a new pledge

i’m so angry right now i can’t think straight. this abomination called haryana in india just registered its nineteenth rape of the month. and this time it’s a six year-old girl. just search for haryana on google and see what comes up. rape. so much rape.

it’s not just haryana. my country of birth is a hotbed of misogyny and sexism unmatched by most of the world. today i read a beautiful letter written by a mother to her daughter. it carried in it the kind of love that gives hope. then i read the story of a six year old losing her innocence forever. for an irrational microsecond, a part of our national pledge flashed by my eyes.

and i laughed. i laughed so much. those hollow lines, mouthed with apathy and contempt at every morning assembly. just another thing to do before we got on with our male lives of entitlement and sexist perceptions lovingly nurtured by society, family and worse, the women in our lives.

i let my irrationality run riot and thought of a few lines i would’ve given a fuck about had i been asked to recite them every morning as a child. perhaps, it would’ve worked.

India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters.
I love my country and I am proud of its rich and varied heritage.
I shall always strive to be worthy of it.
By discarding heritage that deems my sisters as unequals.
I shall not rape those sisters, molest them, insult them, violate their space or manhandle them.
I will treat them as my equals, I will treat them with respect.
For I am born of their flesh, raised by their love and flourish by their sacrifices.
In their progress and prosperity alone, lies my happiness.

don’t judge me for this, im just angry. nothing’s going to change.

16 responses to “a new pledge”

  1. Shivangi says :

    “and worse, the women in our lives.”

    Why? Why do you think the worst is that women feed into these male dominated power structures that pervade not just our society, but basically every damn society ever.

    I am just copy pasting from one of my own blogposts, as while I am angry enough to point out the sexism in this otherwise touching post of male empathy, I do not have the patience to re-write about it (or maybe just lazy):

    “I often hear people say that women are the worst enemy of other women. Especially in India, it often seems that a mother-in-law or mother or an old grand mother who is the perpetrator of the discrimination. Who policies young daughters and daughter-in-laws into behaving, dressing and living in a certain way. Do people realise the root cause? Generations of blatant discrimination against women, making them feel inferior to men and revolving their lives around men. Their only source of power has been the importance men gave to them. They only know to fight for it.”

    Okay, I give up- I have to write it all up:

    Historically, in most philosophical and religious traditions, sadly women have been on the fringes, or have been categorised into some ideal. While the real-deal dominant is pretty clear:
    It is the male, upper class Hindu in India, male white Christian in the west, male Muslim in the middle east.
    Same guy- who thinks he runs the world and guess what – he actually does.
    Our social structures have been made to give this guy all the power. It is thousands of years of insidious, careful conditioning of generations to ensure that these power structures remain intact.

    And… within a microcosm, a family – even in a slum-dweller’s house – there exists a power structure with a man on top and a woman at the bottom.

    The woman, is not just a woman is the larger sense of the term. She is also an individual. She also has to survive and circumvent these power structures and terms on a daily basis.

    Please cut her some slack and give her some credit. Yes, she also indulges in misogyny. But don’t judge her harsher than the others. If you cannot give her benefit of the doubt, then at least don’t brand her act of misogyny as the worse one of the list.

    And I know you said not to judge you. This is just me pointing what I just could not resist.

  2. Aditi says :

    Respect! _/\_

  3. mallika says :

    Only a sexist retard with a brain buried in a state of deep-freeze duhness would judge your for this. Or get upset. Well friggin’ put.

  4. Prabhat Dev Mondal says :

    The Parliament, All the State Assemblies, all Courts and Judiciaries ,all Political Parties and all NGOS must and must DEMAND, PASS AND GIVE one and one judgment and punishment to the RAPISTS – not death penalty – not Jail term – ONLY AND ONLY CASTRATE THEM AND ON THEIR FOREHEAD BRAND A PERMANENT SEAL AS “RAPIST” – This is my demand – This should be every Indian’s Demand , who have respect for their Mother, Sister, Wife and Women Community — and and this must be implemented without any delay.Let them leave rest of their lives up-teemly humiliated and neglected and facing hatred in our society.

  5. Varun says :

    I share your anger over the horrific state of affairs in Haryana. But I bristle when you say India is “a hotbed of misogyny and sexism unmatched by most of the world”. Not that India’s record in treating women is anything to write home about, but when I hear US politicians say recklessly misogynistic things like “victims of legitimate rape don’t get pregnant” or ” some girls, they rape so easy “, I cringe. It’s not like “your country of residence” is orders of magnitude better than “your country of birth”.

    • Aquatic Static says :

      With all due respect Varun, the last I checked, it wasn’t a competition.

    • daddysan says :

      Varun, let me clarify. I stand by my statement completely. Despite the regressive attitudes of Republicans, women are much better off in the US. Empirically, demonstrated attitudes to women are more progressive in the US although I’m sure there’s a hidden undercurrent of sexism in some interactions. I went digging for stats not necessarily to prove that I’m right but to learn more and it’s astonishing that more than half of US women will experience violence (sexual and/or physical) in their lifetimes, but when you look at the incidence over the last 12 months, it’s less than a percent. It tells me things are getting better.

      I tried comparing this with the data for India but I’m told it’s under-reported and not reliable. And yet, as an approximation of how widespread this malaise is in India, 33.5% of Indian women suffered physical violence in their lifetimes, 19% did so in the past 12 months. The corresponding figures for the US? 51.9% and 1.9%.

      • Varun says :

        Apologies if I came across as suggesting it’s some sort of ‘competition’. My only point was that this is a malaise which, unfortunately, plagues almost the entire world, albeit in different magnitudes. And I agree India fares a lot worse than most other countries.

  6. irsquared says :

    Something tells me things will get better, but not without getting significantly worse first. This is no consolation for either of us, but this is what I tell myself to feel better about my constantly and painfully gritted teeth.

    • daddysan says :

      I hope so. A nice way to think about is that these regressive old loons foisting their sexist beliefs on everyone will die out soon, making way for a slightly less indoctrinated generation, and so on.

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  1. “Stop crying. Are you a girl?” « Oculus - October 20, 2012

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