New Year’s Eve is something as a family we always look forward to. More than the ritual of bidding farewell to the old year with its trumps & dumps, five hundreds & thousands; or welcoming the new year with renewed hope & vigour… it is that yummy chunk of precious hours sandwiched between the two years – dressing up for the big night, grooving to the latest numbers, engaging in mindless games, gorging on good food & drinks, being together with your family & friends… basically having a jolly good time that we genuinely crave for.
We were indulging on this delectable slice of time on that pleasantly chilly eve of Dec 31st, 2016 at Rajendra Sinhji Institute in Bangalore, just 10 metres away from Brigade road where a huge crowd had gathered on the streets to enjoy the night to the fullest but shamefully ended up doing mass molests. The event cannot be labelled as city specific, it was mirroring the shameful incidents happening elsewhere/everywhere in/out of the country.
It must be the years of grooming, strict training, harsh punishments, tight security… the one thing an Army establishment offers you extra on its menu compared to any other public places is a rare, elusive & priceless speciality – SAFETY, more so for the fairer sex. Oops… did I just say the word ‘SEX’ aloud in a country where the mere mention of the word is a big ‘gandi baat’, like taking the name of ‘he who must not be named’ is a taboo in the Harry Potter series. By uttering the latter we invite evil, but by ignoring the former we invite such incidents.
The last two weeks saw newspapers, along with the outrage, overflowing with suggestions of how these assaults could be curbed. Many of those suggestions made complete sense be it implementation of stricter laws, harsher punishments, tighter security, encouraging openness b/w the sexes, including gender education from primary school levels & such. If endorsed these will surely help in curbing the assaults. But until & unless women are looked upon as equals or considered as important as men, you can become the first female American president, but still be helpless at the hands of beedi peeke nukkad pe wait karne wala, to mouth gandi baat or to attempt gande things… & ultimately blame it on our modesty or lack of it.
Men are the Frankenstein monsters here… but the hands that feed these ‘raja betas’ anarchistic views are not all male. It is high time we women also take as much responsibility for these incidents as the men. Till then we will be mouthing words of women power & giving speeches on liberation, all the while keeping a check on the length of our daughter’s dresses, the friends she hangs out with, her behaviour in public, the places she visits, the time she is supposed to be back… heartlessly clipping her wings & crippling her freedom all in the name of motherly love & concern.
Let the government do its part & let us do our bit too. Before we join our hands to bring about a revolution, let me beautify those lovely fingers with some delightful handcrafted rings. They were made using pom-poms, buttons, broken pendants, wedding cards, etc, etc.