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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

We are the World (?)

Democracy is based on the assumption that all men (and women) are born equal..
but the world I see around myself is so strange...no definition will suffice.

It was well past lunch time when I saw Mom heating the food today..one of the regular domestic help was accompanied by a fragile looking creature.
She was dark and petite..and I doubted it had been quite some time before she had a full square meal.
Soon I discovered the reason of the oddity.The food was meant for her...
While she sat on the kitchen floor eating I looked at Mom with a questioning glance. Mom whispered to me that that female was beaten up by her husband and that she did not have anything to eat the whole day.

I stood shocked...
the bruises on her body,her swollen face..I couldn't stand the horror of it.
I ran away from my room..But I couldn't run away from myself.
All I could think was-what kind of a man beats his wife??

I asked Mom later if she would lodge an FIR.She said something I did not understand..though the language she spoke sounded familiar..but words strung together made no sense to me...
In short -she said something that meant a "NO"

Unfortunately such incidents are not restricted to only the financially pressed.

I came face to face with another reality which I had chosen to remain blissfully ignorant about..till now.

A few days ago I had read in the newspaper about a 24 -yr old woman who had committed suicide because her husband(whom she had been married to for less than a year) had asked her to "Go To Hell!"

She was a student of DCE(Delhi College of Engineering) and in her second year MTech.
On the evening of that fateful day she had talked to her mother and younger brother over the phone.She had a test the following day and had assured her brother that she would pass with flying colours.
The conversation ended with their talking to her brother-in-law who said she was having a headache and had retired to her room.
The following morning her family got the news from a friend of hers (note-not the in-laws)that she has been found hanging from the ceiling.

Media reports were- it was a case of dowry abuse.
She was the eldest in the family and had 2 more sisters and a brother following.
Her father had managed a meagre sum of 60,000 as a nuptial present -much to the dissatisfactin of her in-laws.
What followed was- months of mental torture(despite the fact that-she was a part time lecturer and was earning a neat 15,ooo per month while studying)

All those myths about being financially independent...!!!!

The latest news was - three members of the family have been arrested and that the brother-in-law was absconding...

Whoever is responsible,Whatever their fate is.... with closed eyes to the way our system is run.... I assume that Justice will be done.... and soon.

But I wonder what difference does it make to the deceased?

12 comments:

rohit said...

don't mind it,but i've to say it this time..do u write all this just for "writing"..to show urself,others that u can "write", or do u really mean everything,think on each n every aspect of what u write???

**And what could have I done to save at least one life that deserved to blossom like a flower and not waste its sweetness on the desert air?**

may be now you can understand why i've written like that above. There are lots of things which you "can" do now..help needy...U r well educated..why don't u involve some not-so-privileged children in some activities which can show them the path of education..learning..Agreed,u dont have much time these days..but does it mean u can't even spare an hour or so(in a week)...for those things so that..u don't write/feel such things,afterwards???Believe me,the day u do something like that,for which u get a feel from inside...u'll really get answers to most of ur questions..doubts..

but,as always,I'll ask one question "Can you tell me,why you exist..why we exist???"

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Aparna Kar said...

@Rohit
I don't know if anyone can write just for the heck of it...

I don't think I would have been as wordy if I did not "feel"what I wrote about.

And if it's a lack of conviction u trace..it is purely owing to my inability..and half baked efforts to pen down what i feel.

Most of the blogs are spontaneous..written as they say "at the spur of the moment"

On the contrary,if u sense a source of hidden passion...lots of ideas trying to flow out,attain a stability through the symbol of words..I would feel my effort has not been in vain..no matter how amateurish

BG said...

I guess the case is similar almost everywhere now. Women [no matter how well educated / financially independent] are being dominated by men. It's not that nothing has been done to curb this phenomenon so far, but in my humble opinion, the women too are at fault. Now I don't want to sound like a typical male chauvinist, but I guess women are still living with the old age misconception that the male is the head of the family and he has the right to dominate over others. And that gives the man the right to supress the women in his life. It's pretty strange to note that whereas women show some awesome ability to bear stress like managing the famility, rearing kids, etc. they seem to be helpless infront of their husbands. It seems they have cultivated this weird liking for domination by their husbands and all men. It's time they all stood up in revolt with the status quo and first clear their minds first and make the men realise that this is not the way to go. Only then I guess the people will understand and some changes will come about in our society.

