by Aditi Krishna
I see it around. People say I am too much of a pessimist. But I feel, no, I am just too realistic. I can’t see any good around me, just to console myself, when there is nothing to be happy about. I can’t see any right, when everything is wrong. I do feel sad when I hear a woman has been gang raped by a group of ruthless, devilish, men. I am dis-heartened when I hear a “Jessica Lall” is shot dead, point blank, with no fault of hers, a “Priyadarshini Mattoo”, being kidnapped, raped and killed, and a “Shivani Bhatnagar” brutally murdered, and that the culprits roam about scot-free. I am horrified when I hear that a girl is killed by her own brothers and father, only because she happened to fall in love with a man of other caste/same Gotra, only because she never realised that loving someone was a crime, so much so that her own family will turn against her and even think, that she deserves to be killed. More so, somewhere else, a girl is killed simply because she is a “Girl”. Then tell me, how can I even think that my country is progressing, that the world is beautiful, when I see someone or the other being raped, someone getting murdered, someone saying, “I am a Hindu, kill the Muslim”, and so on? Besides all this, we, the common people, are stuck in between the political wars of certain groups of “elites”, becoming mere toys for them to exploit, for their own selfish interests.
My society, my country, my India, is in the hands of a monster, a monster named “Patriarchy”, even now, even in the 21st Century when we are moving forward, or at least trying to. When I look at other societies, the only thing that comes to my mind is, “Ah! I wish India could achieve what THEY have.” Not in terms of market, economy, development, etc. These are just superficial! And India has done fairly well in this area. But I envy them for what they give their women. It’s not about the laws, policies, and legislatures, it’s about the “thinking” people have. I envied them for what they thought of women, and what women thought of themselves – a free bird, which can do anything in this world, fly in whatever land they wish to, unlike a caged pigeon. These societies, if not totally liberated in the case of women, are definitely pacing ahead towards women empowerment. But India, unfortunately, is still in the hands of social evils, practiced since generations, prescribed by so-called “traditions”. I do not wish to compare India with other societies, because I am well aware that not all societies are AS liberated in the sense I am talking about. These “SOME societies”, just like India, are struggling to get rid of certain unwanted practices with regard to women, which they have been chained into for years. I just think of those societies, and wish India could learn from them, which are trying hard to empower women politically, socially and economically, and have been successful to a great extent, though they still have a long way to go. My love for my motherland makes me jump in joy when I see India doing great in certain sectors, but it also makes me feel horrible when I see it being a victim of such atrocious practices and events.
So, did it get you thinking? Yes! It did, I am sure. But what next? We can’t stop here. We can’t stop at just thinking, we need to do something! Something which can change the mentality of the people, something which can make them respect women, treat them as equals. We, the women, do not want to be better than men. We do not CLAIM to be better than men. What we demand is mere equality! We demand to be at par with men, in all the walks of life. We do not want to follow; we do not wish to lead. We just wish to walk along with the male “Gender”, be at par with them in all spheres. Men and women are different, but it certainly does not mean they are unequal. Just as males should be respected, so should the females.