Very recently I announced among my group of friends that I have become an uncle. Everybody seemed happy and asked me that if it is a boy or girl. I said boy and then I said I was up all night with congratulatory phone calls. One of my friend who hails from a north Indian state said in a very casual manner that ‘the scene would have been different if it were a girl’. It was quite strange for me to hear that,
I told him in my family there is no difference we’d very happy if it were to be a girl. He said “you have got a very good family”.
The statement from my friend made me think that how far we have come ahead of the orthodox thinking all kinds of things – if genders not equal, if girls are bound inside the rules and regulation set by the society and boys are left to set the rules and regulations. To be very frank the answer was not clear in my head.
Last year and before that, India came face to face with the horrific incidents, starting with Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, and lately the one involving Justice Ganguly. The protests seemed like a revolution. Almost everyone was angry and wanted change. It made me believe ‘ok now the change has come’. At least everyone was talking about it and if they are talking it they must be feeling it.
More molestation cases kept tumbling out of the closet, it showed that women were no longer afraid anymore and are coming forward to get justice. But all these things that made me feel that country is changing in the matter of gender equality and respect for women.
Until my friend shattered the layer of thoughts that surrounded my mind and made it foggy. Coming from a young person it shows that the core mind-set is still the same. If we look into the core of India the thinking has not yet changed. People just talk about the past incidents like they have been discussing a story that’s published in the paper or from a book. It’s not that people don’t have sympathy for that girl who suffered but they just don’t have the change in mind or their heart. The society still thinks that girls are required to be bound under the so called rules of society.
If a group performs a nukkad natak they get teased or get snapped in an appropriate manner, if an acid attack victim walks in public she suffers comment or even a girl get teased by a group of men. Does that show the change?
Very recently, Supreme Court directed police to help a girl in marrying the boy of her choice. Her father a judge by profession kept her in confinement in order to restrain her from getting married to that boy. Why? The boy was of different caste. This is atrocious. If a judge can act in such a manner, how would people living in lower strata of society without much education think?
Now for the sake of argument someone asked that ‘what would you do if your daughter is having an affair with some guy or wants to get married to a boy of another caste? The answer will vary person to person or rather I say society to society. What is beyond my understanding that why the caste is so much important to people.
It does seem that all we need a breakthrough to have the change, we did get it but we didn’t accept it.