"Liquor, the slaying of women and Shudras ... are all minor offences," according to Manu, the Hindu lawgiver. "To rape is human," asserts Mr. Joshi, Chief Minister of the province of Madhya Pradesh.
V. Meera calls on these voices of tradition to open her article, "Prisoners of Inequality: Sexual Abuse of Dalit Women," in an excellent new feminist bimonthly magazine called Manushi: A Journal about Women and Society. Manushi, whose title means "woman" in Hindi, first appeared in January 1979, as the pioneer publication of its kind in India. It is produced in Delhi by an independent feminist collective committed to breaking the long silence of Indian women, who are among the most brutally oppressed in the world today. They are victims not only of sexism, but also of caste divisions, class hatred, poverty, and feudal social relations. For the uninitiated Western reader, a journey through the pages of this journal may be an excruciating experience.