Archive for the ‘Women RIghts’ Category

Stop trying to be a DOWRY slave

May 27, 2012 1 comment

Almost everyone is talking about new T.V. serial ‘Satyamev Jayate’, Aamir Khan and dowry system. Though I have not seen a single episode of this serial but I think I am somehow connected with the discussions because my parents are worried about my marriage and are searching a ‘perfect match’. Few weeks ago; I and my friend, Ravi, were talking about the marriage and why shouldn’t we? Everyone is getting married; many of my and his college friends got married and even produced offspring! My friend seemed quite worried as he was ‘turning 30’ within weeks and was still unmarried. We were discussing, teasing and chuckling over all the aspects of marriage, yes all the aspects, if you get me right. While discussing we reached to a point where ‘dowry’ came to picture.

“On my marriage, I will never ask for dowry or even a single paisa.” I only need a good girl, who can understand me. I said to my friend.

“Yes, then you will never get married. Why don’t you need money, you are an engineer so you have price tag. If you will not ask for dowry, get your facts right that you will probably not get married.” He nonstop told me a story that one of his engineer friend said to his future parents-in-law that he don’t want a single paise as dowry and his future parents-in-law got suspicious if boy really work as an engineer or not or if something is wrong with the boy? And finally his parents-in-law-to-be broke the marriage.

Further trying to be serious my friend told me that there is no need to demand, there are ways devised since our forefathers to extract money from the girl’s parents. You just need to be up to date and move with the world!

I couldn’t understand the meaning of ‘up to date’ and asked him to let me know how to be up to date and move with the world?

He replied, okay, now suppose you want money and you are not able to ask it directly from the girl’s parents. You don’t even need to say it, you just mention your bank account number few times and give your bank account number, all will be set and her parents will understand! And yes, while giving bank account number don’t forget to say. “Main to Sadhu aadmi hu, paise ko hath nai lagata.” (I am a saint and I don’t touch money!)

Next, before marriage just tells your parents-in-law that if you want that your daughter don’t travel on feet, you know that how hard it is to walk these days in sun, if you want that your daughter don’t travel in crowdy buses, please give car to her. And yes, Maruti is not a good brand these days and has lost its share value, I love General Motors. Don’t forget to mention – I don’t need car and I can do it without it, or I will only be driver for your daughter.

Read more…

“I Have a Dream” for Dalits of India

January 11, 2012 6 comments

There is no nation of Indians in the real sense of the world; it is yet to be created. In believing we are a nation, we are cherishing a great delusion. How can people divided into thousand of castes be a nation? The sooner we realize that we are not yet a nation, in a social and psychological sense of the world, the better for us. – Dr B R Ambedkar

As all of us welcome year 2012 and greet each other with open arms, I visualise a dream. I have always said that I am a dreamer. Yes, I do have a dream, a dream (Begumpura) that Guru Ravidas saw about 650 years ago for everyone or a dream (Utopia) that nourished by Dr Ambedkar or I have a dream that Martin Luther King Jr. saw for the blacks of America. Here is my dream for Dalits of India almost along the same lines what Guru Ravidas, Dr Ambedkar, Martin Luther King Jr. and many others saw for better world.

I have a dream that one day; Dalits will break the chains of caste discrimination and free themselves from the chains of slavery that has ruined Dalits for thousands years. Yes, it’s my dream to see casteless society. I do also dream that Dalit houses won’t be set on fire or Dalits won’t be boycotted anymore. Dalits won’t be killed for the same name as of upper caste people or Dalits won’t be forced to change their names or Dalits won’t hide their names to escape caste discrimination. I also dream with open eyes that untouchability will become history and there will be no untouchable.

Searching for a Dream? (Photo Credit: Ravi Shankar Suman)

I have a dream that one day; for Dalits justice won’t be delayed or justice won’t be just another word or justice won’t be alien to Dalits. I anticipate that Dalits won’t be told to wait, wait and wait bit more for justice; a wait that always meant never. A day won’t be far when everyone will be treated equal and will live with dignity and pride. That will be the day, when Buddha will smile upon India again!

I have a dream that one day; Dalit women won’t be paraded naked, raped or forced to commit suicide for nothing wrong. Not only the Dalit women but whole women society will not be forced to do menial jobs. Women won’t be disrespected, exploited, neglected or won’t be treated as a sex-object only in Indian society. I dream that one day, equality will come in all spheres and women suffering will come to end.

