I Will Not Look the Other Way. {Trigger Warning}

Via Michelle Marchildon
on Jan 6, 2013
get elephant's newsletter


Trigger Warning: this article is graphic, painful.

So here’s an interesting thing you may not have known about the young woman who was brutally raped by six men on a bus in India last month:

She was left naked and bleeding on the street, after her assailants rammed an iron pole inside her, which damaged nearly every major internal organ between her pelvis and her throat and caused her eventual death.

The passersby just stared. Nobody helped. Not. One. Person.

Even the police did not offer her and her male friend clothes, and it took them two hours to get help. What were the police doing? Having a smoke?

I may have an opportunity to go to India this year. For a yoga teacher and student of more than 15 years as well as the author of yoga books, this could be a great thing. India to a yoga teacher is like Jerusalem to a Jew; it is the spiritual motherland. Except that this motherland has a sick secret.

Women are raped. A lot.

While only 15,000 rapes were reported in 2011, there are hundreds of thousands more committed routinely against women who do not report these crimes, because to do so would ruin their families.

While rape may ruin a woman’s life, India has a culture where to report it and bring it into the light of justice would cause their family even more harm. They would lose their reputation, their jobs and their friends. They would be outcasts and have to leave the country. The stigma would even follow them to Indian communities in other countries.

It is a stain that cannot be washed away. Ever.

If there is any way to create change, it is economically.

Years ago, South Africa had no incentive whatsoever to deal with the effects of apartheid until the world shined a bright light on it and embargoed trade. Angola and Sierra Leone used Conflict Diamonds to feed their war, those mined by enslaved children as young as eight years old. Now, the largest diamond dealers are careful to trace their product and you and I can buy jewelry that is not conflict-produced.

If change is going to happen, then it will be started by the outraged world at large; the problem of rape, caste and stigma may be too interwoven with the culture for the country to fix it from within before many more are hurt.

The solution has to come from without. At the least, we can help. And that begins with us, the yoga community.

Yogis spend much more time worrying whether their produce is organic than they do that the women of India are safe. We have yogathons for the children of Cambodia and the starving in Africa and the gorillas threatened by the production of palm oil, which are all very good causes. But never, not once, have I been asked to raise money for the brutalized women of India.

Because, according to authorities, they do not exist…until they die in a Singapore hospital.

You and I can not let this young girl’s death go unnoticed.

I will not be like the passersby that evening in India who let her bleed out on the street like a feral dog.

I will stand with her father, who against all traditions in India demanded yesterday that his daughter be named publicly so that her death has meaning.

If I go to the motherland this year, this ‘mother’ will not go quietly; I will bring with me the outrage of millions of women everywhere.

I will shine a light on this disgrace at every touristy temple.

I won’t be wearing saris, with a dot on my forehead.

I will wear this woman’s name emblazoned on a shirt and stand with her until change, real change happens.

I will not look the other way.



Ed: Bryonie Wise

Like elephant Enlightened Society on Facebook.

(Source: dailymail.co.uk via Deezaster on Pinterest)



About Michelle Marchildon

Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She’s an award-winning journalist, and the author of Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga. Her second book, Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga, is for yoga teachers who want to inspire their students. Michelle is a columnist for elephant journal and Origin Magazine and a contributor to Teachasana, My Yoga Online and Yoga Journal. She is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance and teaches in Denver, Co where she is busy raising two boys, two dogs and one husband. You can follow her on Facebook at Michelle Marchildon, The Yogi Muse. You can find her blog and website at www.YogiMuse.com. And you can take her classes on www.yogadownload.com.


35 Responses to “I Will Not Look the Other Way. {Trigger Warning}”

  1. ColleenM says:

    There is so much to say, not sure where to begin. I extend my deepest sympathy to the family of this woman and all others who are victims of senseless violence. It is devastating to think humans care so little for one another, and in this moment in time, I feel we have all the knowledge and potential to effect change. Seeing an event in an isolated picture is not enough, there is a much deeper cultural issue at hand and to change the longstanding bias against women is going to take real courage and commitment. As always, it starts in our own hearts and minds. We cannot look upon another culture, country or continent and say 'they are wrong', these problems exist everywhere but for different reasons. We need to look at the root causes of violence. We also need to emphasize compassion as an operating principle. Anyway, I liked your article, I hope you have a good experience in India.

