Bad to Worse in a New Beginning
“You will always drive safely”, we trust you, but we do not trust the person coming in the opposite direction, so please go very carefully. Every time, everywhere and everyone would have heard this while taking the keys to travel.
Apparently, even the other person coming in the opposite direction would have heard this, but still there are mishaps which happen. Why? Which person did not take the ‘advice’ too seriously ?No one has the answer? By the way, whose responsibility is it to ensure that people follow what has been taught to them? The person who is not following it? Or the person who forgot to teach, or who just taught and didn’t ensure that they acted on it? (But, can this be possible)? Or whom?
That is just the first case, there is another instance - a couple of weeks back I had a philosophical thought, that post Vardah cyclone in Chennai, the after effect had seen loss of so many trees and just in front of my eyes, there was a 40 year old tree which had been uprooted. So I had a doubt. Who is responsible for the leaf which fell down? The leaf which could not hold, or the wind being too strong, or the branches for letting it go? It was indeed mysterious to understand on whom the blame can be placed since, there was no one taking the obvious blame. That is how the nature is designed.
So while there is a lot of confusion to answer these, let me bring the topic straight.
As a country, we love hearing this “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom”, but this was not the case on this New Year eve on 31st night for the women in Bengaluru – sorry. I would want to keep it as women in India as I do not know what else happened elsewhere.
I do not care to write about the statistics of 1500 policemen being deployed who could only act as spectators, but what was grueling for me to understand is what followed it all.
Reacting to the incident, there was an Indian minister who immediately placed the blame on Western clothing, and that a women must step out with the guardianship of their family and if not these are bound to happen.
While there was a fact well documented: Many men attacked many women, I find that #NotAllMen beginning to trend in India, as the men could not take up the blame from women, because it was not them who did it, but they felt they belonged to the category of men.
As a guy – I feel ashamed. I am equally responsible for telling my female friends, my Fiancée ‘n’ number of times, a few of the same hundreds of dictums they know by heart:
Don’t dress provocatively.
Don’t stay out late.
Don’t travel alone at night.
Don’t take a train/ empty bus/ auto after sundown.
Get a male friend to drop you home or accompany you in the public transport, just don’t be alone and I even have the guilt of ensuring that I travel along till the bus stop to see off a friend, cause I am scared, but of whom?
Don’t stay late at work.
Keep someone on the phone while you walk.
Be careful, be careful, and be careful.
The worst part is, this just doesn’t stop. What scares me more – especially these days, is the suffix which follows each of the above advices every time – or else.
I do not know where the end to this is, but I can faintly understand where this begins. This begins the moment a father tells his son, “Why are you crying? Are you a girl? Can’t you be a man”, and when a mother tells her daughter,” Stop playing outside and fighting like a guy, get inside the house”.
The father thinks, or assumes that he is making his son stop crying, but unknowingly makes the kid think that a boy and a girl are not equal, a boy is greater than a girl.
While the mother having her own insecurities from the society, unknowingly passes it on to the girl child and they grow up like that.
This is alarming. Isn’t it ?
I have touched upon violence against women in a few of my previous articles; spoke about peer culture climate, where I wrote about abusive behavior must be seen as something unacceptable. I wrote about men stepping up – but I genuinely feel now that these will not work, neither will stricter rules work.
I think the only solution to end violence against women is in the hands of the parents who raise boys. Because of those parents bringing up their boy in a delusional cloud that “only a girl can cry, or a boy means stronger” there are thousands of parents, bringing up their girls teaching their little angels to guard themselves from the (un) known (d)evils. Why is there even a necessity to create a scene as if, girls are walking in a forest amidst hungry and cunning wolves?
Understand that if your child does not respect other people’s feelings, it is because instead of speaking to your child, you order and command them.
Please think and this is an absolutely important point that I would want to insist.
I get reminded about a very famous Thirukural –
மகன் தந்தைக்கு ஆற்றும் உதவி இவன் தந்தை
என்நோற்றான் கொல்எனும் சொல்
Meaning: The duty of the son to his father is to make others to wonder "what penance the father had performed to beget him"
Parents - for the above to happen, it all depends on how you bring them up! You hold the keys to the door which has locked the freedom of a lot of women.
Each and every word you utter while upbringing matters in defining a personality of the kid.