Freedom

index

Freedom comes across as a self-explanatory term which means “to be free”. To be free is not to be in bondage or captivity of any kind. Freedom for each one of us holds a different meaning coming from various interpretations. For a bird it would mean differently from what it means for a prisoner, or for a farmer. Therefore, it is a relative concept as well.

Freedom for a bird is high flight away from every cage that exists in this world. Free from all kinds of captivities. For a farmer, it is getting healthy and sound crops. Not getting sound crops would mean a lot of tragedies such as not being able to repay loans, suicides and so on.

Freedom, for me is not just freedom from those who wish to capture you, or your land. Freedom is to see smiling and happy faces all around me. Freedom for me is to not see a man dying without food. Freedom for me is to not see a teenager commit suicide due to pre-marital conceiving. Freedom is to not see an innocent being punished due to an inefficient and corrupt system of law and order. Freedom is to not see an old father seeing his son dying helplessly without food, milk, or proper medication. Freedom is to not see a nation-lover turning into a corrupt person for money.

Freedom rather for me is to not see any suffering and pain around me. Freedom is to see a teenager becoming a serving bureaucrat and achieving his or her goals. Freedom is to see people around me, to see my people living a dignified, free, and happy and a respectful life rather than a life in clutches of slavery of wrong people, wrong things and wrong emotions. This is what true freedom means for me.

As a proud Indian, I can claim that the country I belong to gives a lot of freedom to its citizens “from freedom of speech and expression to freedom of trade in the Indian Constitution” vis-à-vis article 19 to article 22”. Through the Indian Constitution one realizes that freedom comes with its own limitations. Freedom should be exercised in a manner so that it does not harm the other person’s freedom. Exercising freedom should hence be done in a cautious manner. Freedom is a blessing, and not a tool or source to be misused.

Fortunately or not, we are still in the clutches of slavery as we are not free from many bad or wrong things that even today dictate our lives. The things here are corruption, sadness or unhappiness, rapes and unwanted pregnancies, prostitution, greed, hatred, lack of equitable division of wealth in the world etc. Many people still in this world do not live a life of dignity, respect and are suffering in one or the other manner. Be it sleepless nights due to no food or due to not being able to meet their basic needs.

In a nutshell, freedom can only be achieved if we all come together and take a pledge to change ourselves and then each others hearts and minds and also our actions. So, let’s come together and join hands to make this world a better place to live in.

Advertisements

Soraya – The unheard story of injustice

the_stoning_of_soraya_m__by_heserpenty-d3dq6w3

 

In my journey and quest

Of being a loyal wife, a loyal mother

I found a husband who made me lose myself finally to death

and to whom nothing mattered more than his ambitions.

 

The most ironic kind of love was celebrated when a husband made his wife’s father and sons throw hand-sized stones at her. Each stone that hit her body as she bled was a tear from every eye which knew she was innocent.  A, young 35 year old kind, beautiful yet simple woman, Soraya Manutcheri, was stoned in the square, in the remote village of Kuhpayeh, Iran in the dark year of 1986. What for? For a man who said “I can’t wait”.  For a man whose unfulfilled ambitions, and hunger for power and money were bigger than even his wife, and for which he could go to any extent.  Why did she pay such a price?  Lack of women rights, or perhaps for being such a good person. Why was she tortured physically and mentally everyday by her husband?  For the very reason, that some people have a stereotypical mentality of referring to this world as a man’s society. For the reason, that she was not financially independent, and secured. The most important point which needs to be reflected upon here is that, to what extent is any of this acceptable. Think over it. This article will revel upon the story of Soraya, the ideal kind of husband, the lack of women rights in the middle- east countries, and the act of stoning.  This article should be read in my opinion to know the story of a woman as helpless as Soraya, to get the right kind of thought to save more women from becoming Soraya.

