Another Woman Who Should Have Known She Was in the Wrong Place? She’s in her hotel room – near the Taj Mahal . . . is this another case of being in the wrong place in India? You’re not safe in your own hotel room? The manager of the hotel comes to your room to wake you for a wake-up call???
20 March 2013
Tourist balcony jump: Hotel manager and guard in court
A hotel manager and guard accused of sexually harassing a British tourist who jumped from a hotel balcony to escape have appeared in court in Agra.
A lawyer acting for hotel manager Sachin Chauhan said his client denied the charge and he had been trying to wake the woman up because she had asked for an early morning call.
The 31-year-old British woman was injured after jumping on Tuesday.
The Briton has been giving her statement at the court.
Initial reports suggested the woman told police she asked for a wake-up call at 04:00 local time and was offered a massage by the hotel owner when he knocked on her door.
She said the man would not leave so she locked the door and jumped from her balcony to the level below, injuring her leg, before fleeing the hotel.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for the British High Commission in India said UK consular officials in Delhi had spoken to the woman and local police.
The Foreign Office recently updated its advice for women visiting India, saying they should use caution and avoid travelling alone on public transport, or in taxis or auto-rickshaws, especially at night.
It added that reported cases of sexual assault against women and young girls were increasing and recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas and cities showed that foreign women were also at risk.
Police arrested six people following an alleged gang rape of a Swiss tourist in Madhya Pradesh state last week.
The woman was attacked with her husband as they camped in woodland near a village in Datia district.
The arrests came as India’s politicians prepared to debate a new law against rape, following the outcry over the fatal assault on a female Delhi student last year.
Horrifying. Disgusting. At the very least, if you are an official and tourists are gang raped in your area, keep your mouth shut. If you must say something, tell the visitors how sorry you are this happened to them. Never, never, never suggest that they should have ASKED if they were safe, NEVER blame the victim for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You just look really, really ignorant.
These crimes will keep happening as long as there is such a preference for male children that there are not enough mates for the males once they mature. They will keep happening as long as men are not taught, as children, that women are to be equally respected.
Swiss Gang Rape Victim, Husband Partially To Blame For Attack, Indian Officials Suggest
The Huffington Post | By Cavan Sieczkowski
Posted: 03/18/2013 12:13 pm EDT
Officials in India suggested that a Swiss tourist and her husband are partially to blame for an alleged attack and gang rape in a remote wooded area in Madhya Pradesh last week. They said the couple did not inquire about the safety of the region.
On Friday, a Swiss woman and her husband pitched a tent in a forest in Madhya Pradesh while on a three-month cycling excursion, according to the Associated Press. Around 9:30 p.m. a group of men attacked the couple, beat up the husband, tied him to a tree, gang raped the wife and robbed the pair, police said.
During a press conference on Sunday, police spokesperson Avnesh Kumar Budholiya suggested the tourists are partially to blame for the assault because they chose to travel that area without speaking to local police, the Independent reports.
“No one stops there,” Budholiya said. “Why did they choose that place? They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They would have passed a police station on the way to the area they camped. They should have stopped and asked about places to sleep.”
Another official also appeared to place blame on the victim and her husband.
“The rape of the Swiss national is unfortunate but foreign travelers should inform the police about their movement so they can be provided with adequate protection,” said Umashankar Gupta, the Home Minister of Madhya Pradesh, according to The Times. “They often don’t follow the state’s rules.”
Madhya Pradesh reportedly has one of the highest rates of crimes against women in the country, a fact the Swiss tourists were unaware of, according to the Times of India.
“They apparently lost track and took a wrong turn and decided to halt for the night by the side of a village brook little realizing that the district with 85:100 men to women ratio is not the safest place for women,” a senior official from the region told the newspaper.
Six men have been arrested in connection with the most recent reported gang rape, CNN reports. The victim, who was hospitalized after the attack, claims four of the men raped her. The other two reportedly robbed her and her husband. All six appeared in court Monday.
The most recent attack comes just three months after a 23-year-old woman was gang raped and beaten on a public bus by five men in New Delhi. The defense lawyer for three of the accused placed some of the blame on the now-deceased victim, saying a “respected lady” does not get raped.
Blaming a female victim of a sex crime is common in India because of a woman’s role in society, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“This is the mentality which most Indian men are suffering from unfortunately,” Ranjana Kumari, director for the New Delhi-based Centre for Social Research, told the newspaper. “That is the mindset that has been perpetrating this crime because they justify it indirectly, you asked for it so it is your responsibility.”
It’s amazing how much more energy I have when the weather cools; yesterday was nearly 80°F and I had to force myself to work through my list of to-do’s, but as the temperatures dropped once again, we slept well, we awoke rested and energetic, and I ended up adding things to my list, for the sheer joy of feeling like doing things.
A new recipe – for me, for us – Chole – is bubbling in our crock pot. It sounded so good! I found the recipe – I think on allrecipes.com – several months ago, but today is the perfect day to put it all together. It has so many things in it which are good for us, but especially chick peas, tomatoes, ginger and turmeric.
