Why will they listen to a just another person like me, who is above all a woman herself whom they anyways don’t respect? Or will they at all be willing to read our words? Even if they do, perhaps these words will end up as words only?
Further, does this make me not pen down my anger and fear and succumb to it that easy? Well honestly I do not think I really have any answer to these questions in precision, yet I will write because, whatever is happening around the globe and especially in our country is suffocating me. I will express my disdain for all those who forgot to get lessons of respect and humanity while growing up. You may take this issue as another part of life I will NOT.
Be it the case of two teenagers being killed, after being raped, in Uttar Pradesh in India, or that of the numerous women, who remain unknown but suffer similar fate in various parts of our country and beyond, all are ‘human’ and perhaps the apple of their loved ones eyes. No matter how easily the government pulls out a certain amount of compensation for their families, their neglect will always pinch the hearts of millions who chose government for their protection.
To further sprinkle salt on the wounds of common people there are certain politicians who clear their intension and capabilities by giving remarks as “boys will be boys”. The happy memories of elections and democracy coming alive are still fresh in our minds. But this is certainly not the environment we voted or aspired for. We seek a government, which has the ability to protect its every citizen equally.
But even before we point out the loopholes in our political system we need to see how spineless our social set up is. Government is a late comer to this picture, before it what concerns me and many like me is the value system that we flaunt as ‘bharatiya’. It has now become a ritual for my mother and especially my grandmother to narrate various news reports on rape, molestation, assault and murder of women in our society.
She and my parents like any other parent in our country are highly concerned about their daughter’s safety. And perhaps this is one of the reasons why parents even today wish for a boy than a girl because girl as ‘ghar ki izzat’ (family’s honour) is increasingly, becoming vulnerable.
Whenever I leave for college or work, I am made to hear and understand a huge list of Do’s and Don’ts once I am out of the periphery of my safe locality. I should keep my hair properly tied up, I should behave like a decent girl, my dress code is well decided by the society, I must wear a “decent” outfit, I must not talk or trust any stranger, I must not retaliate if I am being touched or molested rather should move away from the place as soon as possible, etc.
I am tired of being told what, how and where should I be and behave. The analogy of a bird in a golden cage is no exaggeration for the situation we women are in. In fact even the cage for many of us is not golden at all.
Dear cunning society - I am a human too. I too wish to use my mind independently for understanding my own good and bad because like all men, I too have this mind on top of my body. I know you always answer this by saying ‘Well! You know how the outside world is. You should also know how you need to deal with it for your own security.’ ! Ohh really? Are my views left untainted by you to let me have an independent conversation with myself? I am from the very genesis of my psyche given a ‘male gaze’. I am no more left to be an independent human being.
Instead of telling me how ‘I should behave to keep myself safe’ why do not we teach our boys to respect women and see them as equals? Why from the very birth men are told and made to be superior to their sisters and later that superiority is seen in relation to every woman around them. Why do not we tell our sons and brothers that the girl they like has an equal right as a human and if she does not reciprocate the feelings, it is immoral and heinous to throw acid on her face, rape her, rob her of her dignity, molest her or torment her mentally.
Before any government can do anything to protect us, we need to take the first step of teaching our boys that they too are humans and not animals and how is it to be a human.
The representatives that occupy the seats in government as well as the police are a part of our social fabric and they will hold the same values that are prevalent in our society. So before questioning the government lets first change us and our near ones.