What’s in the name: It’s just to Shame or put the Blame

In the recent years, we have seen a lot of hustle around the renaming agenda varying from roads, station, cities, island and many more. If this shocks you, then you are living in a different era of not knowing the inheritance of the name game. We are so used to our day to day routine, that we have let this pastime hushed under the carpet. We have our age-old tradition of labelling our favourites or even when we believe that it belongs to us in any miniscule way. We get so engrossed in our addiction of name game with right to expression as per Article 19 (1) (a) that we forget the need for consent of the other party in lieu of their right to life and liberty under Article 21 of our Indian constitution.  This article tries to highlight the day to day name game that we become oblivion due to our pride and prejudice in our life. This article would shed light on our inner hypocrisy that we hide is our closet of cultural and moral values.

Slut Shaming

We all have either witnessed in or being part of the culture of demeaning females by such derogatory terms due to their life choices. Lifestyle Theory, one of the victomological theory suggests that an individual’s likelihood to suffer victimization depends heavily upon the concept of life style. In lieu of the said theory, it becomes conceptually very laid-back for victim precipitation and not instil the liability on such lecherous individuals, who indulged in such name-calling. Victim Precipitation as a concept in criminology deals in analysing how a victim’s interaction with an offender/perpetrator mat contribute to the crime being committed. The theory is mostly associated with homicide, rape, assault, and robbery. While looking into the said concept, we could recall the process of name calling likely Slut, Whore, Prostitute, Call Girl and other towards female who these individual finds of immoral character. Even after Supreme Court guidelines that “Even assuming that the women are of easy virtue, she has the right to refuse any sexual favours to anyone”. This landmark judgement doesn’t change the perspective of society and we continue to label any female who are rebel or are not under control of the patriarchy society.

The Latest Supreme court judgement in Criminal Appeal No. 2153/ 2013, where the supreme court has modified the conviction of a women accused of murdering her husband to “culpable homicide not amounting to murder” on the ground that it was a result of sudden and grave provocation by the deceased by calling the accused and her daughter as prostitutes. The judgement reads that, in our society, no lady would like to hear such word from her husband and most importantly not for her daughter. The prosecution case was that the deceased had a suspicion of his wife and his daughter has illicit relationship with one of the accused Nawaz. The case revolves around suspicious extra marital affair that led to verbal spat and then altercation that led to violence leading to death. This judgement of the honourable court revisits the inherited name game of labelling. This points out the question towards each one of us, that if name calling label the character of an individual. Do we now label all extra marital affairs as prostitution? Do we name females of easy virtue as Sluts? Do we decide what immoral character will be termed as Whores? Aren’t we trying to be all prude by this? We need to respect each individual and provide dignity towards any kind of profession. Shaming individual by terming them Sluts, whores, Call Girls, Prostitutes etc is in return disrespecting the profession of sex workers. This is one of the reasons why Sex Work is still looked upon as a social evil in our society. We need not like sex work or believe it has any redeeming social value, in order to respect their profession and provide them equal rights to live their life and choose their work.

Gender Stereotype

In the era of globalisation, privatization and liberalisation, we still find the culture of gender stereotype very popular. The categorisation of task and duties in lieu of gender invites the agenda of victim blaming. Victim blaming occurs when the victim of an act is laid entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell upon them. The connotation of gender stereotypes put the onus on the individual to perform certain duties or responsibility because of belongingness to a certain gender or sex. This indeed curtail the rights of other gender plus put the discussed gender in acute pressure to perform as expected. This act can be seen from the childhood till the time we are old, it is seen in schools, colleges and offices, it is displayed by parents, relative, friends and unknown. At times, one would be shocked that they themselves would have committed this sin at one or the other point of their lives.

Quoting few examples would be Don’t cry like a girl to a boy, Girls don’t roam around at night, This job is not meant for girls, your biological clock is ticking women, Girls need not to be a rebel, Single mother is an invitation, Female bosses have reached their by favours, guys need to have six pack, machoism is a must for all boys, Mechanical engineering is not for girls, Home science is not for boys. These are just a few amongst the million ways of gender stereotyping. We compartmentalise various activities, duties and responsibilities to different genders in awe of developing a hypocritical mindset within us. Gender should not be brought forward as an excuse or weapon towards the course of life. Every individual should cherish the individuality of oneself and others in any sphere that may be gender, colour, caste, race, religion, profession and the list would go on and on.


