In Conversation With British Author Jeremy Seabrook: Analyzing The Sexual Beliefs In The Modern Indian Society!
I feel really privileged that few well-known established authors had some time saved for me as well as they came to express their views on some sensitive issues. The issue at hand ” The changing sexual beliefs in modern Indian society’ is a very sensitive in nature. The views which I have shared here in this article have already found place in various other articles but it would be interesting to inform the readers that they first appeared in this discussion with Jeremy Seabrook.
This has reference to Jeremy Seabrook’s article “Sex Education And The Free Market” published in The Statesman ( March 28, 2005). Unveiling the road-map for future, it’s evident that we cannot dispense with observance of better principles including those related with sexual attitudes. You ( read Jeremy Seabrook) have touched the issue in a thought-provoking manner, unfolding the requirements in an unambiguous style. However, having said that, there are missing elements as well, which I would like to highlight. The Indian society has always treated sex not as a taboo subject but considered it an essential element of balanced human life. This is why it finds place in four “Purusharthas” ( objectives) laid down in Hinduism as Kama; Dharma, Artha and Moksha being the other three objectives, which help the man to go up the ladder of evolution. It’s not very clear how did it come to attain its present distorted form.
One reason for it could be that long Muslim rule plus gradual inclination of Indian towards Victorian Ideals/perceptions during the British regime distanced them from its glorious aspects. While it’s true that taking refuge in Indian values cannot rescue impressionable minds from the mess, which has become part and parcel of the modern times, however, it could still be stated without doubt that had traces of Hindu ideals been altogether absent the damage would have been irreparable. If there is still a ray of hope, it’s only because Hindu ideals are still there doing what they have been doing since time immemorial- soaking the impurities without their lustre.
In nutshell, what I wish to state is that better results could be obtained by combining sex education with revival of past values. Sex education alone holds no meaning if it is not backed up by strong ideals. The issues you have touched has a very complicated angle as well. It’s a bitter truth that pornographic stuff helps us to relieve sexual tension, more so in age which keeps women at par with “use and throw objects”. Women liberalization movements may or may not have taught women to honour progressive ideals but it has certainly capped them with ability to use her body for commercial interests in the market-oriented world of ours. As a result their bodies no longer evoke innocent delight but feelings mired in sexual fantasies.
How can you expect these young minds to behave like “expert yogis’ adept in controlling their senses? Interestingly, adults themselves are surrounded by illusions of all sorts in these matters. Indeed, we are living in strange times. In my city, the prominent magazine corner lies adjacent to a theater showing “BF”. If that’s not enough, cast a glance around and eyes are soon going to intercept posters showing semi-clad women in suggestive postures.
Globalization has brought sea-change in our mannerism. Not only it has distanced us from finer values but also turned women into object of pleasure rather than turning them into instruments for attaining higher ends. The Western world has cleverly dumped its dubious habits in this country ( read India). Or, in other words, the Indians failed to borrow West’s glorious analytic abilities and instead zeroed-on their dark aspects to an extent that to many their bubble gum literature became the source of enlightenment. It may far fetched but it’s true that global powers have effectively projected woman’s false image to deviate Indian minds from higher concerns. Who knows they may have plans to shackle this nation again in their chains? Young minds, after all, they have no knowledge of corrupt practices of the adult world, are bound to collapse, being too inept to counteract its charms.
Against this backdrop, it’s not hard to imagine why pornographic magazines, X-rated movies, and etc. have bombarded the lives of young people. That’s why their unusual interest in these matters should not leave us in shock and awe. This is bound to happen since aping Western values has become the prestige issue for both middle and elite class, even if that means deterioration of Indian ethos. Let me make it very clear that I am not trying to legitimize the existence of pornographic materials in our society. On the contrary, I am of the opinion that cheap titillation of the senses should give way to deep and mature relationship between man and woman. In my eyes, this can never be achieved by roping in sex education. It demands more.
The dynamics between man and woman and society at large needs to be governed by refined and elevated principles-the hallmark of Indian ideals. Sex education does serve the purpose but in a flimsy manner. The perfect mantra for survival is possible only through tryst with Hinduism, or in secular terms, by once again establishing firm bond with the nation’s roots.
Jeremy Seabrook’s Viewpoint:
Many thanks for your e-mail message, which I much appreciated. Of course, I agree much of what you say- in the West also women have shifted from being drudges, servants and comforters of men to being sex-objects. This is not what I understand by liberation. On the other hand, the repression and subordination of women is also indefensible. And there is no possibility of going back to the past- to some degree the past can inform one’s values and ideas which can be carried forward, but it is irrecoverable.
It is not a happy position, and I don’t think many people would have chosen to be where we are now; but we have no choice but to start from here. These are all intractable questions, and there is no obvious way forward. That does not however, mean we should stop trying and seeking.
About Jeremy Seabrook:
My first book was The Unprivileged, 1967, the story of my own family, a path breaking oral history from the late 18th century to the 1960s. This was followed by City Close-Up, a portrait, through the words of the people, of Blackburn in Lancashire.
In the 1970s, I wrote What Went Wrong? Working People and the Ideals of the Labour Movement; a book which, when published in the USA, was sub-titled Why hasn’t Having More Made People Happier?
Mother and Son, a memoir, appeared in 1980, and an indictment of Thatcher’s Britain,Unemployment, in 1982.
