Right now, my throat is choking with a heart wrenching story that I’ve just read on a blog. A Muslim girl was bravely revealing her story on a public forum, a day before her wedding. A dreadful admittance that although she is marrying a ‘good man’, she actually loves ‘another man’ and her heart belongs to him, ‘the other man’ only. The trauma, the pain, the sadness and the huge loss she was experiencing was evident from her honestly written words which were transcending the sorrow straight into my heart. ‘Religion’ played a major obstacle in her alliance with the man she loved. She opposed everybody and stood by her decision to marry her lover for almost a year only to be brought down by his family on the name of religion. She was educated, a PhD scholar, a working independent women staying in America with her family. After being on house arrest for a year, she was forced to leave her job and was confined within the four walls of her house with a total cut off from her friends and outside world.
Well, I could easily imagine the same situation here in India with a girl staying in remote villages where people have certain rules and guidelines for their girls and anyone who dare to disobey these rules are forced to the same torture this girl was facing right on the land of one the most liberal countries. (I am stating this based on the several stories mentioned on the internet & newspapers). Even her strong education background and her independence couldn’t save her from the misery that was forced upon her.
This story churned my mind over the condition of women in this world. No matter how educated we women become, how far we reach in our career, how many spheres & industries we invade through our strong presence & hard work, the condition is still the same. “She” is abused, exploited, disrespected, devoid of her rights to make decisions for herself and questioned every time she makes personal choices. You may say it’s the same with men but I disagree. Why is it so that there are only women who suffer sexual abuses, domestic violence & rape case? Why is it that the glass ceiling phenomena is emerging in the entire corporate & industrial sector? Why the sex ratio is highly skewed? Issues like gender discrimination, female foeticide & infanticide, dowry, prostitution and female trafficking are all the crimes concerning women.
I don’t want to depress people by throwing all these issues in front of them but I really think that this brainstorming is important for all of us, both men and women to carve a better picture of our future. As for men, it is important to open their minds as well as their hearts to give equal space and respect to women whether it’s their home, work space or a public place. It would have been easy for the girl (mentioned in the story above) to have a happy life if, at all, the male members of the family (a brother or cousin, uncle) supported her decision; women don’t have a say anyway. The life would have been pretty different from what she must be living right now.
But if we look at it in a different way, women should also oppose these self imposed responsibilities and the burden of family’s honor on their shoulders. Of course, they should priorities their family over anything else but not at the cost of their happiness. How can their family ever be happy & content when the women of the house are not happy? I might sound unrealistic but don’t you think women have equal right to live life as men; equal independence, equal responsibility, equal decision making power and equal right to happiness. I really hope I’ll be there to see a world which host all these equalities for women so that religion, caste, creed, color, socio-economic status, horoscopes doesn’t become a barrier & devoid a women to live her life. A happy, free life!