If Not Now…Then When Shall We !!
Entire sovereign is favouring inaction, indeed party to crime
Everywhere, there is bloodshed, corrupted every mind
There is an impenitent dance of selfishness ‘n’ indifference
Marginalized is the common man, slighted is womankind
If we don’t fight for our rights now, then when shall we!
Powerful afflicting the weak, making them weaker
Wealthy becoming wealthier, one third still below poverty line
Enslaved, living a life of untouchables and maligned
Screaming for justice, do we heed them whine
If we won’t hear them cry, then when shall we!
Every religion ‘n’ caste is brewing hatred ‘n’ crime,
Common man so timid and scared, turns an eye blind
Few raise voice are singled out, pay price of being kind
Deprived of justice, subjected to more barbaric crime
If we still don’t raise our voice, then when shall we!
Media makes a news churning machine, chases TRP rates
The more sensational it is, more it sells in the race
People suffer from social amnesia; issues are dozen a dime,
Fast paced life, refuses to pause, fatigued by daily grind
If we don’t move now, then when shall we!
Honour for women, pride for daughters, is what we’ve been vying
Youth immersing in drug menace, hope of India’s dying,
Children of today, are future of tomorrow, is a forgotten rhyme
Caste still leads, power still rules, superstitions still haze our minds
If we don’t woke up still, then when shall we!
Where are those, whose senses are alive ‘n’ blood is still warm
Those brave hearts, who’re willing to fight ‘n’ await a new dawn
Who claim to be nimble n awake, need to create a storm
Those erudite, who dream and strive for a reform
If it’s not time to wage a revolution, then when shall we!
Women’s day again and we have the same agenda to steer….
Today again after decades, I reminisce a beautiful verse written by a highly acclaimed, prominent woman novelist, and essayist Amrita Pritam. She was a leading 20th-century poetess of Punjabi language –.. .My grandmother used to often recite her verse remembering the atrocities caused to women at the time of India Pakistan partition…
Aj aakhan Waris Shah nun kiton kabraan vichchon bol,
Te aj kitab-e-ishq daa koi agla varka phol..
Ik roi si dhi Punjab di tun likh likh maare vaen,
Aj lakhaan dhian rondian tainun Waris Shah nun kehn..
Dharti te lau vaseya, kabran paiyyan chon, Preet diyan sehzadiyan ajj vich mazaaraan ron..
Ajj sabbe Kaidon ban gaye, husan ishq de chor, Ajj kithon le aaiye labh ke waris shah ik hor..
For those who don’t understand Punjabi, an attempt to translate above stanza in English ….
Today, I call upon Waris Shah, “Speak from your grave”
And turn today the book of love’s next affectionate page
Once, a daughter of Punjab cried and you wrote a wailing saga
Today, a million daughters cry to you, Rise O’ Waris Shah!!
Today all have turned Quaidons, the tormentors of love and beauty,
Where can we find another one like Waris Shah who could cause a revolution with his poetry
Ironically, after more than six decades this verse is still as apt to our ever globalizing country and progressive society as it was when we were a conservative and right-winger society. I often wonder we are the most hypocrite society who shows respect for fairer gender only in scriptures and sculptures in temples. The moment we step out of the holy places on the road back into our houses, to our work places, we adorn our bigoted instincts and assert our power on weaker sections.
Male female ratio, women education percentage, gender neutrality and inclusivity, crime against women… you pick up any census… at what pace are we growing. While we claim to be the next big economic power in the world, we have a huge land to cover. Essentially, the status of women is the reflection of state of development of any country.
Unfortunately, we all know that we have a law in the country which cannot protect its little less than half the population. We have a constitution which cannot ensure equal rights of freedom to women. A government which takes its own pace and time to confront such crimes and police that starts reacting only when masses come on the road to protest. Does this really guarantee any solution to this problem, I am not hopeful.
So friends!! we have to make a choice between acting helpless and blame the system or do our bit!
My question to everyone is –“ Are we doing our bit, if we desire a change !! ”
How many of us are parents, guardians and have daughters, sisters who wish them an independent tomorrow. I guess most of us. But what are we doing to create a social setup where our sisters, daughters, wives can go out and work as an equal person and professional as our male friends. Have we done enough!?
Then how do we expect this transformation to happen on its own, overnight.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. It sounds banal but I am repeating it for its unsurpassed value.
If we all wish to give a true meaning to this Women’s day, Lets go home today and try bring this little change in our own life, our environment! To begin with:
1. Respect the woman at home (charity begins at home). It could be our mother, sister, wife, daughter for a person she is and value she is bringing to our life.
2. Let’s not offend her in private or in front of our children, colleagues, friends in compulsive outburst of our chauvinism.
3. Let’s not promote cheap, senseless jokes, profane language just to assert our power.
4. Teach our children, especially sons to respect women as mothers, sisters, spouses and most importantly human beings.
5. I bet it won’t take away masculinity from anyone if we exhibit this behavior and be the role model ourselves.
6. Now at work, if we genuinely wish to make our sisters, daughters safe and breathe in fear free air, let’s start respecting others’ sisters and daughters who are our colleagues today.
I know this will still take a few years to change the old wiring and completely replace with new social order. But before we know, a revolution may have already begun.
Tribute to Nirbhaya…
Once again a daughter is sacrificed
Tormented n wounded was she to the core
So barbarically, that she lost her life
Questioning humanity that how many more!
Once again someone has dared
Acted sinful and immoral
Beleaguered and coerced the innocent
To prove his satanic power
Once again I heard
This dark sinister laughter
My ears deafen with splitting
and piercing screams of torture
Once again I tossed n turned
Sleepless through the night
I called upon ‘O God’,
Who claims to be almight
You’re known to be Supreme,
So where is your clout
I learnt you stood for the weak,
Protected with your shroud
We learnt from the scriptures
One pays for one’s misdeeds
I haven’t seen many brought to justice
Virtuous victims only recede
All that while we cry hoarse
Against the malevolent society
Why shouldn’t we then question
Your chauvinistic deity
Dowry deaths, honor killings
and daily physical assaults
Or shouldn’t we support the womb killings
to save the pain afterwards
Once again I have no answer
to our daughters we raise
No protection can I guarantee,
No promise I can make
My heart is torn for the sufferers,
Who fall to devils’ prey
How can we be their guardians,
When You are not au’fait
How many more sacrifices
And assaults will it take
To stir You up to chasten
The sordid and depraved !!