The Sleeping Revolution

We have come a long way from no education for women to equal constitutional and political rights for us. To make us feel better I will reiterate the fact that the newborn India in comparison to the grandparent of democracy that is USA dared to provide universal adult suffrage just when it had barely etched itself out of colonial hands and was weeping economically.

It has been more than 70 years since. I am a testimony to the freedoms I am born into and the rebel attempting to carve more freedoms for myself. So, they would call a woman like myself ungrateful and a misandrist for demanding the freedom to choose who to be.

My sister says I should stop asking for permissions rather just get them done. She is right. But I still am loud in rejecting the societies preloaded RAM on how I should function. So, whenever this PC disagrees it does it with a blast or visible glitches. I am being tried upon several times to be mended. However, I don't intend to.

My issues aren't big enough considerimg the histories of oppression my fellow species have gone through since ages. The women in the Nair community were not permitted to cover their breasts before a member of a higher caste and could not say a no to a demand for temporary conjugation by them. This was the double burden of a low caste and being a woman. Then, there are still my younger sisters from Bohra community having to go through a genital mutilation outside their will. I have my mothers and aunts who would never be coparceners in the properties of their fathers. And, the truth is that disadvantaged by their sex they do not themselves think this may be their constitutional right. So, they plan on extending the same idea into their daughters and sons.

I have several he-cousins who were sold for bribes of dowry demanded by no body else than their own mothers. And, my well educated rich high born brothers had no spine to speak up for their own partners. Overtime dowry has become a way of progressing up the social ladder by having a grand show of marriage, money and jewels. Giving a further incentive to a caste ridden society to indulge in gluttony of the higher classes for societal acceptance.

Just a week back to the shock of the entire country our esteemed SC judge seemed to have bargained a marriage for a minor girl with the person accused of her rape. We still do not consider the concent of a wife of value and her right to say no to her own husband. Where is her right to privacy and the right to live a life of dignity? Where is the right of young women to choose their own partners with safety against the dangers of honour killings? Where is the right of our young girls to decide which stream to choose or job to hold without the pressure of their parents/partners/in-laws? I will say some are on papers and others are not even recognized by lawbooks.

Marriages have treated and are continuing to treat women as cattle. Oblivious of the cage in their parents house they are sold into another with no guarantee or understanding of where she belongs if she is caught up in trouble with her in-laws. She gets the treatment of a guest into the house she was born and she can never completely earn the belongingness in her husband's home. The braggarts of culture must be told that there are a few divorces in India not because of the greatness in our marriages but because our married ladies have no place to go afterwards. So, they have learnt to compromise with the insults.

Our governments, parents, educated and enlightened leaders are working hard to ensure our safety, to ensure us a healthy environment to grow. I appreciate all of it. But I will disagree on how I am being helped.

Help us by enabling us to fight our own battles instead of fighting them for us. Treat us like adults and equals. We are opinionated heads like you. I know biologically I may be disadvantaged by nature in pulling a heavy weight in comparison to my brothers. But I assure you I will make a pully to assist myself and get the work done with efficiency as much as my brother would.

We have the right and duty towards our ancestors and parents. Train me into an adult so that I can be an able Karta of the family as father has been.

The society is made in a cruel way. The young boys who I schooled with as an equal would now be somewhere leading their tribes and overachieving in the lap of no competition from their sisters, wives and mothers who have been quietened and unaware of their inferiority. And, here I am a rebel attempting to carve more freedoms in the lap of hypocrisy. Assuming if there are 100 seats for men officers in the forces, we have 10 for women. There are many recommended ladies outside the forces despite competing for the same examination.

May be I am dreaming too much. May be none of the dreams fall in place the way I want them to. But I know it is fair and human to dream. I want to be treated like an heir not because there is no option of a son, not because of reservation but because I am capable of being one. I dream to see the trust of my people, men and ladies included, in me outside of my gender.

The only way to ensure the safety of our women is by bringing more women into all fields and spaces. By ensuring they have right on their own bodies as mothers and partners, right of owning propetry and businesses in families. Be our pullies and not bullies by making as equal partners in the discourse about our own empowerment.

I ask again, How big a dream it is, to be treated an equal? May be not that big a deal considering the history of several victorious journeys of our mothers and grand old ladies. This sleeping revolution is on the verge of its awakening. The world has already witnessed and will witness more rebel shaktis.

Power to the truth,