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How Does Safoora Zargar’s Marital Status While Pregnant Become Anyone Else’s Business?

Posted: May 7, 2020

Trolls slut shaming under-custody Safoora Zargar for her pregnancy have no business doing it; whether she is married or not while being pregnant is nobody’s business.

“No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law.” – Article 21 of the Indian Constitution

A Jamia Millia Islamia student Safoora Zargar was arrested under the controversial Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. She is accused of inciting violence during protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (2019).

Why is Safoora Zargar’s being a woman relevant?

But there are some other things which needs to be mentioned to complete the picture of this series of incidents following her arrest.

Her identity. She is a woman. She is also reportedly 14 weeks pregnant. She is expecting a child.

Her motherhood has become a nightmare for her. The struggle of her family has shifted from being about CAA to saving her dignity.

Forget the ideology against the CAA that she believes in; you may or may not agree with her. The focus on her has shifted from being considered ‘anti-national’ to being trolled for ‘being pregnant in custody’, and she has been trolled for this, in very vile words.

The only thing powerful enough to create this shift in the focus on Safoora Zargar was her gender. She is a woman. To be a woman in this nation is more difficult than to be a so called ‘anti-national’.

Slut shaming

As soon as people got to know about her pregnancy, they started shaming her. Not for UAPA. Slut-shaming. Social media got flooded with posts suggesting that she use condoms. Some posts were so obscene that they are better left unmentioned. One post, in particular, drew my attention. BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s post.

A post from a person who is also accused of hate speech and considered to be an instigator by many people. The mentality and the thought behind this post are obvious enough for any literate person.

These people did not even once try to look for real information. They saw an opportunity to destroy the dignity of a woman and they seized that opportunity like predators. Even though she is married and even if according to the so called laws of our society, she has done nothing wrong. They just wanted an opportunity. If it was not her pregnancy, it would have been something else.

To malign a woman’s image by putting question marks on her character is one of the easiest things to do in our society, and among the things which are enjoyed by many. The rumour of her not being married was petrol in already lit fire of misogyny and patriarchy.

How does her marital status even matter?

What if she was pregnant without marriage? Should it really matter?

These people who label her as ‘anti-national’ and ‘threat to India’ don’t even know about the constitutional rights of people. According to the Article 21 of Indian Constitution, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law.” Not only Indians but everyone has right to privacy under this act and is provided a right to live with human dignity. And her being a woman doesn’t give you the right to snatch this freedom from her hands.

It is an individual’s private choice to engage with someone sexually or not. Be it a man or a woman or any gender. And you are given only one right by our constitution if you don’t want to see women taking control of their sexuality – a right to close your eyes and put a finger on your mouth and just shut up.

So, before you bash someone for their personal lives in the name of safeguarding the constitution, go and read it first.

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Shweta Verma is currently pursuing her masters in Mathematics from University of Delhi.

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