TIME TO BE ASHAMED by Bani Kaur

Bani is  fifteen year old. Her father is an engineer-turned-farmer, and her mother is a highly talented architect. She has travelled to nearly all parts of this country, since her parents are very fond of exploring new places.  She has a hyper sensitive mind and the ability to express her joy and anguish in appropriate words. The December 2012 incident left her moved beyond tears, and she wrote the following piece for catharsis. She has a compulsive urge to compare our beloved country with other countries and raises some very pertinent questions. Tavleen is her cousin and close friend, who has also been travelling quite a lot. Some of the pictures in this Post depict Tavleen in distant lands. Bani has promised to send us some more poems, and we look forward to hearing more from her  [Editor] 

The Anguish of a Young Indian Girl

Thousands of years ago, Gandhari was blessed by a saint – “May you give birth to a 100 sons “, led to the hundred kauravas. But the point is why not a hundred children?
 Sadly, the bias prevails in the society even today. The unfortunate irony is when a mother tells her daughter to dwell happy and beget sons. A bias that begins before her birth and doesn’t leave her till her dying day.  Female foeticide is rampant and out of control even in today’s modern society. The problem doesn’t end with infanticides though, if god forbid, a girl is born , she has to face a world where she is not thought of as human, neither treated well nor respected; never given an equal status, neither cared for  nor accepted. She is raped and objectified, treated like dirt but she is not supposed to let her tears show even if it hurts.
She has to give in to dowry because it’s a social ritual.
She has to give in to illiteracy because education on a girl is wasted.
She has to give in to inequality because for forever it’s prevailed.
She has to give in to hatred, because for that she was made.
But for her right to life though, she has to fight.
She’s told to change, told to alter.  Don’t stand out or you might be raped. You know how it all runs here, it’s man’s world out there.
And be careful, or like her you might be blamed too. Blamed for talking to a guy, blamed for not appearing shy. Blamed for going out at night, blamed for not doing things right. Blamed for not planning ahead, blamed for not knowing self defence. Blamed for riding a bus, blamed for making all that fuss.
And all she wants to say is she doesn’t want reservation for her gender for she is as able, as competent and as intelligent as them, if not more.
She doesn’t want different compartments in trains and buses, she wants the men to learn to be dignified.
She doesn’t want to be dependent on her husband’s money and then be his beaten bride.
She doesn’t deserve to be treated unjustly.
She doesn’t want to change herself for fear of what the society thinks for it’s time for the society to change.
She doesn’t want to tell her daughter to dwell happy and beget sons.

*

The bitterness of this child has been expressed in a single sentence by an unknown elder:

In India, women are unsafe  whether inside or outside the womb !

Tavleen has sent me a few pictures of her travels. Notice the unbounded joy and carefree look on her face. And she did not need her brother or father to escort her as a bodyguard to ‘protect’ her there.

 

Tavleen 3

Tavlin 1

 After the Nirbhay case, there was an outcry for stringent laws to protect women. Seats have been reserved in trains and buses for ladies, and there is a demand to post policemen at vulnerable points. Is that what our children need? And if a Draconian law is enacted, will our daughters and sisters become safe? Are the existing laws inadequate? And is out law enforcing agency effective? We sex test during pregnancy a punishable offence. Has that improved the sex ratio? What is the point in forcing mothers to deliver a girl child when no one want her in the family. She will either be underfed or forced to do menial work all her life. Have our laws solved a problem or created more?

A Tail Piece

More than five hundred years ago, Guru Nanak gave us the following venerable words. (English translation is given beneath each line)

Asa di vaar… bhand jammee-ai

bhand jammee-ai bhand nimmee-ai bhand mangan vee-aahu.

From woman, man is born; within woman, man is conceived; to woman he is engaged and married.

bhandahu hovai dostee bhandahu chalai raahu.

Woman becomes his friend; through woman, the future generations come.

bhand mu-aa bhand bhaalee-ai bhand hovai banDhaan.

When his woman dies, he seeks another woman; to woman he is bound.

so ki-o mandaa aakhee-ai jit jameh raajaan.

So why call her inferior? From her, kings are born.