Work on India and Bangladesh followed, notably, Notes from another India and Children of Other Worlds, a comparison of child labour in nineteenth century London and present-day Dhaka in Bangladesh. My book, Love in a Different Climate, described how male same-sex relationships in India differ from those in the West.
I have contributed to most major newspapers in Britain over the years, and have written for Granta. I am a regular contributor to New Internationalist – which has published three of my books in the last decade, most recently Consuming Cultures: Globalization and Local Lives. I write for Race and Class and Third World Resurgence, based in Penang, Malaysia.
More About Jeremy Seabrook:
“He became an associate honorary fellow at the University of Bradford’s Department of Peace Studies 1995 to 1998 and an associate at the Institute of Race Relations, UK, from 2004 onwards.
He has made several documentaries for BBC radio and TV on social, environmental and developmental issues.
Since 1963, Seabrook has written for publications including: New Society, the Guardian, the Times, the Independent, New Statesman, New Internationalist, Race and Class, Third World Resurgence, Third World Network and others.
He has also written over 40 books, including;
Travels in the Skin Trade – looking at the psychology of western men who travel to southeast Asia for sexual adventures (Pluto Press).
A World Growing Old – the implications of an ageing population, north and south (Pluto Press).”
Courtesy: The Guardian
1. Vaibhav Mani Tripathi: Democracy and globalization: Are they really compatible? ( An article published in “Aavartan” – A quarterly bilingual journal of academic activities in social sciences, environment and literary arena )
It’s a brilliant article which deals with the impact of globalization from many angles.
Excerpt from it:
” But the educational system what globalization promotes is focused in making technocrats so that they get huge work force with technical abilities. Democracy also needs well-educated people for its growth. But democratic societies flourish in a value based educational system and not a technology based system. The technology based educational system is result oriented and it has nothing to do with the values which human beings nurtured for generations so that they can live as human beings.”
2. Jeremy Seabrook: “Sex Education And The Free Market” published in The Statesman ( March 28, 2005).
I am neither misogynist nor anti-feminist, and not even a Men’s Rights Activist (MRA). Many of my friends working for these organisations feel I should be one like them in a formal way, but being on a different route, I prefer not to identify with any organization, be they ones from spiritual or political background. So it would be useless to measure the worth of author’s views as someone acting as mouthpiece of any organization. Let’s not forget that to come up with entirely different set of facts, a different version of reality not in tune with set patterns, is not bizarre. On the contrary, it’s the result of having viewed the world from close angles! An open mind would certainly realize it. To follow a different route does not make anyone regressive, biased, much less a Talibani with a capacity to issue a fatwa! Ridiculous assertion!
Why should every analyst of our times present a syrupy version of happenings taking place in world of present times women, wherein “every bad thing any man has ever committed highlighted and exaggerated; every bit of good systematically undermined, vilified or ignored”? It’s only that I feel inclined to represent the cause of men, not out sense of any “same gender” feeling but only from justice point of view, which demands that other side should also be heard well. It’s the other side of the fence that I am presenting with total sincerity, different perspective and neutral stance !
कुछ नहीं दिखता था अंधेरे में मगर, आंखें तो थीं,
ये कैसी रोशनी आई कि सब अंधे हो गए।।
(Though we cannot see in dark with our eyes,
It’s strange that we cannot see even as there is light around us)….
Feminism, as a movement, was started in late nineteenth century to demand female rights in society. “At the end of the nineteenth century was that women began to realize that it is unfair for them to be constantly under the power of men simply because the social system has traditionally favored males.” At this point, it’s inappropriate to discuss the impact of this movement in West, but this movement seems to have lost its impact there in modern times. May be because women have gained enough rights there but, in my eyes, it’s because both have realized well that battle of the sexes serves no purpose other than breeding animosity. “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back”.
The Indian women, who have misplaced beliefs that having all the rights ensures better days should, at least, have the guts to critically analyze the impact of such divisive and lethal movement in Western societies. Anyway, it’s better that I confine myself to Indian landscape. It’s better to understand the essential elements of Indian society, viewing it not through the myopic terms coined by the so-called progressive elements, but in a conscious way to tear apart the great game of gender equality. It’s interesting that many arguments have been forwarded to show the worth of female mind. Many love to cite the growing academic excellence of Indian women as one of the parameters to upheld the intellectual superiority of women. However, wisdom and real understanding have nothing to do with academic excellence. Many of the great contributors, in fact, nearly all creative geniuses, were very poor in academic terms plus they were never part of institutionalized structures. I say that not to lessen the importance of academic excellence but to highlight the worth of education offered in Indian schools and universities, which are killing all the good elements which a child possesses.
The Indian society might have so-called patriarchal model but it’s a sheer diabolical myth that it was framed to suppress the position of women, much less, exploit the women. The Indian society has always been women-centered society. The concept like “”Ardhanareeswara”, aimed at equality of women, which ensured that Shiva without female principle “Shakti” means nothing, always made Indian women enjoy dignified position in Indian society. Even in modern Indian Hindu families, having a balanced and sensible approach, the women always gain upper hand in all issues. All important issues have her consent, wherein her views gain as much importance than any male member. Have a look at the marriage vows. They in clear terms ensure that women come to enjoy an equal ground.
