Showing posts with label women. Show all posts
Showing posts with label women. Show all posts

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Witch hunt


Two very conflicting articles in Indian Express caught my attention today. 


While one article's headline read "Women in IAF, Army should be Permanent", the other one read "Go to HCs with plea to enforce witch-hunting law: SC to NGO". To elaborate, as per the first article, Delhi High Court directed the Indian Army to give Permanent Commission to women officers serving in the Army and Air Force, just like their male counterparts. This move, although looks like it might not be implemented, shows a clear indication of the Court's wish to see gender equality. To suggest such an option is to fight for women's empowerment.

Sadly, on the other hand, the second article claims that the Supreme Court asked an NGO (Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra) fighting for the law against atrocities committed in the name of witch-hunting to be strengthened, to file the case from the respective High Court. Over 1000 rural women from Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Assam, Orissa, Bihar & Rajasthan had their hopes pinned on some help from the Supreme Court which would protect them from the terrible crimes committed under the name of witch hunting. When the NGO pointed out that it couldn't possibly file the PIL from HCs of all 6 states, the SC refused to take the complaint into consideration. 

While the law seems to support women on one hand, why does it tire of helping out women who really need protection? Moreover, it is indeed tragical that something as asinine as witch hunting is still a part of modern India. I could write my own thoughts about this, but I found this accurate article which best describes the status quo. Do find some time to read it 
Imagine being burnt alive for absolutely no fault of yours. It rains unpredictably, someone's crop gets damaged, a baby is born dead, absolutely any calamity. Some random woman is held responsible, paraded naked, beaten black and blue and ultimately killed. And nobody raises a finger to save her. All in the name of faith. The mind boggles. Worse than that, this post is absolutely useless because no one practising these terrible things is going to read it. What is the solution really? Strengthening the Anti-WitchCraft Act? It has to be enlightenment of people in backward villages. Where do we start from though?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Upper" House stoops low



The nurturing side of a woman is known to bring out the child in her man, who starts throwing tantrums and acting possessive and silly. This time however, it's the women's bill that has brought out the child in several men. Or were they immature to begin with? Rajya Sabha is also called the "Upper" House and I assumed that was so because they were better at maintaining decorum, what with famous and educated personalities being a part of the "party". However, I guess there must be other reasons for that, because to oppose the "Women's Reservation Bill", Rajya Sabha members from Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party went the "Lower House" way and resorted to tearing drafts, smashing mikes and trying to beat up the presiding member, Hamid Ansari. After several adjournments, the parties in favour of the Women's Bill finally gave up trying to pass it on the Inturneshnal Wimen's De.

So what's all the hullabaloo about? Which party in its rational mind would oppose Women's Reservation Bill and draw the ire of almost 50% of the voting population? Obviously, politicians have infused "politics" in this simple issue also. To understand their opposition to the bill, we'll first need to understand what the bill proposes. The Women's Reservation Bill proposes to impose 33.3% reservation for women at each level of legislative decision-making, starting with Lok Sabha to state and local legislatures. This would increase political participation of women to a great extent. 

The "immature" guys, namely SP Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD Chief Lalu Prasad, have politicised the issue by claiming that the Bill would only enable women from elitist groups to gain seats. As a result, it is their "mike-smashing" demand to introduce quota within quota, where some seats from the reserved 33.3% would be kept aside for women from Muslim and backward communities. Other opponents state that men won't get adequate number of seats to contest with. It seems "A woman is a woman's biggest enemy" is true as Chief Minister Mayawati is opposing the bill COMPLETELY stating that it is impossible to find female candidates in Uttar Pradesh and that currently the state government is completely male-dominated, save for the Chief Minister.

While it remains to be seen whether the Bill in its current form will ensure fair distribution of seats amongst men and women of all classes, the Upper House has definitely stooped far below its expectations...

Image courtesy: http://www.cbc.ca

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Happy Women 's Day...


My first post on this blog petulantly asked a question - "Do all girls hate being girls?" I can't believe that was almost two years ago. Ok, so that was my original cribby post! Coming back to the topic, I've realized that we are all severely bound by expectations. I used to think that only women are bound by them, expectations of being a good daughter, good wife and a good mother. It used to irk me that a woman has to give up on what she wants in order to fulfill all these expectations. When I heard stories of rape, female infanticide, I thought and still think, that its not the girl's fault that she was born a girl. She didn't even have the right to choose! In my eyes, this world was severely balanced in favour of the boys.

A lot has occurred since then. I realized that we all are bound by expectations. Yeah, men too! I learnt that you will be loved for the person you are and not for the sacrifices you make. I opine that people who are a part of female infanticide don't deserve a girl child in their house. I felt that you cannot pretend to "love unconditionally" or love "cooking and cleaning" forever just to show that you are a good wife or mother. I observed that there are girls who are much more sporty, funky, impulsive, sexy, crazy, b**hy as compared to me, but they've all got excellent life partners and fulfilling lives. Its not about fitting into a framework of an ideal girl. Its ultimately about being yourself. 

