Quoting Honorable President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, “The brutal rape & murder of a young woman, a woman who was a symbol of all that new India strives to be, has left our hearts empty & minds in turmoil… When we brutalize a woman, we wound the soul of our own civilization.”
So, thousands of us needed answers last few months when we, all the young hearts of the nation were shouting slogans on the streets, and at the India Gate, which is believed to be the heart of Delhi. We were fed up of the curse that this patriarchal sociology & its blind followance is bestowing upon us. It has made the lives of both genders equally vulnerable. We have started living shadowed lives, dictated and controlled by others, by books, by scriptures, by dogma and generally by what is politically and socially deemed as “correct”. As a result, we’re never ourselves, but what others want us to be. In other words, it has made us move away from our true selves. And if our lives are away from what we want them to be, our lives will continue to be unhappy and thus, useless. Just ask yourself, as an Indian, is this the life that we dream of? Is this what we want our next generation to experience?
All of us got some confidence & hope when we saw our friends supporting us in our asking for a change in the society. But, apart from a little tweak here and there in the framing of laws, things seem to be the same (and they’ll continue to be the same even after reading this article,because until and unless we decide to change now, nothing’s gonna change). We still feel insecure about the safety of the members of our family. We brothers are still afraid about the safety of our sisters on the roads. We fathers are still anxious about our daughters every moment. We sons still (just sit and) witness regular domestic violence on their beloved mothers, who make our lives worth living. Families still consider the birth of a cute girl child as a liability. Women are still blamed for any abuse they suffer. After marriage, they are still not allowed to work in the production sphere, which makes them weaker.
Even daughters want their fathers to feel proud of their achievements and dreams, not watch their respected parents bow low before a groom and hand her over like she were property or something. For God’s sake, she’s as human as him!
So basically, this implies that there is something else which needs to be done. Something that has not been happening till now, something more at the grass-root levels of our society, something for men & women alike, something more sociological rather than all criminal & political.
Martin Luther King Jr. said,"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere". So, we need to deal with this injustice on a mass level. We need to reach out & provide equal opportunities for all the sections of the society.
While the protests were a good sign of the representation of the freedom of expression, we need more than that. We need to reach out to everyone. What we need is a REVOLUTION, like the India’s struggle for independence. Since we have done it once, we surely can do it again.
It’s rightly said that “All great things begin from within". So will be a revolution. Quoting from history, Mahatma Gandhi truly said, "Let us be the change we want to see in the world”. And there’s also some work to be done on individual level. When the government is declared to be ‘of the people, for the people & by the people’, we should understand that the government represents us and we need to change it if we want a change. But firstly, we should RISE and ASK and FIGHT for our own rights. Period. It’s something you’re born with and will always have. We need to introspect and question ourselves first.
We all individually need to meditate as to why our life is not guided by our true (& inner) values, desires and principals? What are they? And how will our lives and those of all those around us improve by those values? Why don’t we stick to our values, which shape up our character? Just because everyone else is ‘Jugaadi’ and duplicating the society blindly doesn’t mean that we too turn out to be the same. Why have we grown all selfish and greedy and lost out on compassion, making ourselves slaves of the society rather than being the leaders? We need to have a morale compass that decides our higher goals. By introspection, we’ll become aware that eventually it’s upto us to use our minds in a manner that best suits us. That is the free will which everyone is born with, & is available to all, always. We’ll realize that we usually try to blame our misery on some external person or situation (in this case, violating the fundamental rights of a woman). And we start seeking happiness from some easy external source, without realizing that the basic problem which produces unhappiness lies within us, & unless we address that, no amount of searching outside will help. We need to give happiness before receiving it and we need to give respect before receiving it.
Next, after deciding our values,we need to reach out and unite. To be able to launch a mass level Satyagraha, joined by thousands of people of all the races and religions, Gandhi began promoting equality & unity among the lowest sections of the society, called them “Harijans”, the messengers of the God, cleaned toilets with them and wore a single piece of cloth. It was this Satyagraha, aptly a revolution, which paved the way for our Independence. So, even our history tells us that for a revolution, we need to start with the lowest sections of the society. We need to bridge the gap between the poorer and the richer sections of the society. After all, women of all the castes and religions suffer discrimination by men. Further, Women empowerment isn’t an isolated issue,its one of the problems we face due to the inefficient system,which works only according to the upper class. The more the capitalism in a state, more will be the sufferings of middle-class men & women.
Why should the produce be social when ownership is private? The social system has to be dealt with in totality. We have to link women’s empowerment with free, fair and quality education, better living conditions, better nutrition, corruption-free society and all other social evils flourishing due to the faulty social system. Like a profound change in ‘Jugaadi’ mentality can’t come until and unless our education system is improved, which focuses excessively more on plagiarism and teacher’s point of view, rather than creativity & student’s point of views. That’s one of the reasons why we’re not able to channelize the excellent potential of our youth and produce leaders or entrepreneurs.
Similarly, until and unless more and more women are a part of the production sphere and governance sphere, how can we make women self-reliant? All the middle class men & women have to unite and ask for more control on production. Why does only the MNC and all the top honchos deserve all the profit? What about the profit to the hard worker who is the reason for its existence in the first place?
Let’s consider an example : What about a woman who has worked with equal dedication and still getting less pay? A man colleague shall say,"How does it bother me?" But if she’ll be getting less pay, he’ll be at more risk of losing the job. So, why don’t we all demand equal pay for all?
Here’s a little piece crafted by my little sister, Mehak Arora :
“With more love than devotion,
The Lords create;
Only to see their children,
Falling for baits.
To see these siblings,
Living to hate;
Hammering upon His heart,
Until it breaks ”.
So, a change has to come from all directions and sections, when they unite.
Simple as that.