Gribhnami te saubhagatvaya hastam mayapatya jardastirayathasah|
Bhagoaryyamma savita purandhiramahyam tvadurgaharpatya devah||
That is – “Oh dear! On this auspicious occasion of our life, I take your hand in mine in the presence of invoked deities. Oh blessed woman! You be with me as a fortunate partner for a very long time. I hand over the control of my family in your hands, discharge your duties joyously.”
It’s a fallacious assertion that men enjoyed privileges in past while the women remained an oppressed lot. “Society is largely constructed for the benefit of women and children and always has been, otherwise it doesn’t survive. …It takes a gigantic lack of imagination (usually the sole province of baby feminists) to believe that women wanted the economic and political involvement they claim now when the demands and risks of these endeavours were as they were then (ancient times)”. The Indian society is also no exception. It’s always portrayed as if women in the past were some sort of domestic slaves, devoid of any sort of right to decide by themselves. Well, such a claim can only be made by people who have not bothered to know Indian society in its entirety. Even the most ancient ladies in Indian history had the right to chose their husbands via a ceremony called Swyamvara. The women were well versed in scriptural knowledge and many among them were qualified scholars.
True, with advent of time many of the glorious traditions (the great spirit which led to their origin) faded away to give way to their corrupt versions. It would not be out of place to mention that practice like dowry was basically the Streedhan to ensure that a woman is “not left wanting anything after the wedding”. The impression of men being unconcerned about the rights of women is quite powerfully projected but lesser known aspect is that men have played an instrumental role in any movement aimed at improvement of women. The greatest example in this category is abolition of Sati Pratha and banning of child marriages. Anyway, the division in labour in Indian society was done by the sages, who played an impartial role while framing laws related with basic structure of Indian society. It favoured none.
Had Indian society been truly patriarchal in nature, as suggested by new age scholars, it would have never led to emergence of bold Indian women who always played equal role in Indian society. Be they queens of ancient era, or the women freedom fighters of pre-Independence era, the Indian women played a significant role. It would not have been possible had women been denied the right to make choices. The modern Indian society is facing new set of complexities but the solution is not devaluation of ancient practices. The empowerment of Indian women does not mean women be entitled to make arbitrary choices on the grounds that men also did the same! In fact, it presupposes that men enjoyed unlimited freedom of all sorts. It’s totally false and erroneous notion. Their choices were also determined by the prescribed rules, keeping in mind the interests of women and children. Let’s be clear that the empowerment of women does not mean to give way to propaganda that “women alone have sufferings and women alone have problems in life”.
At present, the situation has become pretty confusing and dangerous for the growth of Indian society. The men are being repeatedly portrayed as abusers, leading to anti-family and anti-marriage laws. Indeed, there are problems related with Indian women but then effective measures in form of stringent laws are already there to take note of them. There are many institutions to take care of plight of women, whose recommendations have led to new rules, fresh amendments and etc. in form of Domestic Violence Act, Dowry Act and Maintenance Act, to name a few. In Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan, the Supreme Court of India in 1997 laid down the guidelines to ensure that sexual harassment at the workplace does not take place, which resulted in framing of the “The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2012″. The problems pertaining to women are being systematically dealt with, and much of the problems have not arisen out of lack of concern for the cause of women in Indian society, but because of lack of effective implementation. So it’s really shrewd to suggest that patriarchal society favours men!
Let’s understand that in name of personal freedom and personal choices one cannot give way to lifestyle which ensures conflicts and dilemmas of disturbing nature. A choice has to be in league with prevalent norms and customs. Or else, women need to effectively satisfy that their choices would not lead to turbulent state of affairs. There is nothing like absolute freedom. She has to convince what would be the state of affairs in such a society, which allows women unrestricted freedom in name of personal choices? That’s because, if there comes no plausible explanation, and still we went in for such a society, it would be hard to wipe out the new set of complexities. That’s the case in other parts of the hemisphere. To see the resistance offered by men, or by the people belonging to old order of living patterns as an attempt to hold back the privileges enjoyed in the patriarchal set-up is not the right interpretation. It’s also not fear to lose the power or monopoly. On the contrary, it’s an attempt to prevent the citadels of society from crumbling down.
It’s simply not issue of having choices/making choices in free manner; it’s more about long term consequences of having choices, which indicate the high probability of single women, pills, abortions, extra-marital relations, same-sex relations, stress-related burdens, broken families, deviant kids and etc.? What about the dangerous interference in the evolutionary process, wherein for ages men played the role of protector and women the role of nurturing the kids? With this kind of perverted “role reversal”, are’t we on the wrong track? One of my friends, during gender related conversation, referring to Sunita Williams ( as if only after that Indian women learnt the art to make exceptional choices) stated that she did not have kids for the sake of work! It would be suffice to say that if all women made such a choice, it would not be hard to imagine the fate of evolution of human species! However, this is classic example of selective approach, wherein a woman seeks benefits of traditional society when she feels trapped by her weaknesses but she is absolutely modern when it comes to making choices and rights. That’s paradox at its best since.
After all, it involves taming of the men species to ensure that inequality gets reduced! That has begun in a cruel fashion. Men are now supposed to do something which is never their strength, and a retaliatory gesture on their part is enough to get them the tag of being an abuser and an oppressor! Who will bear the consequences of ”placing men and women in a conflicting role and creating confusion in values”? But that’s still not as ominous as an attempt to create a society which denies even the right to protest on part of men. ”Under cover of the notion of chivalry, as understood by Modern Feminism, Political and Sentimental Feminists alike would deprive men of the most elementary rights of self-defence against women and would exonerate the latter practically from all punishment for the most dastardly crimes against men. They know they can rely upon the support of the sentimental section of public opinion with some such parrot cry of: “Treat a woman in this way!”/ “What! Hit a woman!”.
