To the supporters of current Juvenile law – India

When you disagreed to any amendments in the present Juvenile law of India, when you gifted the 17 years and 9 months old accused of 16 December, 2012 Case a pleasant stay (for a maximum period of 3 years) at the reformation home, you assured him that he is a kid and women, toys, and wished him an enjoyable playtime!!!

You have given him, and others of his age, a reason to repent on how they wasted the past 17 years of their life without any play.

Why I won’t sign the ‘No Caste Reservation’ Petition…

This week, I received an email from a friend requesting me to sign a PIL that asks for cancellation of caste based reservations. Without giving it any second thought, I clicked on the link and signed my name. When it came to pushing the ‘submit’ button, my hand fell numb. My mind changed and I realized why I won’t be able to sign such a petition.

Read on…

Caste quota in India, that has benefited a great deal of people in getting admissions into premium colleges, blessed them with employment and inspired them in joining politics bringing them to the forefront, has shattered numerous dreams. I have heard of and known many who had to give up their dreams of getting into the college and studying the course of their choice. I know those who had interests in and were meritorious enough to pursue a course of MBBS but had to console their souls by taking up Pharmacy when they did not have the money to pay whopping donations nor the years to keep appearing for entrance examinations. And sadly, this happened when those with less merit and less interest got into the best of the institutions without any competition.

photo credit: techcrunch.com

There have been a plenty of bright, diligent and those who were both, who had to let go their ambitions and aspirations because we were reciting the chant of equality of castes. Every year, students with 70 % marks, 60% marks and sometimes 50% marks see doors open when all desirable doors are shut for those with 89% marks. Some of them decided to turn to other countries in order to follow their dreams.

Opportunities should exist for all, irrespective of marks. However, when we usher in the competition, let that remain fair.

When we speak of bridging the gap between high caste and low caste, what kind of equality are we trying to maintain? We are being plain unjust. Not all students falling into the low caste category need a reservation but all of them want. I refuse to believe that children born in a Dalit or a backward class family have any less efficient brain. And, do not put forth the point of their financial conditions, for we know how well they have been rising on that front. Many of them are much ahead of their high/general caste population. They have all the means to grow and get what they want. The irony is that they not only have seats reserved for them wherever they go, but are also provided low cost and no cost education.

I do feel agitated and angry about this but there’s a reason why my knees fall weak when standing against it.

The system of reservation is accountable for corruption. Given the easy lucrative opportunities it has to offer, forging of caste certificates is on the rise. Encouraging injustice and corruption is one more thing that this system has managed to succeed in. A system that doles out favours to you based on your birth is imperfect.

Fortunately, I have managed to survive without needing any reservation, so, I am probably not the right to person to tell the story. However, the angst persists and I’m sure millions will be ready to sign this petition.

Having vented my rants against the reservation, I still won’t sign this petition for the simplest of the reasons.

India is a country of villages. In our villages, the caste system bears an ugly face, to say the least. The population falling in the low caste category is deprived of education, employment and many times, the basic necessities of survival. This population still lives in poor conditions and faces the worst atrocities of inequality by its society.

It is pertinent that we bring them forward by encouraging them in the right way. Laws are written when people happen to ignore the unwritten rules and become inhumane. That’s exactly where we need reservation and that’s where gaps will be bridged without hurting others’ rights.

Follow this link to know what caste means in India and our thoughts will match.

http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-PAP-004-2008

photo credit: en.wikipedia.org

I hope I have answered my question. Any bill will have a domino effect. I doubt our system will take the pains of being selective in terms of cities and villages when passing a bill.

If the idea of giving a second thought to decisions is to be believed, I fall short of the courage that is required to sign such a petition. There’s nothing wrong in caring for the rights of our own people. This needs thinking and re-thinking by all sections of the society. On another note, I have yet to fathom what my choices would have been had I been sitting on the other side and whether my beliefs would have translated into actions.

I refuse to pay the bill…any attention!!

Image

As the Indian government passes the law for more stringent punishments for stalking, voyeurism and acid attacks on women, buzz sets in. Hopes and expectations have risen like bubbles of boiling water. Before these bubbles experience a fall and you think it was just gravity pulling these down, let me advise you what to expect.

