Blazing the chilling winds, on three wheels, our auto-rickshaw was passing along one of the busy streets of Jamshedpur. The auto, which was already full with around 6 passengers along with the driver, stopped midway noticing a girl who was looking for an auto. The girl first looked in, and then with a little hesitation said, NO!!!
I happened to sit just beside the auto-driver. He said, “Sharm aati hai yaar.. From the last week or so, if even 2-3 guys are there in my auto, no women seems to be getting in”.
One other day, while travelling in an empty auto-rickshaw, well almost, with just the driver and his conductor-friend (yes, they have conductors too here). With nothing much to do, I had to listen to their convo.
Driver- You know what, it’s the mistake of women as due to that they get to suffer in the hands of these horny-bastards.
Conductor- kaahe be ??
(even I wanted to ask!!!!)
Driver- You see, if I am running after a girl or even teasing him, which I’m not. But hypothetically, if I do.
Conductor- abbey bol na..kaahe ghuma raha hai..
Driver- If, I am doing any of these things like eve-teasing or even making remarks on her, and the girl turns up and gives me a tight slap, neither me nor anyone who sees that would ever think of doing that. It’s just because girls ignore small things that other guys do, they take it so lightly. As if it’s just okay and they can get away with it.
Conductor- haan be. Sahi bola.. du go lagao, sasura line pe ajaega..
Driver- Uhi to hum bhi bol raahe hain be.. ee jo laundiya log chod deti hai na.. ki log kaa bolega, usise poroblm hota hai…
Neither did I interfered in their conversation, nor did I am making any stand on this issue of what they said.
Because, I am clueless and it’s difficult to conclude as to what is right and what is wrong. More than being clueless, I’m shocked and guilty.
It was not the fault of just some people that girls like damini are raped, it is the society that I am part of is responsible too. The guilt is for numerous little reasons, but even though no matter how little they are does contribute a lot to the attitude of the society that we live in.
They are now talking about, Honey Singh’s songs, female clothing, Bharat vs. India, Denting-Painting, etc. Well, do you think if a rape has to happen, those sick bastards will see what kind of clothes the girl is wearing?? Or that only in the “Urban India” that rapes occur and the “Rural Bharat” is just away from it’s dark shadows?? Or that Honey singh’s songs are so powerful enough to change people’s attitude? If it is so, then tell him to write anti-corruption songs. The thing is whatever happens in the society is just a reflection of what we are. He is actually mirroring that mindset.
The male dominated and superiority complexed people that dominate our society are the reason for this attitude, which has been there for ages and has only manifolded itself. The only change that our society has witnessed is that the females have tried to fit into this society with the hope of getting rid of this mindset and matching shoulder-to-shoulder.
But, sadly, they don’t realize that the insecure male does not want that to happen. Sharing the dais of superiority is another thing, they don’t even want them to come closer to it, just let them be the audience. Forget about protecting them and taking them to a pedestal so that they can walk along, they just don’t consider them even worthy for competition. Sometime, they just term this competition as something like apples and oranges. Sometimes, reason their success to the sympathetic attitude with which superiors end up treating them. Sometimes, this and sometimes that, but they just won’t accept that it’s not about apples and oranges.
The whole problem revolves around that societal attitude of seeing them as apples and oranges. And until and unless that changes, nothing substantial can happen. No matter how “terrible, sad, devastated” we feel after every incident of a female’s modesty getting tarnished, unless this mindset gives way to a more broad mindedness in terms of accepting that women are not inferior than us, nothing can be changed.
Mid-way through my SUPA (Socially useful and productive work), I interviewed some disabled students undergoing training at Indo-Danish Training Tool here at Jamshedpur. I started off with some guys after getting permission from one of their teachers, but when it came to the girls, I had to ask one person after another and finally after some 2 hours of bureaucratic shifts, I got the green signal.
Later came to know, that after various incidents all across India, security of girls has been their prime focus and they have become “extra conscious”. While talking to these ladies, who happen to be disabled, I was amazed. Amazed as to how, even with all the added struggles apart from them being physically handicapped, they have continued to learn and prosper in whatever they are doing. Neither, financial difficulties or societal inputs on their disability, stopped them from achieving what they strived for. These are women with disability and yet looking at their determination, it added a little light on my dying optimism.
If this added fuel to my fire of optimism, the regular talks at every small adda’s I’ve been part of. Guys, who were seen passing remarks on girls at every possible moment, talk about how they were wrong in doing that. Their guilt does get reflected, and so does their anger. A talk on figure of a girl has given way for what needs to be done by the government.
If this is change, I’m glad to be a part of it.