It’s interesting that women learnt to move out of their houses, refusing to remain confined to prison like state of affairs within the home, and began to notice that world outside is a different affair altogether. It missed the “having all the pleasure factor” which they had assumed prevailed in men’s life as they began to venture outside. The world would remain a hell’s replica and it would not going to change whether women remains inside the home or moves outside, fulfilling their aspirations and dreams in fullest manner. However, having said that, let’s make the world safer and better for the women community. Nobody said that problems pertaining to women’s life, be they of any type, sexual assault, low wages, discrimination, should be ignored.
What I wish to suggest is that while dealing with women’s issues, the gender politics should not get mixed with the reforms. An attempt to distort the intimate relationship with men and women should not become the prime motive in guise of welfare. Sadly, that’s how one feels while analyzing the current state of affairs, wherein right from biological facts, psychological facts and legal truths, all are being selectively quoted, or quoted in perverted manner to suit the vested interests acting as agents of change in world of women.
That’s why all conscious souls, interested in right developments, should become alert when “there is no distinction between potential and probability. An allegation suffices for proof. Hearsay is taken for gospel.” (Charles E. Corry). Rohan, Men’s Rights activist, Bangalore, conveys the same sentiments in a different way: ” Women have the right to be seated when in a bus or in a train. They have the right to 50% reservation in govt. jobs and academics. They have the right to claim alimony and maintenance, even in a live-in relationship. They have only rights and men only have duties. This is called equality, according to feminazis.”
Precisely, it’s for the very same reason it has become need of the hour to present the happenings taking place in world of men in an aggressive and conscious manner. The happier side of the movements aimed to improve the life of women has been “demolition of the idea that women are inherently nice”. The thing that’s now taking place is that discrimination and abuse stories related with women are being presented both in right and wrong way, with help of paid media. Facts, right and wrong, are flowing thick and past to show that how women have been underprivileged and suppressed lot. No one is bothered to check either the authenticity of facts nor the source, forget about probing them from wide angles.
Anyway, since all this is happening in the name of ensuring a better world for women, I am but compelled to endorse them. But with a condition and appeal: Let’s also reveal the true picture of the sufferings, pains, humiliation, torture faced by men side-by-side the stories which talk about sufferings of women, with the same honesty and intensity! That alone will bring the true story, true picture. At present, we are witnessing with abuse stories related with women only. That’s unfair to hear/see only one side in any story and jump to flawed conclusions applicable to totality.
Why such a wish irks those concerned with rights of women? Will society be a better place only if you enable the women to have all the rights? Why shouldn’t the rights of men be discussed in the same breath? Why should not adequate attention be paid to silent sufferings of men? It leaves me aghast that tragedies, stories of discrimination associated with men, their precarious state of affairs being involved in hazardous and tough activities and regular interaction with dilemmas and ironies of peculiar type are being talked about in matter-of-fact tones. Worse, any attempt to bring the truth get checkmated by giving the impression that since men are about to lose the power, lose the privileges, these are reactionary backlash. That’s an absurd and fleeting observation. The right interpretation is that men have now begun to get organized to make “gender equality” attain a right shape, a right balance, a right proportion. And this would never stop.
P.S.: Many thanks to my friend, Rohan, whose views I have borrowed from the conversation we had on Instablogs on one of my posts having the same theme. He is Men’s Rights Activist hailing from Bangalore.
Society Always Tilted Towards Women
The women community seeking “equality of gender”, should either accept this concept in entirety, or else, follow desirable norms. The point is why so much insistence on rights for behaving as you want, for doing whatever you want? Why not give way to responsibilities shared, supposedly always considered as role of men since time immemorial! That includes all menial jobs requiring intense labour in tough conditions. That also means serving the men community, inside homes, for ages. The men community did that for ages, supplying money like ATM machine, despite suffering severely at hands of cruel wives. That too silently! These employed, high salaried women, should also marry unemployed youths and offer them all comforts for many centuries without feeling the pinch just the way men community did that in past! I am just trying to convey that this drama of gender equality gained momentum in wake of the world becoming a sophisticated place to live, largely shaped by men and women in the same patriarchal mode, which the bunch of derailed feminists saw as an obstacle for the emancipation of woman.
I am not interested in narrating the consequences of feminism in other parts of the world, but in Indian context, it has given rise to new set of complexities. There was already healthy division of labour but with the rise of feminism, or call it curse of modernism, the world inside home got projected as insult to the capabilities of women. The traditional roles were projected as subservient. However, as the modern women, shattering so-called shackles, stepped out of the confines of home, they realized that world is not bed of roses, or on par with their expectations, largely because of limitations caused by their physicality. So another set of calculated efforts came into action, to make the outside world seem a safer domain. And for that very reason, males were advised to co-operate inside homes, doing household work, after all, that’s what true equality demands! That also meant loving ”fathers, brothers, sons” all be presented as “potential rapists” so that a false alarm can be raised, and thus, International bodies can come to dictate us, calling it a nation, which does not respects and honours women! The problems pertaining to women were highlighted in exaggerated way so as to ensure that hocus-pocus, called feminism, can make its presence felt in India.
