A writer, journalist and campaigner based in London, Sunny Hundal feels strongly about violence against women in India. In a freewheeling chat with dna, he explains why the problem is getting worse.
Hundal is by the world around him and a desire to explain events and to change people’s minds towards a better world. His favourite authors include Naomi Klein and Arundhati Roy, and he recently finished ‘1Q84’ by Murakami though he doesn’t read fiction very often.
“I’m just starting ‘Helium’, by Jaspreet Singh,” he says.
Hundal finds traveling on a train in any part of India to be the best place to read a book.
His topic for the forthcoming TedxPune is ‘60 million invisible women in India’.
Explaining the choice of the topic, he says: “As a man of Indian origin, I have always felt I needed to raise my voice against violence against women by Indian men. Until recently, I focused on the UK, but after the gangrape in Delhi late last year, I became more interested in what is happening in India.”
Researching the issue further led him to the conclusion that the problem was getting worse, not better.
He adds: “Many women in India have been trying to raise awareness of this problem for years, and I felt I have to add my voice too. The approximate figure of ‘60 million missing women’ is an attempt to explain the scale of how bad the problem is. I get angry at how badly women in India are treated and feel partly responsible because this is my country of origin.”
“There are several reasons why violence against women in India is rising. Firstly, there are millions of unmarried men who cannot find brides because there is a growing imbalance in the sex-ratio. Plus, men are migrating to cities to look for work and are gathering in gangs together, which increases violence because men in gangs are more likely to commit violence or get into other crime.”
But most importantly, he feels, Indian men are not taught properly how to interact with women by their parents.
‘Eve-teasing unheard of’
“The casual harassment (called ‘eve teasing’) that women in India have to bear is unheard of in most countries in the world. Why is there so much disrespect towards women? Upbringing is a major part of this problem.”
(Sunny Hundal will be presenting a talk at TedxPune 2013, which will be held on November 23.)