Yet another dinner table conversation in our home:
‘But he spoke to me first, Amma,’ my five-year-old quips. I retort with my usual advice, warning her of the probable adversaries. ‘This will be the last time you speak to a stranger,’ I warn her. As I say this, there isn’t a speck of guilt within me that I am inculcating hatred in the little mind. I am aware that instilling panic is the last duty of a responsible mother.
Like many other mothers in my part of the world, I have no choice. Bringing a girl child into a misogynistic and pessimistic world and trying to protect her is no mean task. To activate the subdued fear alarm in mind, there is some incident you read, way too often.
Can they overcome?
Every time I read about the atrocities meted to the little girls, my thoughts are always with the mother. Can anything on earth be more horrendous than to see your child face barbarity and yet feel helpless about it? How ludicrous is it to let the law take its own course in this age of extreme malfeasance and extortion?
The young victim might need a lifetime to therapy to rise above the maltreatment. The mother is doomed to live in the shadow of fear. Speaking of therapy, we are aware of the acute shortage of shrinks in our country.
What gives him the courage?
What makes a man think that he could assault a woman (be it a random passerby or kin) and walk away with it? What gives an offender the audacity to cause agony to a woman or a child and cause mental and physical distress? Have we as a society become deplorable and hideous?
What makes a man think that the opposite sex is but a puppet in his hands? This is not a scenario just on the streets; it is prevalent in the vast majority of Indian homes. Why should the woman of the house stay immune to exploitation, injustice and your offensive jeers?
Is chauvinism a piece of wisdom passed on for generations since the late Vedic age? Or was it acquired enlightenment post the Victorian times? Despite laws and amendments, why is inequality woven into the fabric of our being?
Is Safety of women a myth?
Will women’s safety be brushed aside as a myth? What if the ripples of change spread steadily? What if they lead to rebellion? What if the collective consciousness of the XX bearers result in a revolt? Can we teach our girls to stand-up? Will our biased society let them stand firm on their feet?
Should the caregivers of the girl children live in angst? Will our voices be heard? Will there be an advancement regarding equality? Can the confined minds undergo metamorphosis?
Will our rights be safeguarded? Or should we camouflage ourselves in the bovine skin to protect our dignity?…..
Just a humble lament of a mother raising a daughter.