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Witch hunting still goes on, you say? What nonsense. But wait. Read this, and you’ll know what I’m speaking about. Ain’t it easy to label a woman who won’t do as you want a bitch… or even a witch?
Kesari! What an amazing story of the courage of the 36th Sikh Regiment in the British era! Battle of Saragarhi… I had heard this story as a child, from my father who was in the Air Force – tales of courage like these were our staple diet.
Stop right here, though, if you are expecting to read an inspirational story! The reason I write of this and mention the movie is altogether different.
There is a scene where the woman who the character of Ishar Singh saves from getting killed as she was running away from an imposed marriage tells him that she ran away to mountains to be safe as “A woman stays there and all are afraid of her. She can read and write. They say she is a witch!”
This was just a minute-long scene but it is etched in my mind, and brings up a question – Has the position of women changed since then?
You might say that yes women have more freedom today. She is educated and has control over her career, and her life, her thoughts. Does she?
In a marriage
I see these ‘witches’ frequently, who do not accept age-old beliefs, and are surrounded by those who want to wipe them off if given a chance and sometimes wiped off too without blinking an eyelid!
A girl not being allowed to study further. Stopped from turning into a witch!
We get news of an honest officer taking up drug mafia shot in daylight. This was an act of witch hunting.
A deserving candidate is overlooked for promotion. Just a form of witch hunt.
A young woman who was starved to death for dowry. This was another kind of witch hunting.
A 22-year-old’s hair and nails ripped off and she was thrown on railway tracks. Ah! Witch, she was.
A woman refusing a love proposal. Witch hunting is necessary.
A woman taking up her dreams, leaving the norms of settling down according to societal norms. She definitely is a witch!
A woman giving birth to only females. Oh, she must be a witch in her last life too.
A woman deciding to leave a bad relationship should be done with a witch hunt for sure.
A woman finding love for herself. Don’t ask.. she is a witch!
A woman taking charge of her own life, and steering her own way is a witch queen!
1897 – 2019…. and so it goes on, and on.
The battle of Saragarhi is remembered as it was fought for valour. I see the witch warriors around me. Battling, wounded, pained, bleeding, and yet not ready to give up the fort of their dreams. They are ready to face every witch hunter, looking into his eyes, saying “Bring it on!”
We woman individually fight a battle in our lives. Every woman who is steering differently has a witch inside.
Do not let the hunters tame you. Keep the witch in you alive and win your fort.
Image source: a still from the movie Manmarziyaan
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