It’s not that the problems related to woman community do not exist but a shrewd attempt to use them to create rift between the relationship, using the same bothering issues, is simply an attempt to hit hard at the cherished institutions called family and marriage. One never said that problems related with women be it female foeticide, rising sexual crimes, health concerns, low literacy level and etc. should never be dealt with in a conscious way. However, why should one not be alarmed when these very issues became a part of the plot to destabilize Indian society? It’s amazing that lesbians, drunk female girls, prostitutes not by condition but by choice, females involved in all sorts of complex relationship should be hailed as appropriate but the same women living inside the confines of home as an ideal wife is seen as insult to womanhood! I mean what sort of values are being professed in name of equality? What’s being achieved? It leaves one in deep pain that even the most heinous crimes “rapes” are also being used as tool to ensure that gender imbalance sharpens in name of equality.
This sort of heightened false consciousness in Indian women is a necessity because the governments in future would largely be shaped by minorities and women, and so it’s necessary to appease them, to keep them ignorant about real implications of chasing imported theories related with equality. At global level, this sort of destabilized society, wherein men and women, are living highly individualistic lives, caters well to the needs of consumerist society. So why would corporate demons make women aware of consequences of aping such wayward lifestyle, which is resulting in single women, divorced couples, broken homes, fatherless children, eventually leading to rise in crime level too? It’s safer for them that women come out of their homes, work for them, leading to greater productivity.
On the other hand, political class is all prepared to use them as a tool to make their political dreams come alive with their help. Only to attain such diabolical interests, the concept called feminism-the great game of gender equality-came in effect. It’s a myth that it got introduced to make their lives better. At least, in India, it’s not the case. Indeed, women have a set of their own problems, but to remove them, was it necessary to fall in the trap of complex notions of feminism, having goals which even Western world has failed to exhibit in totality or demonstrate with perfection? However, the problem starts when New Delhi starts living the pattern of life found in New York and Washington. That’s why borrowed concepts become a necessity. That’s why “equality” also becomes a necessity. That’s why a highly reputed media publication is bound to see “Sunny Leone” as woman of exceptional talent and merit. And that’s why it’s necessary to give rise to conflicts wherein woman is equal when it comes to enjoy benefits of modern society but woman feels no longer equal when threat is directly to her body. At that point, she is woman! Be equal to enjoy benefit, but be a woman in helpless positions!
Bringing qualitative differences in lives of woman is quite a different issue than using these very issues to demonize men, or, in fact, use the same issues to shatter the citadels of society. The positive side of this gender equality is that it has allowed men to reshape their own priorities. It has given them a huge chance to realize their own worth and get united to fight for the cause of men in a spirited way-something never done until now. This gender equality is a great phenomenon. At least, now everything related with woman shall be put on trial and it’s a great chance to shatter all stereotyped notions with them. They are no holy cows, and they are as shrewd and manipulative as men needs to be ably projected. It’s a myth that they are a weaker sex and that they were the harassed lot in past. They have always enjoyed deep respect, care, both in external world and within the four walls of home. However, it’s ironical, and diabolical too, that instead of highlighting this aspect, all the men got clubbed in one category of abusers of women. So it’s time to tell that who actually has been abusing-man or woman? The men community should discuss their own issues in a more organized way-their concerns, their dilemmas, their worries, their pain and their sufferings etc. should get highlighted in a better way. It’s for them to decide that they have to live like a male or as a female in a male body. That’s the real agenda of feminism- to curb the instincts of men to make them in tune with absurd concerns of women.
Lastly, there is nothing like gender equality. There are honorable differences and these differences should persist for the growth of society in a better way. Radha, Seeta, Draupadi, Savitri and other such great women were the by-product of same patriarchal society. Even in modern times, the same society has produced women for whom their fathers have been the role model. Let’s not topple such a society or else the future will be more darker than one would have imagined. Agreed that women have suffered discrimination and face problems. But are the lives of men devoid of problems? Aren’t they facing host of complex problems? Some times back in Kargil War, the Indian soldiers were killed in barbaric manner. Their genitals were cut. That was simply treated as war crime. The same done with woman would not have not only been treated as a war crime but also as sexual assault, rape. Now there lies the difference. That’s the paradox. One wishing true gender equality should treat both bodies as mere bodies! If that’s not possible then stop this nonsense about gender equality. At present, there is a difference and no difference in the name of equality. Difference when you can’t face the heat and no difference in sophisticated scenario. That’s not equality. That’s opportunism. That’s selfishness. That’s shrewdness of highest type.
