Oh to be born in the land of the Maha-abuse (updated to add this link: Maha Abuse of Woman in Mahabharata), where Duryodhan set the example for those to follow and the followers in modern times are ever ready to take his lessons to new heights (and lows), living with dignity, as a human is a really tough proposition for girls and women.
In Duryodhan’s case, it was all within the family so to speak. He attempted to disrobe his sister in law (to tell you the truth, I don’t know if he did that to anyone else), the much acclaimed Draupadi, while her five husbands and all the pompous elders (much like those of the present) sat around twiddling their thumbs citing rules and regulations as their excuse for doing so. Draupadi had only herself to depend upon for her own defence. And when that failed, divine intervention is supposed to have came to her rescue.
Hmm… I wonder if that tells us something in the present, something like only Gods can save you from hooligans, which translates to no one can actually help you. You see, Draupadi was lucky. She lived in times when Gods supposedly roamed the Earth, when Lord Krishna could work his magic and save her from her tormentors. We don’t have Gods of that calibre in modern times who will rush to the defence of women however heartbreakingly they may cry. Not that we women actually want Gods to rush to our rescue. What we want is to be left alone to lead a life where we don’t have the need to call upon Gods to come to our rescue. I am sure if Draupadi were here, she’d agree to that unequivocally. All we women want is to be treated like humans, which we are by the way. But that it seems. has been and is a pretty tough proposition.
A class XI student was attacked by a mob in Guwahati. According to known facts, she was returning from a party. A mob beat her up and stripped her. No one heard her cries for help. What did I tell you? Women live in harsh times now. Without Krishna around, Kauravas have multiplied manifold. They roam the streets unchecked, especially so on days like New Year’s eve when they can easily find an excuse for their behaviour on high spirits and also being on spirits. It seems in those conditions they have the liberty to lay hands on sisters, mothers, and daughters of other Kauravas with impunity. All they have to do is imagine that they are mothers, sisters and daughters of Pandavas, their enemies. That excuses everything they do in their cramped upper storeys that go by the name of brains.
It took half an hour for the police to reach to rescue the girl from the mob of molesters. The descendents of Duryodhan are everywhere, in the field of politics, medicine, police, bureaucracy, teaching, panchayats. Ahhh… let me tell you of this particular panchayat an hour from Delhi, that has distinguished itself by taking a decision that “love marriages and unescorted walks in the evenings are off-limits for women.” Hmmm.. I feel the time is not far off when they will put collars on the necks of women and take them out for walks on a leash. Can’t have the bitches roaming the streets freely any time of the day, can they?
I must say, the “compassionate” lot in the panchayat have relaxed the rule for those above 40 years of age. Oh no no, they definitely cannot fall in love. That’s such an un-Indian concept and unheard of (goes to show just how much Indians know of their own culture and background that they supposedly so cherish and wish to uphold). The above 40s are allowed to walk un-escorted in the evenings. Thank God for small mercies. But tell me, who in their right minds would want to go for unescorted evening walks, even at a doddering eighty, in a village full of sex-crazed males? As per a villager named Musharraf, “If single girls walk in the village a lot problems are created.” One shudders to think what happens if they (single girls) run. Will they be chased by the maniacs of the village like a bike chased by neigborhood strays?
So you see how it is. Even at the grass-root level the country is infected with ‘potentised’ Kaurava descendents. It could have been no different on the streets of Guwahati that day as the mob mauled the lone girl. Someone was quite resourceful in filming the molestation and uploading it on youtube which was quickly picked up by the channels. What made him do it, the thrill or the desire to help? One is left wondering. Yet some others stood around, much resembling the elders of the Kuru clan all those long years ago when Duryodhan and co went into their molestation act, except that this time the spectators got to see some action unlike the disappointed crowd in the court.
So now comes the logical next step of blaming the victim. Let’s start on those oh-so-predictable lines: the girl was returning from a party, probably wearing a revealing dress, she was drunk, out after dark, she had loose morals, blah blah and more such useless blah. Excellent reasons for Indian mobs to attack directly and society to do so indirectly, right? In millions of homes this news will have been broadcasted to, the response would be the same. The girl is to blame. (A handful of us who think otherwise don’t actually count). That my dears is what our famed culture has instilled in those of its adherents and descendents: trash the victim.
Shame on us who pride ourselves on our ancient culture, whose superiority we do not fail to mention at the drop of a hat. Quit talking and preening about a culture that has not taught us to treat women as humans, that encourages and glorifies keeping women as chattel, that looks for its fulfilment of manhood in mauling women on streets, beating them behind closed doors or even on streets, raping them and considering them inferior. Don’t ever talk to me about a culture that worships women as a stone deity in the sanctum sanctorum of a temple. We bloody don’t want your goddamn worship because that’s not where we live, in a sanctified temple. We live among you, in the real and harsh world, within the society. Just allow us to ‘live’ too.
Updated to add:
Read these posts from The Indian Homemaker, and see for yourself some of the Faces of Cowardice of India here: