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Sad and disappointed to say this on Women’s Day 2015! I am being honest when I say India is no country for women! During the last couple of years there has been a sharp increase in the number of crimes against women. Moral policing has created more problems in this battle for equality and freedom. While we can say with certainty that women have marched ahead and progressed a lot more over the last 20 years or so, the sense of discomfort and an undercurrent of intolerance has also been brewing among certain communities to put an end to this sense of equality and freedom with which women have been changing their lives and gaining more control over their destiny. And alongside there has also been a wave of regression whose sole aim has been to put women back into time when they had no rights to either live their life or voice their protests or even claim their way towards a better and equitable world that is based on merit. It seems to me that after a long battle women continue to be relegated into the background time and again. The rise of a certain ideology is now forcing the debate of equal rights again on women. But what do we women think? I am increasingly feeling that this country is going quite the contrary to progress with the rise of sects and ideologies that deem women unfit to march alongside men as equal partners but as secondary citizens, stay subjugated and subservient to men. Equality is the birthright of every human being, it can never be a negotiable issue. Safety and security can never be dispensable. The fight for equal pay has been on for quite some time…well people are fighting over it the world over, so hopefully we are getting there, sooner or later. But, what is most alarming is that increasingly, with every passing day, the feeling is getting stronger and the message more emphatic – India is no longer a country for women.I feel very very concerned when religious groups talk about what women need to wear, and criminals on death row talk of women’s morality, mouthing the same phrases as some of our leaders who are concerned about why women go out alone at all, out after dark, without being chaperoned or question why women wear jeans and short skirts, and more importantly, why they ought to be focussing on housekeeping and looking after children, in today’s age and time. It is very worrying, because this is not where we should be heading to and yet we are. I’ve heard parents rather worried when they voice their concern about bringing up a girl child in this kind of sickening environment. Where is the country coming to? Say what you will, but I definitely feel India is NOT a country for women.

One of the things that I have experienced and been very bitter about is gender bias. This is one of the things that really gets to me. No matter what comes and goes, gender bias will never change in this country! It does not matter what a handful of educated people say or think. The most unsettling fact of all is the fact that majority of India – everyone from politicians to high school students reveal a highly skewed representation of the Indian male mindset. And, it happens to be very widespread.

I feel disillusioned and utterly disgusted to see things the way they are. Nothing changes, no matter who comes to power or who stays …no matter who makes the rules or who enforces!

But what do women think? Do they agree with it? Do they feel safe on their way back from work? Who cares? Nobody does. You are only as safe as you think you are. 

Happy Women’s Day anyway! I’d rather that instead of celebrating one day, we did something to change all the 365 days for the women of this country!

 

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