Pic Two Internet
सच बोलने या सही बोलने वाले को दुनिया ने हमेशा तमाम तरीके की बौड़म उपाधियाँ दी है। सो लेबल की परवाह मुझे नहीं है। उस अवस्था से ऊपर उठ गया हूँ जहाँ लोगो को दुनियाई तमगो की चिंता होती है। कुछ तीव्रता से महसूस करना और फिर भी खामोश रह जाना एक प्रकार का बौद्धिक जुर्म है, बौद्धिक धोखा है। कम से कम ये मेरा तरीका नहीं है। स्त्रियों का मै सम्मान करता हूँ मगर इसका ये मतलब नहीं है कि उनके आचरण से जुड़े गलत तौर तरीको पर आपत्ति न उठाऊं। हर संवेदनशील व्यक्ति को समय रहते स्त्रियों को उनके आपत्तिज़नक आचरण के लिए सचेत करते रहना चाहिये इस बात की परवाह किये बिना कि इसका उन्हें खामियाज़ा भुगतना पड़ सकता है। कम से कम ये बेहतर है इससें कि आप व्यर्थ के आंसू टपकायें कुछ गलत हो जाने के बाद उसी गलत आचरण की वजह से। ये अलग बात है कि हम कदम तभी उठाते है जब सार्थक कदम अपनी अहमियत खो चुके होते है। अब ना तो मुझे इनकी तरह आँसू बहाने का शौक है और ना ही मै इन निष्क्रिय आत्माओ के समूह से में अपने आपको जोड़ सकता हूँ जो व्यर्थ ही आँसू बहाने के शौक़ीन है फोकट में।इसलिए तीव्रता से विरोध करता हूँ उस अवस्था से ही जब समस्या अपने प्रारम्भिक चरण में होती है। कम से कम विरोध करना तो मेरे हाथ में ही है। अगर आप मेरा साथ देते है तो अच्छी बात है। नहीं तो मै अकेले ही अपना विरोध तीव्रता से दर्ज करता रहूँगा। जिनको जो उपाधि मुझे देना है वो स्वतंत्र है मुझे देने के लिए।
कभी कभी हमको चीजों को मानवीय दृष्टिकोण से भी समझना चाहिए, एक संवेदनशील दिमाग से भी देखना चाहिए। दिक्कत हमारे साथ ये है कि हम सब चीजों को ओवर इंटेलेक्चुअलआइज़ कर देते है। यही सबसे बड़ी समस्या है रेडिकल फेमिनिस्ट्स के साथ जो औरतो के अधिकारों के लिए लड़ रही है। अब औरतो के पास कुछ तथाकथित अपने पर्सनल अधिकार है पर जो चीज़ इस पर्सनल राइट्स के मिलने के बाद आयी कि पुरुषो के साथ परस्पर माधुर्य से जुड़े सम्बन्ध बनाने की काबिलियत का लोप हो गया। इसीलिए मुझे जो साधारण स्तर पर विचरणने वाले स्त्री पुरुष है वो ज्यादा जीवन का रस लेने वाले है बजाय दोहरी ज़िन्दगी, उलझाव भरी ज़िन्दगी जीने वाले ये अधिकारों की लडाई लड़ते स्त्री और पुरुष।
(अपने अभिन्न मित्र घनश्याम दास, मेडिकल प्रैक्टिसनर है, यूनाइटेड अरब अमीरात, जी से कहे हुए शब्द एक विचार विमर्श के दौरान सोशल नेटवर्किंग साईट पर)
The righteous have always been labelled as this or that. I have never worried about labels; crossed that stage when one is afraid of labels. To feel something terribly and yet not speak out that clearly is some sort of intellectual dishonesty. That’s not my attitude. I respect and admire women a lot but that does not mean I come to overlook the dangerous trend patterns associated with them. We have to warn them in advance, irrespective of the consequences, or else there is no point in shedding tears when something goes wrong because of the same flaws/tendencies. It’s another thing that we react only when the water starts flowing above the danger mark. And neither I wish to shed tears like these misguided souls nor I wish to identify myself with them. That’s why I aggressively protest, right from the nascent stage of crisis. At least, that’s in my hand. It’s fine if you come to support me. If not, I will still aggressively protest all alone. Let them label me as they want.
Sometimes we need to look at things from human angle, from a sensitive mind. The crude thing is that we over intellectualize everything. That’s the problem with the radical feminists advocating the rights of women. Now the women have their so-called rights but they forgot the art to have a natural and intimate relationship with man. That’s why I find simple man and woman enjoying life more than these men and women living complex lives, living dual lives, in the name of personal rights.
P.S.: These words I shared with my close friend Ghanshyam Dasji, Medical Practitioner in United Arab Emirates, on a social networking site.
दिल्ली सामूहिक दुष्कर्म: कुछ वो बाते जिन्हें बताने, दिखाने और समझाने सें मेनस्ट्रीम मीडिया कन्नी काट गया!
