Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Message Of Thanks!


          There are certain things in life, which are too horrendous to talk about. Those things are often skirted around, mentioned by other code words, or some such thing. Because they just cannot be spoken about. Not in daylight, not in public, not in any other way which might be heard by a third person. And, if by mistake, someone mentions this taboo in public, to be heard by a third person, they are considered outcasts too. To be shunned. Shun the victims, shun their supporters, and shun anyone who voices the taboo topic. Better to cover that dirtiness under the cot and stand over them than exhibit them and try to clean them.

          Whenever someone says it is disgusting to mention words such as rape, molestation, sexual harassment, domestic abuse, family violence, we can only pity them. Nowadays, it has become politically incorrect to speak against women. But it has not stopped people from continuing what they used to do. Refined methods have been found for men and women expressing their distastes. But the fact remains that even those who ‘patronize’ women do so with an air of Father Christmas being extra generous with a naughty child. When we started the campaign in this blog, we received support from a few and sadly, there were an equal number of people who asked us ‘why we were doing this at such an age.’ Still other comments included

 ‘Oh why are you mingling women abuse with a book blog?’ (We only need a medium to express what we want to say. If our personal blog had the same reach as this one, we would have used that too!)

 ‘What do you mean to achieve by doing this?’ (we have made our point. If even ONE man or woman changes due to this blog, therein lies our purpose)

‘Women harassment campaign? You’ve got to be joking!’ (Oh Yeah? What would you rather prefer? Detailed entertainment videos?)

‘You’re too serious for your age’ (Honestly. Is 23 too old or too young to talk about women abuse? Am sincerely confused!)

‘On what basis are you asking us to believe that the articles you have given were written by the original celebrities?’ (Be our guest, check our inbox. We have got proof of each of the celebrities sending their articles. This is the most preposterous comment we have ever got!)

‘I notice you didn’t get enough support.’ *Accompanied with a snigger* (We have enough people supporting us, and if this campaign manages to change at least one man or woman, there we have the fruits of our hard work. We don’t count how many, we count how deep the message sinks in!)

‘How are we supposed to listen to no name people telling us things’ (Oh! At least the ‘no name people’ had enough guts to come out and speak about their predicament)

 

          And I could go on answering more such questions. But I guess I have covered the basic questions we faced the past month. And I am not going to waste anymore time answering anything else similar. So yes, as a parting, I would like to say a few things.

          We would wish to thank all the people who lent us support!

          We wish to thank the authors who took time away from their busy schedules to write for us!

          We want to thank those who have shared their experiences with us and helped those women who were too ashamed to come out.

          We want to thank the people who actively tweeted and posted messages on FB supporting us.

          We want to thank everyone who browsed through our blog and took time to read what we had written.

          Last but not the least,

          We want to thank everyone who gave us positive feedback for our efforts. You kept us going. And those of you who had done this before us, you were our inspiration.

          We end this campaign with the hope that more of you would start spreading the message around. We would reach our goal. We will win, not immediately, but definitely! THANK YOU

 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tribute to Nirbhaya : The reason we were prompted to do all this!


          Nirbhaya- The media called her. It means ‘no fear’. It stands for hope, for a fervent prayer that no more women will be subjected to the brutality that she had to go through. Though it has been a year, the cases of women being harassed has only reached a new high. But arguments on one side tell us, there has actually been not much change in the number of incidents. NO. What has changed is the number of cases that are actually being reported, publicised, and condemned. And then there are the breed of people who say the media is ‘cashing on’ the ‘trend’ of abuse against women.

          We have no time to waste over such wastrels. To the candle holders who haven’t forgotten the brave-heart, be patient and trudge on the path. Deliverance will come to you one day. To the ‘general public’ who are actually cats on the wall, too shy to support openly, too soft hearted to forget the incident, we ask nothing more from you than teaching your sons not to objectify women, and your daughters to stand up to any one. To our third group of the population, who think this is no big thing, we pray sincerely that you don’t have to face such brutality. We pray that you should be able to live in your blissful ignorance. Peace be to you. To those of you who say women are to be blame for incidents, we have no words for you other than ‘please, get a life!’

          But there is a reason we call Nirbhaya our brave-heart. It is not because she was abused. It was because she survived it, even if for a few days! It was because in the light of her case, many ignorant people realised the horrors. The reality set in. People began campaigning. No one is going to forget the crowd that assembled in Delhi that day, in cold winter. They may pretend to forget, to overlook, but deep in, it set in. The inescapable reality. Hard cold fact that no woman is safe in this world. That men more brutal than animals exist.

