To a Kinder, Safer and Educated World

A very happy 2013 to everyone here.

May Good win over Evil every time until Evil realizes it never had a place in this world. Here’s to a kinder, safer, more sensible and educated world.

I know this is coming late, but a lot has passed since the last time I blogged, I am quoting an artist, Jas Charanjiva’s FB wishes as I couldn’t  have said it better.

First, I was away on a holiday to Thailand before Christmas and then I was feeling out-of-sorts with all the goings-on around. Just couldn’t get myself to write about happy things when there was so much grief, anguish and heartbreak in India regarding the rape and subsequent death of a Delhi student.

I have never seen India so united in it’s demand for women’s safety in my entire lifetime. I thought I was the weird one feeling restless and waking up to thoughts on what we were doing wrong. But I was surprised to see FB updates of some of male friends talking of waking up with solutions to women’s safety. One of them even declared that he didn’t mind giving up his day job to work on a safety solution.  There is a huge debate and a movement going on to change things. I believe we are on the threshold of change and India will be a better country with regard to women from this year on, if the government takes the necessary action. I have signed a petition for it and will do everything required from my end to contribute. I urge all my friends (if you haven’t already signed it) to do so.

We need a cultural shift in India, and that seldom happens overnight, eve teasing is soo seeped into our culture that as long as people do not harm you physically, we think it’s ok. I myself have been guilty of it, when I would proudly tell people that I have been to late-night movie shows with my girl friends on two-wheelers and we have been safe. Yeah sometimes we were chased by guys but mostly these people would fall off. Thinking back, I realize I thought even the chasing by the guys was ok because they didn’t harm us. Now I think it’s an attitude some of these men carry about girls/women who are out in the night either having “loose morals” or “asking for trouble”. Way back in the past, I remember it used to frustrate me to be unable to walk in peace after sunset. I had too many men slowing down their two-wheelers to give me a “lift” or leering at me or wondering if I was a hooker. Education, sensitization and punishment, if all else fails is the only way forward to changing the culture in India.

I remember the sense of freedom I felt when i walked back alone from a late night movie show to my hotel at 12.30 in the night in LA (it’s another matter that I did this after confirming with at least half-a-dozen people that it was ok). In Thailand, I admired the fact that girls/women dressed in short clothes could be out in the night late, take public transportation without any fear of being molested.

I would like for us to get there in the next few years (I know I am being very optimistic here), but I am a dreamer and surely not the only one.

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