There are instances of tweets, Facebook posts, news feeds, videos activities and other similar media gupshups done by celebrities. These trend is particularly followed just before release of their movies or immediately after the release. Many times its no more than a movie’s promotion box and fades out. I do respect and support their initiatives and moves in this direction but please make it on regular basis not just for commercial purpose.
From my archive found something which I had penned down when ‘My Choice’ video of Deepika Padukone was circulating in media. We don’t know how much impact that video made on patriarchal society but its for sure the actress and its subject faded into oblivion.
My version of ‘My Choice’ is based on what choices do women from a town, villages aspires for. These aspirations are entirely distinct from aspirations of our celebrities and rare effort is made by the society to ensure them freedom of their choices.
The list is not exclusive and many more choices may be added…
1. My Choice not to marry a person who demands Dowry.
2. My Choice to move out of Parda and do a job and not domestic chores.
3. My Choice to marry a person inferior or superior than me or not marry at all.
4. My choice to say no for consent to have physical relationship.
5. My Choice to have my own surname.
6. My choice to wear what I wish.
7. My choice to roam & move where I want and whatever time I wish.
7. My choice to have/bear my child no matter of her/his gender or to not bear at all.
8. My Choice to claim for paternal property.
9. My Choice to get divorced if marriage relationship is no more peaceful.
10. My choice not to leave my maternal home after marriage.
11. My Choice to join armed forces in full commission.
12. My Choice to compete with men all around.
13. My Choice to talk about menstruation openly.
14. My Choice to run home business and work on the farm.
15. My Choice not to fast or ask husband to fast with me in religious occasions.
Miss Deepika, the video My Choice of you can’t be appreciated aloud for whole woman in India. Issues you raised was just for few woman of highly advanced westernised world and no where can be connected to woman of India.
You were paid to act.
If you really want to empower women in India then at least move out of your comfort zone and visit a village to know the problem.
99 of you may bring a change in at least 99 villages with just stepping in the village.
Its was ur choice to be paid to promote adultery which is illegal and you did it and its my choice to criticise you.
Couple of weeks ago I published a blog (an open letter to groom) requesting groom to prohibit dowry transaction and how dowry affects our society in general and female status in specific. It was more of a request to the groom. On the eve of International Women’s Day I take opportunity to express through this blog what female members of the society shall do to empower themselves. Though, I can never be perfect to express their concerns until I am myself one of them but still I shall proceed and now request them to say no to dowry demand.
Many a times I had observed that more than what a man discriminate to a woman, the woman herself discriminate to self. Though the world is developing with modern ethos but still we are unable to get out of the gender stereotyping of recognising women of next status. Unfortunately even woman doesn’t want to get out of this stereotype. What can be a best example other than a case from my own family.
“ Whenever some important decision is to be taken in my family and my mother knows what the best decision would be she still always ask me to have a discussion with my father though knowing he will also go for the same.” I had argued with my mother for why can’t she take decision of the household, the only answer I always have is ‘He is chief of the home’. I don’t argue much, else Raat ka khana nahi milega!!!
This is just one case of Patrilineal Society, how female part doesn’t want to be authoritative to take decision or lead. Many such issues are well around us and has become such integrated to our daily life that we even can’t recognise it. What can be more significant of this that males are deciding and leading the movement for empowering women, we are discussing whether they shall be given reservation in legislature or not. Leaders of most of the prominent women movements in India have been male.
I started by mentioning Dowry which is related to marriage. Lets get back to it. Marriage is a social institution and here also gender stereotyping dominates the decision to chose a groom. I am not mentioning about any religious rites or custom but purely personal decision to choose a groom.
Lets play role model:
Just assume yourself a well educated bride, having good salaried job, good height, figure and complexion. Your salary is highly enough to run the household and have sufficient saving. Now the questions are: Will you marry a groom —
1. who earns much less than you but is ready to look after household chores and child. A job similar to a typical housewife – ‘Househusband’
2. Is less educated than you and earns nominal salary.
3. Is of less height than you or is much thinner than you. In short say ‘a physical mismatch’. (Leave away your physio-emotional attraction).