          When people ask us what we hope to change, we wish to say a few points.

·        Nirbhaya was a sacrifice at the altar of change. No one but the rapists are responsible for her situation. But we can honour her memory by remembering what she died for. Why her life was taken away from her so suddenly, so brutally.

·        If we women had put down our foot harder and a bit earlier, such incidents might have been avoided. We might have had stricter laws for punishment. If any such laws come now, we owe it to her. Her fate put the whole issue in the spotlight. No one wanted it, but does not mean it has to be our first step towards a better nation.

·        Women and men across the country should teach their sons that they are not superior, (neither inferior) to women. And they should teach their daughters to stand up to anyone who might offend them. It does not do to bow down to beasts.

          We implore you to remember, if there had been stricter laws in the first place, who knows? Poor Nirbhaya might still be among us, feeling safer in her cosy home rather than be the highlight of such condolence and tribute posts. Whenever you notice another such item on the news, don’t cringe. Instead do your bit to make sure there are no more such incidents. When every citizen takes this vow, there will be little left for the government to do. Remember Nirbhaya. Who could have lived a full life but died because some beasts in human skin used her. Remember the girls after her who were subjected to the same fate. Remember the proud women this nation was once home of. Remember the paradise it would become if only we united to clean our society of filth! Jai Hind!

 

For the Hundredth time : A collection of poems


For the hundredth time

In three short months

He raised his fists

It was a count –

More than one – everyday

Of their marriage

She snapped

Turned against him

Looked at his raised hand

Challenged him with

Nothing but her stare

Finally it was the look

That silenced him

She had had enough

Her celebration for

Hundred days of marriage

Was freedom;

From him and them!

But as she turned away

Insecurity got her

What would her parents say?

Would they welcome her back?

Or worse – send her back?

------------------------------------------------ 

For the hundredth time

In one day

She prayed for herself

And her two girls

They were in the battle

Called school – but

The path to it was not clear

It was filled with beasts

Treacherous beasts

In human cloaks

Let them come home

She chanted – as

My daughters; Whole

And unscathed – for

It was a battle

To be fought everyday

By every woman

A soldier in her own right!

------------------------------------------------- 

For the hundredth time

He wondered why

That he was allowed

To come back late

While his sister was not

It was a matter of

Just five minutes

But the delay

Caused them worry

He had never known

Why there was the

Inherent fear – for

He had never

Assaulted a woman

He had only thought

They were objects

Of beauty; of grace

To enter into the

Institution of marriage

And serve men faithfully

Find reasons to keep their

Roving eyes grounded!

GIVE their fickle mind

No reasons to stray, to cheat!

As he ogled at the other girls

On the road – without realising

They were someone’s sisters too

He was a proud man

Who did not abuse

He had learned

To only objectify

From his father

And his mother

But he realised

Twenty years later

When he had a daughter –

Men are beasts - he said

His wife snorted

Hypocrisy at its worst!

------------------------------------------------ 
 

For the hundredth time

In that evening

He breathed out loud

His daughter was back

After one more day

Every day the college

Declared a holiday

She had the curfew

Don’t go out after dark

He warned ominously

The news item was new

Affected him more than

The piece last time

It said

It was closer to home

The brutal incident

Occurred just five blocks away

And the probability

Was high they said

Of it occurring once again

In the same area,

By the same men

They were still free, unscathed

Till then he had never realised

That brutal men – beasts

Could touch his daughter

He was a citizen of

A free country – but

His daughter was not!

She had the voter’s card

She had the license

To everything except freedom!

 ----------------------------------------------------

For the hundredth time

She looked at her watch

The street loomed closer

That treacherous strip of no light

Vagabonds, scum, loafers

Sitting idle ogling and whistling

But every one of them

Capable of making her

Not her father’s daughter

But her father always said

No matter what – you’re mine

The only man in town

To have said so – for

She had heard others say

It is a shame

To have been abused

It made you

‘Not their daughter anymore’

They said – the cure was

Marriage – Shackles to you

Not medical science.

In case you got the ‘proof’

It was not their fault

The men who had done it

It was your fault

That you had to cross

The road to reach your home!

Little did they realise

You crossed it always

Looking at your porch light

Haven of safety – though

People inside rarely spoke

Of the evils you had to face!

But you smile at yourself

These men here – brave bulldogs

When facing single cats

Are no match to the safety

And lights of your home

They operate only in the dark

And mostly many to one!

