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A tragic incident was in news few days ago. A pregnant girl was shot dead in a wedding function in Punjab when she allegedly refused to dance with the groom’s friend. The accused could not fathom the insult of being rejected by a mere orchestra girl. He could not take ‘no’ for an answer. Police arrested the guy who owned the gun and are on the lookout for the actual perpetrator of crime. Haryana govt. sprung into action and banned use of firearms in wedding ceremonies.
Few months before that a 34-year-old married woman was stabbed to death on the crowded first-floor corridor of MG Metro station, Gurgaon, in the middle of multitude of people, by an auto driver who had unsuccessfully tried to court her for several months. He could not take ‘no’ for an answer. Police arrested the accused and promised more security and cctv cameras at metro stations.
Every year lives of scores of girls are spoiled when spurned lovers decide to throw acid on them with an intention to disfigure, maim, torture or even kill girls who do not return there advances. They can’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Govt promises to make strict laws and put restriction on acid sales.
All the actions taken by govt authorities are commendable but can we ignore the underlying cause in all such incidents. Boys, who can’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Not all those who perpetrate such heinous crimes are sociopaths with criminal intents. They are ordinary people doing ordinary jobs with normal families. But they do suffer from a deep seeded societal chauvinism with an inherent disregard for a woman’s opinion. Men especially from the patriarchal societies of north Indian states grow up watching their submissive mothers serving the men of the family. Young girls who voice their opinions are considered to be spoiled and taught to be meek. The best fruit or the last sweet in the box is always saved for the men or boys of the family. It is such little gestures which lodge a thought in a boy’s mind that he is somehow superior then the women folk and entitled to whatever they desire. A woman does not deserve an opinion and should not have the audacity to say no. This generation of boys has idolized bollywood heroes who unabashedly sang “kab tak roothegi, cheekhegi, chillayegi; ek din haseena maan jayegi”
A very welcome respite was a recent movie which highlighted the concept of consent. Things will surely improve as educated families give good ethos to both boys and girls instilling mutual respect. It is also imperative to establish an atmosphere of equal respect for the women and girls of family and not give in to every unnecessary whim and demand of children. Fact remains that the root cause of such incidents is not just easy availability of weapons or acid but the cultural and social problems in our society. Having a son is an equal if not greater responsibility then having a daughter. We need to teach our boys to take ‘no’ for an answer. I am hopeful that things shall change because hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.