Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thank God I am not a woman in Bangalore.

When I was in college hostel, I remember one girl telling me how sad it is that she could cannot enjoy going out after midnight and enjoy the late night tea and parantha outside our college - something which all the male students relished, especially during exams - unless she was accompanied by other men. That too would be a matter of taking 'care' and worrying about remarks from others.

That was in a city in North India, for the short time I was in that part of the country. South, though still India and with its own worries, I thought, always allowed greater freedom and safety for women.

So, a number of such thoughts were running in my head as I visit New Delhi, the capital of India. And I stand in a corridor when a revulsive manager shouts at a lady executive - for all of us to hear. I think this is some franchisee of citibank. They sound like people working on daily pressures - like the ones I see in american movies ... in a door-to-door sales outfits - loud mouth chief executives, shivering managers and then a loud mouth manager and shivering executives and so it goes down the heirarchy. And I thought to myself - 'Such behaviour would not happen down south.' (even as I feel bad about generalising...)

But today's news I hear from Bangalore is really disheartening. Females will not be allowed to work late into the night. Its a punishable law and the government says its aimed at the companies and not the women and the minister also refers to Indian culture - women are also housewifes and they need their time.

True, many women would also be housewives. Maybe, many women would not like to work late in the night. But if one women does want to - who is the government to decide otherwise?

Sometime ago one lady was murdered in the night. And there are cases of sexual harrasment in the office. But is that not a separate subject to deal with?

Is a democractic world supposed to be meant only for the majority? Because most women should stay home are we supposed to question the one who walks out in the night? Is that the issue?

If I was a woman today I would rebel in my mind. I would find legitimate reasons to be negative. About breaking laws, norms and culture.

I mean... the culture we have, if we have, is because people retain it out of love and choice. Not because of any government ruling....

There ... I start repeating myself again. I was born in a much more free India than its today and its getting worse.


Post a Comment

<< Home