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This is the obituary of a hollow nation where crime against women flourishes, which thinks 'women's issues' are not urgent.
Dear Fellow Countrymen,
As I write this down, I am in tears. It gives me a choking discomfort and terrible pain to pen down this obituary. This obituary does not speak of a woman dying a sad death after being raped or tortured, but about the sad demise of humanity amongst a nation of beings with whom live the hundreds of women who have no clue how they are being sucked into a black hole of predators just looking for them to fulfill sexual pleasures; of predators who look for the chance to assert their ‘manly’ power, of predators who smile inside when a female foetus is not allowed birth in this land.
This might be an obituary for many men around you, women too. And sadly, if you read this and look away, this might be an obituary to that little human heart of yours. Therefore, this might be the biggest obituary written in history (read: of the second most populated country in the world); of hoards of men and women, who might feel this is an obituary to them. Because even when you are breathing, you are dead inside. And while the Nation still claims to be highly populated with different categories of Indians, blood sucking Vampires in human form are the ones that make the biggest class, caste and community of this country.
This is your obituary, if one day you told your wife/daughter/daughter-in-law to get her womb tested for determining the Gender (not sex, because before her birth is decided her life) of the baby. This is also your obituary if you tortured a woman for dowry. This is your obituary because you died inside the day you lurked at a woman as a sex object, and yours too if no matter how much you loved your wife, you beat her up at home in order to showcase your masculinity, the strength of being a man – powerful.
This is your obituary too if you as a woman tortured another for not following the gender norms, social rules. This is the obituary of those innumerable men and women who at some point or another didn’t realize that it is their duty to stand up and fight for humanity, womanhood, even if they are not facing anything themselves; after all watching in silence is a crime too.
An obituary of the numerous politicians who fail to recognize what an important issue women’s safety is, who call a woman ‘dented and painted‘ if she makes a choice, who tell women who are sex workers that they are criminals, who think that all women’s issues are not of national importance. This is an obituary to those numerous women who are swimming deep in power, strong enough to shut out the voices in their head, voices of women who are in pain. This is an obituary to those youngsters who find happiness is all about material assets while they walk past that woman who is being tortured by her family, and those who bear the torture thrown upon them too. An obituary of those educated, cultured and so-called high-class people sitting in offices thinking of how to ignore these daily reports of gang rapes, rapes, dowry deaths and suicides of women, yes this is it.
The day you thought that feminism was all about women, you died. The day you thought that those women who fight for their rights can be silenced by being harassed, tortured, abused or raped, you died. The day you thought that a woman is not equal to a man in terms of human rights and freedom, you died. The day you made bread out of a career in this field, silently torturing women around you in your house, you died. The day patriarchy was logical to you, you died. The day you thought that your wife should only be born to feed, reproduce and take care of you, you died. The day you thought that women are the weaker sex, yes, you my friend died.
While Patriarchy crippled us, the National history of women’s movements and support haven’t been of any help either. This is an obituary of the past, the hard work done to create a global uproar by women in this land of hungry monsters, men and women both. This is an obituary of a failed national system of governance, of the law, of the policies, of the family culture and dynamics that fails to teach us as citizens, as humans, the difference between right and wrong, the difference between crime and punishment, the difference between human and evil.
As I write this, I am in a lot of pain. Writing on behalf of those hundreds of women who left this land of living hell to may be a better place far far away, for their voices went with them, for their unspoken pains will never be penned. And as I write, I feel another pain towards those many more who are living in hell here. I am saddened, also a little disgusted at the sight of those laughing men and women who escape the heinous crimes they commit against women, and at the faces of victory of those who help them escape.
Those policemen who bring shame to women, yes, you are trusted upon the task to protect, and when you do inhuman deeds, I am ashamed. To those hundreds of lawyers, doctors, teachers, politicians, bureaucrats, parents, management gurus, celebrities, and yes media professionals, sadly this is an obituary of the educated, polished, looked-up-to (down by me) you.
Dharnas for issues as low as demanding a certain person to walk away from his job seem to be taking over the freedom movements of women. While the media can’t stop talking about the baby of a celebrity, the woman who was brutally raped by 12 men, and one who was killed seems to be an issue of less national importance. Today, this is an obituary of all those moments where the media and people have let us down. This is an obituary, of not one or two but those unaccounted men and women around who think women’s rights and issues concerned are not of immediate importance.
Sadly, this will remain just another piece of a voice among those many different voices that are being shouted from the corner of every village, town and state of India. When a woman is killed somewhere, or tortured, a little part of humanity dies every second. This is a sad reminder that India has become a land where economy takes over human rights, where people fight for a statement made by an opponent before they fight for a raped woman, where she is just another case dumped in the pile of files in a court, making her life worth nothing more than a few sessions of court room drama.
Do I rest my case or is my Case adjourned? This is my obituary to a dying, prosperous land which is economically growing but somewhere has become hollow inside. While you read this, yet another rape case, a case of suicide of a woman will be making headlines. I wonder how do you sleep?
May your soulless bodies Never Rest in Peace.
Pic credit: The Advocacy Project (Used under a Creative Commons license)
A Development Communication & Social Work professional working in the field of gender, health and technology for grassroots. A Doctorate in participatory communication for development. A Feminist to a Human Right Activist, stressing on convergence & read more...
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
As long as teachers are competent in their job, and adhere to the workplace code of conduct, how does it matter what they do in their personal lives?
A 30 year old Associate Professor at a well-known University, according to an FIR filed by her, was forced to resign because the father of one of her students complained that he found his son looking at photographs of her, which according to him were “objectionable” and “bordering on nudity”.
There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
When the father of an 18 year old finds his son looking at photographs of a lady in a swimsuit, he can do many things. What this parent allegedly did was to dash off a letter to the University which states: