Blog Archives

Anti Romeo Squad or Anti Juliet Squad?

Prithviraj-Chauhan-and-Samyukta.jpg

“Raju, 25, and Mala, 22, eloped in New Delhi and caused their parents so much grief they tried to have them arrested. Raju is a Dalit, while Mala belongs to a higher caste, which made things even harder. The couple was detained and taken to court — which said they could live together because the law was silent on the issue.”

If the anti-Romeo Squad would had been in existence with early days such things wouldn’t had happened; parents wouldn’t had to be in grief. The Squad is a perfect set-up to teach moral lesson to wandering couple. How these fanatic love birds roam hand in hand spoiling the ancient culture of the land. They are just spoiling our culture and society is ashamed of them…

But, why the society is not ashamed of Mr. Krishna and Ms. Radha and worship this divine couple. Didn’t we know that they were not married and used to move deep into forest on the bank of Yamuna and did whatever they wished… How shameful they were!!! There needed to be a similar squad in vrindavan, hope Mama Kans would had been active. They had ashamed our culture. But, then one thinks which culture.. Was any culture evolved at that time or was it in the process of evolution? Don’t know! But people make culture, community make culture and society make culture.

The phrase ‘Larka Larki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte’ fades away in context of another phase ‘dusre jaati ke larka larki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte’. The words of later phrase is being made meaningful by we and us. Our Neo-culture is ensuring that the structure of caste perpetuates and equally perpetuate discriminations based on these caste system.

Politically, administratively and societally sanctioned Anti-Romeo Squad is nothing but a set-up in women security get-up to ensure perpetuation of these caste distinctions. Love knows no boundary but in our society caste system has a line or limit or in mythological word Lakshman Rekha. Community need to ensure that no one crosses this Rekha. Love duo are in their divinity of togetherness, affection, care, love moving up the caste and many times religion boundary. But our cultural society didn’t accept such liberal movement. There is nothing like human love rights, all is about honour of community and society.

There is one more dimension to this Anti-Romeo Squad. How a girl in this patriarchal society dare to move free with a guy to whom she is not married and that too in a dress which doesn’t align with traditional ethnic wear; and if its 7 PM then surely she is not a good girl  and something mischievous is going to happen… Let the street lights go off. She must be harassed enough that she didn’t take daring step to roam into male’s arena after 7 PM.

Yes, scepticism of the CM could be understood because its our fault not to be cognizable enough to know the Lakshman Rekha of consent and control. In absence of these two attributes we often act to indignify a woman, no matter how much she have trust on us. The Lakshman Rekha of acceptance and force get diminished. This is again a problem of patriarchal society which believes that only men have control over sexuality of women and they can’t flaunt it without men’s consent and agreement. We are entrenched in such biased thought that the problem doesn’t lies with formation and activities of Anti-Romeo Squad but with the attitude of whole society towards female members. More than better half they are an entity to be controlled according to will, wish, whims and fancies of other half.

We need to go to ancient of India much before the era of Kama-Sutra when there was freedom to movement of female and they were free to chose their partner and elope with them. When more than the bondage of marriage it was bondage of love, affection and care. We need to discard Manu-Smriti outrightly, which is a brahmanical texts to subjugate women to men and denigrate them.

An Open Letter to Groom.

image

The wedding season is on and added to it is the romantic week of Valentine’s Day. Facebook newsfeed is flooded with posts and updates of friends getting married or finding a partner. Yes, these are news to cheer and celebrate and I congratulate all of them. But, in midst of it there may be or may not be a tension and dilemma to bride’s parents of arranging ‘The Dowry’ to be parted off along with their lovely daughter. And needless to say such tensions are always associated with a girl child from the moment she is born. Many a times before parents could think of infant’s health, there waves a thought in their mind to preserve money for her marriage. She is seen as a burden and an “extra mouth to feed” and her status as an economic liability promotes the thought of discrimination. Sometimes this discrimination leads to infanticide by neglect, for example families may not spend enough money on critical medicines or withhold care from a sick girl. The curse of dowry rarely forgive a girl and many times word ‘Dowry’ becomes synonymous with ‘Prestige and Honor’ of either party. Of such a sin society we are part and more sinful is that we educated didn’t curb it. Rather, with increasing quality of education our cost/price/rating goes up. Unfortunate.
Though we have The Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 (amended in 1987), which prohibits the request, payment or acceptance of a dowry, “as consideration for the marriage”, where “dowry” is defined as a gift demanded or given as a precondition for a marriage. But it can’t curb such menace until we have strong will to do so. Further, under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, a woman can put a stop to the dowry harassment by approaching a domestic violence protection officer. But she is afraid of society and customs to take such advance.
The Indian census data suggests there is a positive correlation between abnormal sex ratio and better socio-economic status and literacy. This is connected to the dowry system in India where dowry deaths occur when a girl is seen as a financial burden. Urban India has lower child sex ratio than rural India according to 1991, 2001 and 2011 Census data, implying higher prevalence of female foeticide in urban India. Tribal societies also have a less skewed sex ratio than other caste groups. This is in spite of the fact that tribal communities have far lower income levels, lower literacy rates, and less adequate health facilities. These data contradict any hypotheses that may suggest that sex selection is an archaic practice which takes place among uneducated, poor sections or particular religion of the Indian society. Ultrasound scans mostly concentrated in urban cities often reveal the sex of the baby, allowing pregnant women to decide to abort female foetuses and try again later for a male child.