  2. Anne says:

    I think this is a very important article. I also think we need to look at the amount of violence against women in our own society. We have alot here and yet we stil fail to own it. I agree whole heartedly with everything you wrote but also want to acknowledge that as yogis, we have work to do here as well. The US is not as above it as we think.

  3. HeatherM says:

    Watching CNN or another news channel did in fact provide coverage of the lack of support they received including 3 police cars with policemen trying to figure out which one of them was going to help them out. An interview with the girl's friend covered all the details as they were left without help for 25-30 minutes. Listening as well to a Delhi police officer's comments brought to mind the scary reality that you certainly would not want to be in India and in trouble.

    I personally love India, but there are many deep seated problems. Just take a look at how the movie WATER was treated (Deepa Mehta had to change locations.) I've also met and talked with Indians on my travels throughout India who denied the entire thing. 🙁

    This is indeed an important topic for all!

    Having travelled a lot within India, I really feel many Westerners are often mislead by the seemingly upscale way that big cities like Bangalore and Delhi come off including the way Indian men dress in Western clothing. One might even think for a few seconds they share similar thoughts/values. But deeply entrenched in the culture are male dominated values.

    I remember a young boy who was involved in my thesis work in India saying to me, "mam, India is a male dominated society." I was a guest in his home and in his country…It was indeed a statement that was not asking for debate. It was a statement and a fact that is still true today.

    Some Indian men (FYI) have even told me that women have the power. (Excuse me while I laugh.) During these kind of conversations, I play demure and don't bother to argue, because the fact is (and all women know it) this is total BS.

    There is a petition that is well worth signing. The rape in India is not just about sexuality but violence and power. Here's the link ~ http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/president-c

    But having said all that…..oddly enough and with great power…India is the motherland that has the tremendous power to heal and to renew. It will not be forgotten as long as the voices are not silenced. The girl's friend wants there to be more disruption, because in India this may actually take them closer to real change.

  4. Marissa says:

    Off the Mat Into the World raised over $1,000,000 this year alone to fight sex trafficking in India.

  5. Jodie says:

    This is important. The movie and book, Half the Sky, gives insight into the reality that many women face worldwide. Rape is not illegal in many countries. Women are raped and then abandoned by their families due to the stigma. Girls as young as 3 years old (Yes, 3) are sold to brothels. I'm with you sister. Time for change.

  6. crondust says:

    And don't forget, charity starts at home. Start with little things first … there is a great pride in achieving things on a planetary scale, but look around, locally, start from there.

  7. Ola says:

    I was also very angry and outraged at what happened.

    Good luck with your trip to India and with your intentions once you get there. You will be standing behind the many millions of people who are also not looking the other way. In particular the Indian women and men who have been protesting ever since this happened.

    I do not agree that the way to create change is economically. It is a really difficult issue. India is a wonderful place (been many times and used to live there) and is complex with much diversity from state to state. Indian civilization is one of the oldest civilizations in the world.

    Forgive me for saying (just an observation, not trying to be mean) but true yogis dont spend time worrying about whether their food is organic or not.

    Such atrocities are happening all over the world. As the first person to comment above stated, these problems exist everywhere for different reasons. The African countried mentioned still have frighteningly high violent crime and rape figures…and look at DRC where the worst rapes and sexual violence in the world have been reported, it has been going on for years and might make the news occasionally.

    Good for you for wanting to make a difference and happy, safe travels in India.

  8. Bernie says:

    Incredible – please let us know if a nationwide yoga event is created and we can all do our part to help you on your journey when you go to India. As an attorney in Illinois I have represented Indian families and especially women who were more concerned about their case getting on the internet or somehow becoming public than the actual outcome of the case. I can see the problem here, and you couldn’t be more right in saying that the solution comes from the outside. Peace and light – namaste.