दिल्ली में 16 दिसम्बर की रात हुई सामूहिक दुष्कर्म की घटना की जितनी भी निंदा की जाए वो कम है। इसकी वीभत्सता और दरिंदगी का अंदाज़ लगाने में शायद रूह भी काँप जाए अगर हम इस घटना के बारीकी में जाकर देखे जैसा समाचार पत्रों या अन्य माध्यमो से हमे पता चला है। उसके बाद इंडिया गेट और जंतर मंतर पर हुएँ प्रदर्शनों से हमे ये समझ में आया कि चलिए लोगो में रोष को स्वर देने का सलीका तो आया। लेकिन कुछ ऐसी बाते है जो मेनस्ट्रीम मीडिया में अब तक चर्चा का बिंदु नहीं बन सकी। सो एक कोशिश है प्रबुद्ध पाठको का ध्यान उन पहलुओ की तरफ खीचना की ।
ये तो तय है कि आसुरी तत्त्वों की प्रधानता हो चली है जिसमे अराजक तत्त्व कुछ भी करके चलते बनते है और एक बड़ा वर्ग सिर्फ चुपचाप खड़ा सा देखता रहता है। सो जवाबदेही सिर्फ उन लोगो की ही नहीं बनती है जिन्होंने इस कुकर्म को अंजाम दिया। वास्तविक जिम्मेदारी उन लोगो की बनती है जिन्होंने सिस्टम को चलाने का ठेका ले रखा है: राजनेता, प्रशासन, न्यायपालिका और समाज के विभिन्न अंगो के लोग जिनमे से शायद कुछ धरने प्रदर्शन में भी शामिल होंगे। इस मुद्दे का बहुत महीन विश्लेषण करने की जरूरत है। इसके पहले मै विश्लेषण करू इस बात पर गौर करने की जरूरत है कि अधिकतर प्रदर्शनकारी जो इंडिया गेट पर शामिल थें दुष्कर्म के आरोपियों को मौत की सजा के पक्षधर थें। जैसा कि इन विरोध प्रदर्शन के साथ होता है कुछ फेमिनिस्ट स्पॉन्सर्ड संस्थाएं और कुछ सेकुलर लोग भी अपने हित के लिए इन विरोध प्रदर्शन में शामिल हो गए। जहाँ तक आम आदमी के गुस्से की बात है वो समझ में आता है मगर इन जैसे लोगो का विरोध प्रदर्शन या तो सत्ता के लिए होता है या सिर्फ विदेशी संस्थानों से धन उगाहने के खातिर होता है। ऐसे लोग आपको मानवाधिकार की बाते इन अवसरों पर ज्यादा करते दिख जायेंगे।
इसलिए विरोध प्रदर्शन जो “हैंग द रेपिस्ट्स” तक ही केन्द्रित हो उठा है वो खतरनाक है। इस सीमित सोच से बात नहीं बनेगी जब तक सिस्टम का हर अंग सुचारू रूप से काम न करे। आप देखिये जिस वक्त दुष्कर्म की शिकार इस लड़की के लिए उत्तेजित भीड़ इंडिया गेट पर तख्ती, बैनर, मोमबत्ती के सहारे अपनी बात कह रही थी ठीक उसी वक्त उत्तर प्रदेश में एक अभागी माँ सामूहिक दुष्कर्म की शिकार अपनी बेटी, जिसने आत्मदाह कर लिया इस घटना के बाद , न्याय के लिए भटक रही है , धरने पर बैठी है जिलाधिकारी कार्यालय पर कोई सुनवाई नहीं, उल्टा पुलिस ने मनगढ़ंत कहानी रच डाली है। दूसरा आप सेलेक्टिव चेतना से ऊपर उठें। क्या बात है कि गरीब किसान क़र्ज़ में डूबकर आत्मदाह कर लेते है पर उसके लिए कभी जनाक्रोश नहीं उभरता बल्कि सरकार खरीद मूल्य और कम कर देती है, उसके द्वारा उगाये अन्न सड़ कर गल जाए इसकी व्यवस्था सुनिश्चित कर देती है। अफज़ल गुरु की फांसी टलती जा रही है जबकि इस प्रकरण से जुड़े शहीद परिवार के लोग संसद के आगे आत्मदाह तक कर डाल रहे है पर हम खामोश रहते है। व्यवस्था को जड़ से हटाने के लिए तब अन्ना, रामदेव या अरविन्द केजरीवाल जैसो को सामने आना पड़ता है, जिनको मिटाने और तोड़ने की हर साज़िश सरकार कर डालती है पर समाज का हमारा एक बड़ा वर्ग निश्चिंत होकर बीवी बच्चो के लिए मगन होकर अथाह पैसा सही गलत तरीके से बना रहा होता है। तब रोष या आक्रोश नहीं उभरता है। लिहाज़ा इस सामूहिक दुष्कर्म का शिकार इस लड़की के लिए उभरे आक्रोश पर ख़ुशी तो है पर इसकी अपूर्णता का भान होते ही ख़ुशी काफूर हो जाती है।
ये बात हमको समझ में आना चाहिए कि जहा सिस्टम इतना दोषपूर्ण हो चला है कि जब तक हम सच और झूठ का फैसला कर पाते है तब तक बहुत देर हो चुकी होती है वहा पर सख्त कानून बना देने भर से उलझने और समस्याएं और बढ़ सकती है। हम आज जिस समाज में रहते है वहा दुष्कर्म भी हथियार के रूप में इस्तेमाल किया जाता है, स्त्रिया भी उतनी ही अय्याश बन कर उभरी है जितने की पुरुष और उन्हें अपने मकसद के लिए नीचे गिरने में कोई संकोच नहीं है लिहाज़ा अगर आप सख्त कानून बनाते है बिना सिस्टम में उतने ही बारीक सुधार किये तो ये तय है कि इस तरह के कानून से समाज में बिखराव और बढेगा। इससे बेहतर तरीका ये रहेगा कि उपभोक्तावादी संस्कृति में स्त्री पुरुष अपने आचरण को लेकर सजग रहे बजाय हर बदलाव के लिए कानून की बैसाखी का सहारा लेने के लिए। इंडिया गेट पर प्रदर्शन हर्ष तो देता है पर इस बात का भान तो सदा बना रहता कि स्वार्थी तत्त्व इनको अपने स्वार्थ के लिए इस्तेमाल करते है जिससे बजाय कोई अच्छा हित सधने से स्त्री-पुरुष के बीच वैमनस्य की खाई और चौड़ी हो जाती है। अगर हम इनसे ऊपर उठकर, इनसे बच कर अपनी लड़ाई लड़ सके तो समाज का सचमुच में भला हो सकेगा नहीं तो ऐसे आक्रोश स्वार्थी तत्त्वों का सिर्फ हित साधने का साधन भर बन के रह जाते है। सड़ी गली सेक्युलर संस्थाएं ऐसे ही आक्रोश को सामाज विरोधी शक्ल दे देते है। सो गुस्सा सार्थक बदलाव के लिए करे ना कि गलत लोगो का हित साधने के लिए करे। अंत में लोगो का आक्रोश क्या रंग लाता है ये तो वक्त बतायेगा पर उम्मीद है कि सिंगापुर के हास्पिटल में भर्ती ये बहादुर लड़की जल्द ही स्वस्थ होकर बाहर फिर उन्मुक्त होकर विचरण कर सकेगी।
It’s a rare phenomenon in a virtual world to receive comments/letters, which are powerful enough to make you go in a thinking mode. The dialogues or conversations taking place between netizens are often devoid of substance, purely for the sake of cheap thrills. Anyway, the words of my highly conscious female friend Sally, living in United Kingdom, proved to be an exception. She is an excellent blogger, who not only loves to sing but also appears to be in love with languages, being fluent in Spanish, German and French. Her views provide a deep insight about the complexities, which have begun to shatter relationship existing between man and woman. Let’s have a look at her views but before that it would be appropriate to apprise the readers of my own words which compelled Sally to have such a conscious take on this complicated issue.
