Thomson Reuters Foundation Report -28 th June 2018 .
lNDIA – THE MOST UNSAFE COUNTRY FOR WOMEN !! ☹😞😒😠
Our Hon . PM. and Government is busy with innumerable yojanas and missions – MOM – Mars mission ; Demonetisation; GST ; Made in India ; Maitri missions ; Surgical strikes ; Swachch Bharat Mission , etc. etc . And the rest of the country is caught up in the FIFA fever—- perhaps the report made an untimely entry ???!!
Where have we failed as a Nation ? It’s a matter of National & Social shame ! Women Safety in India is at its worst phase. In an age of REACTIONS to everything , why have we failed to react ? The emoticons in the beginning suggest my reactions on hearing it !
My emotions ranged from embarrassment to anger , to frustration to firm resolve ! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ! We “ NAREES “ have to usher in the winds of change !
When I shared my views on WhatsApp , expecting some healthy interaction and resolve – was greatly disappointed ! Most preferred to ignore or remarked that they wouldn’t like to discuss depressing issues as there’s already much negativity around ! “Women safety in India” is a topic of global discussion you may choose not to talk about it, but you cannot ignore it.
When , as an alternative I shared a brief post on Facebook , greater shock awaited me . Strangely , no reactions from my female friends ! Only a few of my male ex – students reacted with the teary emoticon and two half hearted comments – more a monologue where I had to make my stance clear ! No suggestions, debates nor remedies !!
How long can we maintain an apathetic silence and shrug it off as it doesn’t concern us ? Really ! When half the nation is under a pall of danger and threat , is it wise to sit quiet , without even a protest , however feeble ?? This has been an obstacle in the progress of our Unique , demographically superb , second most populous and in many other respects a great nation ! A nation which flaunts its dictum of Vasudeva Kutumbakam , Atithi Devo Bhavah ,
Janani Janmabhumischa swargat api gariasi and so many other inspiring quotes , fails to respect its women ?!
The once “ sone ki chidiya “has been robbed of its material wealth time and again starting with Alexander the Great in 326 B. C. and ending with the British Colonisers !
But , who can we blame for robbing us of our humanity , our much discussed culture , etiquette etc ?
How can we live in an aura of past glory and do nothing concrete for 50% of its population ?! How can we applaud our technological and scientific progress ,when we cannot guarantee the basic right of safety and security to its daughters(When will we make “women safety in India” one of our prime concerns) ? Why do we have to wake up every day and see such disgusting news of rapes , female infanticide , child marriage , dowry , marital abuse , domestic violence and burning cases , acid attacks , gender bias and discrimination ?? Don’t we desire to begin our day with positive energy and pleasant vibes !
This is not exaggeration ! Open any News or TV Channel – what is highlighted is crime and abuse and 85 % against women !
In such a huge country / there is no concept of ‘ marital rape ‘ in our law ! Marriage often becomes a licence to misuse the female body !
When we harbour such quaint ideas , how can we progress as a nation ?
Just ignoring , denying , finding excuses or shrugging it off won’t solve this issue !
We have to hold the bull by the horns and find HOPE and some positive solution to the modern social canker !
And the first step would be to seek the cause , try to analyse the root cause of the downward slide in our mental framework . I am not suggesting I am infallible . These are my views , garnered from my experience , knowledge of literature , history and some research .
If we look with a calm , non – jingoistic mind , we can trace the seeds of this perversion in our history and mythology !
With due apologies , you are free to differ – I feel 600 years of Islamic rule , made us progress in art , architecture & music but made our females regress – hidden behind the impermeable “ purdah “ ! Then began the treating of women as toys ! Possession of the ‘ harem ‘ ! The British brought Western Education but true liberation of females wasn’t there . Some stray cases , yes ! The zamindari system and its fall out – Sati , Balya vivaha , and others started .
Women lost their say – Victorian era dictum -“Females are to be seen , not heard ! “
Raja Ram Mohan Roy , did manage to bring about a ban . Atrocities abated momentarily , out of fear of the British Government but did it alter the mind set ? No , the festering wound has now become gangrenous !!
And our much revered epics – The Ramayan and the Maha Bharat – we have passed on down the generations – two very dark blots on our culture – forcible Sita Haran by Ravana and the subsequent “ Agni Pariksha “ by Purushottam Ram ! Next , is the “ Cheer Haran “ of Draupadi in full view of the court !
Two negative legacies which like the original sin as per Christianity , we have passed down !
The idea that a wife is a possession and it’s okay to pawn her in a game of shatranj !
Misguided interpretations and ideas stem from here !
And now , the Film and TV fraternity , is cementing the perversion by obscene songs , dances and ideas ! Just passing an A /U certification is not enough ! The entertainment media has a large viewership and influence . Our celebrities cannot deny it .
As remarked by Amitji in “ PINK “ – “ A no means No “! Not , otherwise as every other Hindi film had been portraying since decades !
How did we react to the Nirbhaya case – did some hullabaloo and lighted candles and forgot ! The lawyers dealing with the case – were their comments acceptable ? And the attitude of the culprits ? Why does a case drag on for six years ! Isn’t justice delayed , justice denied ?
Why are fingers always pointed at women and girls – fault is found with their attire , body language , movements ?
Why don’t we question our sons if they return late ? Why such stereotyping ?
Boys should not cry ! They don’t play with dolls ! They need to eat first and more ! They needn’t help their mothers in domestic chores !
Why do we mind when a son helps his wife equally in a child ‘s upbringing ?
Don’t we women also act against our benefit ?
It’s definitely not alright to suppress girls , to tell them to manage house , when their brothers laze around or give leftovers to daughters !
How do we expect men to change if we don’t change our own mindset ?
What is needed to bring about some change is that education and sensitisation should begin young . Parents should set proper examples, by practising what they preach . Not discriminating between their children , The daughters should be allowed to fly and sons taught to help at home ! It’s equal and shared responsibility . Teach your sons to mind their P’s & Q’s ! Teach them that it’s not sissy to say please or thank you ! First and foremost , teach them to respect mothers and motherland . Lastly , we need stricter and more empathetic laws and proper implementation by the Government . Inculcation of good values from school to university should be a must ! Social media must air their programmes responsibly .
Celebrities should not endorse anything that reeks of gender bias !
And lastly , pray that “ Into that heaven of freedom , let my country awake ! “ ( Tagore had written it for independent India ) I stretch it a bit further to mean an India where females can also hold their heads high and without fear ! “Let women safety in India” be everyone’s concern. Amen 🙏🏻
Let’s join hands – Together we can and we will !
Thank you for your patience !
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Written By : Mitali Mukherjee.
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