Enough said

Published on March 9th, 2013

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Not part of the sham

Humra Quraishi refuses to say the words ‘Happy Women’s Day’ until the country’s realities undergo a change for the better.

Should I start this column with a formal greeting – Happy Women’s Day! – or should I bluntly say that I wouldn’t greet anyone this way, because I detest formalities that reek of hypocrisy? I have never believed in saying fashionable sentences for anyone’s sake.

And besides, of what use is this statement when the condition of women and children and even young men in this country is pathetic? It would be best if those manning big commissions and Government ministries went beyond speeches or elaborate tea sessions, merely to issue a statement. Instead, they should take the rounds of prison cells where women are lodged and detained, pushed to the wall. If policewallahs in Punjab can publicly thrash women on the road, I can well imagine what must go on behind closed doors!

No, I don’t want to parrot oft-repeated statements from the comfort and privacy of my home and office, being part of the multitude that participates in the Women’s Day sham. What are we doing about our country’s serious realities? And for how long are we going to pretend that those oppressed and troubled will not strike back?

Humans are made of emotions, flesh, blood and they take affirmative action. If oppressed for long, they are bound to react, as history has shown us time and time again. And in the current scenario, people are bound to react to State terror. In fact, in his enthusiasm to give speeches, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde often forgets to mention that with those other ‘terrors’ he speaks about, there’s also something called State terror. And this State terror is the most lethal of all, for it has no limits. It kills innocents, it targets women and children. And it works all the time – even on Women’s Day and Children’s Day and Human Rights Day!

(Picture courtesy AP)

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