The sense of nationalism is very subjective in nature and is difficult in terms of expression, but the current trends have refuted the claim. We have seen a different version of nationalism, where any one who disapproves a certain nationalist approach in termed as Anti-National. The offence of sedition, in India, is defined under Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code as, “whoever by words either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation or otherwise brings into hatred or contempt or excite or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India shall be punished”. This section is very widely used to bring down all the so-called nationalist, who come as a crusader towards the wave of nationalism in the entire country. The recent charge sheeted case of Kanhaiya Kumar v. State of NCT of Delhi, labelled every individual present in the event organised at Jawaharlal Nehru University on event of hanging of Afzal Guru in 2013 as Anti-Nationalist.  

The sudden upsurge of nationalism in many individuals showcase the dichotomy within themselves that portray a class of act amongst fellow so-called nationalist and disapproves the preamble of our constitution that sets a foundation of nationalism within everyone in our country. We need understand that mere forceful behaviour and threats towards performance of nationalist activities would not portray the respect and love for one’s nation. One must acknowledge the cultural diversity and the synchronised harmony between different culture, belief and tradition within the country. The day, we approve the existence of different individuals varying in different perspective under one nation, that day we would make the flag bearer and founders of our constitution proud. We are the custodian of the constitution and we always need to uphold it to its integrity.


If the above context does bring a doubt in our mind that, are we creating victims in the society due to our hypocritical and stereotypical mentality, then it has served its purpose. We are so engrossed in our daily lives that we do not respect the life of any other individual. The sense of egotism, self-worth and pride have made us ignorant of the vulnerabilities and consequences of our act. These activities not only lead to victimization of an individual at physical, emotional or mental level but has an impact on future victimization. The major impact on any individual over such victimization is the emergence of the sense of hidden victimization.

Hidden victimization as a term is not elaborately discussed in any studies but it has depicted the form of victimization that have been subtle in nature and hushed under the carpet. The concept of Hidden victimization can be channelized as any social activities with a negative impact happening within the society and is not usually reported due to the unrecognised status of the act. The concept of hidden victimization can be understood in all the above scenario, where individuals are victimized by being slut shames, gender stereotyping or being called anti-national but cannot act against the same due to marginalisation. Activities like these contribute to hidden victimization in further course of life, where the individual would keep quiet over any abuse, torture or harassment within the course of life. The concept of hidden victimization can be attributed in any course of action, where the individual due to the fear of social norms or the paramount role of socialisation does not report any form of victimization and indulged in self blaming for the said act. This would lead to adverse effects on the victim and create prevalence for future victimization.

Pandya & KL Coffee Stint: Victim of Game or Offender to Shame

The controversy

Hardik Pandya & KL Rahul have turned from one of the most popular to the controversial Indian cricketing name in a span of an hour coffee date with Karan Johar. The Koffee with Karan episode streamed on Hotstar hosted both the players as a beginning of season of inviting cricketing celebrity. It has just hit as rock on the face for the host, as the episode turned out to be a controversial one for the said season. Hardik Pandya was seen to be making few objectifying remarks claiming his personality being more of black origin. He was quoted “I like to watch and observe how they (women) move. I’m little from the black side so I need to see how they move”. Pandya was also seen boasting the incidence, when he lost his virginity and narrated the achievement to his parents. He also stated a party scene, where his parents enquired about his past with any girls and his response included pointing out at numerous. KL Rahul’s comments were subtle as compared to Pandya, but few remarks dragged him in the controversy. The remark of his interaction with fans in his room was one of the few.

Backlash in concurrence with #MeToo movement

As soon as the episode aired on the web, the internet lost its cool and backlashed the duo for their misogynist and sexist remarks.  The episode attracted comments from fellow cricketing fraternity and celebrities from Bollywood. The Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli expressed in the press conference in Sydney that “We as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers don’t align with those views, those were individual opinions. We are still waiting for a decision to be made“. Ace spinner Harbhajan Singh has slammed KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya by quoting that “this case has a lot of talk about sexism, racism and other ill-natured comments. You don’t tell these kinds of things on national television. We don’t even discuss these things with our friends”. There have been statements made on social media criticising the comments made by the duo in the show. Bollywood Actress Esha Gupta also expressed her anger and projected a bad upbringing for such a crash statement made by Pandya in the episode. This seems to be a storm that doesn’t seem to swing away and have created an uproar in lieu of the ongoing #MeToo movement supporting the rights of women and preventing any kind of harassment.

