Being human, we are social animals and there are very few things that we would not do for the ‘love of our society’! From a very young age, we are taught to talk in a certain way, to behave in a certain manner, to dress in a certain style – all with the post script note – otherwise what will ‘people’ say? ‘People,’ being the operative word there, stands not for your friends or well-wishers, but the society in general. How many times have you heard people say, “Society mein naam kharaab ho jayega”?
Just to give a general idea about how far we go to gain the respect of ‘the people’, here are some examples (the list is not exhaustive – it is just the beginning): One has to learn to talk in English (preferably with a foreign accent) irrespective of their knowledge of their mother tongue or the national language. One has to maintain a standard of living (big brands being a big part of it) whether they can afford it or not. One has to be a Doctor or Engineer or, in the recent times, an MBA to be ‘successful’ in life. One has the right to wash their dirty laundry in public but no right to PDA. One has to follow the ‘culture / rituals’ that is being followed since the Stone Age – without questioning it.
We like to think that we are evolving over time because we have ‘logical minds’. We have come a long way since the living in a cave… long way since our days of “sati”… and a long way since the days of discriminating people in the name of caste, creed and colour. Have we really? Every other day, there is news about fights because of religion; there is discrimination on the basis of sex preference; news of hundreds of rape cases; thousands of domestic violence; and millions of infanticide cases… Even in the 21st Century, we still are cave men. Actually, I take that back. We are worse than that… We haven’t been able to let go of the ‘animal’ inside us and thus, we still behave like one.
I know I cannot change things in one day. But yes, I would like to see a change – one change that can in turn bring in a lot of changes. What I really want to see is the female section of the society to quit being the victims and stand up and fight back. If the girls realize their own worth and respect themselves, the rest of the society will have no choice but to follow. I want to see them stop giving in to the demands of dowry, stop accepting domestic violence as a way of life and for God’s sake stop female infanticide!!
So, this is a message from me to the fairer sex of the society:
Please stop pretending to be the helpless section or the helpless victims of this society. You are this way because you accept it. You can just sit there, accept and be victimized or stand up and fight back. Why do you think you need to pay dowry? What is it that the boys have and the girls don’t that makes them deserving? Remember, if the need be, you can work, earn, cook, clean and even change the bulbs yourself. You do not need a man in your life to be complete. Your parents have invested as much time, energy and resources for you as a boy’s parents do. You are the one who ends up taking care of everyone at the in-laws! So why do you need to pay a dowry as well? Remember, they are not doing a favour by agreeing to marry you – they marry because ‘they’ need you. Remember that when someone asks you for a dowry – You don’t owe them a thing!!! In case of domestic violence and rape, I hate to see the girls hiding out or hanging their heads in shame! They haven’t done anything wrong and by being ashamed of something that’s not their fault, they just pass on the power to the wrongdoers. Stand up and fight back!! And ladies, ifYOU don’t fight for your unborn daughter then who will??
Lost in our passion to fit in the society, we tend to forget that when we are I trouble, the society doesn't lift a finger to help us out. When we fail, the society laughs at us. They scandalize us, they victimize us and they enjoy our dilemmas. But they never sympathize or help us and they are rigid. Do you really want to fit in with a crowd that is educated yet ‘illiterate’? Do you really want to fit in a crowd who are struggling to find their own identity?
It is about time we fight for our own rights; for our safety and for the safety and liberty of the generation to come.