Yet Another Women’s Day !!

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.

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Yes! I am very biased !!

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People often complain that I am very biased

I play favourites, some of them even voice

Rarely do I reward, seldom have I admired

I don’t promote their work, to have ‘em recognized

 

Yes I admit! I am very biased

I have no qualms to claim, selectively do I admire

I do reward merely and occasionally

I do appreciate measly and miserly

 

Well, I am inclined towards those

Who endow their mind and heart

Who want to make a difference

Passion is their fuel, excellence be their art

 

Commitment and honesty be their natural class

Solidarity is their aim, Winning is their cause

Genuine contribution be their hallmark

No ill intentions, their work is no ersatz

 

I do have special affection for those

Who break inertia and make new rules

Intrinsic desire to grow n evolve

Are the values they acquired in school

 

Special affinity I behold for those who follow ‘the right’

Innovation n creativity is their mental diet

For they are the ones who’ll grow, in stature n length

They are my weakness n they are my only strength

 

I value exceptional work, mediocrity’s not my style

I reward one true great step, than several trivial n trite

Innocent n curious minds, sparkle in their eyes

Ready to learn, open to collaborate, is all that’ll suffice

 

I detest crafty actions

I despise sham n fancy footwork

I don’t approve of selfish motives

Shorn of co-creation and worth

 

I choose n espouse those who aspire and yearn

Commit to excel and rectitude they adorn

I own these seeds and water them with fervour

Take a bet on them, their success is my endeavor

 

If you want to be my star

If you wish to win my soul

Have good intent; just strive for your best

Learn to be true to your role