“Invest in rural women. Eliminate discrimination against them in law and in practice. Ensure that policies respond to their needs. Give them equal access to resources. Provide rural women with a role in decision-making.” ~ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
I was born in an age when it was assumed by the general majority that it was quite okay if the man hit his wife occasionally (all for her own good) or even on a regular basis for her ostensible ‘mistakes’ like putting too much salt in the curry or not serving the tea at that right temperature. Ohh he has got a temper the ladies of the house would whisper in awe scurrying to do his bidding making sure they did it his way. They, the women, never thought anything was too amiss if the man roared in anger or slapped or sent the plate of food flying because he found a tiny stone in the rice. They only stood there scared hanging their head in shame, trying to be that perfect representation of all-suffering womanhood.
I have had the misfortune to have had a ringside view to many such incidents in my childhood. Of course not just such mild ones, but also ones where yanking of hair and slapping hard enough for teeth to get dislodged not to mention black eyes and bruises all over the body and such were common. It happened all around me. It seemed a part of life. The women carried on as usual, injuries and all, and the men, some pillars of society, others so mild mannered and soft-spoken that one could scarce believe that there had been a tornado raging inside their house the previous night with frightened children witnessing horrifying scenes or worse, being at the receiving end of well aimed kicks and blows.
A few days ago when the tribal women of Andaman were made to strip and dance for money, on camera, there was a mild uproar all over. Maybe not all over, but definitely on the news channels, facebook and twitter. Just yesterday a 20-something woman was beaten up mercilessly by Punjab police, for selling liquor without license. My guess is that, she wouldn’t have been beaten up in public had she given him a bribe, in cash or kind. Again, an onlooker recorded this instead of helping her.
A few days ago a 19-year-old was gang raped in Odisha and today she has very little chance of recovering despite treatment. The above mentioned women are unnamed. Also unnamed are the hundreds of female fetus that are aborted even before they begin to take human shape!
Here i have some thoughts on what an unborn girl is saying, who wants to come desperately into this world but no one wants her. She is asking only for a chance to live,
Sitting in her mother's womb she waited to breathe new life,
In the image above, i have tried to convey what Karnataka's women and child welfare minister Mr. C C Patil and the Director General of Police Andhra Pradesh Mr. Dinesh Reddy have tried to convey by their individual statements to the media over the past few days.
What is more shocking is that these are not statements made by Organizations who have been accused of Moral Policing in the past. Or by Leaders of misogynist cults. Mr. C. C Patil is the Minister