Father of first Indian woman in space denouces sexual violence in Indian society

Published: February 3, 2013

GURPREET SINGH
RADIO INDIA 

Bansi Lal Chawla, father of Kalpana Chawla, presents the Excellence Award to Femina Miss India Vanya Mishra during the 9th Kalpana Chawla in New Delhi in May 2012. K Asif/India Today Group/Getty Images

Banarsi Lal Chawla, the father of the first Indian woman to reach space,  has strongly denounced sexual violence and superstition in the orthodox Indian society. On the occasion of the 10th
anniversary of the Columbia space shuttle disaster that killed seven U.S. astronauts, including
his
daughter
Kalpana Chawla on Feb. 1, 2003, he said that Indian society needs to adopt a scientific and progressive outlook towards life instead of sticking to outdated values.

Born in a male-dominated Indian society, Kalpana made it to NASA with the support of her father. During a special interview with Radio India, Chawla condemned ongoing sexual violence against women in India.  He is particularly upset with the trend of female infanticide, another example of gender discrimination.

“How can you think of killing unborn girls, ¬†who are our future mothers?”¬†Chawla¬†said, adding that girls are¬†assets of the society and should never¬†be seen as liability. “Look at me. Kalpana made me a proud father.”

In the same breath, he¬†criticized superstition and blind faith in India despite scientific progress and development. He pointed out that many¬†devotees¬†who often go to¬†pilgrimages die in accidents, yet nobody has a courage to question¬†ritualism and irrationalism. Chawla asked what’s the point wasting money on¬†building temples, mosques or gurdwaras when the Indian society needs to move forward and bring an overall development?

“I encourage youngsters to enlighten themselves in science instead of exhausting their energy on religious and spiritual matters.”
  


Tags: , , ,





Featured

Royal Wedding

Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Kendra Salwa Spears expecting their first child

VANCOUVER DESI The Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Princess Salwa (Kendra Salwa Spears) are expecting their first child, the spiritual leader…
Continue Reading »

CIVIC ELECTIONS

Surrey mayoral candidates share city visions at first meeting

AMY REID VANCOUVER DESI SURREY ‚ÄĒ Surrey mayoral candidates met for the city’s first all-candidates meeting Thursday night at SFU. Six of the seven candidates…
Continue Reading »

OTTAWA

Surrey MP Nina Grewal’s account of the shootout in Ottawa

NINA GREWAL SPECIAL TO IANS¬† When Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking at about 9.30 a.m. Wednesday in a caucus room of parliament, we…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

CIVIC ELECTIONS

Surrey mayoral candidates share city visions at first meeting

AMY REID VANCOUVER DESI SURREY ‚ÄĒ Surrey mayoral candidates met for the city’s first all-candidates meeting Thursday night at SFU. Six of the seven candidates…
Continue Reading »

OTTAWA

Surrey MP Nina Grewal’s account of the shootout in Ottawa

NINA GREWAL SPECIAL TO IANS¬† When Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking at about 9.30 a.m. Wednesday in a caucus room of parliament, we…
Continue Reading »

Parliament hill

Editorial Exchange: Rational responses needed

NEIL GODBOUT PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN,¬†THE CANADIAN PRESS Canada’s innocence should have ended in 1970 with the FLQ crisis but it didn’t. It should have been…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

student dead

Two dead, including gunman, in school shooting north of Seattle

DOUG ESSER THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MARYSVILLE, Wash. ‚ÄĒ A student opened fire in a high school cafeteria north of Seattle on Friday, killing at least…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Ottawa shooter kicked out of Burnaby mosque two years ago

Zehaf-Bibeau was asked to leave the mosque, because he had “gotten a hold of keys and stuff from the mosque, and when he got out…
Continue Reading »

labour laws violation

U.S. company penalized for mistreatment of Indian employees working 122 hours in a week

MICHAEL LIEDTKE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN FRANCISCO – A Silicon Valley company is paying more than $43,000 in back wages and penalties after labour regulators…
Continue Reading »

DESI-SOCCER

Surrey soccer captain played the U-18 national club championship using only one foot

KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW SOUTH SURREY ‚Äď Kyle Sohi‚Äôs perseverance and performance in the 2014 Sport Chek National Club Championships U-18 Cup Final might go…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-FIELD HOCKEY

Barinder Rasode announces plan to develop field hockey pitch in Surrey

Third field at Tamanawis Park would cost approximately $3 million KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW NEWTON – Barinder Rasode and the One Surrey team were at…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Stan Lee-Bollywood

Stan Lee plans Bollywood film on his first Indian superhero

VANCOUVER DESI Stan Lee, the legendary ‘Spiderman’ creator, is reportedly planning his Bollywood entry with a film on his Indian superhero character ‘Chakra: the Invincible’….
Continue Reading »

KANGANA RANAUT

Even my parents think I am weird, says Bollywood ‘Queen’ Kangana Ranaut

HINDUSTAN TIMES Kangana Ranaut has always made unconventional choices, be it her movies or the way she dresses. And the actor says she‚Äôs happy the…
Continue Reading »

Happy New Year-Bollywood

Happy New Year: Mandatory ‚Äėformula‚Äô and all those old Bollywood references

HINDUSTAN TIMES Film: Happy New Year Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah, Jackie Shroff Director: Farah Khan…
Continue Reading »