This article has been submitted by Ayushi Priyadarshini for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think it’s a good read, ‘Like’ the article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘Comments’ section below.
‘As I begged for help, with my face burning of acid, the crowd simply looked on’. – These words by an acid-attack victim, now in her late teens, brought tears to the audience. Her fault: she refused a Roadside Romeo’s marriage proposal. To cap it all, the accused is enjoying his life (thanks to the Indian judicial system) on bail. Want to hear more? He’s married – oh yes, a poor man ‘sold’ his daughter to a human so atrocious and cowardly.
This is Incredible India!
The month celebrates the first anniversary of the Modi government. We claim fast-paced economic progress with huge foreign investments (yeah, the whole year we have just seen our PM on a world tour, literally). The world is awestruck by the quick (and positive (!)) changes in Indian society. Our nation has been hailed as being ‘always to the rescue’ (Recent examples include Operations Raahat and Maitryee).
The harsh truth is, the condition of half of India’s population (let’s ignore the sex ratio) remains unsatisfactory (love using the tool of euphemism!). Women are mute spectators to torture and discrimination in various degrees and forms, be it physical violence, sexual abuse, eve-teasing, acid-attacks, honor-killing, et cetera, in ALL the sections and corners of the country.
The saddest realization is, we have failed as responsible citizens, we have denied them the assurance of physical and mental safety. It is not a practice forgone that women are regarded as the ‘dignity’ of the home – thus they are the ones blamed for the mis-happenings. Can’t we realise that they, too, are human beings?
In this mid-second decade of the 21st century India, girls still cannot venture out in the day, without the risk of being stalked or hooted at (remembering my recent experience at a Mumbai local station), let alone roam at night. But wait – we have our very own Khap Panchayat coming out with a very novel technique of keeping them safe, like, what about banning chowmein? [Gosh, I won’t be alive without the favorite Hakka noodles]. And who can forget the harangue of “boys will be boys” by a very infamous politician? These comments prove the incessant inability of our representatives to perform, and bring to the forefront the blundered educative path we have blindly been following.
As an immediate corrective measure, the enforced laws must be effectively implemented. (I know, many of us are happy by the change in the Juvenile Justice Act, treating an accused in a horrific crime as adults). The Indian education system needs to inculcate moral values in EACH AND EVERY child through teaching, theory and practical examinations. Society must change its thinking pattern and urge for (at least) a more liberal environment for females. I hope most of us did watch the BBC’s “India’s Daughter” online (so proud!). And I know that our anger reached to such a boiling level by the statements spoken, that it came out as tears from our eyes. Let this not circumscribe our inner feelings. Let us pledge today to actively participate in creating a world where the begetters of our children are treated at par with the men, if not more. (And to the fans of Emma Watson or belonging to the Harry Potter fandom, please watch the former’s speech for the UN He For She campaign, and subsequently act and propagate).
No, if the readers are mistaken, then please let me clear this: I’m not a staunch feminist. I belong to that category of people who mock the very much flawed notion of Deepika Padukone’s “My Choice” video. I simply aspire for a world where women need not think twice before strutting on the pavement at night, where we can let our minds wander freely and explore the mysteries and beauty of this spectacular world, without once bothering about the prying eyes of the wild-life (yes, that’s what I term such insensitive creatures), and the restrictions of the social world.
I fail to grasp the reason behind people taking violence against women casually, and not help in need (I don’t agree to the theory of Diffusion of Responsibility) – because perhaps, I may never do so.
I aspire to think and act care-free!
– Ayushi Priyadarshini