I have a dream that one day; Dalit students won’t be made to sit separately in classrooms, or won’t be discriminated and forced to commit suicide in schools and colleges. A day will come when Dalit students won’t be purified via sprinkling cow urine on them and Dalit students’ seats won’t be left unfilled in schools and colleges. No Dalit student will be forced to do cleaning work in schools, no student will deny food cooked by Dalit cook and Dalit students will be able to use the same playing grounds as other caste students do.

Read more…

India and Prostitution – My Experiences and Thoughts

September 28, 2011 5 comments

I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved. – Dr B R Ambedkar

“Sahib ladki chahiye kya? Saste mein dila dunga”(Sir, do you want a girl? I’ll get you one for cheap.) came a voice from the behind when first time I had visited Dalhousie – hill station in HP – back in the summer of year 2004. It was my first ever encounter to such a situation, I ignored the person and kept on moving but I couldn’t ignore the words that person had said. Since then, I’ve sometimes tried to imagine a life of prostitute. Have you ever wondered about a prostitute’s life? Did you know that at present there are more slaves than any-time in the world history? Saddening but truth is that we are living in a “Slave World”. No matter the slaves are from bonded labor, farms or flesh trade, all these forms of slavery put big question marks on our nation integrity.

Story of Metropolitan Cities: New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai

Did you know that sex industry is one of the biggest ($100billions per year) and fastest growing (criminal) industries? It has grown 17 times in last 15 years.    

Falkland Road, Mumbai (Photo Credit: Mary Ellen Mark)

My second encounter with sex workers was in year 2008, the time when I was in Mumbai. One evening, I was with one of my friend and we were walking down the street. My friends knew the girls standing along the side of road are sex workers and we stopped just few meters away from those girls. We wanted to see the way system works; few men in the car came and stopped in-front of the sex workers and both parties started talking, after few seconds girl jumped into the car and car flew away to the undisclosed located or to the renowned hotel! This incident made me more curious about the lives of sex workers. I wanted to know the conditions in which these girls work – nobody wants to be a victim of violence – what made these girls sex workers and what Indian Governments are doing to prevent this dreadful trade.

So, to fulfill my quest I decided to visit, read and talk to my friends about the places where flesh trade goes on. I knew a decent person will never company me and righteous person will look at me with the eyes of suspicion (no-matter how many times they might have dipped their beaks and satisfied their balls), so very few friends worked with me.

Prostitution is a reality and if you get a chance, try to visit the GB roadred light areas in Delhi – the capital of India, it’s just across the railway station but is the mysterious world, or give a visit to Sonagachi - red light area of Kolkata – another business hub of India or the story of notorious Flakland road of Mumbai or Kamthipura is not so unknown to all. Sonagachi is named after in-famous Sufi saint Sona Ghazi – he wouldn’t have ever imagined in his wildest dreams that he will become (in)famous for such things one day!

People from all strata of society – leaders of society, students, blue, white collar professionals, rickshaw pullers, almost people from every profession – visit these red light areas to satisfy the uneasiness of their balls and do hanky-panky!

Read more…

‘First Lady’ Teacher of India: Savitribai Phule

September 3, 2011 15 comments

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. — Buddha

Savitribai Phule (3rd January1831- 10 March 1897), one of the supreme names who fought against the totalitarianism of caste and other social evils in India. She was born in Naigaon, (Tha. Khandala, Distt. Satara) her father’s name was Khandoji Nevse and mother’s name was Lakshmi.

Historians, who are ought to be free from fear, sincere, open minded, open hearted, truth seeker and also have courage to show the truth at any cost. But it’s unfortunate that historians have shown distorted picture and did not show the truth to the people. As a result of this, almost everyone confuses history with fiction & historians have made people blind, deaf & dumb and have disabled people from thinking rationally. I have always wondered why the ‘Teachers’ Day’ in India is not celebrated on the birthday of Savitribai Phule, the lady who started first ever school for the downtrodden and was first lady teacher of India?

