“May this be THE year!”- 1 January 2014
The year that went by ended with a need for women to firm up in their resolve to fight the goons who trouble them variously. And the need to teach the goons a very tough lesson, too, was expressed clearly without mincing words. As we enter New Year 2014, it will not be out of place, therefore, to decide may 2014 be the year when we the women of India stand up and execute the needful. May we stand together in teaching the goons in particular and the larger society – dominated still by men – the lesson it has refused to learn over time.
May there be not one single Nirbhaya-like case anywhere. May there be no woman around to be afraid of dirty goons. May every woman stand up for herself and for her sisters to defend not just the bodily security but the spiritual dignity she is born with.
This is not a tough prayer to implement, let me insist, once women decide to do so. Initially, its implementation may appear difficult, but as time passes, we the women of India will realise that goons are cowards, just as all wicked persons are. All they need is a tough, no-nonsense response. The moment such a response comes, the goons and the wicked step back. Of course, this may not happen overnight when a woman stands up and retaliates. But when we start building block by block of our resistance, we will realise an innate power growing in us.
That should be our collective aim in 2014.
Let us not forget that our society has changed for the better in the past few decades. Yet, that better is not good enough for us to feel absolutely secure anywhere and anytime. The ideal is that any woman or a girl should be able to move freely around under the spiritual assurance that she is secure anywhere and anytime, day or night, at workplace or on a lonely road, or in temples or even in homes.
This is not a utopia, let me assert. This is very much within the realm of possibility. But this possibility we do not want as a freebie from men or the larger society or as a gratis. We want such a condition to prevail because we deserve it, and gods want us to have such a life full of security of all kinds – financial, physical, mental and spiritual. Then alone we will be able to live lives of fulfilment and actualisation. Then alone we the women will be able to give our children a truly good grooming which would make them well-rounded persons.
But as we highlight this vision, we are actually approaching the other end of the continuum. That would not help. So, let us begin at the beginning — that is with us.
Let us, therefore, begin at our end of the line. Let us start becoming physically tougher and mentally alert and spiritual aware. Let us start creating bonds with other women more meaningfully. And let us tell ourselves that we are not alone if a bad moment arises. And if a bad moment does arise, then let us fight back ferociously, like tigresses.
That alone will send the right message to the goons.
Of course, all men are not goons. Yet, all men are not saints either. And a good number of men love to be onlookers when things go bad, which has been our experience. So, we will have start shaking ourselves out of our discomfort zones and toughen up. I am sure that the goons will have no place to hide if we toughen up.
This should be our resolve for 2014. This should be our mission for this year. May this be THE year!