  9. Nats says:

    This kind of rape is a One OFF Thing .This is the first of its kind in nearly 100 years that has come to light .Sure there were rapes but for a country which houses 1/6 of theglobal population and has a huge population density the percentage of rapes to population are less than that found in many countries globally .including the USA .
    This case is one off and sensationalised .The current Indian govt is also extremely Corrupt so this has given rise to more crimes in the recent days due to lack of fear of the law .

  10. jane k says:

    My heart, prayers and resources are with you and the intention to raise consciousness around the violence against women (anywhere and everywhere) and the insidious oppression that perpetuates ignorance and violence. Look for me, sister, to support and assist you in this most important cause. The world round will benefit when women live without fear of men (and our sons and men everywhere benefit as well when they live among daughters and women free of oppression and violence)

  11. truthlightlove says:

    While I applaud your stance on violence against women globally and your willingness to contribute to a solution to the problem, I must say I'm disheartened to read such words as "Except that this motherland has a sick secret" and "It is a stain that cannot be washed away. Ever" and "I won’t be wearing saris, with a dot on my forehead". Rape is an atrocity committed everywhere in the world, and statistically speaking, there are far more countries in the world with far higher rates of rape and murder than India. As one other commenter put it, this case has been highly senationalised by the media. I wonder if you boycotted wearing British clothing when those two teenage boys horrifically tortured and murdered James Bulger (batteries into his rectum, cut off his finger tips) in the UK during the nineties? Using the kind of languge used in this article serves only to insight hate for the Indian culture when a) there are far worse cultural behaviours out there, b) your own culture is no better, c) there are many many great aspects of Indian culture worthy of recognition, pride and celebration that do not deserve boycotting, (wearing a sari and a bindi is a beautiful thing), and d) is just not warranted in the first place. Perhaps if you read this, it may give you some perspective: http://m.guardiannews.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/

  12. Linda says:

    Your post made me shiver. I have goosebumps.
    As a woman I am outraged. As a mother I am outraged beyone reason – I am angry, I am resentful, I am vengeful. As a yogi – I am struggling to find any compassion within me to shine towards the disgusting creatures who committed this crime. But these crimes are not unique to India. This particular crime, heinous as it is, has gathered fasar more media attention than most. Truth is, we humans leave alot to be desired. We rape women. We rape children. We sodomise animals. Its all about power. Ugh.
    Your post has made me look within.
    I too will not look the other way.
    I too will say / wear / remember her name with pride, with strength, and with unity for ALL women, worldwide, who are violated over and over again – In India. In Africa. In the UK. In Europe. In the Americas and Asia – AND in my homeland Australia. As women outraged by this – we do not see borders, political or otherwise. thanks for your post.

  13. Jo Griffith says:

    I wanted to know if you knew the Stuebenville, OH case where a girl was “allegedly” raped at a party and others video taped it. Sexual abuse (and not just against women, if I remember right while 1/4 of women will experience some form of sexual anise in their life the figure for men is 1/6 so still too high) is something that needs to be taken seriously worldwide. Thanks for writing about this in a public forum.

  14. shivin varghese says:

    Few things that Id want to share here….

    Well I must say there was nothing “interesting” about the whole media exposure of this brutal rape and murder case of Ms.Singh.

    This was just one of the cases which they couldnt help go undercover as she was thrown out on a public place. And if this werent captured by the media it would have been captured by citizen journalist (I am also told that the men who did nothing but were simply “watching” the whole scene of this helpless lady writhing in pain, were also blatantly capturing her in their phones instead of reaching out to help)

    There has been an outcry about this. But having lived all my life in Mumbai – another metropolitan like Delhi (except that the financial capital seem comparatively safer for women than the state capital), I fear that this outcry too wouldnt last. Why? Coz there has been an outcry, “morchas”, rallies, peace rallies, vote-out cries against the existing governing bodies of the states… but in the last 27 years I have witnessed no progressive change happen out of this nor any groundbreaking results! 🙁 The people in the Indian metropolitan here are so busy that after a certain span of time, they tend to “forget” if not “forgive” and then move on….