Most of the bride will negate with my view, and this questions can look strange for the issue of my concern. But the decision will surely be dominated by gender stereotype. And this stereotype give room to dowry. Better things comes with price and for marriage and groom case it is termed as ‘Dowry.’
Women empowerment has been westernised in the ethos and has become more of a mediocre topic loosing its vital concern. In my opinion its not just about few women getting top management position in any firm or few lady playing leading roles in a feature film or a woman not needing a man other than to have a child or of to have freedom of choice. Is it not a shame that a women making to a top position becomes a news? The words ‘Women Empowerment’ have much depth and concern.
There is a need to break thinking, not only of men but also of women. They themselves shall strive to get out of their stereotype. What I think if the curse of dowry has to overcome first step shall be from a bride. In case of Dowry transaction in well educated family I get puzzled, ‘why did not the bride complained to the police of dowry demand, didn’t she know cases of dowry death, female foeticide, infanticide, second status of girl child in home, less literacy rate of women and many such cases. If not, then don’t even she knows how much mental harassment it causes to their parents! She knows, but more than it she had learned in the society that she ‘need to marry a groom better than herself’ at whatever dowry their parents has to pay.
Women empowerment will be just a matter of talk and mediocre movement until bride take a move to get the dowry seeker behind bars. Prohibition of dowry transaction in the society will itself make 50% of Indian Women empowered. She will be well educated, she will have her choice to lead life her own way, have coordinating authoritative position in home, right to inheritance in household property and such more rights at par with male counterpart. Women will be assumed empowered if they don’t make a news of achieving some top post.
Happy International Women’s Day….
India, a country with diversity where people pride unity among them.
India, the country which has always been nurtured by female; the history of Durga, Kali, Saraswati, Parvati, Lakshmi can never be ignored. The whole country bow before goddess every morning. Whenever men were unable to save the humanity women took the charge. Even during the Kalinga war women were the power which changed Ashoka.
Rani Laxmi Bai, the spirit of freedom movement.
The entire humanity is only possible because of women. India, inherited a culture of women equality, where the word ‘women empowerment’ was never heard off. But now we had witnessed a wide shift in our thought and thinking. The males are not only who underestimates the potential of women but women are also unable to know their potential.
The emotion of country is boiling with the case ‘DAMINI’. The country is protesting, marching, shouting, crying, feeling guilt. The media served us 24 hrs information about the recovery of her health. But our hope and prayer didn’t helped….
She failed to survive, she succumbed to death. Dr. Said she died of multiorgan failure but the real cause of her death is multi system failure. The policy makers failed, the police department failed and moreover the whole society failed, we failed.
This was case of one Damini, crores of females like DAMINI are molested, assaulted and exploited but we are blind to see them. Better we denote ‘DAMINI’ to all girls and women in India to whom we failed to protect. We must mourn to the death of liberty of women to roam freely, we must regret that we didn’t stood for the cause earlier and lost one more life.
The protest at India gate, the liking, commenting and sharing at facebook and even my this blog will not serve the purpose. We need to change the system from the root. First we need to make our own morale strong, females are on earth to operate and manage the humanity not to satisfy you.
As per database in India we have around only 18000 registered rape cases while in America there are around 90000. This is matter not to be proud of but to be ashamed that not all cases are registered in India. The social stigma, immoral behaviour of police and the slow process of justice prevents victims to register cases.
Don’t know why the GOI had not be able to make a strong law to protect our female family, don’t know how the administration failed to implement the existing law, don’t know where the judiciary lacked to speed up the process to punish the culprit and provide justice to the victim. Don’t know why we can’t keep patience and control in our own body…
I just don’t know !!!!
But I know we now need to work from a new direction, from the main reason of the cause. We need to frame a policy which not shouts for women empowerment but enable women to fight for their right themselves; they should need someone else to fight for them.
At the same time we need a strong law and a determined and committed implementing system, a more active police and a judiciary system on fast track.
Come, lets pledge to make this country a safer place to live.
Damini, we will try our best to diminish such hienious crime from our country…
P.S. The author eyes were full of tears and he was depressed when he started to write.