Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Yesterday at landmark, they thought I was a thief. For someone who has spent atleast a hundred hours over the past one and a half years in that place without EVER buying anything except , occasionally a ten buck copy of Tehelka, they are not at fault. I lost my luggage token . It would get me my torn soiled bag with notebooks full of scribbling and chatting script that prevented me from getting dipsomania in boring psychology classes and a wallet with ten bucks in it. But on describing the exact contents and nature of bag and personal carelessness, I was unthieved. However , I had to write down my address and all that. That's not the point of the blog at all but. I was reading this book called 'Countering gender violence'. It talked about the socio -cultural aspects of gender violence. A factual account that is very disturbing for me who leads such a sheltered life in comparison. Baby girls in Rajasthan are killed when born , their necks broken by the legs of the cot on which they were born. The moment the child is born, the gender revealed and the 'tragedy' confirmed, it is accepted that she will have to be killed. Why is there no space for her? OK If I am Krishn Joshi, 45 years old and her father and I am bankrupt after having married off two daughters from an earlier marriage. Everyday is a struggle. I have been suspected for tuberculosis. My first wife is dying of anemia .The doctor at the free rural health centre yells at me in anglicized Hindi to feed her greens and meat. We just have enough to buy wheat or bajra.If only my first born had been a son. He would have been strong and sturdy; earned more per hour than I. Anyway they will fire me soon because I am coughing too much , am way too weak. And Now she had to be born. Obviously, there's no space. no i am not justifying it , I am trying to contemplate what would drive someone to kill their daughters immediately after birth. Through burying alive, feeding milk weed, smashing a fragile helpless head that contains a soul , with no space. How does one walk into this mess and clean it all up? Is it India's deeply entrenched patriarchy that manipulates women from birth into fitting into their prescribed role? Is it the fact that a woman's life is insecure from birth; she is vulnerable to rape(bringing dishonour), is expected to bring a dowry and is viewed as her father's, husband's or son's property? Of course , I am referring to rural India where even this minute some female skull is mangled voluntarily, some woman is raped, someone else is beaten by her husband. Is it only about poverty? In Indian Royal families, girls were killed the moment they were born. In some families, in a hundred years, there was only one daughter.