Women in India are in great peril.
And all of the points I mention below are real, real, and absolutely, positively real. I bet you my life and reputation on their veracity.
1. Social and religious oppression. — All religions are included. All castes. Hindus, Muslims, Christians, non-believers. In recent years, women have been hacked to death by male members of various religions, in various parts of the country.
2. Lifelong non-belonging, and undermining, humiliation, ridicule. — “This is not your home,” the parents say to them. “You belong to your future husband and in laws.” The woman in India grows up hearing this. Then, after marriage, she hears from her in-laws, “You are an outsider. You must be thankful we brought you in.”
3. Apathy and indifference about their needs, aspirations and talents. — A girl’s academic, musical or even cooking talents are secondary, and almost always undermined. The brother, the husband, and then the son’s careers take priority. Almost always.
4. Parents, teachers, in-laws and even sons and son-in-laws break or steal their freedom. — A woman’s life, time, money, and leisure are all subject to theft, cheating, underpayment, and outright robbing. No questions asked. You are unemployed now? Great! Work to raise your grandson, for free. The first grandson is now in school? Okay, work as nanny for the second one. Or, the third one. Family values, India style.
5. Husbands and male members of family cheating them of their property, if any, and robbing their earnings. — It is very common that an earning woman — a laborer, a teacher, a musician, or even a village municipality chief will have to surrender all their earnings and wages to the husband or other male members of the family. Even to the mother in law, who is often a big part of the patriarchy. I have many real-life examples. Husband forces wife to sign off her land, home, jewelry, and bank savings. Refusal would result in abuse — including physical violence.
6. And now rape and sexual violence is an epidemic. — In India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, even children are being raped. And it’s happening across the region, and too often. It is now beyond control. Pornography is rampant across India, resulting in more violence and sexual objectification of women. Recently, elected politicians and ministers from various parties in India have been caught watching porn during their legislative sessions.
7. Dowry-related murders and acid throwing. — They are so common across India, and across religions and societies, that nobody even talks about them anymore the way they used to. As if that is not anymore a subject to discuss. Media also have stopped talking about the grotesque violence in the same pronounced way. Same with female infanticide.
Various, international human rights organizations and the United Nations have published major reports highlighting the grotesque violence and abuse on Indian women. But the people in power — both in India and overseas particularly the United States — have remained silent. Corporate industries and their owned media have often downplayed the situation.
If I have one last call out to the world, it’s this: save and support women in India. Nowhere in the history of mankind, half a billion women have been in such great, grievous, systemic danger.
I have written a lot about this subject before. I have spoken a lot. You can always count on my support.
Stop this horrific human rights violation on women.
Urgently, very urgently,
Brooklyn, New York