It is Vijaya Dashami today. Across India people would be burning Ravana’s effigies signifying the triumph of truth over evil. Somehow amidst these festivities I cannot help thinking that as human, what steps have we taken to demolish that demon within us. Almost every day the morning headline screams aloud about oppression that women undergo, brutal rape stories cover the news pages and eve-teasing has pretty much become the order of the day!
The diktat very often for that is given as better protection for women. They should not wear provocative clothes, should not go out unaccompanied and should avoid late night parties and what not. As a rationale human being I am a bit confused about most of these advices. What exactly is provocative attire? So many men also wear low waist jeans, sleeveless shirts or are seen bare bodies, do we ever hear of rape incidents? Importantly if that was the prescription then why do toddlers and infants get outraged, molested? What is the justification for that?
I sincerely feel that basic ethos of our thought orientation needs a 360 degree change. It is extremely important that this society and this generation starts treating women as an equal. Instead of the series of dos and don’ts for separate genders, the so called leaders of the society need to inculcate the basics of tolerance, equality and humility among the members.
They say charity begins at home and quite rightly so. Mothers need to instill the sense of respect amongst their sons about their own sisters, importantly their own self. Instead of deriding them with statements like ‘do not cry like a woman’ or ‘don’t be a sissy’, we need to make our sons aware of the fact that both women and men need equal respect. Incidentally the majority of dowry related oppression is headed like mothers-in-law, female foeticide has a considerable woman supporters too…
Therefore it becomes intensely important today to redefine the term ‘security for women’ and look within to find answers for it. It is no longer about what women need to do but mostly about the perpetrators of violence have to learn to reorient their action. To add to it we need a strong social and legal punishment system that should make most scared to commit and even consider such actions. Many a times the fact that these offenders go scot free acts as an impetus.
Today as the air fills with rendition of ‘bolo Durga Mai ki Jai’ lets pledge to safeguard the smallest and weakest of Durgas around us.