Feature Image Captured by: Anisha Annamala
This is continuation of a Series : Please read the First Part of this Story
Chapter 3: Embers of Evil
When I analysed the problems which afloat in a female’s life, the results were quite interesting. The nucleus of most of the problems emanated by the influence of our culture. The origin of these dark perception over women is crystal clear. First and foremost, it is from our home, we developed this devotion towards such insane beliefs. Let it be any religion, when it comes to ‘Female Rules’ the story remains the same. There exist this ‘parity’ even when there is a ‘diversity’ among the people of vivid religions. So the responsibility lies within our legacy. Our parents have a crucial role in moulding up our character and outlook towards everything around us. Indian parents are generally conservative and their beliefs and thoughts are also influenced by their respective religions. They are affectionate and caring towards their children, but even if the parents have ‘enlightened their brains’ with the education they still keep a firm grip on all these so called “unique values” of our culture, which eventually make them narrow minded with their thoughts. They refrain from talking about sex and related matters with their children, as they consider it as an awkward subject to deal with and hold an attitude that it is sinful or inappropriate to discuss such topics with their children.
The story remains changeless in most of the schools in India. Every student goes through this so called ‘awkward phase” when they came across the chapter “Human Reproduction” in Class 9 and 10 Biology Textbooks. Our educational system gladly didn’t ‘censor’ the information about the human body and sex, but most of the teachers find it difficult to teach regarding this basic human process. Some of the teachers insist students to learn this chapter themselves to avoid an air of embarrassment and awkwardness in the class. Those scenes from your adolescent period indeed stimulates nostalgia, but what it also indirectly did is piteous to talk about. There is this frequently murmured folklore ‘Adolescence is the most delicate phase of one’s life’, I would interpret that saying by rephrasing it; ‘Adolescence is like a sponge, it’ll absorb anything!’. A human being begins his or her journey of thoughts primarily from this period. He or She starts to approach life from their own angle, by constructing new thoughts and perceptions. Thus adolescence does play a crucial part in a person’s life, because most the information and trivia they gathered from different sources gets injected into their cloud of countless thoughts. So it is the moral obligation of every teacher to input an open mindset to all these simple aspects of life and enlighten the void minds of the students with a wholesome sex education.
One of the other pathetic belief that Indian parents hold to their heart is, the way a girl should be treated when she is in her periods. She is considered as “impure” during the days she bleeds. No matter in which religion a girl she was born to, the devotees of these dark beliefs approach mensuration as a “dark phase”. They are put under constraints as they are not supposed to stay away from their confined spaces. They are strictly prohibited to enter the kitchen and visit temple these days nor allowed to do other chores. This is because the ‘great’ Indian folklore narrates that,
“It’ll literally impure every task they indulge in…”
Indian mothers strictly tell their daughters, not to talk about periods even with their father or brother. They are asked to keep this as a ‘top secret’.
Even the society blows this into a big balloon. If a girl or a boy goes to a shop to buy sanitary napkins, the way shopkeepers approach towards these simple things are so ridiculous to watch. Most of them will exhibit an unpleasant gesture over their face and the way they give the product is the hilarious part. Before handing it over, they wrap these sanitary napkins with at least two sheets of paper. They will make sure it’s all covered and not even a minute portion of it is visible to the public, as of it is a bomb to be carried. One key aspect that the society should keep be aware of; Mensuration is a natural phenomenon and it is not something to make a fuss out of. Menstrual cycle is nature’s indicator to reflect that a woman is all good and healthy.
These are the small elements which we ignore, but we got to realise that these are the reasons which influence the emergence of evil attitude towards women. Especially males, they indirectly thrive a point of view that women are weak and they can be easily seized by the male dominance. These ‘unspoken awkward secrets’ related to sex and female body triggers curiosity and sexual crave, eventually they try to explore a female body. Thus end up in molesting and raping.
Our home should be our first school to obtain the much needed ‘Sex Education’. I know it’s quite inevitable to erase the perspectives of the generation of our parents. Now this won’t change any soon. All we can do is wait, till our generation turn into parents. So we can build up a sensible generation in future.
Chapter 4: Never Let Our Ember Die
‘Jisha’ has turned into a memory, just like any other case of murders. All the initial enthusiasm has died. In this world of hash tags and online mode of protest, #JusticeForJisha slowly washed away. Legislative Assembly Elections again became the topic of discussion for people of Kerala. New hash tags emerged such as #PoMoneModi. People started to propagate immature propaganda to satisfy their ego. Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the ‘innocent victim’ to be crucified by the ‘Mighty Malayalis’. Priorities have changed all of a sudden and just like the snap of a finger, it all ended.
