Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Delhi rape case!

There was a very interesting dialogue in Rang De Basanti that has stayed with me and now in retrospect it does make sense.

A politician’s side kick says in the movie- “logo ki yadasht badi kamzor hoti hain sir.”- “people’s memory is usually short lived.”

I am not too sure if it’s short lived memory or the everyday survival but what once seems like a revolution usually fizzles out in months or sometimes even days. Hence the poor old man Anna Hazare almost famished to death yet failed to turn a leaf in law books and what seemed like a revolution for the Delhi girl who was brutally raped and murdered in December turned out to be quite a phuss.

The truth of the matter is, in an everyday run to earn money and survive, these issues that we strongly feel for, stand for, take the back seat, if not forgotten.

Delhi rape case had shaken me inside out for its sheer barbarism. When the world debated and argued and suggested some rather radical solutions, I stayed mum; not because I didn’t have much to say, but because reaching the root cause of so many rape cases in our country seemed more important. I wanted to listen to every argument, soak in every thought, every word, mull it over and finally share what I feel. Before I come to solutions of the problem, let me discuss what really causes the problem. Shocking as it may sound; it is MONEY or our mindsets that we associate power and superiority with money. Isn’t money really the reason that we serve our rich guests with cashew nuts and almonds in silverwares and a glass of water to the not so wealthy ones?

Now before I elaborate on this, I have a question. How would you react if I told my mother/wife/sister-

“Aapki jagah kitchen mein hain, tum wahi achi lagti ho.”- “Your place is in the kitchen, that’s where you belong!”

One would be quick to judge me as a male chauvinist pig, who looks down upon women and doesn’t respect them.

Wonder how many of you would have the same reaction if I told my father/brother-

“Aap kamate huye hi ache lagte ho, ghar pe naa baitha karo.”- “You look better when you are out, earning. Don’t stay at home.” It will be never be perceived as a sexist comment instead one receives it with pride and honor.

It is sadly the power that comes with money that makes going out and earning far cooler than staying at home and cooking. The person who goes out, earns money is always considered far superior than the one who stays at home. Hence we have conveniently overlooked the importance of women who build a home, run a home and most importantly shape their kids’ lives, make (or could break) the country’s future.

 Right after the Delhi rape case, there were news channels that reported rather quote unquote progressive news of how a woman in Chennai is riding a bike and showing all men that women are no less. How on earth has riding a bike become a symbol of ‘progression’ and ‘equality’? Why does a woman have to ride and bike and show she is equal. Why can’t she be in the kitchen and cook daal chawal and yet be equal?

There were also reports of a bunch of young men in Bangalore who slipped into skirts to show their solidarity to the Delhi rape girl. Are you serious? It is this triviality of the issue that makes my blood boil and how stupidly we belittle the problem at hand.

Over a period of time, men have been the bread earner and women looked after the home. And since we associate so much of importance to money, equate it with power, men by default became the higher species in the relationship.  So women dress like men, ride a bike, take up a job, start earning, talk about gadgets and (excuse me saying this)- do things that are usually considered men like, to show they are equals and are not lagging behind in any way. On the contrary shouldn’t we thank the women in our lives for bringing us up, for feeding us day in and out (including weekends), for running household errands, from bills to laundry to cleanliness, to kids’ homework, to every little thing that helps us go out and earn a livelihood?

I stay with my mom and not even once I think I am doing her a favor or any better than her because I earn. Just like how I think she is not doing me any favor by ironing my clothes or preparing me breakfast, lunch or dinner. These are jobs divided between two individuals to run our lives smoothly. A sense of respect for what the other person does is all we need to strike a balance. Alas the reality is a far different story. Women have to go out, earn and struggle to be EQUALS and men who prefer to stay at home and look after kids are downright pansy/unmanly/gays/losers.

It’s this fuddy-duddy mindset, this conservative thinking that has coined such sexist phrases, such gender biased stereotypes-

-          “Arey tumne kya haath mein chudiya pehan rakhi hain.”

-          “Tu kya ladki ke tarah Sharma raha hain.”

-          “Haathon mein mehndi lagi hain kya?”

Or the worst of all when an old man/woman proudly says- “Humari toh ladki nahi ladka hain!” I feel like slapping such people and telling them to STOP calling your girl a boy; that’s showing NO respect, instead deriding her, ridiculing her.

And because we EARN, bring home bundles of CASH, we become far higher than women who “stay at home and do nothing”. And since we are higher, we can treat these lesser mortals any which way we like. We can stop them in a bus, catch them by the road side, attack a young girl, assault her in the most heinous way, and shove an iron rod up her vagina and leave her by the roadside to die.

Still shaken and seething!!!


Anonymous said...

Sigh....!!! ugly truth...!!
a man so proudly calls him a man coz he thinks he can get inside any woman's pants he wants to.....:(

Anonymous said...


After reading your blog, just wanted to say that , girls are not out from their places to prove that we r equal to Males... From my point of view we cannot be equal to males reason behind we are much more valued than the males. We can handle the house and the workplace with equal efficiency. Where in the guys fail to do so. We r working in these days not just to earn money but also to utilize out studies in the progress of the country.

Karachiite said...

I agree...
In this moneyminded world, a woman is urged to work, bring in money and if she doesnt she doesnt do much... Cleaning laundry,household, cooking these are all petty things for most men. Women hav been forced to go out and work.. Sometimes i dont want to look for a job, but i feel in this pressurised society i have to...

And thats howthe car of life works, men earn, women take care of the house... Balance isimein hay.. But society buhut kharab hai, only the earning ppl are considered powerful..

Unknown said...

The basis of this article is wrong. God made two genders because somewhere he wanted two different species. Male was made physically stronger so that they can do hunting, farming etc and get food for their family. Female were made more patient, loving so that they can bring up their family. This difference is and should be there as this is law of nature. I don't intend to say that females can't or shouldn't work or males can't or shouldn't take care of house. Even if they exchange roles, males can't be as loving and caring as mothers and females can't be as strong as males. So, bottom line is difference created by nature should be accepted and appreciated with grace and respect.

Lokesh-ious RJ writes said...

1. Anonymous- :(
2. Anonymous- Well I agree and disagree. I agree women work not ONLY because they want to be equal. They are as talented/hardworking/enterprising and hence want to work. Their working always comes handy in adding to the extra income in many households. But I was pointing out how sometimes pressure to be 'equals' leads women to dabble double jobs at work and at home as well.

I disagree- I don't believe in the argument of one being more efficient than the other. I know a lot of men who work and look after the house as well (and that DOESN'T MAKE THEM less MANLY- the crux of my column) just like women in kitchen become less important or less equal.

Lokesh-ious RJ writes said...

Karachiite- I am glad my thoughts resonated in you! :)

2. Unknown- It's funny how you are saying exactly what I am saying! However I would never like to categorize certain things as 'men' like or 'women' like.
All I am saying is to give importance to money to decide who is superior and who is not, is not done. It's usually the bread earner of the family (mostly men) who are treated superior and hence leads to inequality amongst genders and lead to heinous crimes against women! Think it over mate!!