Skip to main content

Nagaland, don't fail your women

I haven’t been here in a while. I have been happily abandoning this space, somehow unable to bring out the verve with which stories are told. 

Last year has flown by and the new year is also moving ahead in a pace you cannot keep up with at times. After a long holiday, it has been difficult to get out of this stubborn ennui.

As I opened my mails yesterday, a friend sent me a link to sign a petition. I have not done this in a while. Perhaps it reflects a staid and selfish life where the woes of the world did not affect me. Somehow this one has pricked my consciousness. So I want to write something, even if it makes no sense.

For the years that I have lived in  Australia now, I have been wearing my north eastern Indian identity on my sleeve, singing praises of the region I come from. In fact, I have passed on a certain Stockholm Syndrome to the man who also now believes that north east India is indeed the best part of India. But honestly, be it the food, the many cultures or the topography this is the place in the world where my realm of happiness roam wild. Above all, it is where my family still reside. And so it feels like I still have my umbilical cord uncut.

My friend's petition is related to what I read yesterday. As I opened The Age, a big feature on Nagaland titled “Where men are on a rampage until women go back to the kitchen” literally brought a swath of shame.

Nagaland is one of the seven states of north-east India. I cannot believe that the men in the state are up and arms against the reservation of 33 per cent seats exclusively for women candidates in a local government body.  The men believe it is an inherent culture of the Nagas to demarcate roles – where men reserve the right of decision-making in worldly affairs including politics and women confine their roles within the domestic spheres. How appalling!

The state has since been in turmoil with violent protests to this demand by women to take part in political affairs. I did see some Facebook posts on the issue but it didn’t hit home until yesterday. Like the rest of the world, I was busy in the cosy confines of my house and my life.

But I am uneasy. For one, it is unimaginable to live in a society where such parochial mindsets prevail. I feel for the women of Nagaland. I feel for every woman who face misogyny, male dominance and bullying. The situation in Nagaland is a form of bullying perpetrated by warped minds in the name of culture. Culture cannot be static. It cannot be guarded against time. We evolve as human beings imbibing progress – both material and mental. If Naga men cannot accept women marching towards some representation in politics and are so vehement about curbing women’s rights, what is the world they foresee for their children and the coming generations in years to come? This demand for women to have a political voice is a fair right. It is a human right above all. The only difference between men and women lies in our biological make up; otherwise we are all humans with the same rights and desires.

Here is a petition by two friends. Do sign, if you believe in humanity.


Popular posts from this blog

A Mad Man Or A Boor

What does one do when one encounters a mad dog? Or what does one do when one encounters a man with pre-fixed notions about everything in life, most specifically of women who live alone and give him some importance? The two are equivalent to me and basic intelligence says avoid the paths they tread like plague. But I chose to tackle them head on. I almost got rabbies.

The mad man said [sic] "You sound like a very desperate person. A single and frustrated woman who is looking for anyone to leave a comment on your blog so much so that you wouldn't even spare a spammer." Spammer being, the first comment on the previous post is apparently a spam, an advert for T-shirts. Bummer! I thought it was a handsome Spaniard or Latino, so I had replied "Hi Rodrigo", hoping to take the conversation forward offline. Anyway! All this the mad man found out. I didnt. Sure, I dig comments because I love the spontaneity and intelligence of my friends. And I didn't invite the mad m…

Them Versus Us

Taking off from the Shilpa 'Shitty' issue (I love the surname and that comes from my ever so humorous and intellectual friend Latha or Lotty with love and Angel No. 1 to some :)), here are some reflections on being a north easterner in the capital of the world's largest democracy. Also, Lotty, on a serious note, says I should have a NE angle to what I write. She has a point. I have enough material there, enough to give vent to.

I begin with 'oye Chinky'. When I came to Delhi in the mid 1990s to do a professional course, I wasn't sure what the word meant. Maybe I was too busy paying heed to my new found independence and the certain sense of security -- the fact that I could go to the market even at 10 pm without the peering eyes of the army or the CRPF personnel patrolling the streets and stiffling our existence. It wasn't until my course was over and I got myself a break as a sub editor with the country's premier news agency, that I had my first hand exp…

Glam Gurumaa

Have you ever met a so called godwoman or godman in person? Well I did and I have to talk about this one. On Tuesday night, I got a call asking if I would like to come and meet Anandmurti Gurumaa. My knowledge about ‘spiritual people’ as they would like to call themselves is zero because I have never taken interest in their ilk and India being full of conmen in the garb of spiritualists you tend to look at them with suspicion. I had a friend who stayed for weeks at a house cramped with people in a shady lane in Delhi and they were all fighting and scrambling for the baba’s attention. The baba would perform pujas during the evenings, make them drink and wash with ashes and they would pour heaps of money buying the essentials. The people went to him for all reasons – to sort marital discords, business failures, illnesses, and even vengeance on enemies! It was frightful. I had gone to meet the friend but after a few hours scooted away more scared I would pick a bug from the unhygienic su…