Mahatma Jotiba Phule and his wife Savitribai Phule were first among the people who declared war against Casteism and Brahminic-Casteist culture. The Maharashtrian pioneering couple led mass movement of uniting oppressed class against the Brahminic values and thinking. Savitribai Phule worked as an equal partner in the mission of uplifting the poor and oppressed people. Read more…

Thank God! I’m NOT Anna: Dalits’ Fight to Save Democracy

August 26, 2011 11 comments

Untouchability is nothing but slavery. Tell a slave, he is a slave he will revolt. – Dr B R Ambedkar

In my last article – Jan Lokpal Bill: A Dalit’s Viewpoint – I asked my readers to vote on the poll, where I had asked a question, “Do you support Jan Lokpal Bill?” The polling ended few hours before and here are the results. I got 153 vote and 107 people said No, 35 said Yes and rest were either undecided or don’t care about such bills. Now, assuming if everyone who visited and voted on the blog was from Dalit community, it is very much clears that about 70% Dalits don’t support Jan Lokpal Bill. (In reality, all Dalits are against Jan Lokpal Bill) But, I don’t understand how Anna is claiming that he has the support of 1.2 billion Indians. This is just a misleading statement by Anna and his team to which media is giving wide publicity or they don’t consider Dalits as Indian. Don’t you agree that if you’ll telecast a lie 100s time it will turn into truth?

Empty grounds of Ramlila ground, where is the movement against corruption? (Photo credit: To the original photographer)

On 2nd day of Anna’s protest there were 300 supporters and 50 reporters to cover them. Here are the few of the pictures from Ramlila ground Delhi (taken on dated 21/08/2011, Saturday at around 6pm) and where media is claiming that there are lakhs of people gathering for second independence movement? Where are the people? Empty grounds are telling us the truth, where the national-wide-movement-against-corruption is going on? My another friend who was there at the Ramlila ground to check the reality of this drama told me that there were very few people and those were either ‘love-birds’ coming for picnic or ‘street beggars’ coming to get the free food and shelter provided by the Anna and his team. Money for all this is coming from the anti-reservation people and fascist Hindus from outside India and from many of the NGOs run by Arvind Kejriwal. As I said in my previous article that it’s just media’s movement not Anna’s movement, now you can see the same through the pictures. Read more…

Jan Lokpal Bill: A Dalit’s Viewpoint

August 22, 2011 41 comments

I have been asked by my many friends to give my views on the recent ongoing movement against the corruption and Jan Lokpal Bill. Here in this article, I would like to present a young Dalit’s view on this bill and recent movement against corruption. I may disappoint many of you especially those who think that bringing Lokpal Bill will solve the problem of corruption from India (yes, we rank very well in corruption at world level, thanks to Congress government for making us proud!).

Birth of Jan Lokpal Team

Let’s start from the team members of Jan Lokpal Bill. Anna and his people choose five members and all of them were from so called upper castes. Anna and his team couldn’t find a single honest person from Dalit, Buddhist, Muslim, or Christian community. This wasn’t enough; the team members Anna choose were those who were at some time indulged in the corruption charges of one or another kind. The leader (Anna) himself at some time was involved in diverting the fund (Rs. 2.2Lakh) of the trust to celebrate his birthday and they gave the justification that it wasn’t a big crime! Who decided that it’s not a big crime? Ask a Dalit person who’s both hands were chopped off for stealing a penny. Or ask a Dalit who has lost both of his eyes for taking a bucket of water from the well without permission. A crime is a crime as said by Mr. Gandhi; it doesn’t matter whether it is small or big. But his chella (Anna) seems to differ at this point. Anna should have asked for the punishment if he would have been so serious about the corruption in recent times. Read more…

Caste Abroad: Bringing Casteism to UK and USA

August 18, 2011 8 comments

Word Caste is derived from the Portuguese word “Casta”, which means lineage, breed, or race. Few years back, very interestingly few major cases of discrimination came into light from the developed nations such as USA and UK. (In one case an Indian millionaire couple was caught for exploiting a maid”, “in another case a Hindu father set on fires his daughter’s house in USA because she married a lower caste person”, one another news was “A Boston graduate was molested and sexually abused by a Hindu Priest of a Hindu temple in Moshi, Tanzania”). Today again, I read one another news from the newspaper – The Tribune – which reported “Indian couple in UK alleges caste discrimination

Apart from all these there was news few days back that fanatic Hindus are strengthening their base in USA, UK universities through the Hindu students studying there. The mentality of these Hindus is if we can’t become like USA then what? We can make USA like India. I think one the same lines they have started working for! Around one in 25 people in the world experiences some form of caste discrimination. About 300 million people suffer caste discrimination throughout the world. More than half of these are in India. Read more…

Raksha Bandhan: Another form of Slavery

August 13, 2011 17 comments
“Ultimate tragedy of mankind is not the brutality of few but the silence of many”. — Martin Luther King

I just came back from the market after having a cup of coffee and while coming back couldn’t resist myself going near to the stalls where lots of people were busy buying Rakhis and other stuff as if shopkeeper was selling those free. Yes, it’s Raksha Bandhan; a festival of slavery is back!

