Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Body, My Rights!!!

Yet another blow has been struck at womankind.
And for once, I am at a loss as to how to react.
Voices around me register anger and outrage.I am tempted to join in and fume at the impotent guardians of this nation. I am tempted to demand of the media how they could stand-by, recording this moment of shame for posterity, when they could have help averted it. But above all, I want to demand explanations from the mute spectators at that Manglorean pub for their passive silence.

As I attempt to transcribe my thoughts to paper, my hands are stayed.Not because anger cannot find its voice. Because I do not know how much of my ire is rooted in fear.
Yes, Fear.
I never thought I would live to say these words. Me, who thought the world was mine for the taking. And, never was afraid of anything, except letting myself down.

I had always known that I would fulfill my responsibilities to myself. Being responsible for ME -body, mind and soul -kept me happy in my skin, all the more so because I got to make up the rules as I went along.
I worked for a living, not because I had to but because I wanted to. I favoured western clothes over the sari. I enjoyed being with myself & my thoughts. I pursued my passions with great enthusiasm. I prayed. I enjoyed the odd glass of wine. I relished my binges. I loved having friends in all sizes and shapes and, of both sexes. I travelled. I indulged myself when I thought I owed myself a treat. And today,I think I am all the more richer for my knowledge and experiences.
I think I am a woman who knows her mind and is not afraid to speak it.
I know I am a woman who is willing to take charge of her life & live it on her terms.
And, I sense I am a woman who would violently antagonise the Talibanistic mentality of our society.
Which is why I now feel the first stirrings of fear.

I cannot help but wonder if I have taken my independence and freedom for granted.
At first, I thought not.

After all, Liberty & Equality are basic human rights, due to me as to any other human being on earth. So why the fear?
It isn't the self titled defenders of the faith who worry me. When I see a Government which refuses to ban organisations whose members blatantly violate basic human rights.. the politicians who bay for the eradication of the pub & mall culture...When I see the media sensationalising to escalate TRP ratings than offer real solutions..And when the silence of the masses encourages crimes against humanity..I experience a frisson of fear. Because it becomes painfully apparent that while all Indians are born liberated and equal, some grow to be less liberated and equal than the rest....Like us lowly women?

Mangalore is not just an affront to women. It is a slap on the face of humanity. I do not know how many would see it that way. To those who would attempt to shrug away this blot in the name of Indian culture and Hinduism, I say remember Kunti*. Remember Gargi**. And, remember Durga***.
The ladies of yore show us the way forward.
To live our lives fearlessly by our dictates and of none other..
To raise our voices against those who seek to gag us...
And to guard our dignity from those who would crush it...
We must remember that if we do not stand up for ourselves & our sisters, no one else will.

* Kunti: The mother of three of the Pandava brothers from the Indian epic Mahābhārata, Kunti is a figure of great importance within many Hindu traditions. Kunti was given a special boon which enabled her to bear the sons of great celestial devas as many times as she wished. Kunti had four sons - Karna by Surya, Yudhishtara by Yama, Bhima by Vayu & Arjuna by Indra.
** Gargi: This ancient Indian female philosopher is mentioned in the Sixth and the Eighth Brahmana of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, where at a philosophic congress she challenged the sage Yajnavalkya with perturbing questions on the soul. In Vedic literature, she is honored as one of the great natural philosophers.
*** Durga: In Hinduism, Durga is a form of Devi, and an embodiment of creative feminine force (Shakti). Durga exists in a state of svātantrya (dependence on the universe and nothing/nobody else, i.e., self-sufficiency) and fierce compassion. Durga manifests fearlessness and patience.
[Source: Wikipedia]


shail said...

"And, I sense I am a woman who would violently antagonise the Talibanistic mentality of our society."
Same here.

TRP ratings has a whole new role to play in all this!! Did you hear of how the customers of CCD were roughed up, customers including girls, here in TVM?? Of course the media was there to record it faithfully.

Miaow!!! said...

Yes you are indeed a kindred soul,Shail
I heard of it from a friend who also told me that CCD is not very crowded these days!!!
Looks like the face of humanity must be very puffy indeed!!!
Wonder what next...Riots in Chalai because women dared go shopping in jeans?

Ganga Dhanesh said...

Rekz, by the time we finish bringing up our sons, daughters, nieces and nephews we would have a bunch of young men and women who would certainly antagonize the Talibanistic mentality and create a society that can recognize grays in addition to blacks and whites.

Miaow!!! said...

Amen to that Ganga.
LOL, we shud make it mandatory for liberated souls like yourself to produce as many children as possible so that we have our Grey Army out ASAP...
:P :P

What say?