It’s her turn today. She is facing the wrath of being erudite and  empowered. But do remember that she represents a gender which undergoes teasing, harassment and the worst- rape, everyday.                                              

Nearly all women organisations are facing criticism these days for their incapacitation in bulwarking a pregnant woman (Safoora zargar) against inhumane treatment with her, in prison. It’s worth wondering that people could not see beyond it where a society exists which structure is highly patriarchy in all walks of life. This society has always treated women as object rather humans. That’s why the ideas of feminism and women empowerment are oblivious in most parts of the country. While a faction is always ready to denounce these ideas anyday. In such a grim surroundings if some women get recognition and reverence, its their charisma. Otherwise the male ego would always prefer to abuse a woman than to be apologetic.

The misogynic trolls against Safoora on various social media platform are not unexpected thus. She exemplifies a woke woman who is not well aware of her rights only but also stood out for the cause of her people. She was very conspicuous during entire stir of anti-CAA and NRC carrying out in Jamia Millia Islamia. Her impact was so deep that police could not wait to get this lockdown over.

History is witness that one of the major objectives of 19th century Indian renaissanace was to emancipate women from millennium old and vicious socio-religious practices. Naming few- sati, child marriage, dowry etc. A number of intellectuals of that time devoted their lives fighting these evil forces. They acknowledged that in a society where women were invoked in goddess form and worshipped such deterioration in their status was unfortunate. History holds Manu’s code, which was based on gender discrimination, responsible for it. This code considered women as material object and not human beings.

But the renaissance has its own shortcomings. It focussed on status quo i.e prevailing sufferings of women. For e.g- colleges were opened for illiterate women. Similerly, other reforms were done for their betterment. But, it failed eventually in understanding the fact that these steps are mere ad interim and may last for a century or two untill the zeal of renaissance sustains.

Thus, it was necessary to uproot the evil residing in the mind of patriarchy. The male domination, which was enjoying female subjugation for centuries, was never ready to accept the newly emerging social system. How such a man would bear a woman asking for her space in social and political sphere? The result of which is even after more than a century and half women are waiting for their share in both the spheres.

In Safoora’s case the trolls are though having affiliation with a particular ideology. This ideology has idolized the toxic masculinity of Prime Minister. His fierce moustache and a broad chest are more a showcase for his followers than him. Safoora’s resistance was seen by PM’s followers as an attempt by an ordinary woman repelling their ideal.

This is the ontology behind the existance of feminism actually. Why only a male messiah would be admired and preferred? Women’s existance is not confined to sex and reproduction only. If women can be goddesses then why not alpha females ?

But, unfortunately at this juncture many ignorant as well as highly educated Indians follow the same established dogma. They adhere the belief that women have adapted to private spheres of household. Moreover, they hold the view that western education and ideals will cause to shift the priorities of women. What if a sense of individual identity developed in them ? They would dismiss marriage, motherhood and responsibility of domestic household. More importantly, they may aspire to get same fame and profession which men think have patent over.

Thanks to this sick mentality which has created a society where it’s an obligation over mother to teach her young daughter to become submissive to her husband and being a good daughter-in-law for rest of the family. Whereas, at the same time, her husband needs no lesson from parents. At least regarding giving respect to his wife. The domestic sufferings of women consequently becomes inevitable. She is beaten and burnt for inadequate dowry, she faces curse and sometimes get abandoned for not producing male child, she is forced for marital rape. And these all in 21st century India when we claim to be more modern and progressive.

Two years back, there was #MeToo campaign outgrown across the country. It gave strength to female celebrities for coming out dauntlessly and share their inecdotes with world. Amid this, a voice came questioning “why not then and why now” i.e they did not speak at the time of getting harassed and complaining now, after years. Many backing this voice accused these celebrities of spreading propaganda for getting fame overnight.

These morons forgot that how insecure these women were in facing this grand patriarchal set up. They were so scared of getting labelled as characterless that could not express their sufferings. But, the moment this campaign landed India they found a platform to unite and share their stories.

Here the need is to think over the kind of helplessness these women went through. Had this campaign not come here their grief stricken soul would have been killing theirselves inside. Any modern society would appreciate their courage of being outspoken on a subject which is very taboo in countries like India. Again, this is the story of very few bravehearts while many are still carrying this burden without complaining. As Mirza Ghalib has rightly said- Ranj se khoogar hua insan to mit jata hai ranj, mushkilein hum par padi itni ki aasan ho gayi.

There is a section which has view that Safoora is facing backlashes because of her identity as a muslim. This is very absurd argument. If a hindu holds this belief that entire humanity is solely created by his own creator then by common logic he must accept that Safoora too is a human being and a part of same humanity. Discarding her from this league of humanity is nothing but insulting the creator.

We must realize that we are a land of Astu pujyante, Ramante tatra devanta. Which means Gods reside a place where woman is worshipped. All she wants is her due which she either never got or given at some cost. Either we have forgotten the mentioned verse and have coined a new teaching where woman are no more idolized. Or we have reduced them to nothing more than inanimate object.

Alsaba Binyamin is pursuing Master’s in political science at Aligarh Muslim University


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