By Arjun Tuli:
They say we are rising and shining, ready to dominate the world in years to come.Â But, are we? Well, here I don’t question the sinking GDP or tainted politicians. I question the esteemed citizens of my country. Are we ready to take on the global powers?
No, perhaps not; not even with all the intellect we have. Why? Because we live in a society blotted by social stigmas.Â We wear trendy clothes, walk in flashy shoes, and say we are aping the west. My dear countrymen, becoming fashionableÂ doesn’tÂ make us American, but stepping out of the cocoon of our narrow minded thoughts indeed makes us a gentleman. Our society today is marred by acts of domestic violence, caste based discrimination, honour killings, child abuse and female foeticide.
A four year old girl is raped by her father and police SHO questions the morals of her traumatized mother. A 10 year old kid is asked to drink her own urine as a punishment of bed-wetting. A young couple is awarded capital punishment by the ‘all supreme’ khap panchayat in honour of their love. These aren’t rare happenings limited to the underdeveloped regions of our country, they happen all over ‘the incredible’ India, even in the hi-fi posh societies. That aunty that lives next door might just be another woman scarred by acts of domestic violence. That kid who wears a sad look over his face, might just be another minor humiliated by sexual violence. Going by the statistics published by Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2007, 53.22% of children reported being sexually abused, among them 52.94% being boys.
Shocking, isn’t it?
Well, we need to take firm actions against such barbaric acts, we need to do more than mere candle light marches, more than those debates on news channels, more than just writing such blogs, more than just raising an eyebrow. We have got to rise in unison and change our attitude, change the way khap panchayats dictate the lives of people. We need to ape the real west.
But How?Â Stringent Laws? It’s not the only answer. Along with stern laws, we need to change the general mind-set of the people — change our patriarchal society, encourage people to speak out, to come out of social restrictions. It really doesn’t matter what your neighbours think. What does matter, is will you be able to live a life jeopardized by the assaults of your husband?Â Stand up against the injustice. Speak out. Raise your voice.
Let’s end this ‘chalta hai’ attitude.
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