It’s been a long time since I wrote anything. Every time I think of something to write, either I don’t find the topic interesting enough to write, or I don’t get the time. But sometimes, it’s the situations themselves that make you write.
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of news on people judging someone, controlling someone for something, which sounds utter bullshit in the 21st century. That something is called social stigma. India attained independence 70 years ago but Indians? Nope, nada! Indians still haven’t got their independence, but you’ll ask from whom? It’s their own minds, their brains which are keeping them in chains.
I’ve been living and working in Amsterdam for over 6 months now, and while talking to my colleagues, it becomes apparent to me that how independent we Indians are as humans. A recent example of this was a quiz posted by Youth Ki Awaaz, where you can easily see how independent you are even 70 years after Britishers left us.
A simple example of this can be going out. By going out, I don’t mean going out with some one or dating or partying. Just simply stepping out of your homes is a big deal some times. Last year, an acquaintance of mine was harassed by a neighbour of hers who somehow got her phone number and was messaging her again n again. When her mother confronted that guy and shut him up, the mother was advised by people to not let her daughter out often as this might create more problems. What just goes over my mind is why the fuck should a girl who was harassed should be restricted and not the asshole who was responsible for this all? Thankfully, the mother didn’t heed to anyone’s suggestions and clearly mentioned that the guy who caused this problem will pay if he tries anything again and her daughter will not be restricted from anything.
Another thing I see is the stigma around meeting people from opposite sex. The best example of this can be seen in the rise of companies like StayUncle or Oyo’s Relationship mode. I mean we have stooped so low in our judgements that someone is able to find business opportunities in it. If you like someone (forget love, I’m assuming that in India, love doesn’t exist unless you take permission from your parents), and plan on to meet them, there’s no place you can go where you won’t be judged. Sitting in a park? be ready to tie Rakhis or Marry each other. Your parents saw you? Be ready to get house arrested or maybe disowned from the family for ruining family’s name. The only option left is to go to a place where you won’t be seen, a hotel room. And lo! the hotel owner judges you, refuses to give you a room because They don’t allow unmarried couples. It’s as if being unmarried is a communicable disease which gets cured the moment you marry in front of 100s of strangers who then allow you to do whatever you want. So if you get to use StayUncle or Oyo rooms, even if you’re just meeting and not doing anything, it’s gonna be assumed by people that you’re having sex, as meeting someone you love means sex and nothing else. On the top of that, it’s our thinking which is causing companies like these to benefit. The time we can think about how to develop our country is gone in thinking how to meet our loved ones, how to not piss someone we don’t even know off and someone who’ll completely judge us.
Also, society thinks a lot about religion. India is supposed to be a secular and equal country. Where everyone is equal until you decide to marry someone from the opposite caste. (funnily enough, while writing this, my dictionary plugin gave me an error for word “caste” not found) The link I found was not a big deal, just search “Inter caste marriage” in Google news and you’ll see plenty of them. It’s because we’re in 21st century and we will still judge you based on what your ancestors did hundreds of years ago. No matter if you’re a murderer, if your long gone ancestor was a learned sage, all’s fine and you should not think of marrying some successful person whose long dead ancestor cleaned the cities.
Why I’m writing all this? It is because sitting thousands of miles away from home, seeing people progress here, it hurts me a lot when I see people from my country still stuck in the same useless attitude and not focusing on the things that matter. There are things greater than “What society will think” that need to be tended to. Only then we can hope for a bright future of all of us and our coming generations.