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As women, we need not wait for anyone to help us. If we don’t speak up or hear ourselves, no one would. So, speak up but listen too!
For ages, men have been at the notch of authority in Indian society while women have always been at a threat. Our country is excelling in different sectors every day and yet, the atrocities against women never seem to end.
A nation can be called developed, stronger and deserving only when the women and children there are safe and secure. Unfortunately, even in modern times, atrocities against women are quite a common instance.
Women’s pride is crushed under boots with the ease of slapping a mosquito. Be it at the home, office, public places or even temples, women are always under threat of losing pride, of being killed or worse. The smirk of irony is that those who are supposed to safeguard are the ones nabbing away the pride and life of women.
Since ancient times till today, women are considered as people who contribute to the service of others or are a medium of entertainment. Women represent half of our population and we need to stop ignoring the evil lurking around them.
They say development spanning the years has empowered women to break the shackles. But what is the point of this women empowerment that society preaches if women have to fear the lusty eyes that follow them at each step?
Indian society has changed and developed in its truest sense as we can see some remarkable changes in the thoughts and line-of-action of the people. However, excellence and development in education, science, infrastructure, etc. haven’t really brought a worthwhile change in women’s lives. It is still the same India where women are considered Goddesses. And at the same time, women are harassed, raped or killed across the country every day.
The old saying that ‘age is just a number’ is very evident in such crimes. Whether it is a six-year-old girl or a sixty-year-old woman, in a city or a village, on the streets or even in their homes, women are harassed by lustful hands.
However, the most infuriating thing about these incidents is that often, the women who suffer seek refuge in silence rather than raising their voices. Rather, the societal pressure and very little support from the law forces the survivor to keep silent.
If she dares to speak up, society labels and judges her. Right from her clothes to the way she spoke to the time she was out, she is eventually blamed by society. As long as society keeps weaving cobwebs like these, women will not be able to stand up for themselves or for others.
What’s even worse is that females aren’t safe even in the wombs. But this doesn’t just end here. There are still a number of people who don’t even encourage educating their daughters except till the basic level. You can’t really force an educated woman into slavery under the garb of duty and neither can you really force a woman aware of her rights to shut up. However, even educated women are forced to shut up and do ‘as they are told’ by their families under the pretext of duty. This is done in the biggest of the cities and the smallest of towns.
Such misogynists don’t encourage the education of the women in their families but they want a lady doctor for the delivery of their children. Men still think of women as someone who is there only to cater to their needs, whims and fancies.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, women have also been battling violence and abuse of all kinds – physical, mental and emotional. Such incidents don’t just inflict physical wounds but affect their mind and emotional well-being too.
It is due to the fear of being caught up in such problems that several women end up staying at home. They hesitate living life to its fullest, from working in the field they like and even fear achieving anything.
The Indian Constitution has a number of clauses and laws to safeguard women. But what defines the graveness of a crime? When it comes to crimes against women, we have often seen that no matter how heinous the crime is, criminals often easily escape by tweaking the law or finding some loopholes.
Additionally, even if our ultra-civilised society cares and supports the survivor, it doesn’t go beyond the virtual hashtags and condolence posts. Even the media covers the incident for a few days before seemingly losing interest in it. A handful of genuine supporters stride up and down with their protest until they are forcefully silenced.
Despite the laws, proper justice to the survivor and deserving punishment to the criminal has been executed in very few cases. The Nirbhaya case is one such example where justice came in but a little too late and after countless hearings and allegations spanning years. There are several other examples where the survivor or the victim’s family are simply waiting for justice to be served.
It isn’t that our government isn’t doing anything to safeguard the women. The government and judiciary have brought several schemes for women’s safety. However, the question here would be – to what extent are these schemes successful? There are still several women who are denied their basic right to live with dignity.
Despite the change in government and political schemes, the condition of women still remains the same. The agenda that flies high at every public speaking event is usually related to women and the issues they face. However, the issues often remain the same.
Lack of proper implementation of laws is usually the root of all unsolved cases and denial of justice for years now. We often see the ‘ignorance is bliss’ mode of approach by the authorities who ought to render services to people. I believe building sky-scraping statues and stadiums that can hold a hundred million can wait because the basic necessity of the nation is to protect its women.
The progressive minds glorify the inspirational aspect behind the kitchen to the veranda journey of women through pop culture. And audience welcomes these and makes these blockbusters too. At the same time, the conservative mentality and the institution of moral policing lure the Indian household into hypocrisy.
They seem to prefer such notions only on their screens but not inside their homes. Truly, acknowledging the ‘domestic’ issue faced by women doesn’t help any government battle community riots. Similarly, only safeguarding women doesn’t help in battling only climate changes.
The issues that women face are spoken of and heard millions and millions of times. Maybe that’s why society considers women’s issues are just another issue in a country full of internal crises, especially during a global pandemic.
People talk and that’s pretty much often all they do. As women, we need not wait for anyone to help us. If we don’t speak up for ourselves or hear ourselves, no one would. Being your first priority doesn’t make you selfish! Voicing out the atrocities you suffered doesn’t make you parochial in the world of thousands of uproars.
As women, we shouldn’t be anyone’s dolls. Remind the ones who handle us like glass dolls that if not handled well, glass can cut you and hurt you. The witness to all injustices against women has been time. The time has passed to uncover the clogs from people’s minds and from the conscience of the already blindfolded lady justice. Better late than never, am I right?
Happy Women’s Day, ladies!
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie The Lunchbox
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She's a literature student. When she's not writing, you can find her reading
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