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Victim accuses William Dalrymple of inviting rapist Bollywood director to speak at JLF, ‘historian’ blocks her on Twitter for criticism

Mahmood Farooqui was one of the many speakers at the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2021. The event was held between the 28th of January and the 1st of February.

Christine Marrewa-Karwoski has said that William Dalrymple invited her rapist to speak at the Jaipur Literature Festival and then blocked her on Twitter when she criticised him over the matter. Karwoski was referring to Peepli Live co-director Mahmood Farooqui, who had his conviction for the crime overturned by the Delhi High Court in an extremely controversial verdict.

Mahmood Farooqui was one of the many speakers at the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2021. The event was held between the 28th of January and the 1st of February.

Source: JLF website

The Delhi High Court had overturned his conviction in 2017 after ruling that a “feeble no” can sometimes mean “yes” during a sexual intercourse. Justice Ashutosh Kumar had said that the appellant “had no idea that the prosecutrix was unwilling, and there are instances when a feeble ‘no’ on the part of a woman may mean ‘yes’ during the course of a sexual act”.

“In cases where the parties are known to each other, it could be really difficult to decipher whether a feeble ‘no’ – (accompanied by) little or no resistance – actually amounts to denial of consent,” he added. The judge also said that there were doubts whether the incident occurred in the manner narrated by the victim.

“And even if it did occur, (there is lack of clarity on) whether it was without the consent/will of the prosecutrix,” the verdict in favour of Mahmood Farooqui said. The judge claimed that “it may not necessarily always mean yes in case of yes or no in case of no” during “an act of passion, actuated by libido”.

The victim, a research scholar from Columbia University, had alleged that she was raped by the Bollywood Director at his Sukhdev Vihar residence in Delhi. A sessions court held him guilty in 2016, a conviction that was subsequently overturned.

During the ‘Me Too’ movement, numerous women had accused William Dalrymple as well of making them feel uncomfortable.

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