Reflection of this ‘Lost Ember’ spread all over our so-called ‘God’s Own Country’ as when it comes to our nationally acclaimed university ‘CUSAT’, there weren’t absolutely any so-called ‘revolutionary movements’ activated. Just like every other events, it all ended that evening at Abhilash Park as of a mere formality.
There exists this cliché concept that a ‘movement’ is just the synonym for a valiant protest against the existing system with a series of mass march and raising slogans. Predominantly it is from our heart a movement should erupt. Initially spring up a revolutionary thought and then make sprouts of it by passing on to others, thus create a nursery of board minded thoughts, even such an initiative can be appropriately termed as a ‘Movement’.
There are plenty of ways to implement this such as open discussions and orations, establishment of forums to generate awareness among young people. It is important to keep in my mind that, when it comes to the topic of discussion it shouldn’t be,
‘How can we change this system?’
Instead it should be,
‘How can we make the lives of women in India better and brighter?’
For instance, even if the culprit of Jisha will be caught, that won’t end the story. Many more women will be raped, if few things are not taken seriously. It’s not practical to implement all of the horrific punishments practiced in middle-eastern countries for various crimes but in India it is quite imperative to restructure the mode of punishment for heinous crimes like rape. Banishing the capability of the rapist to have sex by castration or penectomy. Thereby people will develop a sense of fear and thereby number of rape cases can be brought down.
Then just as discussed before, it is necessary to alter the attitude towards women. I’m not saying, we got to respect a woman only because of her gender, but being a man it is not manly to express his dominance by physical assaulting and having sex with her forcefully. Sexual desires and lust towards his opposite gender is quite prevalent inside a man. A man does have erotic dreams and thoughts about many women such as that ‘voluptuous woman he saw in the mall’ or that ‘amorous brunette he saw near the park’, but it’s no big deal to quench his thirst without her consent. Sex is a divine act, woman is divine, so as her body. With brutal thrust one can demolish her vagina, but masculinity is in winning her heart and making the sex a consensual one.
To all the men who is reading this, our patriarchal stance need some serious alterations. Minute aspects such as even terming a girl ‘slut’ just because she hangs around with boys, to me even such statements should be avoided, because my question is to all the boys out there,
Just think about this from the other side. Is there an antonym for the word ‘slut’?
What should we term those boys who deal with many girls at a time?
“Normally, we address such a character as ‘Romeo’ awarding him a heroic portfolio. But I would recommend something else, a healthy solution. Let’s implement the fundamental rights granted by the mammoth Constitution of India; Right to Equality. To make things even-steven for men and women out here. If life of a woman can be judged even by a pedestrian who pass by her home, may that be in the case of a man too. I think we must find a perfect antonym soon to avoid a biased verdict….”
These things are pure nonsense and only because we were born as masculine, doesn’t mean that we can own the life of a feminine. Everyone has got their own perception towards life, all we got to do is just accept that fact.
The influence, might and connections of leaders proved to be worthless. I went into a reminiscence, all those marches and protests initiated by these leaders for comparatively ‘not so important’ political affairs. Right then I was literally awe struck by the efforts they took to organise such a mass movement. Now I wonder, this time all they needed to invest was half of its effort. Just a mere push, because there were many burning hearts to support and join in. Gosh, I seriously wish I had such an influence over the whole university, even if I was a small celebrity I could have used that for triggering a movement. Anyways, I don’t possess that influence in our university only because of the fact that I am one among the thousands of students in CUSAT, who solely wish to have an identity without the backup, support and platform offered by any of the student led political parties or groups existing in our campus. Forget influence, we all have an outlook towards the life and we all possess some means to communicate or convey our thoughts, let it be using our mouth or through our pen. Pen is my primary and the most favourite way. The way which I chose to activate that movement inside as many people I can. Obviously, every aspect of this universe has got a flip side, so I know some of those who read this may find it ineffective, worthless or absurd. I appreciate the variety in thoughts, after all every individual’s perspectives and opinions are diverse and that is the inevitable law of nature.
I know all this can’t be imposed upon the society overnight and even if we succeeded in that to a great extent still there exist some beasts who got a vigorous thirst for blood and hunger for flesh of innocent souls. I think such people are rare breeds whom I call as “The Descendants of Demons”. At least we shouldn’t let such devils to attack a woman right before our eyes. We should gather grit to react and protect her in such a scenario. For that it’s cardinal to enrich a humane heart.
We are the “Embers of Hope” as this will be a slow process just like the evolution of fire but together we can end this cannibalism thus safeguarding the lives of women, making this world a better place to live and for that dream to turn into an awesome reality we should never let the ember inside our heart die.