BCCI Rules & Regulations

Committee of Administrators member Diana Edulji recommended “suspension till further action” against India players Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul after the BCCI legal team refused to declare their outrage-evoking comments on women a violation of the code of conduct. Committee of Administrators (COA) chief Vinod Rai has proposed a quick inquiry into much-criticised comments made by suspended cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul but Diana Edulji fears it will be construed as a “cover up” job. A source in the BCCI also told the PTI that the two cricketers will be issued fresh show cause notices. “Whether it will be an internal committee of the BCCI or an ad hoc ombudsman who will conduct an inquiry, is yet to be ascertained,” the official said.

If one reads the rulebook of BCCI, it can be noted that there are no guidelines barring players from such shows and stating what covers misconduct of a team player. The rules and regulations of BCCI states in Clause 10 that “The Board shall have the power to call into question the conduct of any player within its jurisdiction and may take such disciplinary action against the player as the Board may deem fit. The Board’s decision shall be final.” Clause 32 (iv) of the same explains that players would be brought under scrutiny for committing any act of indiscipline or misconduct or acts in any manner which may or likely to be detrimental to the interest of the Board or the game of cricket or endanger the harmony or affect the reputation or interest of the Board or refuses or neglects to comply with any of the provisions of the Memorandum and/or the Rules and Regulations of the Board and/or the Rules of conduct framed by the Board.

Gentleman’s game or Freedom of expression

Former India captain and batting great Sunil Gavaskar had lauded the BCCI for suspending Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul and insisted that suspended players shouldn’t be rubbing shoulders with their teammates in the dressing room. “They [the BCCI] have dealt with it [the controversy]. From what I read in the newspapers today, they have sent them back or asked them to come back. That’s a right way to send a signal,” Gavaskar told Sony Six on Saturday.

The duo has been trashed across the media and have been portrayed as a sexual predator for their remarks on an entertainment show that was filled with questions that hinted controversial responses. Koffee with Karan have always been in the brunt of gossips and controversy amid remarks made by Bollywood celebrity. This has not been one of the first, where one comment has stirred the media, but came in light due to its association with the cricketing fraternity. We still need to address the question that should Bollywood and Cricketing celebrity be treated differently for comments made in an entertainment show each or do we still need to make the line very clear between freedom of expression and freedom of speech?

Victim of a Game or offender to be shamed

Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, Babul Supriyo has slammed Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Committee of Administrators (CoA) member, Diana Edulji for trying to “destroy” the careers of Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, who have been suspended pending an inquiry over their “inappropriate comments” on a popular television show. “With due & utter respect to Diana Edulji & her contribution to Indian cricket, May I say that her thinking has got ‘fossil’ to contemplate such extreme steps. What Hardik said is deplorable but their has to be some prudence in the way such senior minds handle the young ones” (sic) Supriyo tweeted.

Sreesanth said that those who had made bigger mistakes than Rahul and Pandya had gotten away with it in the past. “Yes, what happened was wrong. They said some wrong things. But there are others whose have made bigger mistakes than these, who are still playing and are in different fields not just cricket. The same people are speaking about this. When they see an opportunity, they pounce on it like tigers,” Sreesanth said

Reacting to the criticism, Pandya’s father Himanshu told mid-day: I don’t think people should read too much into his comments. It was an entertainment show and his comments were made in a light-hearted manner. “He was only looking to entertain the audience. So, it [his comments] should not be viewed very seriously or negatively. He is an innocent boy with a very fun-loving nature.”

