DISCLAIMER 1: My posts are usually fun ( if i may say so myself) but let me warn you upfront- this one isn’t, so if you are looking for a breezy read I suggest you consider skipping this post.
DISCLAIMER 2: I was born and raised in India. Irrespective of it’s shortcomings I love my country with a passion. Not all places in India are unsafe. There’s good and bad everywhere. So if you considered visiting please do not put your plans on the backburner!
DISCLAIMER 3: Not all men are monsters. I have had the fortune of meeting some incredible men : my dad, my brother, my boyfriend and many others. Plenty of them have been raised into treating women as counterparts as opposed to several others who simply view us as objects. So when I use the word “men” loosely it refers to the latter.
I have been having trouble sleeping the last couple of days. It surely cannot be a coincidence that this has something to do with the spate of hate crimes against women in India. And truly this isn’t a problem with just India but the rest of the world too but then I haven’t lived anywhere else so I am simply talking based on my experiences. I am too horrified to recount the recent tragedy but you can read about it here. ( RIP) I repeatedly ask my self how some people have it in them to commit such atrocities… how they will themselves to indulge in such heinous acts without as much as batting an eyelid.
Every time I read about such an incident, I am appalled at how flawed the society is in it’s outlook towards these victims and brand them as “asking for it”.(The people who argue that westernization has caused the decline of Indian culture and the “modern woman” has brought this onslaught upon herself fail to remember that civility is part of our culture too!) Welcome to the warped system were a woman is judged by the way she dresses(And we are talking a jeans and a t shirt here!). Throw in a pathetic excuse of a justice system and voila you have a “rape- friendly” environment where men feel “entitled” to the women. As if just one man weren’t enough, these men now go about their business in gangs! Shame on them!
Sadly though I must admit that in India the objectifying of women is just accepted as a part of life. We Indian women fume and fret about the raw deal we are getting and at the end of the day we have no choice but to just cow down to the pressure of dressing” or “behaving” a certain way just to “blend in” and “live in peace”. I shamefully admit that while I go on about a fancy red lip and showing some leg sitting here in NY, back at home you’d find me bare faced, modestly dressed and low key. I have done the I-don’t-care-what-men-think-I-will-wear-a-skirt-today-routine, only to realize that a cute outfit isn’t worth trying to ward off skin crawling looks and random stalkers!
As a woman, if getting through everyday unscathed is a struggle in itself, there is something terribly wrong with the moral fabric of the country; especially one that systematically kills female babies in the womb because they are less desirable will never find gender equality. We need to realize that until women are treated well( which will not happen unless rigorous punishment is exercised), there can simply be no progress! My prayers are with her family.