By R Thakur:
Six months from now, I will turn twenty. When I was a child, I always thought that I would get freedom once I’m an adult.
Navratri is coming. I was excited and looking forward to enjoying it with my friends. As I’m a non-Gujarati who lives in Mumbai, I have never taken part in garba, the traditional Gujarati folk dance. But this year I was planning to dance with my Gujarati friends. The venue where the dance is supposed to be taking place is 15 minutes away from my house. Security is very tight at the venue, but my parents are still against it. The reason being that some boys don’t behave properly at such places and take the liberty of staring at girls and harassing them. Due to such people, should I compromise on my freedom and happiness?
It’s high time my parents change their mentality. Why should only girls compromise? Can’t parents teach their sons to behave? Why are all such restrictions only on girls? It is 2016, and everyone talks about equality and women empowerment. Why don’t girls have the freedom then? Everyone is aware of what I’m writing about, but no one is doing anything about it. I am the only child of my parents. They never discriminated against me for being a girl child. Yet, they have always been protective of me as if all boys are just waiting to harass me. Their protection has curtailed my freedom. I get the feeling that boys will attack me when I go for a walk, use social networking sites, dance, dress in the clothes of my choice, travel alone, come home late, attend some social events or go on vacation with friends. Some may do that. But that does not mean girls should stop living their lives. When will our parents start treating us normally?
People don’t stop walking or driving on the roads just because accidents take place. Should the possible threat of some boys stop girls from living their lives? Some days ago, two girls living on rent were forced to leave our building. They were roaming in our colony wearing shorts, and some boys started teasing them. Elders in the building, including my parents, thought the girls were responsible for getting teased by boys. The girls were forced to leave the building and bachelors aren’t being rented out flats anymore. The only way to prevent boys from taking part in harassment is by changing their mindset. Not by putting restrictions on girls.