Soraya Manutcheri, an uneducated home-maker like many  women in the middle-east, a one of a kind lady, a great mother, a good woman, a good wife who unfortunately was crushed by  the cruel hands of an ill-fate. The countdown of her “cruel –end” began from the very moment she was married to Ghobran- Ali, an ill-motivated and over ambitious husband. He was a prison guard least bothered about his wife and two daughters due to his “male chauvinistic” mindset. After 20 years of a long marriage, his desire “for more” in life started over-powering him, and he showed his desire to marry a 14 year old kid called Mehri post divorcing Soraya without providing her with any financial security.  And, when she denied his terms, he brought his “wild dog” side forward and framed her into an undue act of adultery by blackmailing Hashem for whom she worked. And, eventually got her stoned to death by everyone including her father. Even her tears did not stop him from doing this. What kind of a husband is that for god sake? No emotions? And, when this was not enough the local authorities did not even let her body be buried in a manner human enough (her bones were eaten by the dogs) and her death was finally celebrated by the localities. What a shame!!  Even within their marriage, he used to beat her brutally on almost everything (from not listening to him for the “wrong things” he said to her raising a voice against the wrong he did), he used to make false complaint against her i.e.: she ignores him and so on. He even turned her two beautiful sons against her by persuading them for a better life in the city, e.g.: by persuading them for a better life in the city as revolutionary guards. Can a life be better like that by cursing your own mother?  His ambition on a final note took him nowhere and he never got married to that 14 year old “baby” as her father was executed, and the deal was that if he saves the father then he gets to marry the girl.

Is this what an ideal husband does? Is this how decent people behave? Is this what he makes her go through? No. The “No” is a definite! This is how a beast behaves.  Men who do this kind of brutality to the women who made his world, home, and gave birth to his kids are a shame to the society. Men who treat women as subordinates and willing slaves should be treated with no kindness, and also should not be allowed to be a part of the society. The ideal husband respects his beautiful wife. She is beautiful to him no matter what, after all she was the one who gave him a world as beautiful as he desired. He surely does not beat her or hurt her and neither lets anyone else hurt her at any cost. He understands her feelings, and protects them from the big bad world. He even does not let her interests being harmed, and is highly concerned about all her interests and health. He supports her against the world in thick and thin and fights for her. He even makes sure that he stands up for her, and never betrays her in any circumstances, rather makes her taste love as the food she always wanted to eat by providing her with the loyalty she deserves. He is the man who will help her achieve her goals and dreams. And, be something worthwhile in life and even give wings to her dreams. He will respect her views and their privacy and will try to build a level of communication and understanding wherein they have the ability to sort things out on their level. He makes a lot of efforts for his relationship by securing it in all ways. He trusts his woman he made vows of love to and knows her in and out and knows what she can do and what she cannot. He never victimizes her in any manner, or makes her go through a bad phase rather he teaches her the right things and gets her all the happiness she deserves. He steals the stars from the sky for her. He is also a friend and a confidant and never sacrifices her for his own ambitions. So, he can never be Ghobran-Ali. Hence, proven.

An act as evil as stoning can be nothing but condemned. The world has refuted stoning on many levels and through many angles. Not only the angle of women but homosexuals as well!! The international body of United Nations has a twin fold view on stoning as discriminatory and stereotypical because women are more likely to suffer from stoning, or get a sentence of stoning. There are a multiple women cases. From, Sakineh  Mohammadi Ashtani  to Soraya Mantucheri  to Sara Jaffar Nimat.  Also, stoning in my perception is a brutal punishment and should be strictly channelised, for instance to rapists and murderers, and those who misuse law like Ali. Stoning as a punishment should be mostly banned as it is a very cruel penalisation, and is not universally acknowledged. The mechanism for capital punishment should be so strong and well- structured in a manner that it cannot be misused and that can be first done with complete education for women, by giving more rights to the culprit and the weak. And, by trying to psychologically tax those who are insensitive towards such acts!

The story of Soraya is an incident that belongs to each life on this planet. It is each one’s responsibility to ensure that another Soraya does not take birth. Another, Hashem does not take birth who due to fear refused to own up to the truth. Soraya will always be remembered, and she will help us remember how much more women need to be empowered. And, as well as to what extent the weak is subjugated by the strong, and how much more the weak needs to be empowered. The society needs to be very clear on one line, and i.e. laws are to protect people and are not meant to be misused for one’s own interests. Terrible, are those who see law as a stepping stone to achieve their selfish desires. It only shows their character, and what substance they are made of. Also, it is very important to divide resources in a manner which is balanced and not a concentrated division to reduce such criminal like thoughts as well as people. Balanced division of resources will also make the society more equitable. And, more equity shall lessen crime in society. Major institutions like World Bank, thereby, must intervene, make a plan of action and take up the task of balanced division of resources. This will do major good to the society. It’s high time the people of the Middle East countries start taking their women a lot more seriously and start changing their thought process. And, educate them and give them more rights related to education, property, and speech because the voice of women is not valued in such countries where as they should be. Because change begins at home and husbands in our society need to be very clear that in a marriage they must support and love their wives for all the right reasons, and that is the only thing which makes them a man genuinely.

