A Feminist’s Perspective on India

Women face countless challenges to live freely in a free India.

In a land of colourful, diverse people, for a very long time women faced oppression in various forms that had reduced them to an inferior being. The entire world was shocked on hearing the December 16, 2012 Delhi rape case. The girl had no freedom to walk fearlessly in her own free country. We address our nation as independent, but the society’s mindset is not liberated from stereotypes. There are many such cases of rape, domestic violence and sexual abuse that go unreported because of the stigma attached to them. Even if some women have the courage to report them, they are at the receiving end of extensive interrogation by the officers. After the Delhi rape case, many more cases came to the forefront. The most astounding fact is that in some cases, the culprit is a juvenile. There have been times when the culprits walk around freely as the judicial process is slow. It is disappointing to see that a person, who tears apart a woman’s dignity, kills her soul and crushes her conscience is out there, living freely.

Recently, actress Shruti Seth took to twitter to express her opinion on the campaign launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – #selfiewithdaughter. Her mistake was that she practiced her freedom to express her opinion and was subjected to hate tweets and trolling. Men and women said some of the most iniquitous things about her and as a result, she had to delete her tweet. This clearly shows that a woman who refuses to give in to established dogma and societal pressures is derided.

Women have remained an object with a price tag and specifications, much against their own will. Their lives have been moulded to fit into the stereotypes manifested in every facet. The ideal conception surrounding the existence of women has done nothing but generalised their lives, expecting them to be the real version of this ‘ideal woman’. Their silence has done more harm to them than the actions of others. Though there are laws that favour women, they look most presentable on paper, as their efficient implementation has been futile. In a country with a bustling population, problems are appearing at a faster rate than at which they are being solved. What is also true is that people often suppress the power of those they think are capable of practicing their courage to change the world created by them and a woman is that power.

 

This article was published by Gulf News.

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