 

 

 

 

 

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Bani,
      I browsed through your website. And, indeed, I was happy to see what I saw and read.
      In my opinion, you should insert some pictures to embellish the text.
      Also, you may like to link your website with mine. It will increase the reach. There is a very sensitive writer in you. Nourish it, and do not let it wither.
      Love.
      Surjit Chacha

  1. Bani says:

    There seems to have been some misunderstanding regarding the author of this article.
    This article has been written by me, word for word.
    I would like to have this corrected immediately.
    Thank you everybody for your appreciation and input. It is highly valued.

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Dear Bani,
      It seems there was a mix up. The error has been corrected. I am sanguine that you will not take it amiss.
      I shall be hosting your next poem as soon as I receive some pictures to embellish the words.
      Love to all four of you.
      Surjit

  2. Surinder says:

    Tavleen has been able to express her case very forcefully. There is a need for an attitudinal change in the society, specially in the North India. Men are far better behaved in the East. In Kolkata, for example, they were respectful towards ladies even at the peak of the Naxal militancy. In Mumbai, women travel in public transport without any reservation.
    Things are changing, but the pace is very slow.
    Surinder

  3. surjit singh says:

    Mirza Sahib
    Your comments are incisive, as usual.
    You have come out with some cogent questions, and I intend to do a piece on this subject myself. This child has touched a sensitive nerve, and her questions need to be answered. We have received a lot of comments and more are pouring in.
    It calls for a full length paper…and may the Lord give us the strength and sagacity to answer them.
    Surjit

  4. Amarjeet Kaur says:

    Dear Uncle-ji,

    Thanks! The piece is very well written and yes, has also raised some pertinent questions to be answered. Well, having lived in India, traveled abroad and now living in the US for the last 14 years gives me a sense of confidence to say that the ‘LAW’ plays a vital role when we compare India as a country with the US in particular. With a strong law enforcement people do have to think twice before they do anything that breaks it, or are ready to face the consequences that are inescapeable.

    Congratulations to Tavleen…. writing and proficiency runs in the genes!

    Warm regards,

    Amarjeet Kaur

  5. OP Singh says:

    A very beautiful article by Tavleen on a very sensitive issue made me ponder over Nirbhaya’s rape and murder – amidst so many atrocities everyday, around the world – that set things off. But the darkness of her death has exploded light onto this issue. In India, and all around the world, two crucial things have begun to change: one, people understand that violence against women is an urgent global problem, and two, more and more of those people are men.

    December in Delhi was the first time we saw men take to the streets – in authentic anger, and in droves – on a so-called “women’s” issue. Since then, we have begun to see men join women in rallying against rape, domestic violence, sexual assault. Today, more and more men are finally making this issue their own.

    Men are rejecting discrimination, inequity and violence against women, both in the streets and, importantly, in their homes. “For everything happening in our society today, we often blame outside cultures and people. But the root of this mentality is in our homes. First we have to change the treatment of girls as second-class citizens. We have to end that behaviour and understand that women and men are equal. My thinking was like that because of tradition’.”

    For too long, many have assumed that violence against women will end if we just create opportunities for livelihoods, education and healthcare for women and girls. Few have wanted to address violence against women directly and even fewer have wanted to address the gender discrimination and the constructions of masculinity that underlie the pandemic of abuse that women face through their lifetimes. And when we have confronted the violence, we have looked to remedy it with services, law enforcement and legal means. While these are all essential, it is not enough to intervene after the damage is done or worse, when the woman is dead. What we need urgently is prevention.

    Lasting, sustainable prevention will come in the form of culture change. Yes, we must demand that the state protect and promote the fundamental human rights of half its citizenry. However, given India’s weak leadership and acute governance crisis, women will have to seize power wherever they can. And men will have to take responsibility for male violence against women by partnering in – and leading – the culture change necessary to enable all people to thrive. Men and women together must build a world in which violence against women is unacceptable. Not long ago, a group of global gender experts deemed India the worst place in the world for women. If we stand together, the “world’s worst place” for women could be the birthplace of a safer world for all. Let us make that happen. We owe it to Nirbhaya and all the millions of women who have lost their lives.
    I believe we are heading for a global tipping point on the issue of our time.

