The Science of Social Progression

Plunging into probably one of the most progressive day and age, the 21st century, really has seen a shift in priorities: where one speculates traditions and values almost instinctively, but treats technology with an inherent ability to incorporate in our daily lives. It is as though no one stops to think of this kind of role reversal, as though one never needs to consider spontaneity as a marvel. After all, to dabble with machines is always more fascinating and refreshing. But if our mind is every now and then attracted towards challenging new things, why is it that the real challenges that our surroundings offer take a back seat when it comes to prioritizing? Consider beggary. Consider education. Consider the most demeaning feat of domesticity – violence against women.

If one needs to be convinced of this problematic issue as being all important, it is just enough to be asked to read the newspapers regularly. Glance at some of the news headlines making their way into the City/ Nation sections which often echo the likes of some of the most disturbing instances, cases of dowry deaths, or physical assault accompanied by mental torture or even coercion by the spouse towards sexual fulfillment. It is impossible to imagine what a victim of domestic violence capacitates in her often helpless state. It is traumatic and severe, to the extent of losing one’s self respect and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

One of the main reasons for the prevalence of domestic turbulence is the belief of male supremacy and dominion, which exists with all its fervor, at home. While he may be throttled and disobeyed by his contemporaries outside, or even suffer from some inhibitions – at home, he is the head and has every right to dominate. Such an orthodox and unfair mindset, which has failed to evolve with changing times and changing roles of women, has led to cases of such atrocities. In most cases, either the family is all for such treatment of women; who behind closed doors and minds, are spineless after all, or society even after knowledge of what is happening to its women turns a blind eye and indirectly encourage the problem.

Domestic violence is agreeably very widespread among educated sections of society; but it is only this section of society which makes its way to the news. What happens to the cringing section of society, which hardly makes it to the two-square meal affordability? They are quite the neglected ones, the men who work in the day- earn their bit to spend it on alcohol and resort to wife beating in their state of drunken stupor. The women who sweep and clean the whole day and are employed by their well-to-do counterparts, and are anyway thrown quite far apart from humanity due to class differences; only to return home to hand over their wages to the men, brothers or husbands, and suffer for their “inefficiency” or in the name of their “cursed” sex.

If we were to point fingers and blame only one party, it would just defeat the purpose of bringing forth the problem in the first place. Violence in the domestic sphere is often perceived to be an internal matter and often passed off as being someone else’s problem. Humiliation or loss of self respect is not a minor problem, and it hurts the most when it happens to you. So whether it is the man going out, to face the world and its countless hurdles, only to be constantly defeated or it is the woman who is constantly silenced and wronged at everything she attempts to do, there is a sense of de-motivation which disables a person. The problem is in fact just this. the expectations which one keeps from the world outside and the disappointment one faces at the ruthlessness that actually exists. It is from here that crimes erupt from. What needs to be checked on is the toll it takes in the form of a vicious circle – the wronged will do wrong and so on.

Man needs to negotiate with his struggles and resort to a sensitivity and understanding. If harsh punishment solves the purpose of domestic violence, and sets a benchmark for the potential wrong-doers to not resort to such unacceptable crimes and instead introspect, so be it. To instill a sense of fear, if it in turn provokes us to understand the righteousness we ought to observe, is justified. And that, is by far, the most urgent experiment we need to undertake rather than obsessing over rapidly changing technology.

Ankita Kanwar

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