Change Will Come
“Good things come to those who stand and wait.”
– John Milton
Well Athenas, here I am once again. Let’s twist the great John Milton’s words slightly. Change comes to those who stand and fight. I firmly believe in these words. After the shockingly brutal Delhi gang-rape in December last year, the nation was outraged and took to the streets demanding justice and change. Eight months on, justice is still awaited and as for change, well, the less said the better. Crimes against women are as rampant as ever and if anything, the perpetrators have gotten bolder and more audacious, if that’s possible.
And what have we been doing? That’s right. Nothing. When an incident happens, we are outraged by it, discuss it for a few days and then forget about it. Well my dears, we need to understand one thing. Things are not going to change unless WE make a sustained effort to bring about change. And this time, I’m not just talking only about changing attitudes and perceptions of how we view ourselves, though that’s very important. This time, I’m talking about the bigger picture.
India won her independence from the British colonizers after a long, hard struggle. The Great Revolt of 1857 served to kickstart things which culminated in India becoming a free nation on 15th August, 1947. The struggle to change long-held beliefs about the rights and freedom of Indian women has been going on for ages, but not in an organized manner. Activists spring up here and there sporadically and more often than not, their voices get drowned out by elements in society who are afraid of changing age-old beliefs and attitudes. I don’t deny the fact that we Indian women have come a long way since 1947 and now are proving ourselves to be equal to and sometimes better than men in most aspects of life. But when it comes to taking a walk, riding public transport or even letting our little daughters play in the park, it’s quite unsafe. There’s no guarantee that we will not be attacked and later, blamed for the attack. However sad it makes me say it, this is the reality.
This state of affairs needs to change and change immediately. And only WE, the women who are being continuously victimized, can bring about that change. For that, we need to stand united. Random, sporadic demands whenever an incident takes place are not going to work; they never do. A sustained, unrelenting campaign solely for this purpose will definitely work. Maybe not right away, but once the powers that be realize we’re not going anywhere, change will surely come.
So what do you say, Athenas?