Monday, January 13, 2014

‘Violence and Women: What Remains Unseen?’

A lot is being talked, debated, and written on violence against women these days, especially, after the gory gang rape incident in Delhi (Nirbhaya case). But, in trying to be champion for women cause, are we neglecting or even ignoring the root cause of this problem? Frankly, in my opinion we are doing exactly this.
Violence against fairer sex is not a problem that can be solved just by debating on it. It is an age old problem and stems from male dominated attitude frequent in our society. The average male in our society views females as an easily available commodity, and thus, tries to take advantage of them. Indian males, more or less, consider it as their birth right to pass lewd remarks against females. Passing lewd remarks is also violence, though of a different kind.

And, this violence is not confined to streets only. The sad part is that most households inflict violence against women, sometime or other. Irony, however, is that in most of such domestic cases, even women are involved in this violence.  Mother-in-laws taunting brides for bringing less dowry, criticizing cooking skills, abusing her parents whenever daughter-in-law commits a mistake, is all part of violence.

Overall, Indian society is a hypocrite society. Here, parents want their daughters to enjoy all the luxuries in their in-laws’ house, but when it comes to their daughter-in-laws, they become critical to everything associated with them (daughter-in-laws).  This is the perfect example of hypocrisy prevalent in our society.
This would change only when we stop taking women as a commodity and start considering them as humans who are entitled to their rights.

However, majority of such cases remain unreported owing to the structure of our society. Moreover, it is not only middle class or lower class that indulges in this violence. We recently saw Nandita Puri, wife of veteran actor Om Puri, lodging a complaint against him under domestic violence act of the constitution. So, if a person of Om Puri’s stature indulges in wife beating, it can be safely concluded that something is amiss in the very psyche of Indian males.

Thus, if something is wrong in the psyche, it would take several years of continuous awareness, before the problem is solved.  It is not the mental attitude of one person that has to be changed, it is the attitude of society as a whole that needs to be changed. So, obviously it would take time and continuous efforts.

The silver lining is that women are growing intolerant to violence against them and reporting the matters. This is a welcome change and needs to be encouraged. In Indian society, it is not easy to come in the open and speak against men. A lot of criticism and vulgar things have to be faced by women who choose to revolt against cruelty being forced on them. There is need of more men coming out and supporting fairer sex in their fight for rights.


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