roti [Indian bread] and took it to my husband who works on a farm. After I had fed him, we had some leftovers which I gave to the dog.’ The owner of the dog, Amrutlal Kirari, saw this. “He got very angry and said 'You've fed my dog, it has become an untouchable now'." Mrs Jatav said Mr Kirari left Sheru, a black mongrel tied to a pole outside her house. On Monday, the village council met and decided that Sheru had been defiled and hence Mr Kirari should be paid 15,000 rupees as compensation.
On Tuesday, she approached the district collector of Morena who ordered an inquiry into the incident. Senior police officer in the area, Baldev Singh, told the BBC that he was investigating the matter. He said Mr Kirari had alleged that after eating the bread, Sheru fell ill so he abandoned the dog at Mrs Jatav's house so she could look after it and nurse it back to health(!)
Dalits - formerly untouchables - are considered at the bottom of the Hindu caste system.
Any discrimination against them is an offence and punishable by law.
A court in India says a disputed holy site in the city of Ayodhya should be split between Hindus and Muslims, but both sides plan to appeal.
And so it goes on and on.

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