I am a reader and today I have been reading after a long time.
Sadly, I have been reading about women in my very own country India. Yes it is sad. Sad because even though I have lived in this beautiful nation all my life and have been well educated and have enjoyed my own share of freedom I still cannot refute the claims of the people who wrote those articles. I agree it happens; and it happens all around us.
Before I go and talk about the article I just read India: the Story You Never Wanted to Hear I would like to tell you that my love for reading lead to me and a few friends recently launch an online magazine [taleportmagazine.com] which in it’s very first issue has an article on Acid attacks which I myself will read it for the first time after I write this blog. I know that is a cruel statement to make about my own magazine but the underlying reason behind this is that I have nothing to do in the editorial department; I am more of a technical girl and handle the website part of things. This meant I did not have to read the article until it was supposed to be published online; which I somehow escaped for this article. The thing is reading about sexual harassment, rapes and gropings not only saddens me; it disturbs my inner peace.
So, now if I am disturbed by reading about such things how badly do these things effect the people whom they happen to is beyond me. But I am a strong woman and I promise myself this that just after finishing to write this I will read that article in our magazine taleportmagazine.com. It is important because even though I am just reading about it, I am also making my mind aware of such things. It will get ready to fight back as I do not like to escape. I would not lie and say that I have never escaped a situation, rather I have taken that route way too often and never liked it. I would like to change this and hence I need to be prepared for a fight.
Coming back to the article I just read – the story of an american girl who was in India for a semester on South Asian studies. She describes her experience as beautiful and horrible at the same time. She went through the traumas of two rape attempts in 48 hours. She was groped at, and masturbated at.
I am not surprised one bit at her experience as I myself have been a victim of some of these. The question here is why are women in India not respected?
No, I am not generalising Indian men as rapists or sexual predators. Let us be realistic here. How many men in India do you see treating women as their equals? None – They are superior in one way or the other. At times they physically abuse women, other times they do not have to listen to a single word a woman says but somehow a woman should be a slave of their word. [Keh diya na, bas keh diya] Some men do not let their women work, others who let their women work never want the woman to earn more than them or ever put in late hours at work which might be a regular feature for them – it hurts their ego otherwise. If men treated women as equals we would not need a special coach for us in the metro.
I apologise in advance to the religious sentiments that I am about to hurt. Here I would like to give reference to some of our religious incidents/books.
Even in the Ramayana – the great tale of the Maryadapurushotam Bhagwan Ram his beloved wife was exiled for life for something that never happened and He did NOTHING about it. And if I were to ask Him a question. So what if She was raped? Does that mean that She was at fault and not the man, Ravana? Does that mean that She was any less of a woman now? Why was it that she was exiled?
In the Mahabharata – Draupadi married Arjuna, then why was she the wife of all five Pandavas. She never asked for it, it was bestowed upon her.
In the Krishna gaatha – Sri Krishna goes ahead and marries 16000 slave girls in the name of saving them. Was marrying them necessary? If you say the situation around them was such that they weren’t safe unless married then it only highlights the fact I am going to put through.
Women in India have never been respected. They have only been worshipped in form of a mother. They have never been respected.
Unless we learn to respect women here in India – we can never hope of any better a situation than it already is at the moment.
If you respect a women show it – by providing for your mother in her old age and not throwing her leftovers; by letting your wife live her dreams like you live yours; by understanding your daughter and accepting her wishes when she says she is not ready for marriage or she wants to marry someone of her choice; by standing besides a woman on a street or a marketplace who is being groped at and fight for her if necessary.
I think I have written way too much for my first blog here on this wordpress site.
I will be posting some random pieces from my old blog here in the next few days…..as a part of migrating from blogger to wordpress.