    • surjit singh says:

      OP,
      I think, things will change. And the change will be for the better. I have great faith in the next generation.
      Surjit

  6. Isha Kooner says:

    “Thanks for sharing this article. Tavleen has raised some very pertinent questions. Her thoughts and writing style are better developed than other people her age. Very well written!

    You had raised the question about how India differs from the world on issues like rape.

    Here is my list of ‘It happens only in India’. The following points are not intended to make fun of Indian customs but I feel that India as a country is at a stage where there is a culture clash in our own minds: Western liberalism VS Indian tradition. This may be contributing to the increase in sexual assault on women. Rape is not always about lust. The following in my opinion are some contributing factors.

    1. Female independence is undesirable: Rape is a means to put down independent women. Men who are not confident about themselves perceive intelligent free-spirited women as a threat.

    2. Love is taboo: A girl indulging in a public expression of love is considered ‘loose’ and immoral. Hence, violating her is justified.

    3. Attention to female anatomy is scandalous: Objectification of women is not restricted to India, it happens everywhere, but Western countries do not consider this a crime. An Indian girl wearing a mini skirt is trying to look attractive. And in India, looking attractive = asking for trouble.

    4. Rape stigma: In India, it is criminal to be a rape victim. The most educated and progressive of us believe this. It would be hypocritical to think otherwise. Would we accept a rape victim as a daughter-in-law? No. Why? Because virginity is a pre requisite to being worthy of an Indian man’s affection. If a girl has failed to protect herself, she is unfit for love.

    It is true that things would be better with good law and order, but change will have to be led by the society, policing will always be secondary. ”

    Sincerely,

    Isha.

    • surjit singh says:

      Isha,
      Your words are precise, appropriate and cogent. There is a writer in you, and it is bound to emerge after you are through with your present work.
      We look forward to your experiences in the US.
      God Bless,
      Surjit

  7. J Thomas says:

    Tavleen,
    May your tribe increase !

    But do look at the other side of the coin too.

    Even with all these problems, women live longer than men.

    When my daughter joined medical college in Delhi 25 years ago, fully 75 % of the student doctors were girls. The ratio is probably even higher today.

    Even 10 years ago, 75 % of the journalists in Delhi were women. They worked late hours and thought nothing of travelling alone in a 3 wheeler at 11 pm.

    Women are now in all professions except mining (where they are prohibited by law from working underground).

    Women are in the armed forces in increasing numbers.

    The sex ratio is normal in most parts of the country.

    These days girls are the ones looking after old parents. It is only a matter of time before this fact sinks in. Indian parents will then prefer girl children.

    • surjit singh says:

      JT,
      The situation in the Punjab, Haryana and parts of Rajasthan is the worst.
      In West Bengal, women are respected and cared for. Even the Naxalites were considerate towards them. Things are not bad in Mumbai…but Delhi takes the cake!
      Thanks for your statistics. I think they are close to what I have observed.
      SS

  8. Ranjeet Chordia says:

    Reading this shames me personally because as a person of the male gender,I find the the attitudes described in Tavleen’s mail most degrading. In objectifying women,we display a trait fit only for condemnation.Rather than violating the body of the hapless female,a true MAN will win over a woman’s heart with gentleness and chivalry.That relationship will be truly edifying.Are we MAN enough is a question that begs an answer.

    • surjit singh says:

      Dear Ranjeet,
      You have said what I wanted to say!
      Surjit

      • Ranjeet Singh says:

        Sirs and Madams,
        Have gone through the comments and was touched by the fact that some one thought like me with regard to this whole question of ATTITUDE.
        At the deepest level it is psychological.MAN is overawed by the mystical power of Woman as the giver of life.
        Rather than respecting her,he finds it easier to belittle her by objectifying her and degrading her into an object of profanity.
        Even then he finds that he may possess her body but her essence of womanhood escapes his grasp.
        So you have an urge to seek gratification of lust rather than finding LOVE something far more precious and lasting.
        All of must therefore, examine our own attitudes towards gender based relationships.

  9. Gul Dost says:

    Sir,
    A friend has observed that crimes against women are a universal phenomenon. The US is no exception. In New York, mugging is common, and all over the country, there have been cases of shoot out; due to their liberal gun laws. True. Murders, robberies and rape occur everywhere.
    But one thing which is specific to India is aborting girls and even killing them. the North is particularly bad on this count. If you take the gender ratios in Punjab and Haryana, you will see what I mean.
    And special compartments of ‘ladies only’ in the trains…do they exist in Europe or the American countries?
    GD

    • surjit singh says:

      Dear Gul,
      That other countries are bad or even worse, is no consolation. We need to set our own house in order!
      Surjit

  10. JASBIR says:

    RAMANJI SAYS OUR MP”S KEEP EATING MONEY & DO NOTHING. WHO SENDS THEM THERE MR KARNIK?

    • surjit singh says:

      Sir,
      I agree with you.
      But who elects them? I read a nice one, the other day, “Bad politicians are elected by good people who do not vote!”
      Surjit

  11. ''colls'' says:

    this is a continuum

    Can our country compare with such a kind of society .I am afraid not. We have men jobless, truants vulgarly going around nude or flamboyant men. How can we guarantee safety? I only wonder .So young girls must be trained, educated , taught self defense , given employment and made self -sufficient and independent, only then can our country ensure freedom of all ,equality ,safety and sexual identity.
    Girls, Indian girls also all Asiatic ones, are safe here .We have to change our mental equilibrium in order to ensure the self satisfying safety of women. What we all crave. Control population, treat girls and boys equal and see how the world of India will change. I have two daughters and live often with one in Canada, as she is working, independent and happy with kids who are treated as equal.
    This young girl by her originality has shown you the path of wisdom. But all population must be controlled and this is my message across the globe ,be educated , become independent, treat boys and girls as equals in accordance with current times, as in tomorrow’s world kids will no longer stay with parents .The family system in India is now no more integrated, all are strewn about in, India or the globe and glad we must be that India has so many women now controlling the stream of life Many, many more will.
    I have shared my thoughts here, as perhaps many more will read my views and spread amongst the vast brethren, a community we call modern India.
    God Bless
    Colls

  12. K RAMANI says:

    I feel it is the political leaders like LALLU, NITISH, MALLAYA, that rogue harayana home minister responsible for death of a girl, that DGP of Haryana et al.There are scores of them sitting and eating our money in Parliament . When you have people like these at helm what do you do.

    Tavleen in this society of ours they are present every where. You take care and GOD BLESS

  13. Col Jagdish Madan says:

    A most accurately drawn picture of today’s society. Tavleen has a very sensitive style of narration that leaves one thinking about the content of her article until much after one has read it. I hope all men / boys get to read it too. Most of our archaic approach to the feminine gender stems from the male kind. My sincere compliments to this fifteen year old kid. She has a bright future as a writer / journalist.

  14. Atindra Sanyal says:

    Tavleen’s anguish is our’s, for what hell have we bequeathed to her generation of Daughters of the Soil?

    Civic sense in our nation, with its glorious heritage, has deteriorated before our eyes, while most of us did our duty in The Army. Many of us had KRA as “Tehzeeb” and “Honour Code” in our Units, and probably many soldiers were influenced to think right about our ladies. Maybe those men would influence their friends and families in turn. Maybe we made a small difference, Tavleen.

    In this darkness of pessimism and cynicism, your thinking lights a lamp of hope . Indian society will change because it has bright daughters like you.

  15. yoginder says:

    Touching and true.Hopefully the societal ‘tide of torment’ is turning albeit slowly.
    Bravo to the lovely young Lady!.

  16. Brig TR Mullick says:

    Dear all,

    I am highly touched by this mail sent to me by my friend philosopher and guide Gen surjit singh Pl send to all your well wishers

    regards

    Tilak Mullick

  17. Lt Gen Sushil Pillai says:

    Thank you Surjit for your mail on Tavleen and the beautiful stanza of Guru Nanakji. His words need to be repeated again & again.
    Warmly,
    Sushil

    • surjit singh says:

      Sir,
      You are very kind with your words. I am forever reminded of the days we spent together in the South Block.
      Wish you and Mrs Pillai good health and happiness.
      Surjit

  18. brig bs jamwal says:

    what most indians don’t realise and don’t want to know/remember is “SON IS A SON TILL HE GETS A WIFE ,DAUGHTER IS A DAUGHTER ALL HER LIFE” and most of them are paying for their sinful thinking.is there a wonder that old homes are puting up NO VACANCY notices these days.take heart that times and thinking are changing because the girls are not taking nonsense any longer in their stride.some of us need to put our shoulder to this wheel of change.

