Monthly Archives: December 2012

Time to change, India?

All this happening in our country at the moment, not cool at all. An entire section of the population, almost 50% feel unsafe, not knowing what will happen of them once they step out of their homes, not that they are entirely safe within their homes either. A woman brutally gang raped in Delhi, a woman ‘mistakenly’ attacked by a sickle by a man in Mumbai in broad day light, a woman in West Bengal was raped and set on fire, a 20 year old set on fire over a Dowry dispute. Apart from these few cases that managed to make headlines, countless stories of molestation, acid attacks, infanticide, domestic violence, dowry deaths, blackmail, assault and violence continue to haunt women.

A very unfortunate, brutal gang rape took place in Delhi earlier this week. In spite of the much talked about Gujarat elections that took place around the same time, the results of which could probably determine the next Prime Minister of India, we need to give it to the media to have stuck to giving a good amount of footage to the Delhi case. But soon, the media seemed to be doing what they do best; getting random people on their panel discussions to scream pointlessly at each other, going to any extent for the sake of TRPs. One news channel actually got the mother of a rape victim to ‘share her experience’ with their viewers. And then of course, we have opinion leaders and opinion makers who go out in the open and say that rapes happen because of the influence of ‘The West’. Some also go to the extent of saying, that rapes happen because of eating ‘Chowmien’. While others say that rapes take place because men and women interact freely. And the authorities of course, play the blame game. The opposition blames the ruling party, the ruling party blames the police, the police blames the courts, the courts blame the citizens… I mean, WHAT THE FUCK!

However, one positive outcome of whatever the media is doing is the kind of outrage it has managed to generate among the people, hopefully all of that not being short lived. Today, as I type, thousands of people, youngsters, more or less my age, are protesting in Delhi. Brilliant, I say, and not sarcastically at all. My only problem with these protesters is that they all appear with candles when things go wrong, but when it’s time to vote, they conveniently say ‘Arrey ksiko vote kare? Sabhi toh chor hai!’ As these protests were happening in Delhi, a woman was publicly stripped and gang raped in Tripura. PUBLICLY! Most of these people who watched all the ‘tamasha’ are the ones most likely to go and attend the next candle light march to protest this kind of an act. The country has seen similar protests and agitations in the past; post terror attacks, to get rid of corruption, to tackle the reservation issue and what not. And then, the government comes out with a set of template promises to ‘set up a commission’  and ‘probe into the matter’ and ‘suspend all those involved’ and God alone knows what. And what happens then? We believe them. And they do nothing.

Thousands of people protested today. And not one ‘elected representative’ showed them any respect. Not one came out and showed the decency to speak to them. Not one! Instead, the cops attacked the crowds with lathis and tear gas. And our Home Minister came out and spoke to the media hours after all that drama and promised to take action against those few cops that violently attacked the crowds. This is what the Home Minister had to say, apart from of course, the template promises; very conveniently digressing from the main issue. His statement diverted the entire media attention that was being showered at the protests all of today. The media is now talking about the cops suspended. The media is doing it’s job of course, I would say without being too cynical of it. Being a media student myself, I understand how difficult it is to broadcast news 24/7 without irritating (or trying to irritate) the viewers with the same news over and over again.

I am not against protests, in fact I will happily be joining the next one to be held in Mumbai. My problem is with the way we deal with the matter. My problem is protesting and then forgetting about it. My problem is not tackling the problem ourselves. My problem is with the people who rant and rant, update Facebook statuses, change display pictures to black dots as a ‘sign of protest’ and then go to Lonavala when it’s time to vote.

But all that aside, I do not want to politicize this  issue of crimes against women. It is something that has existed in our country irrespective of the people in power. Of course we should have more stringent laws. Of course the guilty need to be punished without any waste of time. I strongly believe that those who torture, should be tortured in return. Those who rape must be castrated. Do it the ancient Greek way, I would say, crush their testicles using two stones. Those who attack a woman with acid, need to be attacked with acid in return. Those who kill need to be sentenced. Extremely strong views, i know. But hell yeah! Mind you, I am not a die hard feminist. And this is not a ‘women’s’ issue. It’s human rights, God damnit! Whereas talking about the human rights of the guilty, I believe they lose their human rights, the very minute they violate someone else’s. But this of course is entirely my opinion. You are free to differ.

One thing about the way this issue was dealt with that completely blew my lid, was the way it was dealt with in the Parliament. Only women leaders reacted strongly towards the issue. Didn’t the men find it to be a case serious enough to be spoken about? Or is it that the men in Parliament only speak when the debate involves ‘much serious issues’ like the FDI and the Quota Bill? Also, most of the panelists on news channel debates were mostly women. Of course, there were a few men, but mostly women. Why is the media also propagating this as a women’s issue? Just yesterday, a certain news channel came to our college to take our opinions and views on the rape case ‘because we were a women’s college and they wanted to see what the women felt about this thing our country is going through at the moment’. Shouldn’t  the media be focusing a little more on what the men think about this? I mean, after all, the men are the offenders here and the women, purely the victims.

Apart from all this, as a society it is important for us  to change mindsets. Any number of laws and punishments will not help until the mindsets change. Nothing can change till we uproot patriarchy from our systems. Our laws are partial towards women, the entertainment media portrays women as ‘items’, (I am not against celebrating a woman’s sexuality, but there needs to be a certain grace, a certain dignity in doing so) even the way our mythological stories are told need to be changed. It’s time TV shows stop depicting Sita as the oppressed, voiceless woman. It’s time they stop bringing Draupadi in the picture only when it’s the Vastraharan scene. It is time TV shows stop revolving around stories of the evil saas and the helpless bahu. Even our gaalis degrade the woman, God damnit! Not to say that I don’t use them too often, not quiet possible while driving on the roads of Mumbai. But I do make a conscious effort of avoiding the gaalis that degrade the woman folk.

This will take time, a hell lot of time. But it needs to start somewhere. The Delhi case happened because this didn’t start before. Now is the time. There is still sometime before things get out of hand. Though the geniuses running our country have solutions to this problem that vary from the women folk dressing up ‘better’ to getting the women married off at 15 to shutting down nightclubs at 1 am. In my opinion, nothing will change till we make a small effort. A small effort to teach our little brothers better. A small effort to go out there and cast our vote. A small effort to know our rights. A small effort to stand by another woman while she is being harassed. A small effort to genuinely want to solve the problem rather than just sitting at home and changing display pictures to ‘don’t rape’.

Advertisements

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

yell0wblog

A crowd of thousands gathered on the streets of Mumbai on Thursday, the 19th of July 2012, to bid adieu to India’s first superstar.

Rajesh Khanna lost his battle to cancer on the 18th of July 2012. His funeral was a rather grand one. His body was taken to the cremation grounds in Vile Parle from his home in Carter Road, Bandra on a truck. The truck was decorated with white flowers and had huge, fully blown up images of Rajesh Khanna from his young days.

What added to the funeral and made it so remarkable were the mourners that mobbed the truck when the body was being carried for cremation. Thousands of fans and admirers gathered on the streets to catch a last glimpse of the superstar. I happened to be crossing Pawan Hans, Vile Parle (probably the closest landmark to the cremation grounds) on the day…

View original post 398 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

yell0wblog

World over, art is becoming the new language for protesters. In the form of graffiti, cartoons, advertising, morphed and edited photographs, more and more people are showing discontent against governments, superpowers and corporates. Basically, anyone in power. Apart from this, religious beliefs are also a favorite among these ‘protesters’. These ‘protesters’ include anyone and everyone who want to make a change. It is done mainly to make people aware of the reality around them. Art is a convenient yet effective way to raise a voice. It is accessible to one and all. Anyone with an imagination can use art to put forth a message. And if used effectively, it can be used to put forth a message better than any other means.

Messages against the war written on Egyptian prison walls to protest against wars, graffiti against paid media in America, fashion brand advertisements against Hijabization in France, morphed pictures…

View original post 374 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

yell0wblog

You haven’t had your complete ‘Mumbai experience’ if you haven’t visited Prithvi Theatre. Located in the suburb of Juhu, Prithvi Theatre is probably Mumbai’s friendliest corner.


The theatre is a small one, with a limited capacity. It’s probably this, that makes the theatre so special. Because of the limitation of space, the audiences feel a part of every performance that takes place at Prithvi. ‘This works both in favor of the audience and the performers,’ says Lalit Sathe, the manager of Prithvi Theatre. ‘The performers don’t need to stress their voices. The audiences are right there! Even the light and sound technicians have it easy. They have spacious, well equipped rooms that overlook the entire stage so that they can carry on with their work without goofing up. And for the audiences, from any corner of the theatre, irrespective of which seat they are sitting on, they can see the…

View original post 864 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

yell0wblog



The Yoga Institute, located in Santacruz (E), is perhaps the most peaceful space in Mumbai city. Located at 2 minutes from the Santacruz railway station, the space is away from all the city chaos. Founded in 1918, it is the oldest Yoga Institute in the world, standing strong amidst all the gyms and health clubs mushrooming all over the city.

Founded by Shri. Yogendraji, the institute today is run by his son Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra and daughter-in-law Smt. Hansaji. Smt. Hansaji is also the President of the International Board of Yoga. The Yoga Institute was founded in the home of Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji in Versova. Only in 1948, 30 years after it was founded did The Yoga Institute form its permanent base in Santacruz. Shri. Yogendraji founded the first Yoga centre abroad in 1919 in the United States of America. Today, the Yoga Centre has institutes established in Australia, Brazil…

View original post 479 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

yell0wblog

Gone are the days when a witch meant a cruel, old woman who wore a pointy hat, pointy shoes, flew around town on a broomstick and brewed poisonous potions and tricked people into drinking them. Over the years, witchcraft has evolved from being a taboo-ed practice to a faith, a healing, a culture, almost a fad. And witches, over the years, have evolved from being that creepy woman who lived in that haunted house, all by herself, to an educated woman who, for all we know, must be the one sitting next to us in the local train, or living in the adjacent apartment. The witch of today uses Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about her faith and attract more and more people to follow it.

But this of course, is the urban Indian witch. The plight of witches in rural India is very sad. Every year, hundreds of…

View original post 646 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

yell0wblog

Most of the world celebrated Eid on the 20th of August this year. Eid marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, also known as Ramzan. World over, Muslims observe fasts and offer prayers during Ramzan. These fasts, that involve refraining from consuming food and liquids, are observed from dawn to dusk for 29 or 30 days, depending on the visual sighting of the crescent moon. At sunset, Muslims offer a prayer and break their fast. This fast breaking meal is known as ‘Iftar’.

Being a foodie, the month of Ramzan, is something that I look forward to every year; only for the Iftar. Every year, I make it a point to treat myself to at least one Iftar. Mumbai has endless number of places that offer excellent Iftar food; the most well known being Mohammad Ali Road and Bohri Mohalla. There are no two ways about the…

View original post 921 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized