Aruna Shanbaug To Jyoti Singh: This Black Ribbon Signifies How India Fails Women

Source: Instagram.

I’m wearing a black ribbon today. A ribbon which signifies shame, and a lot more. And today, I’m not going to stop myself from expressing that “a lot more”.

I feel ashamed when I think of myself as a citizen of a country where cases of brutality, the sick mentality, inhuman behaviour, and heinous crimes take place every now and then.

Aruna Shanbaug (1973), Bhanwari Devi (1992), Priyadarshini Mattoo (1996), Bilkis Bano (2002), Scarlett Keeling (2009), Soumya (2011), Jyoti Singh (2012), Kamduni (2013);  these are just a few of the names of women who were raped, and left to struggle for their lives. A wave of rage flows through me when I see or hear about these cases. More than that I am scared, because it can happen at anytime to me, or to any woman breathing at this moment. I’m ashamed to be a part of a country in which I am not ‘safe’.

I still remember how I, along with my college mates, protested when the Nirbhaya case took place. It didn’t just shake the country, it shook our faith on the system. A system which claims to protect the citizens of our country. We have to change mentality of people, to change the behaviour of men who treat women as an ‘object’, a ‘thing’, as ‘material’, and most importantly the sick ‘value’ system which easily categorizes a female as either ‘good’ or a ‘bad’, a system which dominates and exploits the rights of women.

And when I am talking about ‘objectification’, I am talking about a very big issue. Well, don’t you enjoy movies in which females are projected as an object? Hell yeah! What about movies like “Masti”, and, for that matter, “Great Grand Masti”. I hate it when people produce or direct movies like these in which females are a mere source of entertainment. But it’s just not the men who participated in this, what about those women who willingly acted as objects in front of men.

Today, Bollywood is playing a very important role for the development of the mindset of the youngsters. And in that case, do you have the rights to show movies like these? Shame! Complete shame!

I am wearing a black ribbon today. It’s my favourite colour, but today I’m wearing it to show how dark the future is if we do not take necessary steps to do something about the issue of gender based violence. At least something!