As the entire nation is swept away by Aamir Khan’s Satyameva Jayate, truth seems to triumph off late. Sunday mornings are marked by some doses of reality and tears from housewives to children in the family. The platform has instilled awareness among masses and most questions come down to one root problem—the perception about/projection of women in the Indian society. Without sounding a feminist, I feel there is a lot to be done in a country of Jhansi and Teresa.
Mere 33% reservations in the parliament can never be the only remedy. A rural woman has to go through tougher challenges and make more decisions than a woman MP (Member of Parliament). Whether it is getting married to a man twice her age when she is just 16, hurdles in giving birth to a girl child or standing up for herself and her girl child against the societal pressures and life itself ,it is all a battle. For her, each day is a struggle for survival.
While we talk about issues concerning Indian women, there can’t be a distinction between an urban and a rural woman’s plight. The forms of maltreatment and abuse might vary, but the victims belong to the same race.
Do not treat us special by reserving seats, helping us board a bus/train, or by sympathizing with us for carrying a child and offering us a seat. Just treat us as human. Period. And when will that happen? When we, women, decide to be independent and self sufficient.
The first step to take is learning to say ‘NO’. No, I don’t want to be beaten up by my father, my brother and then my husband. No, I don’t want to abort my girl child. Men can’t treat me as an object of their sexual gratification and fellow women have no right to make decisions for me. And this can only happen when we start talking more about awareness than talking about literacy. The urban elite Indians may be enough to handle the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). But we can’t have elaborate discussions of development when 70 per cent women don’t know the right menstrual care. Even today, in the interiors of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, we find women using hazardous material like sand, paper, stones for this!
We might become successful in having a better sex ratio someday. The people might start welcoming a girl child someday. And then more abuse isn’t it?
Recently, in a sting operation by Tehelka, the Delhi-NCR police blatantly said that women wearing ‘provocative’ clothes will naturally fall prey to abuse and eve teasing. Thank you Sir! But you cannot take away our right to love our body and look beautiful. We will wear something or nothing and still you are supposed to control yourself. Do we rape men when they strip semi-naked on beaches? I’ll come to you and look into your eyes, and still I never ‘deserve’ to get raped. I think initiatives like the slut walk, which happened last year, should become more widespread.
And, dear men, ever since you are born, learn to live with the fact that at every point in life you will face a woman—your mother, your sister, your daughter, your friend, your girl friend/wife, your colleague, your boss— and you better respect them!