DUB Speak

Bol ke lab azaad hain tere

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Amidst the wave of liberalism that is taking feminism, LGBTQ rights, tribal rights and so on, along with it to the forefront of social issues in our lived reality, a lit of hushed up issues that were not spoken about thirty odd years ago have gained spotlight in the media and common culture. From portraying gay characters for comic timing in television serials and movies to finally accepting their existence as equal and ordinary. For every man who thinks a woman’s body is her own, there will be others who will want a virgin bride. There will still be others who will want dowry along with a wife; and many more who think a woman’s body is the absolute possession of the husband.

In the last 30 years or so, the common Indian family has become more open and accepting of the space feminists want to grant women. Literary festivals, liberal arts courses, social and political activism has opened up various possibilities to start talking about issues that need our attention and break the hush and silence woven around them. In Shabana Azmi’s words, the solution is to first at least start talking about issues of shaming and defaming. It is only now that we have initiated talks in open about menstruation.

Shame on Instagram, for removing a picture put up by Rupi Kaur of her menstrual strain, not once, but twice. Kudos to Rupi Kaur for speaking about it, for words are free, and should be so.

Shame on Aligarh muslim university for saying that women distract the men in the library , and shame on all those who called Suzette Jordan not by her name but instead labelling her as “park street rape victim”.

Shame on every parent who chose to invest in their daughter’s marriage rather than her education, and shame on all the people who think women are biologically weaker. There is no biology, it’s pure social conditioning and its power to control your mind.
Shame on all those who think women belong in the kitchen, shame on all those who think menstruating women are impure.
Shame on all those who feel a woman should be behind the veil, shame on all those who think women are sex objects.

Shame on the media for showing Aishwarya Rai’s post pregnancy weight gain as Breaking news, and shame on the frenzied cricket fans for shaming Anushka Sharma as the cause of India’s defeat in World Cup ’15.

Shame on the husbands who leave the household chores for their wives and smart up for office very day, and shame on the beauty industries who’re hell bent on making women unsatisfied with their bodies and looks. Shame on all those who think single women above 30 must have some “problem ” because they’re not getting married, because being asexual is also a choice, and so is being single.

Patriarchy has long governed us, and still is, and will continue to, if we don’t make a conscious effort to examine our ideologies and see whether we’re saying or doing in any way furthers the cause of social change, or pushes it back.
We need to stop looking at LGTBQ as “right turned wrong”, or “straight turned twisted”. We need to stop looking at women who choose to not have babies as independent and capable of making their own decision, and not as women who suffer from feminine “aberrations”. We need to stop looking at full time artists as being unproductive and respect the fact that some people have the courage to move away from the 9-5 job live for their passion, and maybe if you did the same, you’d respect them too.
Let’s open up. Let’s begin a discussion. Let’s initiate a dialogue. Let’s accept that everyone deserves a life of dignity, of respect, of integrity, and limitless passion and happiness. Of fulfillment, of prosperity, of failure and hardships, but most importantly, a life lived by one’s own principles. A life worth remembering.
Bol, ke lab azaad hai tere:
Bol, zabaan ab tak teri hai,
Tera sutwan jism hai tera
Bol, ke jaan ab tak teri hai.
Dekh ke aahangar ki dukaan mein
Tund hai shu’le, surkh hai aahan,
Khulne-lage quflon ke dahane,
Phaila hare k zanjeer ka daaman.
Bol, ye thora waqt bahut hai,
Jism o zabaan ki maut se pahle;
Bol, ke sach zinda hai ab tak –
Bol, jo kuchh kahna hai kah-le!

[email protected];I think my life would be much better off if I’d make as much effort in reading books as much as I do in buying them. A bibliophile through and through, I possess a keen interest in the history of art and museums and I believe that walking with oneself is the best form of adventure. On a more random (a.k.a siddhi) note, my dream destination is the Rann of Kuttchh, because I find it oddly displaced in time, an entirely different story, and that’s how I truly want to be.

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