It is time for some change! So, be that change, see that change, and make that change!

 

 

Islamophobia – A pervasive global issue

download

Islamophobia is the fear of Islam as a whole religion, and hatred towards Muslims. The question here that crops up is: Why this aversion towards Islam? Due to 9/11? Is it bigotry? Could it be due to the existence of Muslim population in Non-Muslim countries? All in all, Islamophobia is a very inquisitional and regressive term.

The underpinning of Islamophobia is a report called, ‘’ Islamophobia: A challenge for all of us’’   by the Runnymede Trust.  Islamophobia, as an expression was created to avoid the usage of hate words, like fear or, hatred. Under this, unfortunate underpinning of Islamophobia, Islam has been defined as a ‘’violent political ideology rather than a religion’’. In addition to this, the report also refers to Islam as of a ‘’low standard culture’’, as far as comparison with other cultures is concerned. Accolades for doing this task can’t be given to the Trust rather it deserves complete rejection; because the concept of Islamophobia has a very ‘negative connotation’ to it. In fact, this report should receive the severest kind of criticism, for thoroughly ‘disrespecting a religion’ in the name of a good deed.

Not just these ‘Foundations’ and ‘Think Tanks’, Islamophobia has garnered a wide range of views. Views mostly gracing ‘’negativity’’ have come up.  But, undoubtedly, there are neutral and, positive views being upheld, as well.

Douglas Murray, wrote for Standpoint, where he argues that the concept of Islamophobia, insults and questions each and every aspect of Islam.  Mr. Johannes Kandell, also thankfully, smells of negativity, as he sternly detests Islamophobia, by calling it a word encompassing hostility against Islam. As with each word the spectrum widens, neutrality has also taken its call. French Prime minister, Manuel Valls, has taken a safe path regarding, Islamophobia. He says: Islamophobia is used as a defence mechanism, to silence “critics” of Islam by Islam “apologists”. Secondly, he is not in favour of this phobia, as he believes that it invalidates all the criticism against any Islamic ideology. Middle path isn’t exclusive to Mr. Valls only. Academician, Chris Allen has also taken the mid – way. And, says that, Islamophobia lacks a clear definition.

Views are very individualistic. But, views can never determine greatness. Neither is greatness unique to one religion or, culture. It is cross cultural indeed. We have many Muslims who have made it ‘’big’’. The 21st century has witnessed the glory of one such honoured Muslim. And, she is: Malala Yousafzai, a teenage activist from Pakistan.  She is fighting the disturbing issue of female education. She is the youngest ever, Nobel Prize Laureate. Muhammad Yunus is the founder of Grameen Bank, and pioneer of the twin concepts of: micro credit and, micro finance. He is the recipient of the ‘’Nobel Peace Prize’’. The Nobel laureate in physics, Prof. Abdus Salam. And, ex – president of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and so on and forth, this list is endless! So, it is clear that: ‘’Not everyone in other religions is a good person nor all Muslims are bad either”.

From ‘my’ angle, Muslims are as ‘humane’ as anyone else and nobody has any right to be judgmental about them. I have many, extremely kind and welcoming friends who happen to be Muslims. They are like all of us. No special or different.

Muslims, have a birth right to be treated equally. The Charlie Hebdo Incident in France, Army Public School Peshawar incident, the Godhra incident, aftermath of Godhra Incident in India, is very regretful and reprehensible to say the least. These incidents have casted their shadows over humanity. We must work towards the removal of this shadow.

