Beauty and the Beasts
In India if you are a woman, you don’t stand a chance.
Move out of the comfortable bubble of your middle-class homes, malls and cars and try stepping on to the streets, it would be a good enough wake-up call. You would be rudely jolted into the sick cosmos of the Indian society.
Men rule the roost, from the cradle to the grave. Or should I say from the womb. Gender equality is just an imported idiom that figures in the English gab.
If an ultrasound reveals that a woman is carrying a baby girl, chances are that she would be snuffed out before she is fully formed, and that too without any compunction.
A male child is made conscious of his superiority from the very time he opens his eyes into this inequitable world. Favoured in terms of food, education and exalted status, he is made to feel like God’s gift to the household.
Dowry, pressure to produce an XY heir, and cremation rites that can be conducted only by men tip the scales completely against women.
If you are not convinced enough, the Guwahati video is a tell-all. The beasts of Guwahati treated a teenage girl, as if she were a caged animal. Groping her, pulling her hair, and tearing her clothes apart.
Prodding her to stare into the television camera all through their iniquitous circus.
The teenager was finally rescued by the police, but psychologically she is far too violated to recover. The trauma will chase her till the pyre.
The incident is not a one-off. Even though one would have been one too many. A similar incident had been reported about a year back in another part of the country.
Besides corruption, degrading women – in subtle or explicit terms – is another trait that acts as a universal adhesive in this country.
A Khap in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat has, besides banning love marriages, disallowed women below 40 years of age to take a stroll unescorted! They can’t come out of their homes without covering their heads or make calls from mobile phones on roads. Considering what happened in Assam’s capital, one wonders if a diktat of this nature should have been applied on those fiends!
More often than not, one hears of ‘dishonour’ killings. When women are murdered for marrying or going out with men from a different caste or not of parent’s pick.
If it is so easy for us to exterminate women who are our own flesh and blood merely for dating, then why are we impossibly incapable of putting the noose on rapists?
Why does a molestation case make headlines only for one day? And how are culprits so easily granted bail and let off to pounce on yet another unsuspecting victim?
As a country, only economic success is not enough. We need to ferment socially. Deracinate the archaic belief of male supremacy. At least begin to treat women as human beings.
And for the knot of hooligans, whose filthy minds and hands perpetrated the vulgar outrage, hang them. Let’s make a sordid example out of them.