- The subject matter is a recurrent issue often hitting headlines for all the wrong reasons. We, as a nation, pride ourselves immensely on worshipping female deities by singing peans and glorifying the power of women in such lucid ways. For instance, the Durga Puja celebrating the triumph of good over evil is a big festival across India that not only shows the exemplary prowess of the female goddess over the demon represented by the male antagonist but also symbolically highlighting the singularly significant role essayed by the feminine gender in society. No wonder, mothers are held in very high esteem and placed on a pedestal only next to the almighty.
- However, it is inexplicable how our anachronistic, completely out-of-sync, and deep-entrenched belief system that unjustly favors males over females continues to this day rather than showcasing parity on matters of relevance. Hypocrisy rules our society at every turn of events on the matter related to gender is stating the obvious. Even though the universe has taken giant strides vis-à-vis developments in many spheres of day-to-day existence, women are expected to fight for their just rights as compared to men who have it easy most of the time without breaking into a sweat speaks volumes about the still existent skewed priorities in the present day.
- All talks of gender parity, uniformity, fairness, and equal opportunities for both genders are mere hogwash yielding nothing substantial on the ground in practical terms. Unfair leeway granted to male progenies by the parents while casting continued restrictions on female off-springs simply defeats the concerted efforts of all stakeholders to usher inequality. The stale rhetoric of gender equivalence will simply prove inconsequential and hollow in the absence of concrete evidence on the ground. As we are aware, restrictions galore imposed on females right from birth keep extending to their sartorial preferences, culinary tastes, freedom of movements, choice of education, choosing life-partner, and the list can get quite exhaustive.
- The present generation’s sartorial preferences to don jeans are ubiquitous cutting across classes, castes, and regions. Cannot fault the youngsters for wearing jeans as a favored attire which perfectly goes along with the majority preference for comfort wear. Against this backdrop, a 17-year-old girl allegedly getting killed by her own family for defying their no jeans diktat in an Uttar Pradesh village last week holds a mirror as to how much we lag in walking the talk. Sadly, the girl had just started wearing jeans during a stay in Ludhiana, Punjab, and had to pay with her life for upholding her choice.
- This incidence is a grim reminder that the policing of women’s clothes, often dismissed as banter, presents real threats to their educational and work mobility, and even life, as it happened in this instant case. It defies logic as to why clothes worn by females must pass the acceptance test of the family which never enforces any such restrictions on males. Why this differential treatment meted out to one gender alone while the other is allowed unbridled freedom to wear demands thorough introspection and palpable answers. Piling on conditionalities and unfounded injunctions on females cannot be accepted anymore. The onus is on parents to ensure both genders are treated equally. Partiality should have no place in modern society.