It means I or my group wants to get our rights. Even if that means others have to give up theirs.
The recent and most ridiculous development after the BBC documentary, #IndiasDaughter, has been to sign a petition against the defense lawyers for ‘their hurtful misogynist statements’. Already more than 16k people have signed. So much for the right of freedom of speech!
After some thought, I realized it is not surprising the way people have reacted to this documentary. That is the fundamental cause behind all this any ways! We do not really want a better society, a more liberal, equal, respectful, peaceful world. We wouldn’t be able to live in one! I have started to think the current version of the world is perhaps the best version of Utopia. It is okay if eunuchs are feared and disgraced in the society, homosexuals are pointed out and laughed at in the crowd, it is even okay if uneducated tribal women are raped every day. There are no petitions against all that as per my understanding!
The educated and rather well to do middle class of India strongly believes in equality of women. But when it comes to helping their household maid, which is also a woman, with a few extra money, they shrink back. They can spend thousands in a night out in pub crawls or buying new watches and perfumes, but when it comes to giving extra 500 or 1000 bucks per month for some cleaning service, they are quite sure the maid is out their to cheat them, even rob them if required. At that time, it doesn’t occur to this class, that perhaps this woman who gives her service to them every day might be in more need of money than they understand. No no no, maids are just lazy people who do not do the job well unless you remind them again and again and again. They are just not trying enough to uplift their living standards. Look at them! They have 4 kids! How awful! You do not have money to raise kids but you still have plenty of them! That is the root of your problems!
The same crowd will also ask their married friends without kids, boss, bachhe kab ker rahe ho! Jaldi ker lo, baad mein problem hogi! Obviously, the rich and beautiful must procreate. Else there would be a tremendous loss of good gene pool you know! Oh, you want to adopt! <Silence>
In a country with a huge population problem, it is still a matter of pride whether we have our “own” children or not. There are many stories around having your own blood children. It is essential for women’s health later on. What about your genes, etc? But it won’t be a blood relation! Even the children are not equal! Forget the rest of the world!
Though it is a crime speaking out hurtful misogynist statements against women, it is okay if sometimes we become nonsecular and say disgraceful things about other religions. It is okay if we actually find ourselves saying that some religions are really the cause of terrorism. Are we really so naive or are we just plain stupid?
It is no surprise that the petitions of the following kind didn’t come out as a result of the documentary:
- We pledge that we will train our children and our women to be able to use public transport, by learning self-defense and survival techniques to be able to travel independently. (Not a single of my Delhi friends used public transport during their college days. They were not allowed to and they didn’t mind it since all of them were provided with new cars to drive!)
- We pledge that every year we will adopt 10 children, both boys and girls, and help them get educated. It is quite obvious that education is the need of the hour to change the mindset
- We pledge that we will help kids get off the streets. We will find out about NGOs who help kids study after their work hours (yes, there are many. I have visited a few in Delhi, if you are interested to know more, pls message me)
- We pledge that we will treat all human beings with equal respect, even if those people are our lowly servants. We will speak to them nicely, we will help them in any way possible – monetarily or emotionally, we will not judge them for their circumstances, we will not mistrust them because of our traditional thoughts.
- We pledge that while fighting for our rights, we do not cross the thin line and take away someone else’s. This is a very difficult pledge, but a crucial one, if we actually believe in equality and freedom and these are not mere words to get more rights and power.
If there are any such petitions around, I would be happy to sign. Wish you a very happy Women’s day! I wonder which women qualify to be happy today!