Why at all did the need to recognize one day in a year as ‘Women’s Day’ arise? If the society had been ‘equal’ enough, ‘just’ enough and ‘compassionate’ enough for our women, there wasn’t a reason to allocate a special day to celebrate the abilities of women, and to make the world remember that our rules are to be amended to realize their true potential and to make thissociety a better place for them. The BBC documentary on Nirbhaya has not been accepted readily, rather banned, the reason behind is not any flaw in the film, but a defect in the attitude of men, if not all, many of us, which takes women for granted and considers men superior to them. The convict in the Nirbhaya case openly mocked justice alleging that the victim was at fault for such disastrous and inhuman incident, and if today we would wish each other ‘Happy Women’s Day’ without seeking a remedy to such thoughts of men, the work will not be even half done. Accept it, be it the house of the poor or of the rich, in the rural part or in the urban, men and women are rarely considered equal, given similar opportunities.
When I analyze the Indian setup, I find we are, in many cases, living at either of the one side of two extremities. Sometimes we turn liberal enough and expect from the censor board of films to allow us relish movies which embrace bold and sensual scenes, while at other times, we don’t think twice prior to terming a woman ‘slut’ if she has a few male friends and she does not form consensus with our long-prevailing conservative thoughts. Men on the other hand have all the permits in this world to relish life the way they want, be it in a night club, or even with a paid sex worker. A man indulged in adultery is ‘cheering his life’, while a woman working as a bartender is ‘easy to get hold of’. These are harsh realities of our society, prevalent since ages now, talked about, discussed, condemned, but real betterment still far than achieved. I have a lot many things to refer to, there are numbers to reveal how every other woman in our society is a victim to violence, molestation, verbal abuse, and many other wicked happenings, a lot of which do not even come in open due to lack of public support and our mentality to blame a woman for the misconduct of men.
Isn’t it true that boy and girl child in Indian households are seldom treated alike? While for boys, who we think will be our future guardians, we look for quality education, for the girls, we are ready to compromise. Boys may stay out for long hours, but girls doing so break the so-called household ethical values. To some extent, I agree that women need a bit extra protection owing to the shaky law and order situation we have in India, but suppressing our girls and women in the name of preventing them from any mishaps is indeed a torture. To fight evils, one has to come out and face the risk, then why hold our females, who have all the acumen and daring to turn down ills, from expanding their wings and attaining goals that we men have been so far unable to. Mother Teresa, Sarojini Naidu, Margaret Thatcher are not just examples of great women, they tell us that women have an inherent capability to bring revolutions; we men, when we try to prove how much concerned we are for women by raising voices and asking for women empowerment, tend to forget that real betterment lies in making women capable to react to such ills themselves rather than making themdependent for their rights.
There is a bit for everyone to do, be it men, women, government, NGOs or others. Men have to pay heed to a fact that women are equipped with all the forte and will to make society a just place for them; hence what we men have to do is to just pave way for them rather than demonstrating ourselves as advocates of women empowerment. For women, I may have no suggestions, except that you must recognize your potential and shed the approach of being dependent, it is all within you, you can run companies, can innovate products, can lead governments, and be a social and economic transformer. NGOs and governments are to realize that they exist because the society needs them for few changes. Then to implement schemes and prevent any humiliation of women is their indispensable duty, they ought to perform, deliver results. In a world that should see no difference between men and women, there exists a wide divide, and this divide is the cause of destruction of some and superfluous powers to some. The aim is not to pave way for another Mother Teresa or Kalpana Chawla, but to develop a society that sees no shocks when a woman conquers the space, sets up a business venture, originates new rules of science or becomes the head of a government.
Today, the extremities we live in, where at one end even short skirts and Valentine’s Day are readily acceptable, while at the other we are still scuffling for toilets for women in rural parts of India, work to be done is immense, and all have to play a part. Accept it, India is still developing, unless we match our education, employment, social security and other standards with developed countries, we cannot fully endorse westernization of our thoughts. Hence, Indian women are to respect this and never forget that we carry moral values from our ancestors, which help us stand a step ahead than other parts of the world. Men are to realize that women in ancient India were far more respected and cheered as compared to present times; the fault of course is ours. In case my daughter isn’t getting the same privileges as my son, I am on the losing side. If my wife cannot do what I am permitted to, the failure is mine not hers. Let not differences become so wide that we would need other ‘days’ to realize our failures; for me such days are no more than a mirror which shows that we are shameful to not have been able to achievewhat was meant to be achieved.
I will not conclude without referring to the ongoing controversy over the broadcasting of BBC documentary on the Nirbhaya case, this matter being closely related to how we use our motto of women enablement towards obtaining publicity and pecuniary perks. Then are the complaints from ‘protectors’ of society saying that ban on such telecasts is an infringement of fundamental right under Article 19 of the constitution. Can anyone justify the instance of interviewing the rapist and allowing him to insult Indian women, and the words used by the defence lawyer of convicted that there is no reputable place for women in Indian culture? And the irony is that those justifying these say let the world know how women are slandered and suppressed in India, which would pave way for corrections. Corrections? Would the same not lead to defaming India and our culture that cannot be interpreted from the sentiments and words of rapists and their lawyers? The Hon’ble Court has even commented on the role of media in such cases and how they allow mala fide intentions to float in the society just for want of TRPs. Finally, the verdict of the Court will be the final call, but this is an appeal to all who crave for real betterment of women ‘Do not blindly follow others demanding freedom, empowerment of deprived; judge happenings as well as their ensuing impact on the society at large, then frame an opinion, an unbiased one and of course one that furthers justice.