Sundarrajk's Weblog

Archive for the ‘Empowerment’ Category

Not haven’t read the contents of the Vogue magazine, I will stay away from criticizing the magazine per se. But the video  which seems to be being appreciated by many seems silly to say the least. All it talks about is body, freedom to have sex with whomever and whenever it is desired, to dress whatever way they wish to and not be leered at or commented upon. These seem completely irrelevant issues considering the situation of women of India to whom it is addressed.

The issue that women face today is they do not get respect and equality of the community. This is the first thing that needs to be done is to ensure that every women gets the respect that they would have got if they had been a man. For this to happen one needs to have a social revolution. The mindset of the people, both men and women, need to be changed. This is not going to be easy to achieve.

Education is one medium which can be used to build this respect for the women. But the question arises is are the mindsets of teachers (both males and females) in the education system clear enough so that they can educate the students to have this respect for the women when the become adults. Becomes a chicken and egg situation.

We need like minded people coming together and doing almost a house to house campaign, making people sensitive of to issue and spread the word.

Movies are another medium which influence a very large number of people. If people like Deepika Padukone refuse to act in movies like Om Shanthi Om which have no sense and do not show equal respect for women and men and if the directors and producers take moral responsibility and start making movies addressing this good underlying social cause rather than making movies to make (read rake in) money. Contrast the role of Deepika Padukone in Om Shanthi Om to Kangana Ranaut’s role in Queen or Nargis in Mother India. There is a humungous difference in the treatment of the women in the two movies. We need more movies like Queen than movies like Om Shanthi Om. Look at the WhatsApp post that seems to have got viral recently 

She got late at office that day and she had to go home alone.

She started walking towards the auto stand

But it was too late, she had to wait for an auto.  She felt like someone was following her, she turned back and ‘Bhoo’ he  said. She got scared and he laughed out loud. 

Her office colleague it was. “I’m here because I can’t let you walk alone towards the auto stand and don’t worry I’ll be with you till you get an auto. You are my responsibility”  he said.

After ten minutes of wait, an auto came but no passenger was in there.  She knew that this could probably be the last auto to pass by.

She looked in an uncomfortable manner at the auto driver. “Don’t worry sister, I’ll drop you at your home safely. You are my responsibility” the auto driver said.

She sat in.

Her home was in a dark lane, she had to walk almost five minutes in the lane to reach her home. She entered the lane and a mid-aged man was smoking and looking at her.

It was a neighbour.  He threw the cigarette away and said “Come i’ll walk with you till you reach home. Don’t worry beti you are like my daughter only.  You are my responsibility”

The girl finally reached home safely.

Every time I gave a pause in the write up, you must have felt that something wrong will happen.
This fear is what our society has given us.

It will no longer have an existence if every man be like that office colleague or the auto driver or the neighbour.

Dear men, like your sister, mother and wife are your responsibilities, ‘She’ is your responsibility too.

Understand if you can.

A lot of people seem to have appreciated this message. But read the last line again. ‘She’ is your responsibility too. Is “She” the only responsibility. Aren’t everybody our responsibility. There will always be bad elements in the society and it is everybody’s responsibility to protect everybody else who can be effected by these bad elements. And these need not be “Shes” these can be “Hes” too.

What is important is “Equal” not  “Differential” treatment.

Similar thoughts have been expressed by a fan here.

Rohit Kumar has a very good post on how women are made objects of desire and treated badly. He has highlighted how the Entertainment Industry has denigrated the status of women.

My response to the post is as follow:

Well said.

The moot point is why do the women not take steps to ensure that such a situation does not arise, not that the men can shrug off their responsibility, but women have a role to play too.

Why cannot every mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, sensitize their son, brother, nephew, grandson to the other gender. Why do these women not teach their male relatives to behave? This will go a long way towards bringing equality and mutual respect between the genders.

Have we wondered why we have the stereo type mothers-in-law but not stereo type fathers-in-law? Is it ingrained into our women to belittle other women?

Unfortunately there is no doubt that we are a male dominated society where man dictates, but if all the women get together and educate, sensitize the males around them the world would be a much better place.

At the other end we have the feminist who wish to dominate the men. Both the extremes are bad for the society.

Any relationship where one dominates over the other and there is lack of mutual respect is a relationship filled with hatred, bile, jealousy and all the other negative attributes. There is no love.

It is only in relationship where each considers the other equal is there peace harmony, trust and hence love.

This applies to individuals as well as society. Try and analyze why we talk about racism, casteism, imperialism, religion base differences. All of this arises because one does not think the other is one’s equal.

This is true of the relationship between gender too.

Hope there is a social revolution to get rid of this situation.

We as a society seem to think that reservation is the panecea for all inequivalities. Here is a editorial from The Hindu, which urges the government to pass the reservation for women in the assembly.
Nobody is bothered that we do not get quality legislators. All that we seem to be bothered about is that there are not proportional female legislators. Nobody is fighting for getting good legislators but we seem to be fighting for legislators from the ‘Backward Communities’ and from the ‘Fairer Gender’.
Why this attraction towards reservation, even after we have seen it fail to uplift the ‘Backward Communities’ after more than half a century of independence?
We rejoice at a K.R. Narayanan becoming the President of India. Why? Was he made the President because he was from the backward class? or was he made the President because he deserved to be one? Even if we elected him without bias it still is not a matter to rejoice for two reasons:
1. We should have done it in any case.
2. His daugther went on to become IFS using her caste credentials and not her capabilities.
So do we want incapably administrators, just because we have reserved 33.33 percent of the seats for women? or do we want legislators who are good, irrespective of whether they are men, women or neither?
If today women are suppressed why are they so? Is it because it is a society dominated by men? Yes to a great extent it is true that the situation today is because our society has been male dominated for eons.
So what is the solution. Did the women in the US need reservation to come up? Did the women in any other country need reservation to come up? No. What is needed is education. Women need to see that they should get elected because of their abilities. Today very few legislator’s are elected because of their ability. They are elected only because they have the muscle power or because they belong to a particular caste.
We are continuing to use caste as a means to divide ourselves. The British did that and we are continuing the hegemony. A hegemony which has led to lots of bloodshed, and lot of burnt hearts.
We do not wish to take an educated, unbiased, objective view at the situation. If we do, we will realize that only Education and objective outlook will help us redeem the situation for the women and also for the ‘Backward Castes’.