We are educated but lack wisdom.
In my perception dowry transaction is very much associated with femicides (foeticide, infanticide,  dowry death and suicide), discrimination with girl child, low literacy rate among females and many similar atrocities to females in the society. Need not to mention emotional and morale breakdown of a family in meeting demand of  dowry. Rarely a home is aloof of it.
Following are few statistics sourced from National Crime Record Bureau, MoHA, GOI to support my arguments:
Dowry Deaths

(Incidence: 8,455 Rate- 1.4)

The cases of dowry deaths have increased by 4.6% during the year 2014 over the previous year (8,033 cases). This means a bride was burned every 90 minutes. These are reported cases, many such cases are misrepresented as natural death and go unrecorded.



Dowry Prohibition Act

(Incidence: 10,050 Rate-1.7)

Though the cases registered under Dowry Prohibition Act have decreased by 6.2% during the year 2014 as compared to the previous year (10,709 cases) but still its a significant toll in developing India. Maximum such cases were reported in Bihar (2,203 cases) followed by Uttar Pradesh (2,133 cases), Karnataka (1,730 cases) and Jharkhand (1,538 cases).

The highest crime rate (9.6) was reported from Jharkhand as compared to 1.7 at the national level. The state from where I belong. Much to go before it ends.


image

Infanticide (Sec. 315 IPC)

(Incidence: 121 Rate: Negligible)

A total of 121 ‘Infanticide’ cases were reported in the country during the 2014. The incidents increased by 47.6% in the year 2014 over 2013 (from 82 cases in 2013 to 121 in 2014). Maximum of infanticides were reported in Rajasthan (33 cases) followed by Madhya Pradesh (14 cases).



Foeticide (Sec. 315 & 316 IPC)

(Incidence-107 Rate-Negligible)

A total of 107 cases of ‘foeticide’ were reported in the country during 2014 as compared to 221 cases in the year 2013 indicating a decline of 51.6%. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab have reported 30 cases, 24 cases, 11 cases and 10 cases respectively of such crimes.



Exposure & abandonment

(Incidence-983 Rate- 0.2)

A total of 983 cases were reported during 2014 as compared to 930 cases during 2013 showing an increase of 5.7% during the year 2014. Maharashtra has reported the highest number of such cases (225 cases), followed by Rajasthan (213 cases).



Procuration of minor girls

(Incidence-2,020 Rate 0.5)

2,020 cases were reported in the year 2014 as compared to 1,224 such cases in the year 2013, accounting for an increase of 65.0% over 2013. West Bengal has reported 852 such cases followed by Assam (303 cases) and Bihar (280 cases).



Selling of girls for prostitution

In the name of dowry free marry girl child are being taken away by traffickers for sole purpose of prostitution. Unfortunately, our Police Deptt. are unable to record such cases.



Prohibition of Child Marriage Act,

(Incidence-280 Rate-0.1)

A total of 280 cases of Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 were reported during the year 2014. Tamil Nadu (47 cases) followed by Karnataka (44 cases) have reported high number of cases in the country. According to UNICEF’s “State of the World’s Children-2009” report, 47% of India’s women aged 20–24 were married before the legal age of 18, rising to 56% in rural areas. The report also showed that 40% of the world’s child marriages occur in India.



Above mentioned stats may seem significant but every one is well aware of our Police Deptt and their system of doing work. These stats are very much under reported and actual figures might be very high.



Literacy Rate

The literacy rate is 60.6% for females, while for males it is 81.3%.



Gender Inequality Index

image

Value

0.563 (2014)

Rank

130th





The United Nations has declared that India is the most deadly country for female children, and that in 2012 female children aged between 1 and 5 were 75 percent more likely to die as opposed to boys. The children’s rights group CRY has estimated that of 12 million females born yearly in India 1 million will have died within their first year of life.



(#Few info above sourced from wiki)



Our families say  ‘we are demanding just to cover expense of the ceremony.’ Yes they are true but we make the ceremony so lavish that it itself reaches the limit. Furthermore, this makes a question of prestige if someone other doesn’t make his function similarly lucullan. Unfortunately the ‘other one’ do pressurise bride’s family to meet their irrational demand to meet the plushy expense. Its a shame to know that in many tribes and socially backward societies the custom of bride’s price is fading away to accommodate Dowry demand and bride’s family are being forced to offer it.
Most of the family have children of both gender and while in marrying their daughter they curse groom for exorbitant dowry demand, but they themselves make similar demand in similar way while fixing marriage of their son. And their pathetic justification is  ‘they gave or would have to give similar amount in their daughter’s marriage as dowry so they are asking’.
Not only this even after meeting the demand they keep urging and extorting bride for more dowry either in cash or kind. There is no indifference between family of educated, propertied, poor, illiterate….. All behave alike and like …… असतंुट लालची गीदड़….
In, 2011, government stated India was missing three million girls and there are now 48 less girls per 1,000 boys and for such scenario its only we to be blamed, we the dowry seeker from well educated elite society! Demand of Dowry is not a small issue but an act similar to crime of homicide and shall be treated like way. Even rich and well off parents of bride shall restrain to offer too generous consideration for their daughter’s marriage for the sake to curb femicide. Girl child much like your lovely daughter are being killed.

On this auspicious day of Basant Panchmi and eve of Valentine’s Day I urge all the to be groom to ensure that we are not part of such criminal and sinful act. Do ensure that our ceremony is simple and we ourself can bear its expenses. We can’t pressurise our life partner for exorbitant dowry demand. Their need to be bonding relationship of love and attachment. Cash and Kind shouldn’t dictate our love and choice. Rights of girl child is of more concern than our fictitious prestige and showoff. We are educated and we need to be an example in our community. Lets be a change to bring a change.
I praise Goddess Saraswati to give us wisdom to be a change. Happy Valentines Day. Do spread Love.

%d bloggers like this: