Monday, August 30, 2010

Women Trafficking - Is it a trade or a tradition ?

Since ages, the brothels have prospered. Be it in the form of dancers in Rajah’s time, or the ‘Kothas’ in the 19th century, women trafficking in the slave system or the trend of call girls today. Women have always been sacrificed at the altar. This evil has grown not only upon the mighty and wealthy, but has also spread its branches in small villages as well. 200 kilometers from Delhi, Alwar district of Rajasthan houses an intense and widespread network of prostitution since as long as 1947. If not for the case of abducted young girls in the neighboring towns and villages it might not have been chanced upon for yet many years to come.
Is it not ironic that we have always cried out for the cause of girl child? We have always wanted that they should be loved, cared for and well fed? And when it is actually happening in the villages of Sodavas and Girvas of Alwar district, it is all for the demonic reasons. The Bedia and Nutt communities there have traded girls since generations. All the abducted girls, even as small as few months old, are raised there as well as their own and even better, only to be sent away to brothels or the gulf countries. Is it not similar to feeding an innocent lamb before beheading it for a sacrificial ceremony? Hardly does the lamb know that its happy days are short-lived.
And as if this was not enough. Impatience has always been in human nature, to wish for quicker results. These small girls are injected with Oxytocin injections on a regular basis to attain premature puberty. These injections, popularly known as “Goli no. 10”, are the same ones as used for cattle to increase their lactation and are available for even less than a rupee in cattle less region as theirs. It induces the feelings of love, care, bonding and a craving for sex in these infants and makes them grow at an immense rate, such that a 10 year old looks 16 and is ready to be sold off in the roaring market of prostitution. And then it is time for the next batch of girls to be reared and the cycle continues.
In a country like ours, where the sex ratio of women is declining at such an alarming rate, it is no wonder that these communities are doing well. This tradition of theirs has fetched them all houses, air conditioners and dish antennas, in all a very comfortable life but at what expense? To rear and sold away our own daughters? Is it what our religion has taught us? Where we have always worshipped women, and still women have suffered so many atrocities at our own hands? Where we claim to be the first to give women their voting rights, we have snatched away their civic rights at the same time? Where we are the only people who call our country as our “motherland”, we have sold off our mothers and sisters to feed our own hunger? A soulless, sightless and a selfish monster is that what we have become? It is high time for us to stop being callous and start respecting our own kin. Girls have long lost their rights to mankind, but now is the time to restore them. We have to start digging around and wash away our own dirt to root out this evil and awaken in a fresh morning where we shall all be happy and where we shall all be respected. That is how life should be and that is how it shall be. I believe.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Honor Killing - A Plague

She had always been the favourite kid. Always buoyant, she would spread cheer and joys everywhere she went. Her parents loved her and her brothers adored her. Life was just perfect until the cruel destiny took its toll. She was stabbed to death by her own brothers, while she kept crying for help. Her crime, she was hopelessly in love. And what proved to be the harbinger of her death was her courage she showed to accept and marry the guy she had chosen for herself. This is the story of not just one but many girls who row the dangerous tide of love. Be it Reena and Shyam’s sad demise on Jul 4th or Monica and Kuldeep’s cold blooded murder on June 22nd, these stories never differ from the same punch line – “We saved our honour”.
Honour killings have increased dramatically over the past few years. Especially in the euphemistic societies of northern India, to be young and in love has proved to be a bane for many couples. The caste system prevalent in this region is so strict, that it is banned to marry beneath your caste. Such a mistake on the part of Geeta and Jasveer resulted in a death sentence for them. Geeta’s relatives were furious enough how Jasveer even dared to marry one of their own that they didn’t think twice before taking his life. In other cases of honour killings, the reason strips down to sheer chauvinism thriving in the area. Where the boys have the authority to do whatever they want, the sole responsibility to protect the family’s honour and morality comes down upon the girls of the family. The right to their lives is conditional upon their obeying the rules and laws set down upon them by their parents and the society. Brought up in such surroundings, even the women themselves become so stringent that they are bent upon killing their own kin. In yet another case, Geeta strangled her own daughter Rekha to death and had no remorse for committing such a horrendous act. I wonder how it never dawns upon such women that they themselves had gone through a similar phase, and if they do not protect their daughters from the clutches of this society then who else will. And above all these murders are permitted by “Khap panchayats” and are rarely tracked down. Khap panchayats are a group of the village elders that lay down the stringent rules whose non compliance leads to punishments or deaths. Strangely enough, these law bodies never include women in the decision makers. However, it’s ironic that “Khap” also means spreading disturbance or anarchy and that is what these law bodies are doing.
It is quite hard to identify the culprits of honour killings as these murders are committed by a mob of perpetrators and the eyewitnesses rarely come forth. Is it not exasperating that these families disown their own blood just to gain acceptance in a morality based society? How they kill their own daughters and sons brutally whom once they loved? And how they justify their moral-less acts as a conniving act to protect the morals of their family and society? Let me ask a very basic question, when in trouble or hard times, who stand by your side and whom do you rely upon, your family or the stringy society who doesn’t even know that you exist until it profits from you? No wonder India is still backward, as such an orthodox environment prevents free thinking. A friend of mine suggested that honour killings should be termed as “Dis (h) onour” killings as people disown their kin and their values. We are taught to love since the day we are born, to love our parents, to love our siblings, to love the plants and even to love animals. Then why are we forsaken to love another human being whom god created as equal? We are told that love is divine, and still we have to pay dearly for it with our lives at the whim of some weirdoes who term themselves as the moral law makers. It’s time for our country to expect a new renaissance where love and freedom shall win over the orthodox dishonourable rules that plague our society. It is time to strike back upon the emotionless cold hearted murderers who are not even ashamed of themselves and roam around freely calling themselves as the “Real Men”. One such moron was heard boasting about his double murders the other day claiming that “We have removed the blot”, he may be right if only all such blots of innocent love could be removed by a much darker smear of gore. If that be the case my friends, the world would be an abyss with no ray of hope or light to guide our lives. All we have to do to prevent that from happening is to take a stand and fight back, for our rights, for our homes, for our families and for LOVE....