I realized that I could be myself only when I kept myself happy. So I stopped moulding myself according to expectations and asked myself what makes me really happy? The soul searching took almost a year but now when I look back I feel, the answer was right here! Since I started my journey on my chosen path, I'm feeling so much at peace with myself. My affection is genuine, my sacrifices are genuine. All the love I need is coming from within and whatever I do externally is purely out of compassion. Women give up a lot to get love. But I believe if you can love yourself, you can keep others much happier.

It's not a Happy "Women's Day". It's a "Happy Women"'s Day! 

Image source: http://www.womansday.com/

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Creativity v/s Memory



I read an article in a newspaper some time back, which stated that, women can be trained to be better chess players than men. The difference, the author cited, was in the way men and women play chess. Men regard every game as a new battle to conquer and hence think of innovative ways to win a tournament. Women, on the other hand, play by memory. If they realize that the status of a game is the same as some other game they had played before, they will try to imitate the moves that had led them to win the previous game. Women generally have good memory (refer to jokes about husband-bashing for forgetting birthdays n anniversaries ;)), so if they are taught several possible game strategies, they can remember those and can win a large number of tournaments. This was the author's hypothesis and I have no idea whether anyone found out if it was true or not. However, it has made for an interesting comparison in my head and I now present it before you. 

I've lamented a million times about lack of rules and order in India, particularly in Pune. Traffic is the best example where every person applies his own set of laws. Traffic lights are missing or off at so many junctions and the impatient people of Pune rarely give way to anybody, leading to congestion and chaos. At times like these I've wondered, why can't they make the system such that it is impossible to break the law? For e.g. now they've started putting dividers on the road for people who want to take a right turn. However, people not in that section of the road still manage to cut across and take a right turn. Especially when one is stuck in a traffic jam, you tend to curse the government for not implementing stricter traffic rules. Every time you need to have a new strategy to find your way out of the mess. Dodge the bus here, cut that rikshawala there, honk at the car and you're through! A sense of achievement prevails, no doubt, but at the cost of mental health!

When I went to Dubai this time, I got a shock! Dubai has completely changed face. It almost looks like US right now. There are a hundred roads leading God knows where and they have used the "Exit" system. When you're on a road, if you want to go to a destination, you choose the correct "Exit", or else you need to go for some 10 miles before you can take a U turn and come back! Very efficient apparently, with accurate road signs, the flow of traffic is extremely smooth. However, you need to be extremely sure of where you want to go. 10 miles to take a U-turn is extremely annoying if you are in a hurry to reach somewhere. The roads are almost impossible to remember and you need to choose your lane a few kilometers in advance to head in the right direction. This is not just the case on major roads, even internal roads have no U-turn signs. So obviously, you need to have an extremely good memory of where all the important roads go. No scope for creativity here. 

So, now the question comes, which one would I prefer? Would I prefer creatively battling my way through a million vehicles, or having a proper rule system, where if I make a mistake, I have to drive around in circles? Obviously there are other alternatives, but after seeing the state my Dad is in when he is driving around in Dubai, I have started cribbing less. At least there is no chance of anyone getting lost in Pune, but it is a real possibility in Dubai. You could end up miles away from your intended destination with no way of knowing how to actually get there. I'm quite grateful that Pune isn't going the Dubai way. I'll battle my way "creatively" through all the mess, oh traffic policemen, but I will hand out chocolates every time you are there to direct the traffic when our red-amber-greens break down. More signals in working order please! Oh, and of course, drive safely dear readers...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Do all girls hate being girls?

Wearing my Dad's Kolhapuri chappals which were at least 2 sizes bigger, wearing his watch which has a huge dial, strutting around in shorts n a terrible tee... why does this make me feel cool? Why does it make me feel like a guy? Worse, I can relate to this feeling much better than I can relate to being a girl. A friend once passed this comment "Typical girl" when I said that I love the color pink. To which I'd replied, "I'm NOT a typical girl". To which he'd replied "All girls say that.."

So my point is, do all girls hate being girls? I hate not being able to sit on the road in the middle of the night, smoking away to glory, not caring a damn about being raped all the time I'm alone anywhere.. I hate having periods and being so moody all the time. I hate this expectation of knowing how to cook, clean and worse, being expected to do it all the time. What's with this stereotype of being sacrificial and sati savitri?

When I saw salwar kameez clad girls, I used to feel My god, they're those typical saas bahu type girls. Very loving caring, very comfortable being girls, even loving it for that matter. I used to hate them and at the same time I used to feel jealous. Why couldnt I accept my feminity as easily as they seemed to be doing? It took just one person to completely break this bias. RT, you rock dude. I mean, here's this girl, always been in SKs, but hates, H-A-T-E-S all the limitations associated with being a girl. She's ambitious and has great pride in herself. The only area where she's accepted that she cant be a guy is dance. That's why I want to ask this question to all girls. Do you hate being called girls? Because of all that is associated with it? Do you smirk at anybody who calls you a girl and show them your fist to show you that you are strong, that you are not just a girl?? Why do we do that? I think the society has created a really typical stereotype for girls. Ekta Kapoor's bloody saas bahu serials are not helping either.

The only point to this post being, when I die, I am going to ask God, why did he create women. I mean, if you're gonna give her the responsibility of bearing a child, might as well make her strong too.. I feel there should've been just 1 sex. Boring as that might have been, at least we would have all lived in a land of equals. Just cant get over this feeling of being born with a limitation.