Yesterday was a watershed moment for women in India and a fascinating day to understand a patriarchal world. If any woman out there thinks it’s her world … sista, you are so wrong. This world is ruled by men and it will be many decades before that world order is given “Talaq” to. I am a woman and one who thinks it’s my world, but yesterday I learnt an important lesson – the fight to make it a woman’s world is far from over.
Just walk the path that led to sweets being distributed by women yesterday ….. An Indian man who followed Islam as a religion had the right to divorce his wife by uttering “Talaq” thrice. It was instant divorce and if he regretted his decision, he had to reappear in front of a religious law board and the woman HAD to marry another man, consummate the marriage, be divorced again and then marry this man. Look at the loaded dice here and how the woman has no say in what happens to her. Isn’t it a wonder that we allowed this to happen in a civilised society for hundreds of years ? I don’t care in which other country this happens but in a country that boasts of a woman Prime Minister in the 70’s when in other parts of the “developed” world women couldn’t even vote, this should have been unacceptable. Anyway, that very woman PM’s son, conveniently set aside a court ruling that would have ensured this practise was done away with in 1985 !! So much for women empowerment.
I was glued to the television yesterday because I wanted to see the Solar eclipse, not only to see the celebration. Guess what I saw the solar eclipse repeated on the faces of several “men”, starting with the foul mouthed vitriolic man who was worried about being patronised by a glorified anchor and even more worried about a crore of “Hindu” girls who were married off under the age of 15 and most worried about how this changed “law” would be implemented. Good thoughts never occur in a demented mind. Several men’s faces showed different levels of eclipse – hellooooo, this is about women being treated equally and fairly, what’s there to debate? Isn’t that a woman’s birthright ? She is born free just like he.
With all due respect to all the learned men out there – please understand, a woman is a human being and has the same rights as you do. So forcing underage girls into marriage is as much a crime as it is to abandon her by uttering some word thrice. Just because one happens, the other need not happen. And all the parents out there who are getting their underage girls married off …. Mothers, have some shame. Mother of the boy and Mother of the girl – you are women too ! Why perpetuate a bad social norm?
I am unable to get my head wrapped around certain things in law – how can there be even a debate about this kind of issue ? Abandoning a woman by uttering some word thrice is ridiculous. Marrying off underage girls is a crime – get the proof and put both the parents behind bars, no debate. The practise of Sati, of female genital mutilation, of marital rape…. these are no-contest decisions. Animals have no way of representing themselves so we need a human being to defend their rights, but here two human beings are debating on how one of them is to be treated – a woman brings the man into this world not a test tube or a petridish, and she has no equal standing :(:(. So the day a male baby can be “built”, women won’t be required. That’s the message sisters.
The fight isn’t over … celebrate the victories for they give us strength, but start by rearing “men” who treat women as equals. Empowerment is obsolete, equality is the need of the hour. We women have the responsibility to rear men who treat us as equals, otherwise we face extinction.