11th October, 2012
What a bizarre ( using this term as I do not know any better term to describe this) juxtapositioning !!
When I opened the newspaper today, two newsclips leapt out of it !! One, today is the first-ever International Day for the Girl Child – ostensibly to remind everyone how crucial it is to empower girls for true development of families, communities and the society at large; remind everyone to promise not to discriminate against girls -rather take special care of girls of tender and adolescent age. Two, Om Prakash Chautala, the former Chief Minister of Haryana, is reported to have come out with an imaginative solution to the present day problem of increasing rape and violence against women – Marry off your daughters at an early age by 16!!! Supporting the Khap Panchayat orders in favour of child marriage, he reportedly said:
“ Look back at the past, the Mughal sultanate in this country used to misbehave with women and used to kidnap them. In order to prevent that, people started getting their young girls married early so that no one does anything wrong to them. …. Currently, a similar situation is arising in the state. I think that’s the reason Khap has taken such a decision and I support it .”
I call it ‘imaginative’ as it amounts to prescribing the root cause of the ailment to cure the ailment itself !! Was Mr Chautala inspired by the ‘vaccination’ method in medical science for preventive cure???? Marry off the girl child so that she never gets to get out of the four walls of house and if she does not go out, how can an outsider male do anything wrong to her? No temptation, no crime !! What logic!!!!! Perpetuate the injustice of denying a girl child an equal opportunity of growing as a person and as a contributing citizen through education & job ( involving going out of house) and you will curb violence against women ! Victimise the victim further and keep her vulnerable for ever !!!
Hats off to Mr Chautala and his kind!! Although they are entitled to their views, their thinking is so archaic and regressive that I can not imagine any sensible person to even imagine this kind of a ‘solution’ !! Was it not the centuries-old regressive social practices like child marriage, carving out ‘boundaries’ for women at each stage, discrimination in matters of education, health, property etc. that were at the root of the problems of injustice/ violence against and suppression/subjugation of the women folk? Was it not child marriage that used to tie a woman in bondages and responsibilities even before she could understand all these and obstruct her natural growth as a free, educated and financially independent person ????
And wherefrom he has drawn the parallels? Moghul era? He has really lost it, guys !!!
By the way, it would be interesting to know a piece of his ( Mr Chautala’s) mind on how to deal with the males committing crime against women. Seems, he has totally forgotton the criminals in a state of being seized of the crime.
No words are apt/succinct to comment on such comments from persons of high stature – leaders who people look up to for their welfare and safety! Disgusting is a mild word to describe the feelings such advocacy of regressive measures evokes!
We have to save ourselves!!