Careers at Stake

“Both Pandya and Rahul have been suspended pending an inquiry,” PTI quoted Committee of Administrators chief Vindo Rai. The Committee of Administrators (CoA) Chairman Vinod Rai has now referred the matter to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, who will investigate the case further. Johri is supposed to submit his findings in no more than 15 days. “Yes, Hardik and Rahul have submitted their reply to the fresh showcause notices that were served to them. They have tendered unconditional apology. The CoA chief has instructed the CEO to conduct an inquiry as per clause 41 (c) of the new BCCI constitution,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

The initial two match suspension have now turned on to dismissal of the duo from both Australia series and the limited-over series in New Zealand. It is rumoured that the investigation will have a toll on the chances of getting through the World Cup squad scattering the dream of these passionate cricket players, who have had a tremendous spell in the last matches played. Meanwhile, Pandya has locked himself in his house and is not ready to communicate with anybody amidst the controversy. He has also been the constant, falling at every level ranging from losing Khan Gymkhana club membership to the Gillette advertisement contract.

Road Ahead

BCCI need to formulate code of conduct for every player irrespective of the grade in order to contemplate actions irrespective of any discrimination of superiority. The board should instruct players to avoid making appearance in entertainment shows and party in lieu of the chances of honey trap and leading to corruption allegations. The cricket contract o players should state terms and conditions on occasions of misconduct and penalties instead of waiting for instances of offences and harbouring the career at stake in lieu of personal covets. This controversy in the light of #MeToo movement have gained the momentum of standing for women’s right and against any harassment. Every individual need to be taught the value of dignity, respect and ethics but not at the cost of his personal wellbeing and professional career at stake.

70 Years On: UN Declaration on Human Rights from the lens of Victimology

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations (GAUN) 70 years ago, nonetheless, is more relevant to the future and today’s society.  Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedom set forth in this landmark declaration requires major attention. However, these defining characteristics of the UDHR constitute not only its strength, but also its weaknesses.  This important milestone in the UN history is a testament to the commitment of the UN to global rules and values. On this important occasion of the 70th anniversary of UDHR her press statement on 9th December, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said, “the document has gone from being an “aspirational treatise” to a set of standards that has “permeated virtually every area of international law”.

The most meaningful words of   UN High Commissioner on the notion of human rights resonates in today’s discourse. In the recent past conflicts, migration related issues, racial  polarization  and  inequalities   have  played   a large  role   in breakdown of societies.  Given the uncertainties, the numbers of people victimized due to hate crimes are unquestionably high. The distrust of reason is perhaps one of the most important traits of such issues. In fact, one could argue that victimology, as a subject doesn’t immediately spring to the mind over these issues or as a problem-solving method. There is no doubt of Victimology as a branch of criminal justice studies has been responsible for the expanding knowledge focusing on the victims of crimes. Perhaps in order to understand the dynamics of victimization, Victimologists offers a more realistic picture about   Victimology as a domain of social science. Hence the introduction of victimology   was major step forward in strengthening the fundamental principals of the Universal Declaration.

Looking at some characteristics of victimology narratives within the judicial proceedings requires alternative   behavioral and forensic science methods to investigate the causes, is a part of a larger study of the victimology specialty. Therefore, the element Forensic victimology, a sub-division of victimology reinforces and is closely linked to criminal justice studies.  In this context Forensic victimology analyses victim’s lifestyle and circumstances, the events leading up to their injury, and looks into the precise nature of any harm or loss that he or she had suffered.

While some nations looked for new laws to prohibit hate crime against individuals or groups, others sought the answers in solving this pertaining issuing relating to victimology using home grown methods. Various intervention strategies have been implemented in the recent past. There are various laws, declaration, codified rules and regulation that prevent individual under the international law, but these are working towards penalizing the wrong-doer and not focusing on the overall aspect and perspective of the crime. In the global context, laws that prohibit any type of hate crime against an individual or groups were partially fruitful.  Very few countries in European Union, North and South America have focused on implementing laws against hate crime.   However, 45 states in America expanded   this law and was major step forward.  Unquestionably, the most renowned organizations in the world such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Criminal Court (ICC), The World Society of Victimology (WSV) holding consultative status with UN and Council of Europe, International Criminal Justice Institutes and other   related agencies have been playing a realistic role intervening in furthering of victimology subject. International consensus is growing on human rights and freedom’s discourses that is designed to look beyond the victim stereotype and improves the policies relating to the prevention of crimes as well as to look into the victim themselves.