India is not for Women

My country, India, never ceases to amaze me in ways I’d rather never be amazed! Every time I go through a newspaper and glance through headlines concerning either my city or my country at large, I tend to get a sick feeling in my stomach. I mean really what else is there to read about except Rapes, Murders, Corruption and plain old apathy for every damn thing! I don’t know really but it makes me wonder if I am still as proud to be an Indian as I used to once upon a time! Don’t get me wrong, I am, or atleast was, always fiercely protective about everything Indian; atleast every Good thing Indian! But lately I just feel annoyed at the level to which the thinking of our countrymen and women seemed to have stooped.

What hurts me most is the way women are looked upon in our country; even in educated and so called well to do households. A week back the festival of karvachauth was celebrated all over the country. It mandates women to be on fast for an entire day for the longevity of their husbands. Well mind you I really care for my significant other and I too had kept the fast for him. But we both seriously doubt that has anything at all to do with his well-being!

Interestingly similar to karvachauth there is another festival where women fast for the long lives of their children. Ofcourse, it didn’t take me long to find out that there are no such rituals when it comes to someone fasting for us women! It’s another thing that somewhere in my mind I already knew there would be nothing of that sort. Yes, lives of women are dispensable. We are replaceable. But who can help us women when we fall prey to these charades either in the name of custom or plain emotional blackmail. And that is not the end of it all, given a few sparklingly pieces of jewellery and clothes we women end up believing that this actually is a fiesta where we are cared for the most! Really if we don’t want to wake up; then suffering in the name of traditions would go on forever and then no one should actually complain!

Again some days back, a few old men wearing sparkling white pyjama-kurtas (with equally black hearts) having atleast one of their legs in the grave, went about patronizing how lowering the marriageable age of females is the solution to fighting the ever increasing menace of rapes. That’s not all; these men with wrinkles all over their faces and definite one way tickets to hell (if there is anything like that and I seriously wish there is for the sake of these men) went around urging the government to ban same gotra marriages among various other ridiculous demands. They hold women responsible for rapes instead of controlling the libidos of sex starved men! Often I wonder who made these uneducated grotesque creatures the upholders of ethics! Can’t our government once and for all bring an end to these delinquent acts of tom foolery that go on in the name of khaps? I guess I am asking the wrong question for if our so called culturally rich society agrees to submit to this blatant tyranny then what could the government really do (admittedly it’s another story that Central or State Governments hardly do anything at all!).

So yes I am not at all happy with where our country is today or for the matter of fact even where it is headed. I have colleagues, (un)educated mind you, who seek alliances with preferences always being for a fair bride and not a good human being. There is more, if a girl by chance in the case of arranged marriage rejects a guy, then at that very moment she is branded a high headed freak! Why? Isn’t a girl likely to have a choice or a say or this too is a one sided pro-man affair? And all these taking place within the educated strata which is supposed to spear head the revolution of change for our nation!

It is in this elite(pun intended) class of engineers that I was sitting sipping a warm cup of tea when I overheard a conversation that made me realize how horribly I was stuck in the midst of educated illiterates. Two men were discussing how one of their lady team members would speak about working hard not only in office but at home as well where she has to cook for her family. They belittled the work that lady must be putting in every day to go back home, tired from a long day in office but still go on to cook. Their jibes and laughter hurt me for I am a woman too and I know the mammoth effort it takes to manage both ends! I just couldn’t help myself but walk up to them and ask if they actually found it easy to maintain the work life balance and still go home and cook! I figured they must have some reasoning or experience to blatantly ridicule their woman colleague in public. But again, (un)educated as they were they laughed off saying that they had working wives to cook for them so why would they even try! Morons I screamed in my head, they can eat but they can’t cook and still find the heart to make fun of someone who actually does both! So yes, this attitude which is deeply engraved in the Indian male psyche also annoys and irks me. It pushes me to the realization that India is actually not a haven for women. Yes, the land of thousands of goddesses is a living inferno for females in some way or the other.

India is regressing at a rate that will bring it down to a level from where recovery would be next to impossible. We have become shallow as human beings. We boast of a rich history; heritage but the truth is we are the most superficial and narrow minded people around. All that we care about are our utterly ridiculous customs and archaic beliefs and put on a show of a modern society.  So yes I am disheartened and upset that this is the India I live in where trying to show people light is comparable to beating our heads against the wall. Wonder where we are headed, to the future or just another stop of the past!