The women in our country are subjected to varying shades of discrimination. How many times have we heard this? It does not really matter because if we were to take women seriously or their issues, we would not be the country which is known for raping its women. One horrific case and your senses believe they can’t see or hear worse but there comes another instance of rape or gang rape or sodomy that beats our own country’s records be it the Delhi gang rape, Shakti Mills incident or the Badaun, Meghalya
India, in the ancient times, treated her daughters with great love and respect. In fact, most of them were provided education during the Vedic period. It is believed by most of the historians, that women started being ill- treated with the Mughal occupation. The practices of purdah, jauhar, muta marriages and sati are classic cursors to the shackled identity of women, in those times. But how does history have to account for the subjective violence women have to go through, even today?
The answer lies in the social mould of our society. Our past strongly reflects on our patriarchal values. Since time immemorial, a lady is “expected” to “act like a lady”. She has to have a couple of attributes that will make her pass the exam of societal acceptance. Nothing like it, if she is docile, coy, pretty, submissive, susheel and sanskari. But if she is upfront, bold, defiant and confident, even the Lords cannot come to her rescue. We, here in metropolitans might shun it as thing of the past but the fact is that even today, many amongst us choose to hold on to heightened double standards. This is because we might preach equality in class, write a status about it or join that candle light march, we still don’t stop killing our baby girls, we don’t stop being desperate for a son, we still give our daughters a dozen guidelines on what to wear, what not to wear, what to say, what not to say and we want her always to be under a constant numberof checks, because she is the “izzat” of our household. We want to dance in the pubs but judge every carefree girl in there; we want our girls to be literate, but not to choose an “inappropriate” profession. A politician had the gall to crack up on men when they rape and dismiss it by questioning death sentence in rape cases with sheer amazement. Where are we headed really?
One thing has surprisingly remained all the same- Indian people and their unfettered hypocrisy and misogyny and it is these unnoticed and insignificant practices that make a big difference. One cannot and should not mould their daughters in a way of life where they accept violence and a biased society as a matter of normality. Sadly, the Indian society is moving in that very direction. I will not pose solutions or demand a change, neither will I paint a rosy end- because all those bereaved voices crying for help, have only been ignored repeatedly all these years.