I was studying for my upcoming exam today and simultaneously having lunch, suddenly my cousin says, “Today I saw a video in which a foreign guy, probably from America, described the disparities of every country.” Making a disgusted face she said “He talked about the way we treat women. He said ‘India is probably the only country where a women is not allowed to have a relationship with a guy without her parent’s permission. If she loses her virginity to a guy before marriage, be it forced or by will, she is considered a disgrace and no one likes to marry her for acting according to her will. However if a man is involved with a girl even without his parent’s consent and if he loses his virginity before marriage then, it’s considered as a matter of pride for him, his relatives and his family.’ He said that this happens less in top tier states, but in the second tier or backward states, the condition is all the same.”
I was at a lost of words. I live in Delhi and am fully aware of the rapes happening here. But the people here are quite open minded, like even if some parents aren’t necessarily happy if their daughter is involved in a relationship with a guy, they don’t atleast disown the girl or consider her as a dishonour to their family. I almost started feeling insecure and thanking god for giving me parents who love me enough that they’ll not disown me if ever I’m involved with a guy.
But then I suddenly changed my track of thoughts and felt guilty to even be this Selfish. I mean how can I be so self-centred that I forget about all those poor girls facing a hell lot of physical and mental pain? I felt terrible for them. I checked out the stats of level of development of women and equality and watched a lot a videos to see if the condition of women is still as poor. I don’t know why, but I did not want to believe the harsh reality.
Fortunately, I found out after a lot of researching that women in India have been working hard for getting at par with men. There has been a huge improvement in literacy rate, participation in politics etc. In fact, the government of India has launched various schemes on this matter to motivate and empower women. But my happiness soon faded as I noticed that not a single site talked about the mental and physical suffering that a women in the other-than-first tier states face. And that is not something they will tell about because these are the hidden disadvantages of India. Unfortunately women in these states who are even ready to be repressed and they think that it’s against their traditional values to raise their voices. That’s probably why that guy in the video took up this topic than any other, because this wasn’t discussed out loud. And people like me, living happily in the Capital/ first tier states don’t know about the hidden disparities of the backward states, so I thought that this is a topic which everyone should know about, so that we can together openly criticize against this “defect“.
Maybe, our criticism will offend and knock some senses to the male dominating society that not only exists in India but in many parts of the world. India is considered as “mata” meaning mother. I don’t think that after literally giving our own country a female salutation, we should ask women to shut up. Let them live their lives for God’s sake. Refuse to listen if they ask you to stick with the norms, for none people who helped bring a change, have ever stuck to the norms.