  19. Surindar Singh says:

    To say that nothing has changed is untrue and highly misleading .. Do we want to see public hangings, killing by throwing stones or suicides by the alleged culprits

    I am father of a boy as well as a girl child and have always treated both equally I have three grand daughters and no male grand son. Me and my son love them all and my son is giving best of education to girls .I neither accepted any dowry for my son nor gave any for my daughter My daughter has a Masters from abroad and a photo Journalist and travels domestically and abroad without any fear or escort . This is true of 98% pf my relations and friends

    One must not be over hyper at isolated cases of discrimination , victimization or violence against women Men and boys are also equal sufferers If one girl was killed in Gujarat in fake encounters there were also three men/boys victims with her .

    Of course it is shame that some men/ boys still continue to rape even 4 to 5 year old girls . It is also equally shameful that some women / girls continue to make false allegations for rape / molestation and even domestic violence against innocent men for financial considerations and revenge . Even respectable men driving alone are scared to give lift to a girl / woman for fear of false accusation

    India and the world need social reformers There are already too many laws What is lacking is the implementation . Also parents , teachers and educational institutions do not do their duty towards girl / boy child and only criticize the government

    Gay and same sex marriages and live ins are further complicating the society

    Let us do our bit and set example for others to follow India has women at helms of the affairs at the center and many states Give workable suggestions and solutions to them to enforce .

    Other day i saw a play where it was brought out that Sita and Daropadi had suffered most at the hands of their husbands, whom we worship as GODS than what the modern women face

  20. lakshmi says:

    an excellent article…….beautiful words used for d precious emotions….
    Tavleen z a brave girl…. n people lyk her can really bring a revolution in not only our thoughts but also in d our behaviour….. dey can really change d society…………..

    • surjit singh says:

      Lakshmi,
      Thanks. I am sure Tavleen is seeing all that has been said about her work. I am waiting for Nithys’s tests to et over quickly. I see a talented writer in her, waiting to be discovered by the ‘Guftagu’ community!
      Surjit

  21. Mirza Yawar Baig says:

    Further to an earlier comment by Mirza Yawar Baig

    Also I know it is not intended but the reality of women in the West is not as nice as it is made out to be in the article. There is a rape every six seconds in New York. London, Boston and Paris are not very different. The issue is not about West and East. It is about crime and punishment.

    Yawar

    • surjit singh says:

      Mirza ji,
      I have sent your comments to several friends in the US, Canada and the UK. Their replies are pouring in. I will summarize them in a separate article.
      Yes. Crime is rampant in all countries. The US (particularly New York) is bad, to the point of being terrible.
      Surjit

  22. Suman Bardhan says:

    Excellent article.

  23. Dave Sood says:

    Well done Tavleen!

    May you inspire thousand other girls to speak their mind. India still has a future where kids have an open free mind.

    • surjit singh says:

      Dave,
      The fact that a 15 year old girl is able to travel on her own and write what she feels strongly about is a positive sign. You are right…Let you and me encourage them. May their tribe grow!
      Surjit

  24. ''colls'' says:

