Listening to her straightforward thoughts, I as a man, realised that how much they are tolerating, and how much they are suffering just because they are of different gender, of no fault of theirs.
We always heard that women have to compromise to grow in a career by sleeping with a boss but did we ever hear that boys have to grow in a career by opening their zips." Sehba's statement, while not really politicaly correct, made me think deeper about the path of men and women while following a career.
The event's activities were not planned and rehearsed to make it perfect. But I felt it was totally the event of the heart due to the enthusiasm of women who courageously came forward to take this step forward.
Though there were many male friends of women but the show was completely managed by these brave-hearts. Though there were imperfections in shouting slogans, many times the microphone stopped working, there was miss-coordination between music and dance by a flash mob but I felt that their spirit kept them united in their singular purpose.
Vasu Primlani, a stand-up comedian and an environmentalist, warned all men not to use women as an object, and not to rape and sexual assault her. "Do men have a right to rape women when she is alone? Do men have a right the have sex with women without her consent, even if she is a wife? Do men have a right to have sex when she is drunk?" she asked the crowd and the answer was clear 'No!'.
It is not the dress and cloths of a women that leads men to rape her - it is his mindset of animality that makes him an animal at some point of time. "Will you rape women even if she has come naked in front of you?" she asked my colleague Ashim Sunam standing near her and he also yelled NO!
I think a reply from my colleague was not out of compulsion of standing among 100 women but out of respect he himself has for them in his own life. I heard some people saying quietly that what's the use of these kinds of events as people of these narrow mindsets are not part of it, and people like taxi drivers and rickshaw pullers will not understand this event and what this event is all about.
That was unfortunately true because a security guard of Sahara Mall was thinking till the end of the event that it is just a Valentine's Day celebration and nothing else. I know it is very hard to spread this awareness with the perfect execution of these kinds of initiatives but I am also happy to see at least somebody has started taking these initiatives that were not taken earlier, and even if one person realises the right motive behind it, and brings some change in his or her life then I would say the show is a great success.
We should not worry about the outcome before trying, rather taking one step is a courageous act, and we should appreciate it. But there are some points that worried me in this event. I heard a lady completely rejecting the thought of treating your son equal to your daughter. I was completely stunned.
Looking at the great enthusiasm for women's rights and safety, to which I salute, I am concerned about the future if we become extremists and instead of bringing equality - regress as a society - spending the the next several decades in awarenes rallies wile demanding gender equality.
I respect women and salute her, who I believe, are more courageous in handling additional responsibility of work along with family. And if today they need our support we have to, without second thought ,lend our hand. But it should not happen that in the time to come we again become unequal, and take to the streets.
In celebrating the 'Dress rehearsal', what I call it, of a golden era of equality a big coffin was buried with slogans "Bury this Bakwas (bury this stupidity)" and ended with music, dance and lots of yelling which proves that no matter how perfect or imperfect we are 'It is the Heart which is most Important'.
I am hopeful of a better future. I along with my three friends celebrated the best Valentine's Day of my life, and realised what 'loving women' really means.
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