It is time to mend our ATTITUDES?

by Vasupradha Raghav from Houston, Texas

Photo Courtesy: Matt Dragseth

On the onset of India’s 70th Independence Day lets recall, our beloved Modiji’s message to all the women:

“I salute the indomitable courage and stellar achievements of women. Today, we renew our pledge to make women an equal and integral part of our development journey. My Government has initiated several measures aimed at bringing about a positive change in the lives of women. That is central to our vision of India`s progress and a life of dignity and opportunity for all our citizens. The ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ Yojana seeks to usher in a paradigm shift in attitudes towards the girl child and places emphasis on educating the girl child.

school-girls-1382624-300x226 It is time to mend our ATTITUDES?
Photo Courtesy : Vasant Dave

Our heads hang in shame when we hear of instances of crime against women. We must walk shoulder-to-shoulder to end all forms of discrimination or injustice against women. I seek the support of one and all, in transforming our vision into reality.”

This is an excerpt from Modiji’s message to women on International Women’s Day.

The true meaning of Independence Day is lost if it does not mean Independence to all citizens of our country, irrespective of gender. In the following article our author is calling out to each one of us, with fervent zeal, to mend our ATTITUDE.

I am SO ridiculously tired. Just tired. No, this is not a theist or an atheist-centered article! No, this is definitely NOT yet another cheap-thrill-inducing contest to gauge whether your prayers or mine go unanswered, faster. This is about ALL of US. Our society. Our mindset. About the unnecessary tolerance born out of stigmatic philosophies. About how much pleasure we derive by pretending to uphold morality. About how much pride and arrogance we exude by way of showing much adherence, more unwarranted ignorance and even lesser benevolence.

Contrary to popular belief, this is definitely not directed toward any one person or dogma or any social epithet you may sincerely try to attach to make it sound all the more dramatic. This is purely intended to defame a burgeoning behavior. The irresistible habit of taking a woman or girl’s life into ones own hands. I am immensely threatened by the idea of being a woman or raising a girl child in this so-called our world. It is disheartening to see how dangerously demonic our society is sadistically progressing toward. I am continually disappointed. I am increasingly devastated.

Dad Vs Man

My father has always been this all-time, any-time chaperone for us. He has sacrificed many a career moves just to be around us, protecting us, guarding us no matter what. He still firmly believes that that is the sole purpose of his existence. My mother, being the very loving and involved one that she is, had to strike gold, yesterday as well, with yet another two cents.  She mouthed her consolation thus: “Don’t let these events crowd your judgment. Don’t develop a phobia. Just be vigilant at all times, even while asleep. Don’t venture. People will tend to abuse.

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Photo Courtesy: Roman Zelenka

When you have children, never let them out of your sight. Follow them everywhere. Just don’t let your guard down, anytime, any day. Now you know, why I never held a job”. Thirty years hence, we live in a much faster world. Women are now genetically modified in all aspects and regards to be independent, opinionated, ambitious, vocal yet amicable extroverts. Our brains and hearts are wired thus. Our psyche is intimidated by self-effacement when done otherwise. Men are and choose NOT to be around all the time. Thus, my brain was exploding, but how? Why on earth? I really couldn’t wrap my mind around these obsolete concepts.

Does that mean that this unfortunate doting father, who drove his adult-daughter to the railway station that bright early morning was not to have left his daughter’s side at all? Should he have anticipated that in the very few moments between his departure and the train’s arrival that his daughter would be slaughtered cold blood in broad daylight by a lovelorn lunatic? Should he have been proactively foreseeing his daughter’s truncated future every waking day of her modern life? First of all, her passing is not a topic for a ladies’ tea party or a gentlemen-walking-discussion hour or a topic for family reunion. As humans, although we self-proclaim ourselves to be our own clan’s religious heads almost always, sometimes, just sometimes we must choose the need to show basic courtesy.

We still live in the era where fundamental respect for the deceased is highly recommended. No, justifying the act or unraveling the character or the past of a girl who is no more, is NOT okay. It is that much okay to slit her throat, as it is to slit your daughter or sister or wife or mothers’. It is also NOT okay to stay mute to the sufferings of her family. It wrecked my nerves to read that her parents are not willing to pursue an investigation fearing the society’s potential nasty take on the young girl’s life.

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Photo Courtesy: Wojciech Wolak

The amount of shame I feel right now to identify myself, as one among that society, is insurmountable. A seven-year-old-girl-child gets raped, murdered and burned to ashes by an otherwise-thought-to-be-trusting-beast of a neighbor. How long should that father be patient to get justice? Exactly  how many different versions of the story should surface before we can justly and openly loathe and eradicate such vicious creatures?

If a woman has the audacity to watch a late-night show with her male friend, she definitely has higher probability of getting raped and thrown off a bus, is that not? That woman was someone’s daughter. She was someone’s sister. Someone adored her. We are in this tiny present, called now. Can you confidently vouch that no one absolutely no one in your family will ever want to venture out in the same manner, under your nose or behind your back in the years, weeks or even days to come? If that happens, would this be your exact same response? A punishment justified.  We are intolerant. We shall not wait a single moment more for the grand orchestrator to set right our own personal lives. We pounce at the slightest provocation. We exaggerate the tiniest farce.  We explore even the smallest possibility to redeem ourselves to be better than the rest.

However, we have evolved to become so graciously accepting of any and all types of treatments and justices meted out to the feminine gender, irrespective of our own gender, is that not? We are so much in accordance with the infamous theory of accumulation of bad karma for others, while at the same time vehemently disposing off our own baggage claims, yes?

Need for HEROES

We need a “Baahubali” to remind us of the fact that even uninvited groping of a woman’s body is a punishable offense by the law of nature and should be met with nothing less than a death sentence, right then and there. We talk big about how the bigger guns should undergo metamorphosis. Little do we realize that we ourselves are desperately in need of a radical change.

We belong to the land where women are worshiped as goddesses yet amusingly we encourage body shaming of our own relatives and friends. We forget that the entertainment we provide ourselves by watching women dancing around in skimpy clothes, men taking on a load of partners or vice versa and actors badgering the opposite sexes to reciprocate their fiercely branded pure love is nothing short of despicable. Yes despicable, because wake up, it subconsciously fosters behaviors and conduct.

school-girls-1382624-300x226 It is time to mend our ATTITUDES?
Photo Courtesy : Katherine Evans

It is NOT okay to have sensual feelings about children. It is NOT okay to think that any attractive woman or man should become yours. It is NOT okay to get away with any amount of molestation or sexual abuse, be it verbal or physical. It is NOT okay to lay even your pinky finger on anyone without that person’s approval. It is NOT okay to advise the victims to bottle up all their frustrations and mutely walk away. It is NOT okay to make such ill-fated families endure long-drawn judicial battles.

If you think this is all for nothing, beware. The cycle of life is precarious. This could happen to anyone, anywhere. There is no stopping then. I am a true believer. There will come a time when HE will take matters into his hands. Laugh all you want…you will be hunted and brought down by truth and haunted for the rest of your dead life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vasupradha Raghav from Houston, Texas has an engineering degree from India and a Masters from New York. She switched fields and went back to school to pursue biotechnology, in a quest to find an ultimate cure for cancer. Currently, while pursuing her PhD, she enjoys learning and teaching Indian classical music.

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