    Why is itnot being printed I wonder

    TIME NOW NOT TO BE ASHAMED

    I visited Canada for the first time, almost six years ago. I was feeling uneasy on the eighth floor of a hotel building, so I stepped out to the partially sealed balcony and saw. A car waiting at a crossing, there was only the stop red light ahead of her, which cautioned. There was not a soul, let alone a vehicle on any side of the crossing but she waited full three minutes, till the red turned to green and only then she pressed the gas.
    At once I thought of beloved India .What would they say, it’s madness foolishness. But see the discipline without a policeman around .What would we have done in our own country. Then I wondered how this kind of discipline and why .The answers came to my mind, security without secret eyes watching. Obedience as law is just a scoundrel in causing indiscipline and commotion. But then how all this as a result of education and lesser population.
    I saw streets absolutely clean .Six years later with more Asiatic/African immigration, at places it looks like Ram Lila ground. But then someone comes and sweeps it clean .The essence of all life is population. Keep vigil. But then where in our country will you find guys who will care for a lonely woman walk by daylight, let alone at night. The fault lies within and the mirror shows me the cockroach population spread across some lonely isolated woman. Women here are equal to men, they work they take care of themselves; they drive day and night, long distances unescorted. Men take care not to harm them, without their consent, nothing can be done .Not even holding hands or a hug.
    Can our country compare with such a kind of society .I am afraid not. We have men jobless, truants vulgarly going around nude or flamboyant men. How can we guarantee safety? I only wonder .So young girls must be trained, educated , taught self defense , given employment and made self -sufficient and independent, only then can our country ensure freedom of all ,equality ,safety and sexual identity.
    Girls, Indian girls also all Asiatic ones, are safe here .We have to change our mental equilibrium in order to ensure the self satisfying safety of women. What we all crave. Control population, treat girls and boys equal and see how the world of India will change. I have two daughters and live often with one in Canada, as she is working, independent and happy with kids who are treated as equal.
    This young girl by her originality has shown you the path of wisdom. But all population must be controlled and this is my message across the globe ,be educated , become independent, treat boys and girls as equals in accordance with current times, as in tomorrow’s world kids will no longer stay with parents .The family system in India is now no more integrated, all are strewn about in, India or the globe and glad we must be that India has so many women now controlling the stream of life Many, many more will.
    I have shared my thoughts here, as perhaps many more will read my views and spread amongst the vast brethren, a community we call modern India.
    God Bless
    Colls

  25. VINOD TULI says:

    KUDOS TO YOUNG ARMY KID FOR HER FRANKS POEM LIKE ARTICLE.
    I AGREE WITH OTHER COMMENTS THAT ON GROUND THINGS , AS USUAL, HAVE NOT IMPROVED AS EXPECTED OR CLAIMED BY AUTHORITIES?

  26. S K BHANDARI says:

    A very touching story. Things haven’t changed since Dec last and may not change in the next few months may be years. We Indians are a very slow moving country
    and a country of people with extremely short memories – it happens today and is forgotten the next day.

    May god bless us.

  27. Jasleen says:

    This is a very nice article. In India at least women are more equal in the work place than even in some more developed countries, but in the social domestic set up, the most educated woman is often still the property of her husband.

    As an Army daughter myself and the daughter of very progressive parents I never noticed this discrimination but in society at large, it remains rampant. Even Sikhs who were given this progressive guidance by Guru Nanak, have been sucked back into centuries old beliefs and now Punjab almost leads the nation in female feticide.

    Tavleen I hope you can enter a world where these things are just a bad dream, but the truth is that even in the west, where women are otherwise safe, they are still not equal. God Bless!

    • surjit singh says:

      Dear Jasleen,
      If you have something to share with us, we shall be glad to post it on this blog.
      Surjit

  28. Maj Gen Yatindra Pratap says:

    An excellent write up, Tavleen. India needs many more daughters like you to bring in the all necessary change in her basic thinking. We celebrate a cow giving birth to a female calf, but cry when a fortunate woman gives birth to a girl child.

    I have three daughters and I am extremely proud of them, so much so that I thank God for not having a son. I am very proud of you Tavleen.=yati

    • ''colls'' says:

      hello sir collls here from Canada
      how is the family and wine distillery
      miss your association a great deal
      do respond please. I have two daughters you know
      best regards ato all
      colls
      ex 14 eme nc

    • surjit singh says:

      Dear General,
      Glad to hear from you.
      Yes, daughters are a treasure.
      Tavleen does not have a brother. In fact she is the only child of her parents.
      Surjit

  29. ''colls'' says:

    I shall return to comment
    await let me think
    colls

  30. Lt Gen R K Mehta says:

    Tavleen, that’s a very brave article that you have written. We need more kids like you to articulate their thoughts and to reach out to people.

    Your thoughts give us hope that there will be a better tomorrow for our children.

    God bless.