Yes, Raksha Bandhan, a Hindu festival (now infiltrated to almost all other religions including Sikhism and Buddhism) is within few hours. After coming back, I sit down to collect my thoughts over this festival and realities associated with the same festival. Do Sikhism, Buddhism promote Raksha Bandhan? What Dalit-Bahujans have to do with this festival? Do women really feel safe in India? Is it really a women’s festival? Should women stop tying Rakhis? Are there any alternatives to these festivals? There are many questions those are coming to my mind right now.

“The man, who has no sense of history, is like a man who has no ears or eyes”.

First, there is no historical background of festival of this festival. Yes, yes! I do agree most of the festivals (Dusherha, Diwali, Holi etc) we Indians celebrate don’t have any historical background. If a lady tied a thread on king’s wrist & he won lots of battles, that’s just a fiction, not a history and there must be a strong line between fiction and history. (Ohh… not for us, for Indians it’s thin line between fiction and history and we can cross over anytime!). Nor a thread can make someone to win. There is a chanting of holy mantra in Hinduism:

Yena baddho Balee raajaa daanavendro mahaabalah |
Tena twaam anubadhnaami rakshe maa chala maa chala ||

It means, “I am tying a Raksha to you, similar to the one tied to Bali, the powerful king of the demons. Oh Raksha, be firm, do not waver.” How this simple, annually recurring act of tying the Rakhi on one’s wrist can evoke such strong and intense emotions in a person is indeed surprising & interesting!

Read more…

On Sati, Pati Prameshwar and God

August 5, 2011 4 comments

3 short stories:

Story – 1

Geeta’s mother in law and husband died in an accident, both were cremated on the same evening. Her 60 years old father in law married a week after and started normal life all over again but sixteen years old Geeta has to live whole life in white sari, without any interest in life and bearing abuses. People say she should have made herself ‘sati’, because she brought bad omen.

Story – 2

Geeta – a teacher and mother of 3 well educated boys. She do all the household chores such as cooking, cleaning the home, washing the utensils in the morning then walks 3km to school and teaches at school for 8 hours, after coming back at 4pm she cooks, washes clothes, looks after the boys, then again cooks for night, washes utensils but before she lay down to bed at 12’o clock at midnight, she has to listen to her drunkard husband’s abuses of going 5mins before 9am, coming 5mins late at home from school, salt was low in ‘dal’, you don’t know how to cook even after 45years and sometimes have to bear the heat of slaps on her face. Crying she will go to bed and sleep hoping that next day will be bright but she won’t raise voice against all this, but will accept all this like slave because she believes in ‘pati -prameshwar.’

Story – 3

Cyan was in deep sleep when he was suddenly woken up by the bright light in the room at midnight, the light had made the environment of the room quite peaceful. What Cyan saw after waking up was an Angel sitting on his table and busy with the papers. He had never seen an Angel in his life and had never experienced such a peaceful environment in his room.

Cyan asked the Angel that what she is busy at?

Angel replied, “I am making a list of people who worship a God a most and I’m ranking them in the order of most loved by the God.”

Am I in the list? He asked again with curiosity and with burning desire of being there in the list.

Angel checked the list twice and said, “No”. “Do you worship the God like others do for day and night?” Angel asked Cyan.

“No, but I do treat people with equality irrespective of caste and colour; I fight for eradication of caste system; I fight for poor, help the helpless and encourage them to live life with dignity, and I also strive for equality in the society in all respects” replied Cyan keeping his voice low and thinking he’ll never be in the list of such people who worship God and are loved by God.

Okay, let me add your name in the last column and let’s see what God decides as the final ranking will be decided by the God, said Angel in order to console disappointed Cyan and disappeared.

Next morning, Cyan had almost forgotten about the incident but Angel came again to Cyan’s room at night and handed him the final ranking by the God:

  1. Cyan
  2. …….
  3. …….
P.S.: I take no credit for the story-1 as I might have read that somewhere (don’t remember exactly where), rest of the stories are crafted by me. 
P.P.S.: In case you liked the above piece please click on Like button and share it with your friends! 

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