Independent Really?
|   Aug 11, 2017
Independent Really?

As a child, Cinderella used to be one of my favourite story tales. It was highly romanticised and the whole aura created around her ball gown, beauty, glass slippers and her prince made me believe that one day my prince charming would come to get me as well.

However, as I grew up, the dream became more and more hazy and my eyes opened more and more to the harsh reality. Looking back today, I laugh at myself. Why would I want a Prince Charming to keep me happy when I am perfectly capable of doing the same myself. Just the other day, I was sorting through my childhood books and came across the Cinderella book. It was around that time that the #AintNoCinderella campaign started trending on Twitter and Facebook.

It left me wondering. With independence day round the corner, a question arises in my mind. Are we really Independent? As a country yes, but as women definitely not.

We are still on the top when it comes to crimes against women. Rapes and dowry cases are so common; it is safer to be a cow in India than a woman. Be it an infant or an aged lady; no one is spared. Our judicial system is laugh-worthy as the victim is subjected to rounds and rounds of shaming and misery before getting justice (if any). In most cases they just give up or worse - die of old age waiting for justice.

As a society we are still slaves to blind beliefs as well as gender bias. A woman still gets paid lesser than her male counterpart. Maternity leaves affect promotions and hikes in the corporate world. The recent uproar over giving women period leave, makes me wonder- are we really independent?

As a woman, I cannot travel where I want/when I want and wear what I want. I have been taught to be always cautious, keep an eye on the surrounding and also come home as early as possible. I fear travelling in an Uber or Ola late in the night. I cannot cross Kurla station even today without getting molested. I have to ALWAYS , I repeat ALWAYS be careful.

Maybe we did not have the fancy gadgets and other facilities; during my childhood. But yes, the world was definitely way more safer then. My mom could leave me at my neighbour's place without having to worry if someone there will molest me. Playschools did not have cctv cameras and my parents were absolutely ok with it. My parents taught me good touch-bad touch in their own time as they did not fear anyone would take advantage.

But today, I track every movement of my child using CCTV. I do not trust maids. I am in a hurry to teach my child Good Touch Bad Touch even they can learn to speak.

I find myself helpless in such a situation. I am still a slave to the fears and biases of the society. Do I want my child to grow up in such a country ? NO!

Is there something I can do to change it? I am not too sure. 

Anyone in the same boat as me?

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