 
---------------------------------------------------------
 

For the hundredth time

That day

She kept the dress

She had lovingly taken

Back into the rack

Because the hemline

Was indecently short

The sleeve was little

It might provoke

The men all over the city

Much like the colour red

Provokes a bull

But bulls had only five senses

She said – not six

But reality was far different

Bulls had five senses

At least

With a sigh – she kept back

The dress she always wanted

She should have worn it

Before marriage

It was not only the

Other men – it was

Her own husband - he

Wanted her to wear it

Only inside the house

No one else should see

The lower neckline

And the higher hemline

She thought of calling him

To request it as a

Wedding anniversary present

But decided otherwise

Why spend on it

When you can’t use it?

She waited for the day

She could wear clothes

Without being judged

Walk on the streets

Without being looked at

Because every women knew

Being looked at is not

A celebration of beauty

It was a sign of discomfort

It made you squirm

Because the look lingered

And travelled

From head to toe

It had become a routine

To cover your form

Or let it become

An exhibit for eyes

 

-         A disgruntled female

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Freedom is not free, every generation needs to earn its freedom : An inspiring article by Mr.Shiv Kehra

Freedom is not free, every generation needs to earn its freedom
It is never the activity of rascals  that destroys the society, but always the in-activity of the good people that  does it.  What a paradox, if they  were really good  would they be inactive? or  are they also rascals just labeled as good?

India is not the  first country with problems, but it’s  the first that is not coming up with solutions.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Co-operation with the  government  is the duty of every citizen so long as the Govt. protects  their honour;  non-Co-operation,  is an equal duty when the government,  instead of protecting,  robs its citizens of their honour. ”

Our level  of patriotism is reflected by the degree of injustice we are willing to accept.  A patriot hates injustice.  The highest form of injustice is when “Injustice” is considered “Justice.”  Judiciary is the custodian of democracy.  People may be helpless to prevent injustice,  but they  can never be prevented to protest against injustice.  Injustice is  the seed  which destroys  every nation.   Does  protest mean  taking the law in your own hands? .   Civil  disobedience for a just cause  and being willing to accept consequences to  awaken the conscience of the people amounts to showing  the highest  respect  for the  law and not  taking the law in their  own hands.
Patriotism is not an emotional outburst, but a complete dedication to  a bigger cause.

Crime on women or any  crime for that matters is a:
(a)   Social problem            (b)  Cultural Problem              &   (c)  Political problem
How
(a) It is a social problem because it reflects  the individual  and                  societal values.
(   (b) Cultural problem: Where is it originating  from and how endemic  it       is?   Any behavior  wide spread becomes a culture.
(   (c)  Political problem:   Political strength of leadership either prevents or  perpetuates  the problem.
We need to  evaluate  :
     Causes
       Take corrective steps
We  need also to evaluate:- Ways  to prevent and  punish those who do not respect the dignity of others.

Causes:
The incident of the 23 year old rape and violence victim shows the utter degradation of values.  I do not  know a person or society which is 24 carat pure, but  there is a big difference  between 22 carat and 8 carat purity.   When I  talk of degradation, I confess that none of us have a monopoly on values.

All  of us have made mistakes in life, some of omission  or commission.  There was  a time when we made a mistake  in the  past we had a remorse, we felt  bad about  it.  But today, people  don’t feel  bad because they made mistake,  they  feel  bad why did they  get caught.  That  is degradation.

One major cause is a breed of people nouveau riche people,  who have made new  money or  got new  power by hook or crook. They have made millions but have no values and somehow  with their behavior they are  telling  the  world that they  have “arrived”. They have syndrome called, “Don’t  you know who I am?” and somehow, they try to show their masculinity through  their anti social behavior.  Our male chauvinists   look at  women as an object of sex to be used and discarded. The average age of criminals has gone down from 17 to 12 years. Harassment  through eve teasing & molestation  has become an common practice and  fun for the cheap charlies.

What happened to this  23 year  old, was not just  rape.  If rape was the only intent then the gang rape criminals (current incident) would  have stopped with rape, but they pushed a steel  bar into her.  This is outright sadistic behavior which is taking pleasure out of other person’s  pain.  

These  are  reflections of our society and its leadership. Many  politicians have worst criminal records than most people in jail and this would disgrace any nation. These criminal politicians influence  the future  of the entire nation. They have been provided bodyguards when they themselves really belong  in the  jails.

