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Syeda S. Hameed

Rs 275 Pb 2006
(Japanese rights sold. All others available.)
Women who were revenge gang-raped, honour-killed, sexually harassed, branded as witches, burnt for dowry, abused as children. Their stories appeared in newspapers, triggered shock waves, evoked protests, dharnas and gheraos—and died down. But who were they? Maimun from Nuh in Haryana, Gudiya from Haria ki Garhi in Mathura, Sajoni from Jamtara in Jharkhand, Jahanara from Reshampura in Gwalior, Bela from Karvi in Banda…and countless others.

Here are the real-life stories of those women whom the author encountered as Member of the National Commission for Women, poignantly and shockingly presented by her as fact-cum-fiction. Each of the women is someone we recognize, yet she remains faceless. Each of them cries out for justice, yet justice is elusive. Each of them embodies the predicament of the majority of Indian women, but only a few have the courage to speak out. Read their lives in this extraordinary document, which is also an indictment of a society that claims to worship its women.

Syeda S. Hameed
was formerly Member, Planning Commission of India and National Commission for Women. She has edited the four centenary volumes of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, India's Maulana; and translated Hali's Musaddas.

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