Rinzu Rajan Writes a Letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Sir,

While I honour you for the vision you carried as an economist, what has managed to amaze me over the years has been your image in front of the public, something most people loathe. Again, I do not mean to demean your position but then, why be a butt of jokes for all the wrong reasons, while sending the rumour mills on an overdrive with the news of you stepping down?

I have often wondered, why did you have to fuel such a rumour?

Why do you always try to be on the safe side and let people call you names?

If you are in a Catch-22 situation, isn’t stepping down wiser than your golden silence? Guess you took that proverb very seriously.

Coming back to the issues concerning me, well as a vulnerable twenty-something woman of India, oh yes, I openly declare it in public that I am weak, as long as I live in India and, especially in a city like Delhi, it’s an apt adjective to describe a woman like me. For, while out on the streets, I do not feel safe and neither do my parents. They make it a point to keep calling me and enquiring about my whereabouts, for women like me are beggars who can’t be  choosers. If we do not defend our own selves, no one else will, not even the police who are being given their salaries out of the taxes we pay.

We have to grin and bear it every day: groping, ogling, lewd comments, and if it’s not our day even the worst of tragedies, like being chased and molested in public with no one willing to lend a hand to help us out of the den of demons.

We leave our homes with prayers on our lips for our safe return, with the limping arms of the law leaving us with no option. I guess, I do not need to let you know that most of the laws made for the women of this country have always given the culprit an upper hand, with most offences as heinous as rape, and even dowry deaths made bailable. So why is it that the women are treated as second class humans, or are we really even humans for you?

For had it been so, we would have gotten our fair share of the pie and would not be cribbing about it on social networking sites and in protest marches. Why can’t the law makers be given a lesson or two in humanity and not legality, for after a mishap that happens with a woman, it is they, along with their lax laws, who make her condition deplorable of course!

The “why”, “how” and “when” questions are unnecessary in a scenario where a woman’s modesty has been outraged.

A few months ago in September, a dowry death happened at a stone’s throw away from my place. She was barely a few years older than me with a two year old kid. She was married for two years and was repeatedly being harassed for dowry. Despite filing petitions and making the rounds of the police station and court rooms, her parents are fighting to get their daughter justice to this day, for the authorities in their deepest slumber fail to recognize the fact that she was beaten to death by a gang of goons whom she had dedicated her entirety to, and called her family.

Just yesterday, two men in separate incidents, one in Mumbai and the other in Punjab, were killed for standing up to sexual harassment. A few years ago Keenan and Reuben were killed for the same reasons. Isn’t it the right of the men we know, our fathers, brothers, husbands or male friends to shield us from savagery?

Or should we, in a celebrated act of cowardice, huddle in our homes after eight pm for the sexual harasser is out on the prowl after that time, and we should not offer ourselves to be shredded only if we want to see another day.

So also, while I took birth in a liberated family, there are millions of girls who do not see get to see the sun after taking shape in their mother’s womb. Why is sex selective abortion still happening behind closed doors? Why can’t the guilty be brought to book?

Giving us reservation in the parliament or the panchayats, or reserving coaches and seats for us in public transport hasn’t empowered us; it is  just another dirty tactic of the law makers to indulge in a Pontious Pilate act. These reservations are only meant to cover us up  and not liberate us.

While the rest of the human folk might be interested in bringing to light the issues of corruption, terrorism and lack of development, I am here to bring to your notice the plight of us women.

As long as we cannot walk on the streets with a spring in our step, any development happening in the country is only an eye wash. I think you might know that India has been ranked the worst G-20 country for a woman. Let’s blame the medieval laws made for crimes against women, mostly bailable, that have brought us in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. If you make the laws stronger for women, putting them in a position from where they can pitch their voices loudly, much like what happened in the United States of America, we will surely vote for you. Until then, there is nothing new under the sun for the women of this country.

Thanking you,

Rinzu Rajan
(A worried woman)

Image Courtesy: [The Viewspaper]

Disclaimer: The above article is the personal opinion of the author and not of the publication.