Sunday, March 08, 2009

Women's Day in India

Im not one who believes in having a separate day for a separate occasion - valentines day, childrens day (which coincidentally happens to be exactly 9 months after valentines day nudge nudge wink wink, ok time for me to grow up) but today I can make an exception. Women’s Day is being celebrated today. I was reading a couple of articles in todays paper by women who have been molested by Indian men. Its true that it does happen in this great nation of ours & we have to be ashamed if this doesnt strike our souls. I mean what the hell is happening to our country ? I remember being in college for my get-together as a result of which I missed seeing the absolutely disgusting attack on women in a pub in Mangalore. I mean I have been to Mangalore so many times in the last 2 years & not once did I think that the city was capable of stooping to such lows. This is even lower than the attacks on the nuns (look elsewhere in my blog for more on that) and vandalising of churches that took place there. God bless that guy who stood up to those lowlifes. In fact he was formerly a member of a right wing Hindu group & left them a year back when he realised they were too violent and preaching hatred. I listen to the radio & I hear a woman telling the RJ that her friends were discussing whether it was or not to wear a combo of tee shirt & jeans. When did they have to start thinking like that ?

Of course the country is not all bad. Its just that there are elements who would like us to live in the 'Middle Ages' (some time back everyone was accusing the Taliban of doing this in Afghanistan, now right wing Hindu groups are doing this in India....) The encouraging sign is that people are starting to saying enough of this shit already. Only when everyone stands up together will a bunch of goons think twice about harassing young women for wearing 'western attire' in a city like Bangalore. That and a responsible media.

Which brings me to the one question that I havent seen answered anywhere. According to the guy who helped the Mangalore girls escape, the camera crews for all the leading news channels came and positioned themselves outside the pub 15 minutes in advance. Which means that those idiots knew in advance that this was about to happen. Sure, rule #1 of journalism and reporting is you dont get involved. The media has been playing the clips over and over again and yet they failed to mention how all of them got their cameras there at the right time. Oh wait, an attack on young middle class women in a city like Mangalore is sure to draw in a ton of viewership which in turn brings in a ton of money. And unfortunately thats the way the media world is.


Was reading my friend's post on dowry (an ancient Indian tradition that is unfortunately accepted as part of our culture) that was rather painful to read. Quote "women need to pay dowry to men so that men may oblige to marry them.. n they have to keep on giving as and when men ask for more and more money.. i am talking of the "husband" of course.. " unquote. Ouch again. It is true in more cases than not. We are decades past the time when families should realise - waitacottonpickingminute, our daughter is a smart young woman & deserves someone who will treat her well for the rest of her life for who she is rather than for the money that he expects from us at the time of marriage. What makes me feel sad is that even well educated families blindly accept the 'fact' that they have to shelve out a pot load of money to get the daughter married. Which doesnt include the cost of the wedding (getting grander and grander as the years go by) or the honeymoon or setting up the house or .... Last I heard the going rate for educated well to do guys was a cool 1 crore.

My friends from Andhra Pradesh told me years ago that the reason why you find so many Andhra boys going abroad for their M.S (even after paying quite a few lakhs) is that its an investment for them as the dowry that they get is exponentially linked to their education. They will get the money back in multiple multiples at the time of their weddings so they werent bothered about the expense. And here we are thinking that we are a great nation on the verge of becoming a developed nation.

I dont really know who is reading this (if anyone is at all) but if you are, think about it. It will take more than a generation to change the mindset of our nation. Unless we start putting an end to this now, this menace will never go away. Maybe it never will go away completely but at least we can start making a difference.

No comments: