Because I wear jeans

I guess I too am on the rape probables because I wear jeans, because I sometimes dare step out of my home with a man who is not my father, uncle, grandfather brother after 7 pm, because I am a flower that needs to be protected by some male relative, lest I be thrown in the gutter and eaten by a dog. Should I be raped then I am to blame, or so say most of the men in the country I call mine. There are many catches though. I am sixty + but how does it matter in a land where a one year or a 80 year old are both rape-able commodity. Now as for the father, grandfather part, at my age they are all dead and gone. As a flower I am faded and even I guess putrefied, but I also guess there are hyenas that would still find me palatable. Dogs and hyenas are a plenty in this land.

I apologise for these rather unpalatable words but I am so angry and disturbed that I am unable to keep hold on my thoughts and fingers.

I have been told by the powers that be - powers I too voted for in spite of some reservations, as I was seduced by their promise of better days for all, and my personal opinion was of no importance if the millions waiting for better days could accede to them, be it those who go hungry every night or those who have been waiting patiently for the rights promised to them  since the day they were free, be it a roof on their heads, clean water to drink, a quality education or just basic dignity - that they had banned a film that told the story of a brave young woman to protect her honour or rather the honour of my country.

I am one of those who saw the film before it was blacked out and I can only say that the banning of the film had nothing to do with protecting her or any woman's honour, but rather protecting the so called honour of those who think women should be kept in cages visible or invisible, with the key in the hands of some male or the other, depending on her stage in life: father, brother, husband, son and so on. They are the ones who will decide what she eats, wears, sees, thinks; where she goes and with whom.

What was terrifying in the film was not what the criminal said, but what the men in their black coats said, men who are supposed to be guardians of the law of the land. If you step out of line you will be doused with fuel and set to fire. These words, or variation on the same theme, are what had to be banned for no one to hear, words that resonate in many minds. Nobody wants to have a mirror held to their faces. So break the mirror.

I am tired of all the talk about the girl child; I am fed up with all the programmes that aim at bettering the plight of the female sex. They all sound false and empty as was so well said by the mother of Jyoti - and let us call her by her name as that is also the wish of her parents -: if there are no girls left then who will we educate; if girls are raped in schools ad school vans then whose morrow will we better. Before she even has a chance to live she may be killed in the womb, raped or as was so explicitly said by the lawyer in the film: taken to a farmhouse - don't miss the farmhouse - and doused with petrol and burnt in front of her whole family.

Maybe dear Sirs, if you truly want to better the plight of our girls, it is not the girls you should ply with inane schemes, but rather run schemes for the boys who become the men we see in the film, and I am not talking of the rapist but of the esteemed lawyers; who become politicians, policemen, even Godmen and go on to blame girls for every aberrations perpetrated by men. Men rape because of what we wear, eat, drink and so on. Giving lofty speeches or launching schemes will not stop rape, domestic violence, acid attacks, molestation and abuse of all kind. As long as those in power continue to says: boys will be boys or why was she out at night, nothing will change.

It is time blinkers came off. It is time men looked at themselves in the mirror with honesty and learnt to hate what they saw. Sweeping the reality under the carpet or resorting to knee jerk reactions like banning this that and the other is nothing sort of cowardice.

It is time to celebrate parents like Jyoti's who did everything to fullfil their daughter's dreams, even if it meant selling their land and tightening their belt till it hurt; who trusted their child to step out of the house after seven because they respected her right to be free. It is time to transfer the onus of maintaining the honour of the family from the girl to the boy. Do that and mabe things will change.

There is another solution. Instead of killing girls one by one, why not kill them all, at one go, whatever their age and become the most honourable land in the universe, a land without women, a land you will not have to protect by banning films.