Saturday, 15 November 2008

Being a Woman
Long long ago during my adolescence I read this Hindi poem and just copied it. Then I was horrified to know that I am also a girl and today also I am frightened because I am a mother of two girls. At that moment I could not understand this poem in totality but now today I can understand it completely in its vivid and right contexts:
वह नहीं जानती उसका होना
इतना दुष्कर होगा
वह नहीं जानती
वह आदमी कब उसके शरीर में जा छिपा
जो निरन्तर उसे अपमानित व परास्त कर रहा है
उसका उत्साह
निश्चित ताकतवर है
वह जानती है
उसकी आक्रामक मुद्रा में
कौनसा डर दुबक गया है
जो उसे अन्दर तक खाली कर रहा है
बार-बार उसका विश्वास
जीने के मोह के बाहर
उसे व्याकुल बनाता है
उसका अर्न्तमन
साफ-साफ दिख रहे समय के भीतर
दिलचस्प झूठ में लथपथ होकर
जो बन रहा है, वह कितना भयावह होगा
उसकी कल्पना में प्रसन्न चित्रों के रंग
किस कदर स्याह हो चुके हैं
वह नहीं जानती।
वह नहीं जानती
अपने विरुध्द अपने को तैयार करना
कितना दु:ख भरा साहस है।

And now some time back I read this Hindi poem by famous writer "Tasleema Nasreen".
तुम लडक़ी हो,
यह अच्छी तरह याद रखना,
तुम जब घर की चौखट लांघोगी,
लोग तुम्हें टेढी-मेढी नजरों से देखेंगे।
तुम जब गली से होकर गुजरोगी,
लोग तुम्हारा पीछा करेंगे,
सीटी बजाएंगे!
तुम जब गली पार करके
मुख्य सडक़ तक पहुँचोगी,
लोग तुम्हें चरित्रहीन कह कर
गालियाँ देंगे।
तुम व्यर्थ होओगी, अगर पीछे लौटोगी
वरना, जैसे जा रही हो जाओ!

Oh! Nothing has changed, same heinous feelings of being a female, it does not make any difference whether it is this country or that religion. Even if you don't cross the door that also does not ensure your safety at home! If those females who go out of villages to study are not safe then are those females who live in villages under long veils can feel safe?Harassment, sexual violence, mental tension, everything is same. The only change that is visible is that now these things cannot go unnoticed even when Honorable Supreme Court also does not give justice to Bhanvari Devi. Now the statistics do not increase rather the volume of these cries have become really bold and loud. Women are now all set to shed this wrong habit of so called tolerance. She has been told by this religion and male dominated society since ages, "Tolerate! But don't say a word, you will lose your prestige and place; we would not lose anything because we are males!" Religion was never with women. Right from the Vedic era to today's constitution there are hundreds and hundred pages written on female equality and devotion to her. Reality tells a different story; so far all the way it is only a glorified paradox. Is it not sad that in this country there is lot of noise on cow slaughter or temple-mosque disputes but no one talks about abortion of female fetus. Even doctors also forget their noble profession's oath. I happen to be a witness of this heinous crime‚ when I saw a gynecologist misguiding a village couple. There are no serious restriction and legislation; this issue has been neglected for a long time. All religions and all strata of our society are equally responsible for promoting this evil practice. Inheritance laws are also tilted in favor of male offspring. None of the successive governments have been successful in controlling dowry custom; all awareness, noise and ineffective laws can not help female. She is still considered a burden due to economic problems. Religion, custom, wrong practices and male discrimination are not only responsible for this sorry state of Indian woman, up to certain extent she herself is also to be blamed. If she is a mother, she should oppose abortion of female fetus. If she is a daughter then she should oppose the dowry system. She should stand up and oppose to physical abuse and rape.
Our constitution clearly says that there should not be any discrimination on the basis of sex and the women are also empowered with the right of voting but still she is neglected even for basic health services and literacy. However, the government seems to be helpless as in reality nothing reaches to her.After independence there have been a few progressive women who have made their place in this all male dominating world by using their freedom but a common woman still remains in her own cocoon. Slowly now the women are getting onto the path of progress through the medium of education. She has come forward to acclaim her place in a variety of fields. As an educated housewife and mother she had given right direction to the family and provided a new vision to the next generation. There are no two thoughts that women has awakened to her rights but on the darker side she still continues to suffer from lot of physical and emotional excesses.The empowerment of women is directly connected to the family, society and in turn to the development of the country. The cruelty with women is very painful, for her and her family and also shameful for society and country. A single crime with a woman reverses all forwarding steps of other women and the chain of development breaks up. There should be a positive change in attitude of man, society, religion and government so that woman can be given a fair chance to develop without any fear.
– Manisha Kulshrestha