    Everyone’s “busy” with their own scheme of things. And I moreover fear, that Nirbhaya, Damini or whatever the poor female was named as, will just silently pass on as history whose pages might be explored by a couple of documentary makers sometime, maybe. Ask me why again? Coz the so called changes in the bureaucratic, judicial changes to happen, it takes a whole lifetime. There are lacs of cases pending in the local and supreme court here. The people filing petitions die, and the court hearing happens after long when even their remnants have all floated away in the holy river.

    This is the portrayal of the real India, a country what is called “spiritual capital” by most westerners. Before planning your first or the nth visit to India now, folks, I would suggest you read this short story Mahadev and Parvati – by Amitav Ghosh. This story is kind of a real portrayal of what happens with an Indian couple who go visiting the Maha Kumbh, and the mishaps that follows, thanks to a couple of Rishis and temple runners who in the name of God and Religion exploit things to the worst extent. Am sure there is no dearth of books on India – temples, rivers, dance forms, culture, Yoga, festivals etc… But all that is, take my word, nothing but only to entice the tourist crowds. And let me put it bluntly – even Yoga was something that was glamorised coz a couple of teachers in the early 70s knew this could become turn out to be a boom and they could become equivalents to the African stakeholders of the diamond making firms. I know this statement would result invite a lot of “hate”. But yea, we cant just run away from the truth. Can we afford to? 🙂

    So here’s something I would also like to mention. India is not a “Jerusalem of Yoga” to the earnest yoga practitioner. Had it been, Indians would have been largely pracitising Yoga than compared to the Americans for instance. A recent article, I read, claimed that there are more and more Yoga studios (Bikram, Hatha and Ashtanga) mushrooming in cities like New York coz the folks there seemed to have found an alternative to partying and marijuana (I would sort of partly agree to this statement though). And if you are sure of calling India the Jerusalem of Yogis, then give me a count of Yoga practitioners (be it any form – Sivananda, Ashtanga, Hatha) in each of the four main cities in India. I bet you would be able to count them on your fingers! Why? I must echo, its become one of the spiritual practices which is glamorized and in most places made super expensive to the average working Indian. for eg, The Jois Ashtanga institute at Mysore – so if you were there to check out next time, get the demographics checked. Compare the number of tourists and the locals learning there and you will find the reason yourself.

    This, I can say with a full confidence, having confronted the teachers and places in Mysore myself last year.

    Speaking about the psycho rapists and murderers. Well do they only exist in India? I havent travelled out of this country, but having read a lot of fiction and non fiction by famous authors and journalists worldwide, I’d vote India as one of the places where rape cases, abuse cases, child molestation cases do happen in large numbers. Take Australia where a daughter has 2 kids from her own father and they live like a family. To take something from fiction – Sidney Sheldon wrote his novel Tell Me Your Dreams inspired by a real story of a highly qualified doctor who rapes his own daughter.

    So the fact will persist.. Whether you decide to have this lady’s picture on your T and have her name smeared by ash on your forehead or if you join the rallies that might last a couple of months, it wont bring a difference. The life lost is charred. Its taken the form of ash, its drowned in a river, its a light long lost among the darkest of clouds.

    What is required is to educate the young woman in martial skills, educate them to stand as equals, improve safety measures. And you may or may not want to take it but yes, legalize prostitution so the sex craving beasts become good clients and satisfy their own needs in another way. And yes there are n number of parameters which even I cant suggest. But yes all this, if the authorities had ears and eyes and ofcourse some nerve to take a swift action.