Nation is seeking  strong laws and  fast track courts.  Granted we need both.  But the biggest question is where are the  fast track judges  with integrity.  According to the Ex Law Minister, Mr. Shanti Bhushan,  8 out of 16 Chief Justices of India are corrupt.  According  to  Justice Bharucha, 20%  of the judiciary at higher level is corrupt in India. According to  the news papers,  Hindustan Times, May 25, 2007, as many as   77%  of Indians  believe the country’s judiciary is corrupt, and 36% paid bribes to the judiciary last year.   This is not just a perception, these are facts as per  Media Reports, which have gone unchallenged.  This is reflected in the sufferings of the people. The legal system is such that  it  shelters  the criminal and penalizes the honest. How could we ever have criminalization  of  politics , if the judiciary had  done  their job with integrity?

Sadly the interviews made by our politicians   have been totally non committal reflecting  their  true slippery character.  Acting sympathetic by saying we understand  the pain,  we also have daughters and families  and  such atrocity  also could  happen to them.   They are  the same  people who  send their  kids with  bodyguards and  sten guns. Being a women politician didn’t help  either, it seems  they are politician  first  women second.  Why would Mrs. Pratibha Patil before leaving her post as a President  of India reduce the death sentence awarded  to those convicts who had raped and murdered a six year and  a 10 year old  girl to life imprisonment?

I wonder why  politicians  who are representatives  of the people  need such heavy security of 20 bodyguards with sten guns.  Why are people’s representatives so scared  of their own people that they need a line of defense of bodyguards between them and their people.  The answer is very simple. Many of  them have committed such heinous crimes that  they are scared for their own lives.

I heard  one of the police officers  giving an interview  that our police force is over worked.  I totally agree with him that they are very overworked. Doing what?  Collecting Haftas,  even 24 hours  are  too short  for them.  This is  common knowledge that they  pay  money to politicians  and  bureaucrats  to get the police jobs and  lucrative postings.  Aren’t our  law makers the biggest  law breakers? In fact  our  women  are even scared to go into a police station, out of fear of being  raped by the police.  

Filing an FIR against the Former Army Chief, Ramdev and others amounts to total high handedness  such as was done by the Britisher during our freedom struggle.  This is not a protest,  but it is freedom struggle.  Haven’t  we become bigger slaves than before?  It is so true that freedom is never free every generation have  to earn its own freedom.

All that the  politicians promised was a swift action. Swift action did come in  the form of shutting the metros, lathi charge , water canons and  tear gas shelling on innocent  unarmed people asking  for justice.  It is not  unusual  for dubious politicians to plant their own  anti social elements to  derail the protest.

For the last 65 odd years the politicians and Government of India have been oppressing their own citizens, isn’t  this the worst kind of terrorism? Today the Government of India has become the biggest terrorist to its citizens.

Remedy:
We need both long term and short term remedies, preventive and corrective.   Right now to address the current  protest  Govt.  needs to do following immediately:
1.    Get their  legal team to create a bill  which addresses issues of  rape and violence on women.   These laws  exists all  over the world and there is  enough precedence.  It can  be  done  within  24 hours. 

2.    Within 72 hours  a fast track court  ought to be created where hearings  should be done  on  day to day basis for 3  kind of cases:
(a)            Rape cases
(b)           Political corruption
(c)           Bureaucratic  corruption

3.    Approx. 25% post  of judges across India are lying vacant  why  is that?
Not being able to fill those positions  amounts to  administrative failure, doesn’t  it ?
Fill the vacancies within 30 days after evaluating and assessing the integrity  of  the judges.  Similar  daily hearings such as that  were done in the US on Arthur Anderson case should be done in India and  judgments  announced. 

4.    In order to have  honest  people  as  parliamentarians, we need  to bring the following reforms:
(a)  Police reforms
(b) Judicial reforms
(c)  Electoral  reforms 

5.    Educating the masses  regarding human values through media and school curriculum.
The frustration has gone to such a point where a Supreme Court Judge said that the malice and corruption has gone to such an extent that even God cannot save India. If he feels so helpless,   just imagine the plight of the  common citizen?  Yet our politicians are only playing politics  to gain power at the cost of destroying our nation.  Isn’t this the height of treachery?

Citizen Responsibility:

People who do not get involved by standing up for a just cause, they have no right to criticize the system.  They invite much deserved injustice by not getting involved.  If we are not part of the solution then we are the problem.
Our politicians have reached a point  of no return. They cannot be awakened.  One can only awaken those who are asleep, but those whose conscience  are dead need only to be replaced.

Authored by:  Mr. Shiv Khera