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For most women in India, Sabarimala or the right to enter this temple is a non-issue, grappling as we are with threats against our safety and dignity in our everyday lives.
Just until last year, Sabarimala was known as a place that brought about a feeling of sanctity. Now, the place has become a battle ground, where one side claims to protect tradition and the other, women’s rights. (They conveniently seem to have forgotten about the temples where only women are allowed – at the rate that things are going, that might turn out to be the next burning issue.)
However, for the average Indian woman, Sabarimala (or any temple) doesn’t even make it to the list of problems that we face on an every day basis.
Right from the clothes that we choose to wear at the start of a day, to the jobs we choose, to the language we use; everything is an attempt to avoid being raped or even misunderstood as being ‘morally loose’; because then, a girl is said to have had it coming to her – like some law of nature that cannot be stopped.
It makes one wonder – if the law of our land is so impotent, then why has nobody made an effort to change it?
It’s impossible to turn a blind eye to how casually we Indians seem to take rapists. Just look at rapist who was honoured at the Republic day celebrations in Haryana this year – the same man who drove his victim to suicide by torturing her family for having stood by her side. None of this is classified information. Yet, it happens.
Then there is the problem of any pink product being costlier than the blue. Basic female hygiene products keep getting costlier day by day and are always more expensive than their male counterparts. This is besides the pay gap women face.
Any attempt to raise our voices gets us branded as headstrong and rebellious. While the man who raises his voice is brave.
The word ‘feminist’ is used like a swear word by people who don’t even bother to check its meaning in a dictionary or at least on Google. But their ignorance is often louder than the voices of our truth.
Just a couple of months back, this state was a shining example of unity – civilians volunteering to jump into the very waters they should have been running away from, guiding the defence in their rescue operations, with fishermen turning into super heroes, a state where gender and religion was the last thing in their minds and heroes were revealing themselves in every nook and corner. But that was also the time when some politicians simply refused to acknowledge the disaster, while the others were stranded at home, unable to make speeches with political undertones or plot the next plan to favour them in the next elections.
‘Divide and rule’ – You seem to be taking after the evil agenda laid down years back – please do not forget that the casualties in both countries across the border are still a result of that hatred planted years back.
But I wonder if I am appealing to an empathy that does not exist. You are after all, politicians before leaders.
Image via Pixabay
Her voice stutters; her pen doesn't .
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