  15. HeatherM says:

    Your pt. on "India is not a "Jerusalem of Yoga"" is well made. Because having spent over 2 years in India myself, I know it is not Indians practicing yoga as much as Westerners. As the father of one of my students said in India, "We are trying to get food on the table not yoga." Most people assume Indians do yoga, but for them getting ahead in this world is not becoming a yoga teacher…as it is in the West. And many Indians as I know it never practiced yoga, know much about it or even probably care.

    As for how change can come about…….of interest, an India film maker was discussing how the problem is the way the media has portrayed Indian women, which in her words were, "painted beauties." She seemed to point fingers at this being the cause of more brutal attacks of women in India compared to earlier times when women were probably hiding in their kitchens. I was surprised she did not mention or blame the West for this. However, she did seem to be suggesting that this needed to change re: the way women are portrayed.

    And yet isn't that like saying, "Just because she wore a short skirt, she deserved to get raped." The reporter did not bring this up, but indeed it would have stumped the interviewee.

    I was shocked at the film maker's suggestions, because that alone will not solve the vast and deep problems either. And even if it were…..we'd be sending women backwards…not forward….re: shaming their sexuality, hiding it as before, etc.

  16. POR says:

    Thank you for posting this. I agree with you 100%. Could you post a link to the organizations within India that are working to combat this horror? Or, how about international organizations that are putting pressure on India with respect to this issue? I would like to do something.

  17. Monica says:

    Having just spent two weeks in the south of India, wearing saris and dots on my forehead btw, I have to say my experience was that I was met by a very gentle, open and loving people. I don't deny the problem of rape and women's lack of equal rights in this country, but I think it would serve us to look at the history of India and the way the British and the colonizers took advantage of the Indian people. I was even 'saluted' by a little boy on the street and can only imagine how these people were treated and dominated by the Brits to still have these gestures and habits among their youth. The oppressed often become the oppressors and I do agree that it serves the whole world to look at this case and bring the lack of action by the by-standers and police to the world's attention and scrutiny. Still, I can't paint the whole country with such a broad brush. Given some of the events and horrors our own country deals with on a daily basis, including our own lack of equality on so many regards and the violence I see perpetrated on so many, starting with the taunting and bullying going on in every school yard down the street, I believe we are dealing with a world wide problem and not just a problem in India. I commend you for not staying quiet, I also can't look out without first looking in, we are all in the same boat and our culture is not above that of the Indian people, no matter what style of clothes we wear…

  18. lesmess says:

    Definitely. We. Women. Men. Yoga Community. Or not. Have to keep this issue boiling. This should be turned into the Indian Spring. I go to India each year and hear about the awful stories from women we help support through work with Yogagivesback.org. Violence against women exists on every corner in almost every household. It’s a shame.

  19. Livia says:

    appreciating this post from many angles. and also agree with many of these comments here. to fight fire with fire isnt always conducive or in fact helpful but i jive with the anger and passion. for me the real issue is the following: WHEN WILL WE TEACH OUR MEN TO STOP RAPING OUR WOMEN. to hear constant reminders in society and even from other women of how i should avoid being raped is insulting. we should raise men who dont act in these ways.

  20. POR says:

    What I was trying to say was that it's great that you're going to to emblazon a T-shirt with that unfortunate woman's name but though you may raise a few eyebrows I doubt your action will actually do anything to change the situation for women in India. Maybe you are planning to do more than this symbolic act but that's not obvious from your blog. There surely are people and organizations doing good work in this area and we should support them. I'm glad for your blog because it serves to maintain attention on this horrible, horrible problem but we need to follow consciousness raising up with action.

  21. Isabelle says:

    My heart aches. Thank you for writing this and shedding light on a very important issue, (sad its an issue), that is happening. Please write more. We need to hear the truth more. Peace to you and everyone else on the planet.

  22. Munni says:

    Have any of you ever taken to protest about thousands of young children who die from parental abuse in our beautiful countries.

