Mother India. We’ve personified our homeland and called it our mother.
That reminds me, what’s the state of the mothers and the daughters of this country? We like to believe that we’re developing; that we’re becoming modern by the day – but then why is it that an issue like this is not addressed?
Let’s face, it we are all aware of what is happening. Rape, eve-teasing, domestic violence and countless other such acts. The male chauvinist society that we live in has no place for gender equality. Women are treated in a pathetic manner, pathetic is actually an understatement.
From the day they are born, girls are second fiddle to boys. Female feticide is very common. Young girls are not sent to school because their parents think spending money on their education is a waste. Girls are still married off at a very young age. After marriage, some girls are not allowed to work. They become household slaves and nothing more.
Why am I telling you this? Let me tell you. When I was in New York, a taxi driver asked me where I was from. When I said India the topic of women eventually came up – I don’t remember how but it did. He asked me why there was so much rape in India? Quite frankly I did not have an answer for why the men in my homeland are the way they are. I thought about what he said and felt shame in a way I’ve never felt before.
It is not my country that shamed me, it was my countrymen. Why can’t we respect and treat our women like we treat our mothers? We all saw that documentary about the Nirbhaya rape incident. Didn’t it make you cringe? I’d like to look at women as equals.
This attitude towards women is not limited to the uneducated; even educated youth indulge in eve teasing. I see it week in and week out. When these men are pointed at, they will just blame the girl’s attire. In our country a woman has no right to wear what she wants to. Wearing jeans or shorts is a punishable offence it seems. I can walk around wearing nothing but my boxers and I can assure you I won’t be raped. But if you’re a woman walking on a lonely Delhi street at night, something will surely happen.
It’s not like there is no solution, we have to change the mentality of our people. And I do see hope. Young men and women are creating awareness just like me. With time, when the youth of today will be the mature adults of tomorrow, I believe, gender equality will come. And when it does, I want to be there to witness it and look up at the sky because I won’t be ashamed anymore the next time someone asks me where I am from.