What to Expect?

Good question. If you are being stalked by someone then you may register a complaint to your nearest police station.

What not to expect?

Great question! Well, you already know it. 😉 Do not expect the police to register your complaint.

For your information, it is now a punishable offence for police personnel not to register an FIR. We were in need of one such law on paper at least. Happy realization Indian Government!

Existing Bills:

Central Government Act Section 294(b) in The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (b), whoever sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both.

Section 509: Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman – whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

My experience so far:

  1. Eve-Teasing: A guy, sorry, a boy, not even 15 years old, eve-teased me under section 294(b). My friend slapped the boy. The boy left. He came back with three more guys, this time adults. Before that argument became physical, I felt it was time we called the police. The police station was nearby. I warned the boys that I will take them to the police. I was stupefied at their agreement to this proposal. At the police station, the guys made a phone call. I guess they had the policemen talk to some politician because after the call the policemen started scolding us for getting involved with ruffians. They told us that our law always takes the side of the ‘minor’. The men in Khaki refused to register a complaint, and as a token of mercy they let ‘us’ free.
  2. Stalking: A few months back, I started getting calls from a mobile number. I handled it my way first. (Some abusive words, warnings of a police complaint, blah…blah) The stalker didn’t budge. Then I decided to ignore those calls. Calls started pouring in from a few more numbers. Finally, I lodged a complaint to the police.The police called back on the number I was getting calls from and asked me to change my number as a solution. I had to feel satisfied that they at least registered my complaint this time.
  3. Eve-teasing maybe: I had gone to register a complaint against a phone theft and one of the policemen started staring at me in a way I felt very uncomfortable. I looked back at him in order to make him realize that I knew what he was up to. He gave up, but I felt eve-teased in the police station by a policeman. Where could I register an FIR?

 

            Moral of the crap written above: the Bill is fit for the paper. (Add Only!)

Object always.

Object always.

What do I think?

     We can deal with eve-teasing, molestation and all such crimes together. By the way, we fought colonialism without a war. Non-cooperation movement, if your memories are withering. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-cooperation_movement) We may all raise our voice together, and I’m sure it will be heard. We have the right to object. We do not always have to co-operate with the society and the situation. Poor women of our country, they fight only with outsiders. In fact, some of them believe wrong is wrong only when it‘s known to people. Well, this is something that deserves a full-fledge discussion. For now, I have something else to say.
Do you know who gives birth to eve-teasers and molesters? A woman. Biologically. And for what I know, some women fail to prevent their boys from maturing into eve-teasers and molesters. Some women. I know many of them who stand by their boys irrespective of what they do. Whether it’s hitting another boy or hitting at girls. When boys fortunate enough to have a family become eve-teasers, their families share the crime. It is the crime of not imbibing in their kids respect for women. When a mother compares her son and daughter only on the basis of gender, she shares the crime.

     Of course, fathers too are equally responsible. If we cannot expect this from a woman, then there’s no point in blaming the other gender and the society. A mother should be a woman first, a mother second. When a family sends its son out of the house, it should at least make sure that its son is moral enough to resist the malice coming from bad peer group.

               You do not open the window when you know that the wind coming in could be dusty, do you?

Happy Women’s Day

So the women of today! Here’s my tribute to all of you…

To all the ladies who are alive and those who waved goodbye from the womb,

To all those who grew up never above their brothers and those who were never allowed to,

To those who were never sent to school and those who are the pride of NASA,

To those who dared to fight when eve-teased and those who waited for the next time, 

To those who drained money to get married and those who endeavoured to drain social malice,

To those who were beaten by their God-personified husbands and those who obliterated enemies on the border,

To those who have succumbed to the atrocities of the world and those who are still battling,

It’s finally your day! Our day! Happy Women’s Day!

If you need statistics*:
(India, Year 2011)
8391 dowry deaths
42968 molested
35565 kidnapped and abducted
24206 raped
914 girl children per 1000 boy children

*And these figures account for only cases which were reported.

Aside