Monday, 7 March 2016

Men's Empowerment Day

Good evening incredible and gorgeous women!
''I was almost jolted when my mom asked me if I could speak a few lines at an event organized by an NGO on the  special occasion of  Women's Day.  I have this mentality that wherever I go I either need to be the best and if not then at least different. Different in a way that people should remember me all their lives and for all the good reasons, of course!
Last year on Women's day I wrote a blog post on Men's Empowerment Day. Yes you  heard that right! Women's Empowerment Day popped up in the results when I searched for Men's Empowerment Day on Google. Though we do have  an International Men's Day on November 19 but nobody really pays heed to it, do they? Well, I haven't seen any article in newspaper or on social media that celebrates Men's Day and there are times when I feel men need more help and empowerment than we do!
We've talked a lot about empowering women, we've conducted countless seminars, we've been part of innumerable protests but the result? Women are still getting raped every twenty -two minutes. Rapists do not ask women about  their education qualification. Do they? They don't even look at her clothes. They just look at the fact that she is a woman and 'I can rape her' or throw acid on her. And the list of heinous crimes against us is never ending.
A child should be taught from the very beginning that the only difference between 'pink' (women) and 'blue'(men) is biological but their value is the same. The little boy hates it when he sees his mother being bullied by his father but he does absorb the fact that yes, it is possible and someday he can do it too. On Rakshabandhan, children are taught how brothers must protect 'their' sisters.
''Beta, dhyan rakhna. Kuch khanna peena ho then make sure you serve yourself. We know he is your friend but time kharab hai''. ''Kaha milli isse? Phele kabhi sunna nai. Kaun hai ye? Zada ladko se baat matt kia karo. Tum chothi ho tumhe logo ki phehchaan nai hai.''
Heard these lines ? I have. And I am sure many of you have even used these. Every time your son goes out with a girl do you tell him to protect her? Do you ask him who is she and how does he know her? What does her father do? A lot of parents don't. There is one per cent chance that somebody will throw acid on your son or molest him but there are chances that something similar might happen to the girl he has gone out with. Do you teach him what should be done when something like this happens? But we do teach our daughters not to go out late at night.
''Arre, bhai vo Akaash ki ladai hogai hai Piyush k gang saath, chal uski help karnein chalte hai''. ''Beta, please parso ki tarh kisi se ladh k matt ana . ''Bhai, aaj meine kya peeta na Piyush aur usko dosto ko. Tereko hona chaiye tha. Mein na jaata na to Akash to hospital mein hota.''
Familiar with any one of these? I suppose you are.
''Yaar sunn jaldi neeche aaja meine abhi dekha ki do log meri neighbour ki beti ko chedh rahe the''. ''Beta, agar kabhi bhi aapko koi ladki dikhay iske saath galat ho raha ho to please uski jaake help karna. Vo  tumhari bhen nai to kya hua tum uski help to karr hi skti ho''. Dude, kaash tu vaha aaj hota. Tere bhai nein to award winning kaam kia. Aaj do ladke ek ladki ko chedh rahe the meine unko khub maara aur police bulai.''
Heard any of these? Umm.. I haven't!  I clearly haven't.
''Insaan bura nai hota uska kaam bura hota hai. Agar aap insaan k kaam aur usko alag alag kardo to vo bhi aapke aur mere tarh ache insaan bann jaate hai''. 
Akshay Kumar said this dialogue in the epic 'Singh is King'. And I totally stand by it. We are teaching our daughters to become stronger and smarter but are we teaching our sons to be more responsible towards them? I know  most of you sitting here belong to good families and I am sure never will we get to hear that some man  from your family did something so demonic that ruined a woman's life. But why did women like Priyanka Chopra, Michelle Obama, Kiran Bedi, Oprah Winfrey have to step up for an issue like Women's Empowerment when they were so empowered themselves? Because they wanted the world to be a better place for women. Did they succeed? I suppose not. At least in our country we still haven't as we women still stand at the periphery of a nation that only supports men.
And I am not saying empowering women has been of no use. It obviously has. Empowerment gave birth to Malala and made women like you and me rise beyond our expectations. But I think we've reached a point where the right as in the empowered and responsible men of our society should come together under one roof and celebrate Men's Empowerment Day. Empower men whose deadly deeds ruined so many lives. Empower men who made us feel that the nation we live in is not for women. Empower men feel women need to surrender. Empower men who see their future wives as home-makers and sex objects. Gender quality is the theme for International Women's Day 2016 and therefore, empower men who think daughters are a burden.
Thank you.''

How I wish I could express my views at the event which will take place today in the evening. They wanted me to speak in 'shudh Hindi' and I feel extremely shameful and unworthy because I am not very fluent with the language that makes me stand out among people from other parts of the world. Before concluding this post I would like to leave all the women out there with a quote that I always acknowledge-
''There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women''
Madeleine Albright.
Happy Women's Day to all you women. You inspire me and I love you all!


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