Friday, 6 March 2015

Why I Refuse to Give up Hope

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Much has been said about the attitudes of the defense lawyers, the perpetrators and some policemen interviewed in Leslee Udwin's documentary, "India's Daughter". I would like to amplify the other voices in that documentary in this post. The voices that give me hope, because, for far too long the narrative about women's safety and the Indian culture has been hijacked by people like those mentioned above. It is time to wrest that narrative out of their hands and put into those who will make change happen. So here are the people and their actions that give me hope:


  1. Jyoti Singh: For asking that her parents spend the money they were going to spend on her wedding on her education instead. Note: she is from a lower middle class family.
  2. Jyoti Singh's parents: For creating an environment where she felt comfortable enough to make this request. For actually selling their land to fund her studies -- despite opposition from Jyoti Singh's father's brothers
  3. Jyoti Singh: for showing a strong will to live and bring the perps to justice, even when she must  have been in so much pain. 
  4. Jyoti Singh's parents: For proudly stating their daughter's name and not acting like she is to blame.
  5. Jyoti Singh's tutor and several other men and women: For thinking that a woman returning from the movies with a male friend at 8:30pm is no big deal.
  6. All the men and women who were protesting in Delhi: They were asking for justice not just for Jyoti Singh, but for several other women.
  7. The woman protester who mentioned her husband when talking about her protests. Take note, guardians of the Indian culture: there are husbands out there who fear for the safety of their wives, but fully support their need to protest. 
  8. The husbands and SOs of women like the one above.
  9. All the men and women who protested in Delhi: They kept it up for a month or more and made a landmark change in the law happen. For a large country like India, this is no mean feat.
  10. All the people who wrote to the Verma commission to fuel this change.
  11. The Verma commission itself: for pushing this change through
  12. Gopal Subramanium, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court and Co-Author of the Verma report. For giving credit to the feminist scholars who came before the Verma commission and articulated the root cause of the problem. Pause here, Guardians of Indian culture. Here is a man in a very senior position, someone surely worthy of your respect and he just gave credit to women. Not just any old group of women, but feminists. And he referred to them as scholars. So, may be there is a lesson here for you.
So here is my salute to everyone that has helped push this issue this far. May your tribe increase and may the voices and actions of the moderates be the norm.
May the truth win.

PS: The documentary has been maligned by too many people who have not actually watched it. I have watched it and it is a balanced documentary. There was no case to ban it at all.
Here is my first reaction to the ban: http://agnija-b.blogspot.com/2015/03/silencing-indias-daughter.html

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5 comments:

Matheikal said...

I support your efforts to create a better India.

Agnija Bharathi said...

Thanks for the sentiment and hope to see this change in my lifetime!

Archana Kapoor said...

Very well articulated Agnija. I respect your sentiments and hope that everyone sees this hope, the documentary notwithstanding!
Do read my husband's article on the same topic when time permits. Cheers, Archana
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/drishtikone/2015/03/indias-daughter-ok-we-are-outraged-indian-men-are-devils-incarnate-with-medieval-mindset-now-what/

Agnija Bharathi said...

Thanks for stopping by. However, I am actually glad that the documentary was made. It was balanced and sensitive. Not what the media made it out to be. I am not happy that it was banned -- but may be doing that at least got everybody talking again. These points I list here, were made in the documentary. It's very easy to forget everything and then be shocked all over again when another such heinous crime hits the headlines.

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