    • surjit singh says:

      RK,
      I am sure, your words mean a lot to the child who has written this piece.
      We look forward to a contribution from you, now.
      Surjit

  31. Col V P Kapoor says:

    Dear Surjit,
    I can well imagine the anguish of dear Tavleen.The time has come when we have to change our mind set . No man would have been born if woman was not there. Women is not to be ravished, she is to respected worshipped and adored for she is Mother, Sister, Daughter or Wife to a Man and all these relations are only to be adored and respected. Once we see this point I hope the devil in man would be driven out
    Vinod

  32. Thanks Surjeet sir!
    when you wish to ruin a community, attack its language, bring contempt to its religion and culture and you are in the midst of the chaos in which modern India is.
    Tavleen could afford the blanket of security in those countries because all the institutions are founded to serve you and protect you and people know of certainty of prompt justice so the latent qualities of crime do not surface in them, but here even your police chiefs do not hesitate to molest elderly woman in full public view and it is shame, what is the punishment awarded, convict will pay fine and maintain good conduct for a period of time and will not drink in public and for this too your colonial courts take 18 years. when we go to public to seek support to work for institutional changes into these mechanisms, every one expresses his helplessness on one pretext or the other. we all have become victims of Lord Macaulay’s moral education.

    • surjit singh says:

      Aridaman Jit,
      You are right. I agree with every word.
      But how do we go about setting this right?
      May the Lord give you the courage and the strength to pursue your goal with full vigor.
      Surjit

      • Sir, The way forward is we walk our talk, our gurus, sahibjadas, complete families of sikhs of that era, Banda Singh Bahadur, they were all people of action. Nothing inspires more than a just action. If we can’t physically participate in action, we can spread the word about action, we can help mobilize resources for action. you know how we have been walking, with own meager resources and little help from great people of goodwill like you.
        finally it is picking up.
        watch DoorDarshan News today at 10:00 AM, I will be expressing my practical views on challenges of policing in India, the institution that makes security of commonman the first casualty.
        regards
        Aridaman Jit singh

  33. Maj Gen Vijay Krishna says:

    Time will change things , look at our children , but too slow , nevertheless there is hope. Our youngsters will make India a better place to live.
    Vijay

  34. C Uday Bhaskar says:

    recd
    tks
    sharing with a few of my friends…..
    bravo to Tavleen…..and may her tribe increase….
    best
    ub

    • surjit singh says:

      Hi Uday,
      When can we hope to get a pithy piece from you for this blog? You write and speak on so many subjects on so many forums. We invite you to share something with us.
      Surjit

  35. Pami Bawa says:

    Dear Surjit,

    Tavleen is right in asking what is wrong with our society? Society mores develop over time and mature as time passes. We have what we inherited. To change it, we have to change the society thinking and values. Girls have right to equal treatment keeping in mind gender body inequalities. There is no getting away from this fact. In short term solution we have protect them from harm till they can defend themselves. Certain freedoms have to sacrificed during this period and restrictions accepted. Then they have to be made physically strong to defend themselves. Education is very important to enjoy economic independence and achieve parity in life. Strong laws without implementation are useless. Finally girl child has to be given confidence that they are equal and do expect or hope for any special treatment.

    Regards

    Pami Bawa

    • surjit singh says:

      Dear PS,
      Good to hear from you after a long time.
      I agree with you. We in the North India (Punjab and Haryana) have some traditions which now need to be questioned.
      You have summed it all up in the last sentence. Thanks.
      Your intellect is well known to all of us who were with you in the XIX course. May the Lord give you the strength to remain active and continue to write in whenever you have something to say.
      Surjit

  36. Ghansham Ahluwalia says:

    A very good article,I do agree with her and all the right minded persons in this regard.

    I myself wonder as to why Govt or our Courts are taking so much time to pass some stringent

    Laws against Rape and injustice towards women, which should be a deterrant for all bad people?

    With regards

    Ghansham Singh

  37. No offense intended – why Kings? Why not Queens? We are all prejudiced. Draconian laws are needed not to punish but to be deterrents so that there will be no need for punishment. We have a lousy, ridiculous system which is more concerned for the criminal than it is for the victim. I can assure you that if the killers of Nirbhay were summarily strung up, it would have been a huge deterrent for other aspirants. However that didn’t happen and doesn’t look like it will. So where do we go? On another note – reflect why it is the mother in law who is the torturer of the daughter in law? Women discriminate against women even more than men do. I am not defending men. There is no defense for the man who rapes a woman or in any way intends or does evil to her. He should be punished severely. But one must face the beast – it is in all of us and is gender independent.

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