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Every year Women’s day celebrations kick off with huge shopping discounts on billboards, vouchers and flowers in offices, free bus rides for the day and producers encashing their much awaited draft of a female oriented movie (an endangered category of Indian cinema).

Each year they go to rich and famous females in the country and make them quote one of their most trodden lines on “Nari Shakti”.

Each year celebs are trending talking of their veteran moms and in laws. Each year a million women in rural areas spend it like any other day; engrossed in their household chores and watching “Mumbai ki Kiran Bedi” in matinee show. In addition, every year it ends with a blame game policy in parliament regarding Women Reservation Bill.

These are Olive branches and I do not consider such placating gestures as women empowerment. However, if it is, I wonder how fallaciously people have perceived the notion of happiness and equality for women. Last week, when I was cleaning my father’s book stand, found a few editions of Watch IT ( a Hindustan Times magazine) dated two decades ago I was frayed to find out long discussions about rising sexual harassment at workplace, female stars talking of wage disparity, Models working abroad facing racism and being victims of voyeurism.

We are struggling with the same problems since the era of eve. Every media article has a “Spotlight” period, it vanishes afterwards but the issue remains burning. For example, the process that follows after a rape incident includes a huge percentage of population debating over Indian men’s mindset, flaws in government laws and criticizing police administration, many changing their statuses and pictures into a black dot, some protesting on the streets and a few making money by  selling oppression stories. In the meantime, the issue becomes common and loses its significance and poor resistance paves a way for acceptance.

Therefore, we are habitual of some sort of crime against women happening in some part of country so much that it does not affect us anymore.
May be someday we find out that we are in great illusion of change. I do not deny improvements of time but nothing much has changed to give the women a space in the world to live their life on their terms; only the statistical figures of the crimes keep on fluctuating. Sometimes they increase at an increasing rate or sometimes they decrease at a decreasing rate depending on the intensity of the relation between opposition and government.

I am from a state, infamous for its lowest sex ratio, a long record of honor killings, where Khap Panchayats are held high than Supreme Court, jeans are considered absence, mobile phones unnecessary for girls, teaching is meant to be the only job good for women, consent of a girl for marriage is a breach of custom.

The question pops up, should be we contended as a few had made their space in the TIME’s top 100 influential list? We may but I ask what about the community who is not on billboards?
What about Rani who is exploited by her in laws but not able to walk out of marriage due to her kids?
What about Sharmila who decided to quit her school due to eve teasing?
What about Malini who was sold by her stepmother into prostitution?
What about Lakshmi (a bar dancer and a single mother) who is struggling to admit her child in a school. And what about Sheena, a model sexually assaulted and blackmailed by her producer?
What about Mamta, a constructor worker at the Mall, who thinks that washing her husband’s underwear is washing off her sins?
What about the girl with no name, selling plastic flowers on traffic signals?
What about the girl who is killed before birth?
Is right to live with dignity is too much to ask for? There is no concept as shallow as half empowerment.
How many more years will it take to reach to them?

21ST century, still India is complacent and immune to a real feminist wave. Besides the obsolete laws, it is the anti women social fabric which is the reason behind our “Boondocks” status. Girls are raised as weaker sex and are tutored to serve man, these outlandish customs are deeply rooted in our religions since the times of Vedic period .We have a history of submission of women towards men where dissolving “her” identity for “him” was considered a scared vow and our society is living in the shadows of this regressive thinking. The right apparatus to rewrite the history lies in our present. It is such a pity that our idea of feminism is also a borrowed concept with no indigenous flavor. Running a marathon without tampon, posing backless, acting pro man is a puerile experiment. You do not need to act masculine to prove your presence. There is no substitute of a woman and a man for each other.

They are two great infinities and we cannot compare infinities.”

Let me tell you today, you do not need reservation or the hundred laws to be equal. Feminism will start where the outcry for feminism ends. Do not surrender your securities to society’s mindset. Join self-defense classes before dance class. Make it a pepper spray before your perfumes. Touch the pickle and walk into the temples; you are never impure. Do not fall an easy prey to fake relationships, do not let break ups define you. Do not give up your rights thinking that you do not have any. Do not tolerate any nuisance in the shadows of sacrifice. Do not wait for the man to find your equilibrium. Do not seek a nod to decide for yourself. You are eligible to live an uncensored life of your dreams on your own. Rise and repeat.         



Contributed By : Aradhana

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