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When society errs, we are quick to blame ‘the other’. This evocative poem asks an important question – who is to blame?
When men and women blame social folly
They must stop to think
What brought it to this day?
Was it criminals who brought it to rouse
Or was it you breeding it in your house?
Was it the foetus that the truck driver killed?
Was it a social norm you gave birth to and fuelled?
Was it the dowry that the Kirana owner demanded?
Was it a working wife that you wanted?
Was it the mini skirt of the damsel to blame?
Or your instructions to wear duppatta at home that set the game?
Was it the bride’s parents who committed suicide?
Was it your in-laws who don’t drink water from your side?
Was it the pan shop owner who eve-teased the dame?
Was it your harmless comment that validated and entitled his game?
Who started the first domestic violence?
Did your choice to train your working daughter in cooking just establish a society license?
Who objectified the raped woman?
Who killed the unborn foetus?
Was it them or was it you
With whatever in your daughter’s life you do
Did you teach her to support her parents?
Did you teach her to expect her husband to cook?
Did you teach her to consider herself equal?
Before society planned her sequel?
Sequel to follow up with what you started in your house
Sequel to continue building the rouse
The status you built, the expectations you set
The demands you make, the fight with your wife you rake
You set the stage for her to be downtrodden
For society to sabotage her identity damp and sodden
For when she gets teased, raped, killed
Or when she gets quieted, de-prioritized and quelled
One makes the TV news
The other makes your family drama and truce
Who suffers all along?
Who harbours this rape song?
Who was it?
Was it them?
Was it you?
Was it many opinions and solutions few?
But while you debate those opinions
Or nurture the news
Guard the daughter who is stepping into ruse
Guard her identity that gets raped
Before it does by
That man who was hanged yesterday.
Pic credit: Bartelomeus (Used under a CC license)
Prathibha is a cocooned wordsmith in the skin of a technology marketing professional. She hopes
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