Raneem Ali, a Muslim, a friend of mine, studying in the very reputed ‘’Delhi University’’.  She is a very bright and, a competent girl. When asked by me: What is your opinion about the relation between Islam and terrorism; which the world has been constantly drawing? She says: It is the herd mentality. We are conditioned to develop such opinions based on what the popular media shows us. The unnecessary and unwarranted emphasis on the so-called religious identity of the perpetrators of terrorist incident unwittingly fuel Islamophobia, and this is very wrong for the simple reason that terrorists have no religion!

The challenges of every century are different. In that aspect, 21st century’s challenges are new too. They are meant to be fought for. How? That is our call. We should unite, and fight. Or, have a blind eye to these unaddressed issues. The issue of Islamophobia has brought unmitigated troubles, to Muslims globally. So, we need to take these issues as ‘’common man’s issues’’ and, fight them. Not for us, but for the children of today, and tomorrow. And, fulfill their dream of a better world.

Another Black Day for Humanity

images
It seems the month of ‘December’ is destined to carry the dark burdens of humanity. Earlier we witnessed the ‘Nirbhaya Delhi Rape Case’ and now, the ‘Peshawar School Killing’. All the credit for this school killing goes to ‘The Pakistani Tablian’; who killed thousands of people, bombed over thousands of schools. Then they also shot, Malala Yousafzai, the young supporter for girls’ rights. And, when these ‘Merchants of murder’ weren’t satisfied with their fight against education, they targeted a crowded school in Peshawar.
On the ill-fated day of Tuesday, December 16th, 2014, seven terrorists belonging to TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan) attacked the Army school in Peshawar. They killed around 132 uniformed school students of assorted age groups. Around 1,100 students were made to line up and were murdered with gunshots right to the head. In totality, these crude beasts killed 145 ‘faultless’ people. And as they killed them, their terrified parents crowded around the school gate praying for the survival of their kids.
To combat this attack, Pakistan’s Special Forces killed all the seven terrorists and rescued around 960 people. Around 130 people were injured, as quoted by: Major Bawa. And, the mastermind of this attack was a volleyball player, child killer named Umar Mansoor.
There was a wave of fury which crossed national boundaries, with condolences coming from around the world.
The ‘clichéd’ prime objective of TTP to conduct this attack was to take students and hostages and, demand their terms. The TTP members were carrying food and weapons and, were planning to mount a long siege. But, as told by a security official, that they just came there to kill and, they did so. Nothing else was on their mind.
Sadly, it is said that, this was the deadliest attack to happen in Pakistan, surpassing the 2007 Karachi bombing. Information given by various news agencies suggests that nature and preparation of the attack resembled to that of the Beslan school hostage crisis that occurred in Russia in 2004. Also, there has been much hype that this attack was a revenge for ‘Operation Zarb-e-Azb’ ( A military operation being carried out against the group in North Waziristan’s tribal region), and of course a retaliation for ‘Malala’s Noble Prize Win.‘
These ignorant terrorists get the encouragement to kill civilians by misinterpreting Quran. But interestingly, if you turn the pages of Holy Quran, it does not encourage killing of people. On the contrary, Quran (The holy book of Muslims) itself says that ‘death of one innocent man is equivalent to the death of the entire mankind’. Henceforth the entire mankind, died 145 times due to this attack.
If I get a chance, I would really ask them: What was the fault of these primary, middle or high school kids? What did you all achieve by killing them? And, I would say to them: if you really think over it you did not achieve the goal you attacked for. You all have chosen the path of hell and, not heaven.
On an ending note, we all should and, must come together and raise our voice against such gruesome acts and such merciless terrorists groups. It is not only the duty of trained officers and agents, but, it is also our duty to fight back terrorism. As worthy, alert and responsible citizens: it should be our prime concern to fulfill our duties towards our country. In the process of enlightening citizens, I would also like to mention that, “the government of all countries should remember and, implement their respective duties with utmost honesty in order to fight and combat terrorism. None of them should encourage it in any possible manner.’’ As an extension to the prior statement; ‘’It was good to see the Indian government putting Delhi on high alert post this school killing in Peshawar.” Governments take such steps to keep a check on terrorism. Other than this, let us all come together and pray for the peace of the souls of these innocent people who are not with us anymore. And, instead of crying (mourn we must for all times to come) for these lost souls… we should make our war against terrorism even stronger.

Let us dream of a world which is terrorism free! And, let us fight to fulfill our dream!
See you all with my next post soon!

