|Pic courtesy: disturbia.hubpages.com|
I found all this rather strange. It is acceptable to us to have celebrities model for anything from detergents to cars; but, should they use their celebrity status to provoke active debate on issues that really affect us, they are clearly exceeding their brief. Of course, we know all about dwindling female to male ratios; of course we know all about the situation in Haryana where men don’t have enough women to marry, where women work in the fields when men sit on their khaats (cots) and smoke hukkahs and expect their womenfolk to return and cook their meals too; of course we know how in Patiala in a well female foetuses were found discarded (Is There Reason to Celebrate Women’s Day in India?). But, lets ask what’s wrong with a celebrity asking us to look within and find answers before pointing finger at others? Should we leave to Mamata Sharma (even deadlier than the other Mamata) who, as chairperson for National Commission for Women (NCW) said it was alright to call women sexy? (Read: Hi Sexy – ‘Gateway to Future’ For Indian Women)
That’s really what is wrong with our country: we slang ordinary people debating important issues since we assert that these should be left to experts. What experts? An ordinary citizen Anna Hazare starts a people’s movement against corruption and the parliamentarians take him to task that issues such as these should be rightfully tackled by the elected representatives of the people (each one of them represented by an average of not more than 9 percent of the electorate (read: How Proud Should We Be Of The Indian Republic At 62?))
I think Aamir Khan has done right by instigating public debate (and hopefully action) on a very core issue. Today is the Mothers Day; will we have enough women left to become mothers?
As far as Jill the Ripper and Anjalis are concerned, these too are strange aberrations and certainly take the focus away from the real issue. In the northern part of our country, the incidence of reverse dowry (a phenomenon in which the bride and her siblings demand money and favours from the bridegroom failing which they would accuse him and his parents of demanding dowry and expose them to untold hardships and jail) are now becoming more common. Indeed, I wish Aamir Khan’s programme’s research team had brought out how Jill the Ripper, Anjalis, Mayawatis and Mamatas, by their abrasive and sometimes violent actions, spoil the cases of the majority women who have to suffer indignities and injustices on an everyday basis.
Left to myself I would give a lot of marks to Aamir Khan for Satyamev Jayate and the many unsung heroines who came forward to tell the tales of how they were stopped from becoming mothers simply because they would have given birth to female children.
Happy Mothers’ Day.
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