Aparna Kar said...

@BG
Point taken...

Where men are ready to treat women as equals..women prefer to be dominated...some kind of security that is !!To tell ur spouse that happiness means a kind word from him and his indifference is the end of the world!

Life is about moving ahead and I know it is difficult(though I make it sound easy)

Even in a literate society(I wouldn't say educated) women are considered for their ornamental value...or as effecient machines to propagate species..

There are other issues that required to be addressed as well...about her right to chose the time to bear a child..and not under presure from her family and in-laws(more on this ..later)

And sometimes educated women are more victimised..believe it or not...

Let's have a poll...

How many men would NOT feel uncomfortable with the idea that their respective spouses earn more than them?

I wonder...

U could register ur presence..Honestly..(if u r married we'll ask ur spouse too)

And after a gloomy post like that..I could do with some ray of sunshine..

Aparna Kar said...

Read ray as "rays"
I am expecting more than a singular response...hopefully

rohit said...

@Aparna

I must admit that the reply i expected, it was kinda same..Just go ahead..success will be all yours

keep rocking,

cheers!!

ME-MOI-MYSELF said...

I would gladly let my wife do all the earning while I take care of the house-hold chores. Interpret it anyway you want, Laziness, Uxoriousness...

But I get the point you are trying to make. And I dont know whether you've thot about this or not, doesnt matter whether the woman is educated or not most of the happenings you mention or read about are actually inflicted by a woman (viz, the mother-in-law). Surprised?

We live in a primarily patriarchial society and culture (thought). Womens movement have been talking about women's freedom, women's lib etc. Unfortunately they've been targetting the wrong gender. They need to target the womanfolk first and get them out of the patriarchial mindset. Only then will things change. Only then will these atrocities stop. Yes, the husband/BIL/FIL are the ones who act (as if they didn't have a mind of their own) but more often than not its instigated by MIL/SIL. At times even the girls own parents. Sad but true. What we have done in the past is primarily focus on singular instances of men harrassing women and highlighted, whilst there are even more number of cases where women have been harassing women which is somehow under-played or projected as the men trying to dominate over the women.

ME-MOI-MYSELF said...

To continue ...

Education might be the key to this (offering you at least one ray of hope) or NOT. I really haven't thought about this but I dont see how we can ever get out of this one.

BG said...

Aparna,
I don't know who made these rules, but yes I do agree that not many men will want their wives to earn more than him.
While I won't really go out of the way and say that I will let my wife work and I will cook food at home, I will blame that on the imperfections of the male-kind and nothing else. No matter how strong we project ourselves to be, I know for sure we are much weaker than anything. We pine for love and care from our mothers, sisters, girl-friends & wives. While we can do the physically demanding jobs outside, the simple task of taking care of kids or just making roti leaves us baffled. Why is it so? I will blame evolution for that. It has been so for ages now -- men hunt --> women cook, etc. But you might notice there was no hierarchy involved in it. Yudhishtir would listen to Draupadi with equal care as he'd listen to say Bhishma. Historically we've always given equal [if not more] status to women. But this condition has degraded with I guess [correct me if I am wrong] the invasion of Islam into the country. Their own laws have got entwined with ours to create a weird concoction with is a pure contradiction with our own history. We, who wrote the Kama Sutra thousands of years ago now feel ashamed of talking about sex in public, we consider it as a taboo. If you read KS, you'll find that the case was certainly not like that some 2-3k years back.
I guess it's time we became aware of our own culture and also taught others a few thus making this society a better place for all of us.

BG said...

And yes, I'd definitely not mind if my wife earns more than me provided she feeds me and takes care of me well. I'd need her more than she'd need me in anyway.

Arsalan said...

This wife earning more than me thing ....

If my wife earns more than me and "harps" on the fact that she does, then my ego won't be able to take it. Otherwise it's ok.

It's the same thing with the man. If he continuously harps that he earns more (or he only earns), of course the woman is going to get cheesed off.

The easy solution to the problem is to engender the feeling of "we are earning" and not "I(or he/she) am earning". That is, using love between the couple to break down the ego barriers. Identifying more with "we" than "I".