    Really letrs clean up our own backyards first- it is filthy … with so much ill treatment of children

  23. Munni says:

    .Women have been raped, abused for ever and in all countries for all times – I am sure there are millions women in India , wearing short skirts dont get raped. This was a good sensational story for the media to print and guess what everybody is taliking about it .

    what about the houselss milliions in our countrieas. Do you know that Aus has lots of resources and only 22 million people – and guess what there are 100K houseless people in beautiful Oz. Can you bea that- these sensational news items are distractions to what is really happening- let us meditate for world peace together for 108 days from 6pm to 8 pma daily – ALL of us – bet you there will some shift.. shall we try it frm today

  24. Munni says:

    Bryonie Wise Waylon Lewis &Michelle Berman Marchildon =hey let us organise a massive rally (not looking away) for all the innocent people that have been killed in Gaza, Palestine, Baghdad, Afghanistan- that is where our passion is needed.

    This article reallty is such a "look @ me " how holier than thou are we? serioulsy in 1 month . the tragic death of this young woman will only remembered by her parents , let us talk about the real tragedies- the young men and womem who are fighting stupid wars for stupid and old greedy "western"(this is not about race- but about men -black,white,asian who embrace the greed culture of the west) men. Real change – real challenge- this is too pathetic! OMG – hope to exercise the freedom to really "balls eye ourselves"

  25. Munni says:

    Heathe M Your pt. on "India is not a "Jerusalem of Yoga"" is well made. Because having spent over 2 years in India myself, I know it is not Indians practicing yoga as much as Westerners. As the father of one of my students said in India, "We are trying to get food on the table not yoga." Most people assume Indians do yoga, but for them getting ahead in this world is not becoming a yoga teacher…as it is in the West. And many Indians as I know it never practiced yoga, know much about it or even probably care.

    My God the sheer ignorance – of course Indians practice yoga – frm mother's womb- they feel the anxiety of the mother-
    bo y or gal- the in=laws- the hubby . frm breast feeding – in following the of 100 rituals- keeping quiet- appear to being peaceul- yoga on the mat- is v limiting. Try going to school in dust * heat- crowded pub vehicles, crowded roads, sharing with animals, EVERYDAY boys and gals, man & women "sexual pawing" each other who says we dont practie yoga Man – we are walking talking "yogis" – get real – yoga in real life – not only studios- try this here 🙂

  26. Jen says:

    Totally hear you and great article. 100's of thousands of women (and men) are raped every year in the U.S. of A as well. Many are not reported. Even more people are victims of sexual assault or abuse. This is a violent smear EVERYWHERE.

  27. Hmmm. I’m not so sure I want to know what my wife is up to on her computer. Perhaps it’s enough to know that we are together and a reasonable level of trust will do.Do I want her to hear all of my thoughts all the time? No way. Even though I haven’t done anything wrong.

  28. shivin varghese says:

    @Heather, well yea you’re right… The middle class and the poverty-line class ppl here who constitute the maximum population of India, when they wake up in the morning, they think “how do i retain my job, work and earn my share and my family’s share of food”. They dont think of carrying a branded Manduka mat or wearing a Lulullemon outfit to a yoga studio, thinking “what crazy asana do i learn from my yoga teacher?” Two ppl are responsible for the commoners in India to be deprived of learning from teachers like Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois or Krishnamacharya’s family. They are the authorities in india who care a damn about providing any compensation to the jobless, of providing old age pensions to the elderly ones who aint actually been in a government job, or for that matter any thing (take the example of security measures). The Government here wants to suck the blood of the poor and eat the excess from the rich.
    The other who is responsible is the westerners who have occupied the beaches, beach-houses of goa, the yoga centres in Mysore and Rishikesh. The ones who landed up in the 70s like David Swenson, others etc knew that when the Dollar’s kind of converted to Indian Rupee, it makes a lot of it. So thanks to them, the instructors here would charge more even to the locals. Yoga thus would never be a philosophical system, it turned out to be a product. Like a contraceptive, its being sold as per the retailers set price! Today the Jois shala charges about 25-30 k for a month’s training, and authorization would happen only on the 3rd visit, if Im correct as per the info i have. You think a local in Mysore, who on an average earns 15-20 k Indian Rupees would take a month’s vacation and practice – by putting in almost a month’s salary?! Even the Indians I have seen there in Mysore during my short lived trip to Mysore were those who belonged to well to do backgrounds who could afford the time and money to learn yoga. And these, as i mentioned earlier, could be counted on fingers. And yea, the 2 “certified” or “authorized” ashtanga teachers who i spotted thru the website, they charge a big amount, are available only to select few ppl in Mumbai and are mostly travelling. So how do I expect the ppl to learn here? India doesnt have a Mumbai Ashtanga, or Calcutta Ashtanga or Kerala Ashtanga centre the way the US has – Ashtanga Miami, or Ashtanga New York, Ashtanga North Shore bla bla..