The gate of life

sdsadasdasdasda

Finally, the journey of my schooling comes to an end. I have always relished happy endings. And, surprisingly I scored a thrilling 91.25 per cent in the CBSE 12th Board exams. Now, I call this a really happy end to a story. The journey to achieve, this score was not as amazing as the number itself! School started for me on a really dicey note. As far as I can recall, I hardly went to school in April and May, and, for that matter, till mid July I wasn’t able to attend school due to unavoidable health conditions. I headed back to school in the later half of July missing a hell of a lot of the syllabus! Next what? I had lost the urge to study, and, I resisted going to school. It was uncertain whether graduating from school was on the cards for me at all. Undoubtedly, it was a very difficult time but, where there’s a will, there’s a way… No? If you agree, then ‘’bingo’’ you’ve hit the bull’s eye! With my will and courage, I managed to sail through. Moreover, my parents were extremely supportive. All they wanted was my happiness and, my progress. Marks were of no importance to them!  As a result, I was back with a bang with an amazing result in the -“Revision 1”- examination. -Sadly, difficulties kept on cropping up and, I was not keeping well from the health angle. Nevertheless friends are always an asset if they are true to you. A very dear friend of mine, Ms Agrima Kumar acted as an anchor to me throughout the session. She held my hand and, made me walk like a baby till the end and, I reached where I am today! Whether I performed terribly in my exams or, I cracked them… Agrima was there throughout. Also, I give immense credit to Ridhi and, to my good friend Neesha! Who took care of me. These were my very genuine friends, who made me what I am today. And, Ms Ching and Pallavi were a great help too. Lucky to have come across these assets, in this roller coaster ride of mine! Can you people, guess what I am missing on? Yes, my school staff and, the administration. From Madhu ma’am (the principal) to Mallika ma’am (the senior – head mistress), they were all a blessing to me! No matter how much I thank them, it’s still less. I really wish I get an opportunity, to do something for their good. Wow, that was a topsy-turvy ride I wrote about.  On an end – note, all I wish to say is that give people a chance, believe in them, and, understand that many of them are your well – wishers. Further, you’ve got to respect your elders and, most importantly, parents! After all, parents and your elders are your back – bone! You’ve got to believe in your friends, family and teachers for anything, and, they will never let you down in life. -Over and above all that, never stop fighting and, never stop believing in yourself! After all, you never know what life has in store for you! And, as far as I am concerned, I look forward to a bright and, an interesting life as a college student!

Ways to stay happy

fdfdgfdgfdgfdgfdgfd

After a really long break, I’m making an effort to write again. I hope you all appreciate my come-back.

We all are living in a really fast world, where the world is too much with us. We hardly have the time to experience the happiness that life has to offer us. As a matter of fact, we are living  in such a fast and noisy world that we do not even realise what we are doing, what we actually want, and what we really want to say. And, most importantly, we forget that whatever we are doing at the end of the day is for -‘’happiness’’-, and we still just fail to remain happy.

We fail to realise that it is actually -‘’possible’’- to stay happy. Even in today’s time, when the odds are heaped up heavily against happiness. But the catch here is that one can remain happy only when one -‘’wants’’- to remain happy. So, desire it. And I will share my favourite five (it may interest you to know, that there are 25 of them) key tips to stay happy which I learnt after reading the book – Lessons from the Masters on Happiness and Longevity.

These guidelines have helped me, and I am sure that they will help you too. So, here I begin with the first one..

  1. Learn to let go

-It is easier said than done. But surely it is possible. Ms Shobha De rightly says baggage weighs you down, makes you miserable. What’s the point of going on with something that has soured? It could be a relationship with a lover, or a business associate. Once it’s over, it’s over. Move on. Take your time but do not keep brooding over it. This applies equally to a bad day or experience. Learn from it, but forget the negative emotion generated by it. It serves no purpose.

-2. Be Selfish, Be Vain

Now this does not mean you become self- centred and mean. Everyone wants to be known as a generous person, who helps others. Being ‘constructively selfish’ is very different from being ‘selfish’. To be constructively selfish is to give your own self priority. If you do not give yourself priority, you can never make anyone else happy.

