Archive for April, 2013


Guest post by Monica Sarkar, a freelance journalist and writer. Original post at http://missinterpreting.com:

The tragic case of the Delhi gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman last year forced India to take a long, hard look at itself in the mirror and decide how to change.

Or rather, the citizens looked at the government and judiciary system and made it reconsider how it deals with the abuse of its women.

But let’s not forget one thing: violence against women is a crime the world over. Alongside the stories emanating from India, there have also been reports of gang rapes in Mexico, Brazil andSouth Africa.

In war torn countries such as Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, sexual violence is used as a weapon of war – even after a ceasefire is declared.

And it isn’t restricted to the developing world; in the UK, approximately 85,000 women are raped on average in England and Wales every year.

Society’s fabric drapes mens’ shoulders

Patriarchal beliefs, sometimes subtle and other times misogynic, are woven into the fabric of many societies that hold down women and drape the shoulders of men.

The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) states: “…violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men.”

Perhaps there has been more noise about the incidents in India because, out of sheer frustration and anger, its citizens have taken to the streets and are shouting about them too.

So when you hear or read of such tragic tales from India, I hope you don’t just point your finger, shake your head and think this is India’s problem. Because violence against women is likely to be happening on your soil, but your attention is on another land.

But we need to be aware; a link has even been suggested between the abuse of women and international violence. The study, entitled “Heart of the Matter,” in the Harvard-published journalInternational Security, concluded that the best predictor of societies’ peacefulness is how well they safeguard the interests of women. Therefore, mistreat women and you mistreat the world.

Yes, India’s rape problem is alarming. But look at your own country, look at your people, look at yourself: how do you treat your women and how do you need to change?

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मेरे कदम रुक जाते हैं …दहलीज़ पर …

इसे लांघ कर कोरा  कागज़ है आगे …

या कोरा दिखता है ? लिखा है सब …

मेरी मुस्कुराहटें और आहें … मेरे आंसू और खुशियाँ …

इन कोरे पन्नो में लिखी है किस्मत …

छोड़े जा रही हूँ सर्वस्व ..अपनी पहचान …

 

छोड़े जा रही हूँ …

इस आँगन में अपने नन्हे क़दमों की  आहट …

वो रटी हुई पहली अंग्रेज़ी कविता के शब्द …

बाबुल की गोदी, माँ के आँचल में छुपे मेरे सपने …

भैया के हाथों में  अप्रत्यक्ष राखी के धागे  …

छोड़े जा रही हूँ …

 

दीवार पर लगी पहले स्कूल के दिन की तस्वीर …

और अलमारी से झांकती वो खेल की ट्राफी …

पीपल के पेड़ की टहनी से झूलता टूटा झूला …

और रसोई में बनी वो पहली रोटी की याद …

छोड़े जा रही हूँ …

 

आँगन के कोने कोने में हंसी छुपी है मेरी …

झारोंखें की सलांखों में दबे है कई आँसू …

चौखट में मिटी हुई कई रंगोली हैं मेरी …

और बुझे  हुए कई दीपक के तेल के निशाँ …

छोड़े जा रही हूँ …

 

छोड़े जा रही हूँ सर्वस्व ..अपनी पहचान …

मेरे कदम रुक जाते हैं …दहलीज़ पर …


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I slip my hands into the gloves, and bite into the teeth guard…

The clothes hug me tight, womanhood obliterated,

Moving quickly I enter the ring and jump up and down to get the feel..

No name, no gender, am just a number, a weight…a boxer…

 

I slip my gloved hands into the sleeves, the nurse quickly ties the face mask..

I look into her eyes, see tiredness mixed with admiration and respect?

Moving swiftly to the table I hold out my hand for the slap of the scalpel…

No face, no gender, am a healer… a surgeon…

 

Henna on my hands …kohl in my eyes…

Flowing feminine dresses with matching bangles…

Am I to be bound by narrow definitions…

I am to be tried by pre decided perceptions…

Questions lie within …answers hidden from me …

Answers lie within …questions hidden from me


क्या दुआ मांगू ? क्या दुआ मांगू …

दुर्गा माँ के गौरवशाली देश की बेटियों के लिए …

जहाँ जन्मदाता घोंट देते है छोटी सी जान की ज़िन्दगी …

शेर पर नहीं बैठी है कन्या जहाँ …माँ की गोद भी नसीब न हुई …

 क्या दुआ मांगू ? क्या दुआ मांगू …

सरस्वती माँ के उत्कृष्ट  देश की बेटियों के लिए?

जहाँ पालनहार फेर लेते हैं मुंह कूड़े के ढेर में फेंक कर …

वीणा नहीं है हाथ में …कलम भी छीन ली नन्हे हाथों से …

 

क्या दुआ मांगू ? क्या दुआ मांगू …

झांसी की रानी की मिटटी पे पली-बड़ी बेटियाँ …

झुका  के सर चलती हैं …फेंक देते हैं तेज़ाब …

नोच लेते हैं आँचल …अपने भी रखते है दुशासन सी नज़र …

क्या दुआ मांगू ?

 

आज भी नारी अग्नि में जलती है सीता मय्या … चंद पैसों के लिए …

आज भी भरी भीड़ में हर लेते हैं चीर द्रौपदी का … कहाँ हो … कान्हा …

सौ सौ बलिदान देकर अपने सर के …सर ढक कर चली …

कब तक ? …कब तक ? क्या दुआ मांगू ?

 

 
 
 

Lying on the roadside …near the garbage heap,

Covered in your mother’s blood …

Your barely formed head…covered with sparse hair….wet…

Your eyes are clenched closed ……and pointed chin touches your barely moving chest…

Fists closed …arms crossed across your unformed breasts…

Your knees are drawn up tightly across your tiny caved in stomach…

The placenta torn and sneaking through them and lying …like a withered snake …unsure…

Your thin legs are crossed at the tiny delicate ankles…pink toes speckled with blood…

I see you my daughter…

 

 I see you my daughter…

Lying on the roadside …near the garbage heap,

Covered in your own blood …

Your head covered with sticky mottled hair …lying bedraggled across your bare shoulders…

Your eyes are clenched closed ……and pointed chin touches your barely moving chest…

Fists closed …arms crossed across your beautiful bare breasts with burn marks …

Your knees are drawn up tightly across your curved stomach…

The womanhood torn and sneaking through them and lying …like a withered snake …unsure…

Your bare long legs are crossed at the ankles…red coloured toes speckled with blood…

I see you my daughter…

 A journey of a million smiles ….a million blessings…so many tiny dancing steps…so many birthday gifts…a zillion words…so many classes and teachers… beautiful dreams …a journey of a million tears…

…to end from your mother’s blood in your own …from death to death …

 © Dr. Anita Hada Sangwan