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Screenshot of Arya 2013-02-14 at 1.08.00 from News Hour

A college auditorium of a women’s college, filled to capacity with students, and also sprinkling of women teachers perhaps? They are listening in silence, to the speaker on stage, and his anti-women tirade. One can only guess at what was going through the minds of the listeners. Were they in agreement with the atrocious claims being made by him, or did they object to it in their minds and even then were cursing the system that made them powerless to object/act? But not Arya. Fed up with the rubbish being rained on them, she booed the speaker and walked out, or so I hear. Bravo! There is still something to hope for in this drab after-Nirbhaya scenario when the government has royally ditched us by giving the Justice Verma recommendations a go by. A lone girl who stood up against nonsense.

I go back and play the video again and again, only to watch Arya, the girl with spunk, walk out. I am glad someone caught that on camera. I love the anger (and disgust?) evident on her face. I love so much the purposeful way she walks. I love even more the defiance her body language screams. She is THE symbol of hope, a girl child I adore, the one who is able to stand up to nonsense, at least momentarily show her displeasure, in spite of no support from those around.  And then I heard her talk and I realised she is not just a walker-out-in-protest. She knows to articulate her views as well.

I heard Arya answer the TV show host who asked her just when she booed the speaker. She says: It was when he said that capable (smart) boys can easily lure (trap) girls. A minor thing, you feel, right? But you probably haven’t heard the rubbish that preceded it. I myself was a wok of boiling oil when I listened to it. Look at the man’s audacity, daring to stand on a podium in a women’s college and belittling, nay degrading girls.

It seems, the male community, including the speaker himself, needed only 10 minutes to send sperm to the uterus of a woman. BUT, it is the woman thus impregnated who has to spend TEN long MONTHS (emphasis not mine, but that of the speaker) bearing that child and giving birth. I am not sure if this person just time-travelled to the present from some distant past. He seems to be ignorant that there are means by which the sperm can be prevented from being SENT to the uterus of a woman. Apart from the choice of abortion, there are pills, condoms, chemical washes and also an after morning pill available these days. We don’t live in an age when women HAVE TO bear a child for TEN long MONTHS if we do not want to. I am of course discounting the fact that the speaker was not intending to use force or advocating the same to others in SENDING SPERM (oh the pride in the Sperm Disposal Unit at his disposal!) to the UTERUS of a woman. Now returning to the TEN minutes of the equation, tell me exactly how long does it take to swallow a pill? Or like someone told me, bobbitise, for that matter?

There is more of nonsense. Girls who are bent on competing with boys (he uses the example of jumping) will only fall, break their backbones and end up displacing their UTERUS. (He probably thinks too that the backbones of men are made of India rubber and don’t break as men were made for jumping.). This guy seems to have a UTERUS fixation. I also heard him say that tight jeans affected the UTERUS adversely. Anyways, it seems once a girl has a displaced UTERUS, she will have to spend around 3-4 lakhs to set things right. He very thoughtfully tells the girls they need go for the process only if they want to ‘have a family’. For someone who seems to be a UTERUS expert, he seems to be ignorant that problems with the UTERUS are to be promptly attended to and is done not just for childbearing. But, why am I expecting factual thinking from ignorant persons? By the way I am sure Anju Bobby George, who has been jumping a lot and bringing the country glory, would die laughing when she hears the Displaced Uterus Theory of this man.

There is more drivel. Of all the good people on earth 80% are men and only 20% are women. Yup, just prior to making the speech he had been out taking census of the good people on earth. And of course they all told him the truth being boys. It is girls who are liars. 90% of them lie to their parents and are romancing boys on their mobile phones (his “wisdom”). Leave aside the fact that it also means 90% of boys are romancing girls. Perhaps he means the boys had taken permission from parents to go romancing the girls and that makes them truth-sayers and contenders for the Heaven-slot. Oh yes, he said Hell was full of women. Arya rightly asks the TV host, “How can he say that so authoritatively? Has he been to hell?” and also, “What does all this have with creating awareness and empowering women?”

Biology has a role in everything according to the speaker. When Arya walked out, we hear him saying magnanimously, “We’ll forgive the child who walked out. It is not her, it is her genes and DNA thats behind it.” Isn’t the picture as clear as ever? You disagree with Prehistoric Dinosaurs and what you get is that there is something wrong with YOUR genes and DNA. Why hasn’t someone given the man a Nobel Prize yet?

I don’t know what other pearls of wisdom fell out of the Uterus-expert’s mouth. People have been blaming women themselves for the atrocities committed against them since centuries. Did the State Education Department need to appoint someone such as him as captain of a delegation meant to create awareness, only to repeat the same old thing? What exactly was the aim? Was it to scare girls into submission and create doormats out of them? WHERE are the parents who should be up in arms for their wards being forced to hear such rot?

By now you all know who I am talking about. I won’t name him because this blog is for Arya, the only girl who walked out unable to stand the atrocious rubbish being spouted as wisdom from onstage. None of her fellow students walked out with her. Not one. And I don’t know what the teachers of the college were thinking while listening to the nonsense. It takes immense courage to do what she did, walk out alone in protest, in such a scenario

Dear Arya, I live in the same city as you. I have never felt any particular desire to meet anyone belonging to the place. I have never been particularly proud of this city either. But now I am proud to say I belong to Trivandrum where resides Arya. And I have a wish, to meet you and shake your hand. I haven’t heard anything of what your parents think about all this. But let me tell you, if any daughter of mine did what you did, I would be the happiest and proudest mother on Earth. I don’t know if at your age I would have had the courage to do what you did. But I’d like to believe, imagine perhaps, that I would have done the same…. Here’s to you, Arya!

Read about the incident, here.

A related post from IHM, here