As a responsible person you owe it to yourself to eat, live and look smart. If your own image is positive then you will convey positive vibes to those around you. A frustrated person, who is unable to address the issues related to his life that lead to a negative approach, will find it extremely difficult to overcome many hurdles of life. So, love yourself and spend a large chunk of capital on yourself – because you are worth it!

-3. Express Gratitude

If someone does you a good turn, let them know about it! Don’t expect everyone to be good to you. It is just not possible.  So, when someone does something good for you, write a note of appreciation. Pick up your mobile…. send a text message. These are life’s really priceless moments: stay tuned to them.

-4. Shut up

That’s right. Keep your trap shut. Not every argument needs to end with a decision. Life is more than just a game of outdoing a rival or the person you are arguing with. There is more charm in holding one’s peace, especially if tempers are running high, as mentioned by the versatile writer – Shobha De. If one person backs out and walks away, the argument will fizzle out.

I am myself a very aggressive person. But trust me, it is the most destructive emotion ever. It is has proved to be really harmful for me. So, I have brought it under check, by ways like drinking cold water when I am aggressive or doing back counting from 10 to 1. Or, I just back off and prove myself to be the bigger person.  Why don’t you do the same?

-5. Have a Heart

This is about compassion towards others. But on a more selfish level, it is also about following your heart. It has always been told us to do what you love and love what you do. So, if your heart isn’t in whatever you do, walk away. You can never succeed in either a career or a relationship that you are not into whole – heartedly. Just think of you being stuck in a job or a relationship that is only giving you grief! I’m sure none of you wishes to be stuck in such a situation. So, as we all know, life is too short to indulge in pursuits that are deprived of joy. So listen to your heart. As Ms. De mentions, -“”The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing””- (Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas). This was written by Pascal years ago.

As I end this article all I would do is to remind you that life is too short to hate, to do things that do not give you happiness and to give yourself pain of any kind. So, embrace it and love it unconditionally. And the moment you love it unconditionally you value each and every moment. As a result you enjoy life to the fullest. In this process of achieving happiness you shall find god. And, when you find god, happiness will find you and follow you!

Angels do exist

Collages

The best day of my life was 28 July, 2013 which was a Saturday. Just the night before this lovely day, I was absolutely broken, scared and weak, but even if we make this weakness and fear our life, God has different plans for us.  An angel entered my life that very night. An angel that came to brighten up my life, to transform the pain into never ending tears into never ending smiles. I lived a day according to his will and after living that day I want to live many more days according to his will. And, I mean it. To add, I am writing this blog also because of him even though I had lost all the motivation to write.

My day began at 5:30 in the morning when I woke up with a smile. Then I went for a morning walk with my mother. I somehow managed to convince her. It was such a lovely walk because I shared so many things with her which I had kept within me for a while. I felt so light. After the walk I had a fresh cup of coffee and took a shower, dancing, singing, laughing and playing because I was really happy. I relaxed after the shower for about two hours and listened to my favorite songs. It was around 9 in the morning when I picked up a book titled, – Happiness and Longevity by authors like Shobha De and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and others. I read the book till 12 noon and it was a sheer pleasure to read it. Then I slept for two hours and after getting up I hit my study table and started completing my pending work which had piled up due to my absenteeism in school for more than a month. I did that till 6 in the evening with breaks in between because I was exhausted and so I was not able to do a lot of work. Plus, I was told by my angel whose name is Shubhankar to earn a hundred rupees by my hard work, and for that I was asked by my mother to water the plants in my house. By doing that, I earned a hundred rupees. Next, I got dressed beautifully in a white salwar kameez and went out for dinner to Claridges. At Claridges, I had my favourite dishes which included Chinese food mainly, such as noodles and Manchurian. I really enjoyed there. I had another task to do after dinner. I had to give the hundred rupees I earned to a poor chap, but instead of giving it to one chap I bought food from that money and gave it to a poor chap and his friends because they all seemed hungry. Then, I hugged all of them and marched back to my home. By then the clock had struck 9. I grabbed my pillow and opened my laptop and surfed the net till 10. Then, I lay down on my bed, closed my eyes and then started remembering my angel. I didn’t even realise and in no time I went off to sleep.

On a final note, all I want to say is that we all come across such people who become angels for us. So, have faith and keep a smile on your face. And Shubhankar, all I want to say to you is to always be there with me just the way you are now. Love you Shubbu. Stay blessed.

Ciao! Watch out for my next post!

Atrocities on Indian Women

images

Earlier, I’d written about -“”Amanat- India’s daughter””- who was brutally raped on the night of 16 December 2012. Since then the number of rape cases and violent attacks against women in the country have increased. It seems that the protests and the candle-light march were vain initiatives because the situation remains the same. Plus, in every period women have been subjected to inferior treatment and sexual harassment.

Lately the daily news have been flooded with articles related to heinous crimes against -””females””- of possibly all age groups. Articles of such a kind are an invariable feature of the daily news in India which only reinforces the fact that -“”girls have to pay a price for being girls””-. There are numerous incidents of which I will be mentioning some. As a starter I’ll begin with the 5 year old girl who was raped just a couple of days back in Ghansaur by a 35 year old man. According to reports, foreign objects were inserted in her private parts and she was fighting for life in a hospital in Nagpur for two weeks but was unsuccessful. The kid died. She has left all of us behind and I am sure she is happy and safe up there with the gods.

Coming to the main course, a mother and a daughter were gang raped in Bihar in revenge because the mother did not tell those six rapists where her missing son was. Then, an Australian faced a life sentence for raping and killing an Indian student. According to Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, ‘While other young men of his (accused Daniel Stani Reginald’s) age were going to college or learning a trade, Mr Reginald “made a deliberate decision to school himself on how to become a serial rapist and a murder.’

There is a bit for dessert as well. Other than rape there are yet other instances of violence against women. A woman in Punjab was beaten up by the police after she complained of sexual harassment and a few days ago a teacher was sent to jail for trying to have sexual contact with a minor.

The question that arises is, what are the causes for such painful and socially unacceptable incidents? The biggest reason is -“”respect””-. Neha Sharma, who is busy promoting her upcoming film Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 is upset about the increasing crime against women in the country. Citing the example of the 5 year old, Neha claimed that men should be trained to respect women. She feels that education is important and everything begins at home. -“”Parents should openly talk to children about sex as we come from an orthodox society, said Neha. It’s not just the way to stop crime, but it will help people defend crime. Men should be taught to respect women. India would be a better place if men start respecting women and I am hoping it will soon change. We need to talk about our issues with the children and educate them,””- concluded Neha. In my view talking with children will make them more aware and they will understand what is right and what is wrong for them.

Another major reason is lack of homes or infrastructure. If there were more homes then so many daughters of India would be much safer than they actually are. Girls are not safe in public places. The government must launch a project where more and more houses are built which shall be accommodated by women. There are societal factors as well, such as: laws and social values or norms which should be much more stringent; the physical and social environment; the rape culture; the sex industry and rape; global trends and economic factors.

Out of all these causes I will be discussing two in detail. The first cause I take up is sex industry and rape. The relation between the sex industry (pornography, prostitution, etc.) and rape has been argued upon at various forums. A few theorists charge that the acceptance of these sexual practices increases sexual violence against women. The second cause that I am taking up is global trends and economic factors. Under this, many of the factors operating at a national level have an international dimension as well. Global trends, for instance towards free trade, have been accompanied by an increment in the movement of women and girls for labour, including for sex work. These causes apply to India as well as foreign countries. The last cause that I would mention is -“music”-. Just a few months back Indian rapper Honey Singh was penalised for the songs he sang because the Supreme Court felt that his songs instigated sexual violence.

As far as the animal like behaviour of police inspectors is concerned the only thing they must realise is that they are suppose to protect the citizens and not beat them. And that they should do their work with utmost sincerity.

Finally, we come to the last level, i.e. solutions. Just like the causes they are innumerable as well but I shall be mentioning a few of them. Mihira Sood, an advocate, says that rape exists due to a patriarchal society and can only be reduced with a systematic social change and legal reforms. Tripid Pais, also an advocate has a similar take on this. Kiran Bedi, former IPS officer, encourages gender sensitisation.

I believe that the best solution to this problem is -“”women””- themselves. They must fight back courageously. Moreover, they must carry a knife or red chilli powder for self defence as in when needed.
Wake up India! Fight against these crimes!