And yes, Sally, when I began writing I never intended to beat the Britishers in English writing skills! I have always been interested in presentation of thoughts with not so much regards for rules of grammar. That’s what I am still doing: Learning with each passing day with greater hold on presentation of deeper thoughts, related with sensitive issues. Anyway, thanks for complimenting me on my English. They mean a lot to me. At least, they give me power to keep writing with confidence in the world of English writing, marred by fierce competitiveness.
That’s what I said:
“It’s really baffling to anticipate that women have changed a lot but the mindset that sees them as a weaker sex remains the same. We continue to treat them as sex which cannot do anything wrong. Interestingly, it had never been the reality. Not even in times when they were icons of virtue. They are equally capable of plotting in a sinister way. In fact, they are far superior in working in evil ways.
Yet we notice that when laws are framed, they are framed treating woman as a harmless creature! Will anybody explain me what’s the rationale behind this generosity shown by the lawmakers? What prevents the lawmakers from anticipating something that’s too obvious even to a person having little knowledge of women’s behaviour? This calculated ignorance on part of lawmakers has turned Indian homes into battlefields. Clash of egos is now so commonplace. The couples suffer but the policemen, lawyers, judges, women’s organizations and feminist institutions keep making money. The fights are also good for the economy. The couple living separate lives will be viewing television separately!
The times have really changed. Women make babies suffer but forget not to save time for friends, parties and doggies. This drama is, indeed, more comic than ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’, and at the same time, more tragic than disaster hitting the planet earth.”
Now pay attention to the words of my extremely sensitive friend Sally:
This is a very interesting discussion. I think where there is any extreme there must always be a backlash the other way.
In this country (the UK), when women’s rights came to the fore it wasn’t too long before the balance tipped in their favour. Men were demonised (“all men are rapists”, etc.) and women insisted on equality in all areas, much to their own detriment in terms of the social niceties such as men standing when a woman entered the room, men opening doors for women, etc. Whereas women were fighting for the “right” to work, this has inevitably led to all women being expected to work, whilst still looking after their husbands and partners (forget the “New Man”, he doesn’t exist!) and also bring up their children.
This initially back-lashed to the emasculation of men and they were much derided in advertising campaigns and TV soap operas, etc.
The truth is there are intelligent people and not so intelligent people, there are good people and bad people, strong people and weak people – of both sexes – and gender doesn’t come into the equation. Men and women should have equal rights in law, and there should be fairness in society, and men and women should complement each other. Look at nature – in some respects the male dominates, in other respects the female does. There is balance.
We should respect each other’s gender, and work in harmony. We can rejoice in our differences.
As a visitor to India, I was aware that there were many aspects which seemed, to a Western observer, to be very old fashioned. Some attitudes towards women I encountered were quaint and charming, some I found patronising, and others downright offensive (whether I was judged, as a Western woman, to have looser morals I cannot say but on a couple of occasions I was manhandled – literally – in an unacceptable fashion). On the whole, however, I was treated with respect. I was, however, left with the impression that men had the upper hand culturally.
My impression before visiting India – mostly derived from watching “Bollywood” movies – was that the Indian male’s view of womanhood was that of a fragile flower, who should be chaste but sassy, and in need of the male’s protection, but who might equally be a devious temptress or harridan, using womanly wiles or a strong personality to get her own way. The truth is that men and women are not so different – we laugh, we cry, we nurture, we manipulate, we love, we hate, we feel.
Just as men abuse women, women abuse men. If anything, the abuse of men is less likely to be reported since society would have it that the abused man is weak, which is not necessarily the case at all.
Even in the UK in the 21st century there are still serious issues, such as the rights of divorced and separated fathers concerning access to their children, which need addressing. Although women are said to have equality, men are still on the whole earning more than women in similar jobs.
Oh yes, and I agree with the song “Paisa bolta hai” (money speaks). Many laws are made which protect the interests those who make them. The people who make the laws are mostly men.
May I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your English, which is probably equally as good as mine, if not better, and certainly much better than my Hindi!