I had no idea what it would look like, but it looks like things we used to eat at the vegetarian restaurant Greenland, down in Souk Mubarakiyya, in Kuwait. I think it is missing a few spices, probably things we have a hard time getting here. It wasn’t even easy just finding mustard seeds, if I had needed those dried lemons or other spices exotic to Pensacola, I couldn’t have attempted it. This Chole won’t be the same as the delicious, spicy, complex dishes our Indian quilters would bring to the weekly stitch meetings, but it will be a good tasty dinner on a rainy night. I wish we had the fried Indian breads that Wikipedia says are traditionally served with it.
Chole (Chickpea Stew)
• 2 cups of chickpeas soaked overnight
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 large onion, minced
• 1 red bell pepper, minced
• 2 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
• 1-inch piece ginger, minced
• 1 14 oz can of coconut milk
• 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp coriander powder
• 1/2 tsp turmeric
• 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
• 1/2 tsp ground cloves
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 tsp garam masala
• 1.5 tsp mustard seeds
• 1/2 tsp salt
Blend all the ingredients but chickpeas in a food processor or a blender until liquid. Wash and drain chickpeas, place them in a slow cooker, pour the blended mixture over and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4-5.
Make ahead: we usually make double or triple of this recipe, since we love it. Let it cool, and store chole in freezer-safe zip-lock bags in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Just for fun, I am going to share with you the Wikipedia version. I laugh to think how intimidated I would be –
preparation time=45mins cooking time=1hour serves=4
Ingredients For the chole 1 cup kabuli chana (white chick peas), soaked overnight 1 tea bag or tsp tea leaves, tied in a muslin cloth (optional) 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera) 1 onion, finely chopped 12 mm (1/2″) piece of ginger (adrak), grated 2 cloves of garlic (lehsun), grated 2 tsp chole masala 2 tsp chilli powder 2 tsp dried mango powder (amchur) 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi) 1 tbsp coriander (dhania) powder 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera) powder 2 tbsp oil salt to taste
For the bhature 1/2 cup plain flour (maida) 1/2 cup potatoes, boiled and grated 1 1/2 tsp oil salt to taste oil for deep-frying
For serving 1 onion, sliced 4 lemon wedge
Recipe For the chole Pressure cook the Kabuli chana with the tea bag for 3 whistles until they are soft . Drain and keep aside. Discard the tea bag. Heat the oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the onion, ginger and garlic and sauté till the onion is golden brown. Add the chole masala, chilli powder, amchur, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin seed powder and salt and sauté for another minute. Add the Kabuli chana and 1 cup of water and mix well. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep aside
For the bhature Combine the flour, potato, 1½ teaspoons of oil and salt and knead into a firm dough without using any water. Knead the dough very well till it is smooth Cover with a wet muslin cloth and rest the dough for 10 minutes Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll out into circles of 125 mm. (5″) diameter. Deep fry in hot oil till the bhaturas puff up and both sides are golden brown. Serve hot with the chole, sliced onion and lemon wedges. Tips While frying the bhature, press the centre lightly with a frying spoon so as to help it to puff up. Chole masala is a blend of spices which is readily available at most grocery stores. 
LOL, cook with a tea bag for three whistles??? I am already way out of my league! And “Chole masala is a blend of spices which is readily available at most grocery stores” does not apply to Pensacola, Florida!
A friend shared a flyer with us and said “I thought you might be interested in this.” He was right – it was a celebration of Diwali, and it would take place in a nearby Presbyterian church.
First, though, we had to buy tickets, which meant finding the Indian grocery store. This was a really good thing, as AdventureMan wanted some good hot chutneys, and I was hoping I could find some of the dark chana dal that I used to buy so inexpensively in Doha and Kuwait, but found myself ordering from Amazon.com because I couldn’t fine them in Pensacola. I knew it! I just wasn’t looking in the right place!
My first Diwali was magical. It was held on Al Fardan Gardens, in Doha, and all the Indian families strung thousands of white lights and lined the sidewalks with votives, so it was like a fairy land. By this late in the year, it can cool down enough to make the thought of walking inviting. To walk among the lights and to stop here and there for some truly divine cooking was delightful.
Diwali in Pensacola? Whoda thunk it?
As it turns out, Pensacola has a substantial Indian population, tightly woven together and cooperating in times of celebration and times of sorrow. Last night was a little of both – the Diwali celebration had been planned and organized for several months, but a sudden death of one of the long time members on the day of the Diwali celebration saddened the day somewhat.
While all grieved, the show went on. Lots and lots of lively traditional dances, a few Bollywood numbers, and a wonderful sword dance that reminded us of similar sword dances we had seen in the Gulf, performed only by men, while these were performed by women.
After all that energetic dancing, we were ready to eat. Butter Chicken, chicken korma, dal, rice, all kinds of good things provided by one of the newer Indian restaurants in town, the India Palace.
I never dreamed when we came to Pensacola that there would be an opportunity to celebrate Diwali.