    This is why I wouldnt go by the saying of Pattabhi Jois, who once said,”Yoga is for all..” Damn!! Its not. Looking at the current situation, its just meant for some crazy hippie westerners who want to be authorized either by an Iyengar or a Jois school.

    And ofcourse I hate the fact that some of the westerners who run yoga school in India still charge in US dollars and Euros and Pounds!
    Go to Dubai, the locals and the outsiders would still charge you in the local currency.
    As per a friend whose Uncles run a restaurant in New York, they charge a nominal rate in Dollars. They dont charge in Pounds or the Kuwaiti Dinar (despite knowing that these are more in value than a Dollar).. I must say moreover the Indian Government is responsible for relaxing the rules to the expats who mostly come on a tourist visa and work, and even buy houses in tourist attractions like Goa and Mysore. Ask an Indian how difficult its even to get thru for a work visa in the Americas and in the European nations, if the applicant were to apply by himself and not sponsored by the employer. You’d get to see the difference.

    @Michelle – may I ask out of curiosity – why would you want to visit a temple in India? Is it coz its there in every western tourist’s itinery list? Is it to post the pics of the rishis and images on FB or elephant journal or on twitter? If yes, then I can bet, you’d find better Sri Krishna mission or Chinmaya mission temples in the US itself. 🙂 Coz yes, thanks to the tourist crowd even things like the Rudraksha beeds (the ekmukhi rudraksha specially) is sold even for more than a lac Rupees. Temples have been commercialised.

    @Monica – you are lucky you were saluted by an Indian boy. He was probably too innocent to understand what his ancestors went thru during the British reign. Certain movies which i get to watch on pre independence still sends a chill thru my spine. Why would I salute a Brit. A brit who compares an Indian to a dog?!

    PS: dont ask me not to judge. From my own personal experience, being a middle class Indian who wanted to earnestly practice Yoga in Mysore, I was judged by some crazy westerners despite being polite, honest. So i guess I do have the same approach towards them eh?

    Dont tell me “O I understand what you mean..” Coz if you’re a non-indian, you’d NEVER understand.
    Suggestion – pray you’re not born in this corner, and thank your blood and God for being privileged to enjoy all good benefits of travel and culture and whatever..

  29. Ashley says:

    I"LL GO WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Rally the sister, change has to happen and it has to happen NOW
    and it has to happen EVERYWHERE

    For all the girls, for all the women, for all the people

  30. […] who matter most to you. It is the rejection of a culture that demeans, devalues, humiliates and brutalizes women the world over. It is a marked space—this is […]

  31. […] The New Delhi gang rape and murder seemed to give a lot of Americans an opportunity to practice denial, national elitism, and perhaps even a little racism all at once. […]

  32. Larali says:

    8 years ago I spent 7 months in India. It is a tough place for women. No doubt. I applaude ur solidarity but strongly advice you to take proper care and be cautious when in there. Try to make a change but do not defy their culture in a way that may put u in danger. Please, promise me that. An acquaintance got murdered there, and another raped. So if u are planning to make a stand, please be wise while doing it. As soon as you arrive to Delhi you will surely understand what i say. I definitely agree something must be done, but i am 1000% sure that wearing a t-shirt, showing ur shoulders and legs in Delhi would only put u in danger than u making a statement. Again, be wise. Love…