This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Komal Prasad. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Have you ever judged someone with the veil of Righteousness?

 

The sole purpose of this piece is some introspection. So, the question of liking this article does not arise, since it isn’t fuelled for that purpose.

Absolutely how many times have we sworn that we do not judge people, mind our own pretty business (as if am free for baseless gossips ,eh?) and definitely never weigh people by the way they dress, eat or have made choices in the past. After all, we are a generation of modern liberals, are we not?

I have been a witness to seamless volumes of women empowerment sessions. My lady friends embarking on the pedestal of equal rights and those fancy ‘My life, My rules’ slogans. And don’t have me starting on the number of times we had to roll our eyes to meet the skull in completely another dimension when some nuts can’t deal with women standing up for themselves. But, is it true? In words of Mark Twain, “Classic is a book which everyone praises but no one reads!” Our principles for indifference are those timeless classics.

So, no matter how much we value our girls’ rights to wear their taste and attitude, we got to judge. Oh because, err, we are so concerned about her! Even if we don’t say it, our looks and overall subtle intimidation make it obvious. So, when a girl has any piercing apart from the traditionally mandated and lawful one per ear and has the guts to don a spaghetti with stilettos garnished with that ‘drenched to the soul’ sass, we are paralyzed. And if there is a bright neon pop out bra strap matching shamelessly with the earphones, save the crowds from gaping in horror. She might be the girl in a pretty kurta next day but the harm is done.

Whenever I see guys sporting long, shiny and silky hair with a guitar or violin or bongo in hand, paired with flip flops and a ‘society stated’ weird tee logo, I ask myself how did the parents not stop him? I admire that wildness he or she gets to carry! One of my friends recently broke up. She had a few relationships before. I knew she had made terrible use of judgment earlier and was the one to leave eventually after suffering. So, when I first heard of it, I thought (almost instinctively), “It must be her again!”. I slammed myself for such unwise judgment despite my preachings.

So I heard her sob story patiently. It started off mutually, both being super attractive and smart employees in a reputed firm, previously in the same school and college but never spoke at lengths. But in a few weeks , it became dubious. As they went to different cities for career goals, he said that he couldn’t trust her. The reason wasn’t hard to get , it was obvious, she had erred before and she could err again. And the love which he had so passionately would lie broken then, why not now? I got an eerie feeling. That kind of judgement could go for anyone in so many cases, even me. It was an on and off thing for two years and ultimately he threw up his hands in the air. No matter how hard he tried, he failed to let go. She tried devotedly and endlessly. Took an off to visit him and promised to make it better. He apologised as he could offer no help. She was beautiful and talented but not trustworthy.

Most of his friends and her friends thought it must have been her move. Because come on! don’t we all know *hush- hush*. I had no words as I heard her sobs over the phone.

It is said that we must protect what we love. Do we give up on our parents if for once they fail to choose the best for us? Are we rated handicapped in maths if we fail to solve an algebra question once in the exam? No, there is always a next time. Probably we failed to extend it higher in our lives.

We are too miniature to be a judge of character let alone its composition, nuances and extrapolation to predict the future. This validated right to judge everyone has actually made our lives miserable.

So, when a girl wears skimpy clothes, she might be doing it for attention or she might not be, but she defintely isn’t interested in being molested. When a person chooses a guitar over office meetings in gazebos of a palatial resort, she/he might not really be a good for nothing. Parents are enough to laud or lash you, let the rest take some seats for rest in your upbringing.

So, the next time you warn someone to stay away from someone else because she/he , most unfortunately, couldn’t conform to your auspicious cast of goodness, please hold your horses, right there! A person evolves and learns from his mistakes, just because someone’s road got slippery and he slipped once or twice or thrice, it doesn’t mean he would keep slipping all the way. If a Man leaves his job to take care of his child instead of his wife, he isn’t henpecked. We need to settle and with anguish agree to accept that no matter how unique or mature we think we are, we can’t be the most rightful jury in matters of judging people by the way they look, seem to do things or things they might have done before. Let us allow the people to not be static equations, let us allow them to be unpredictable.

“Don’t judge someone just because they sin differently than you!”

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        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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