Temples, Mosques, Gurdwaras and many other places of worship throng every nook and corner of our country, but we act in the most sinful manner; we the people of this great country called India. The stories of Baby Falak and then Baby Afreen are unfamiliar to none. Adding to the list of atrocities against the girl child; we have demons walking around who dare to stoop as low as abusing infants. As I pen down this blog, I am filled with anguish for there is nothing I can do to stop this villainous trend that exists in our society.
A girl child pushed into prostitution; innocent baby girls physically abused just because some nincompoop or slob wants a boy baby, what more is left! Dowry and related deaths, infanticide; prejudices against women; khaps; rapes; treating a women like a slave in the household; tying a women to the shackles of covering her face, head and if possible confining her to a dark room is what ‘Incredible India’ is all about. The sad part is that it’s not only the men but women of this very country of ours who are responsible for this predicament.
What did these precious little babies do to deserve these? And these are just two names out of a list of thousands such cases. Just a year back I visited my husband’s village; there I met a small sweet girl maybe aged four or at the max six; she was running about trying to feed her younger brother. What struck me was her mother was calling out to her for errands around the house. She was just six and was being made to do all the household chores! Later I found out that it wasn’t even the worst part; I learnt from my husband that the girl’s hand was fractured and some sort of rod was inserted in her hand to get it in working condition; and you know how she sustained the injury? She was beaten by her own family members because she was a girl! There I stood infront of that girl; helpless unable to do anything for her. Her smile is still etched in my heart; that poor little soul doesn’t even realize what she has been born into and still manages a smile. She will have to live her entire life being tormented.
Sometimes I am filled with so much disgust at our damn society, Neanderthals will keep fasts for nine long days worshiping Goddesses pretending to be so holy but when it comes to treating women right they fail miserably. Few years back there was a news piece that I saw in one of the news channels; in a certain village or town in Uttar Pradesh; the elders of the community laid down a rule that girls should not wear jeans or carry mobile phones as that attracts trouble in the form of eve teasing and rapes. Yes ridiculous isn’t it! It’s not the flesh starved men they chose to control; but the women who I am sure even if covered from head to toe in black cloth would be teased and under attack by these men. These dhoti-clad; white bearded uneducated men with one leg in the grave should be hanged in public for spreading such prejudiced outlook in society. Sometimes I wish I could make all these so called upholders of norms of society stand in a line and shoot at them till there is no space left for another bullet in their bodies!
We talk about India shining; really how and where? In the villages the women folk lead a life where they are considered nothing more than a slave who work for free and bear child for the family. If she bears a boy then she still may be considered integral to the family; if not then she is cursed and tortured; if she still manages to survive she is made to suffer for the rest of her life. Coming to our modern and progressed India, the towns and cities; is the situation any different? Certainly it is but that doesn’t mean an educated woman from a decent family doesn’t face prejudices. Remember the Tandoor murder case; it didn’t happen in an uneducated family! Ofcourse the countless cases of brazen men raping innocent women don’t need to be mentioned over and over again!
With all these vices existing in our midst; when the lawmakers don’t do anything substantial you are made to feel like a rudderless boat trying to survive the stormy seas! Our society kills and tortures women in the name of religion; in the name of caste; in the name of anything and everything possible. When will we learn to respect women as it is them who bear the gift of life? Doesn’t the man who outrages the modesty of a woman; or abuse a girl child remember that his mother is also a woman and if wasn’t for her he wouldn’t get this gift of life!
Ofcourse in all these how can I forget the various ’rituals’ of marriages all around our country which sometimes I feel has just been made to make people not want girl child for fear of being brought to the streets due to demands from the boy’s side. Instead of things getting better; day by day the so called ‘rituals’ are becoming more and more outlandish and preposterous where the girls family even if not paying that much dowry has to spend so much on the groom’s family that it brings a monetary doom and thus the decline of happiness in the household. Wonder when all these will change, when even educated people pass of these as traditions.
The time is ripe, and rotten-ripe, for change I say. If we do not change now; the condition of women will continue on a steady decline. We women need to take our lives in our hands; let not someone else decide how we would lead our lives. Lets pledge that we wouldn’t let others dictate terms on us; since it is us who give birth so no other should have a right to ill-treat our children; let us dress how we want to and let no moron tell us what or how we should; let us embellish ourselves however we want to and not because society says so. Let us pledge that till the society treats us right; we would give a damn to anyone who in any way tries to bully us or run our lives for us.