While we as a nation rage on about all the cuts that have been demanded by CBFC to pass Udta Punjab with an ‘A’ certificate, there’s far more horrific and barbaric actions which is going on in certain parts of India. While the cuts that have been demanded by CBFC are totally irrational,and we have every right to show outrage over the same, maybe we can for a second turn to other news. After all there is a lot happening in our country which is just as unacceptable if not more. In fact while we make inroads into important committees internationally, many parts of India are still living blissfully steeped in old traditions.
A dark-skinned woman has been burnt alive in Birbhum by her husband and in-laws as they wanted a “fair-skinned” wife. In
Burning someone alive!!! What can be more barbaric and savage than this!!! This is yet another instance which can be documented under cruelty meted towards women. Yet what actions are taken to deter such activities? None…
But the greater evil lies in our minds. Most of our generation lead our lives with a false sense of security. Most of us like to believe that with the advent of time at least some forms of discrimination have faded away. But we forget that in India the evil runs deeper. More than half our population is not free of the shackles of old-age notions like “being fair makes a woman beautiful” and many more. In fact, if you ever notice the matrimonial columns, the very first criteria in “Brides wanted” is “wanted fair, slim, educated woman”. In short education is relegated to the back ground as fairness and a good figure become more important criteria to judge a woman by.
But I don’t think that the entire fault lies with the people. What about the ads which promote fairness? They depict a dark skinned woman turning fair almost instantly merely by using a cream and then getting amazed looks from all and sundry. Such ads basically feed into our subconscious minds that, “Hey if you are fair, you are beautiful; and if you are dark then become fair. You will be beautiful”. And then there are all the movies and serials where the heroine who gets all the attention invariably have excellent toned figures and are fair.
Probably the first step would be to drill into people’s mind that even when dark-skinned you can be beautiful. And a cream cannot make you fairer; there are far more complex chemicals involved than we think. So stop falling for promotional gimmicks. And being fat does not make you a cast away. It’s ok to be “healthy” as long as you are comfortable in your own skin.
And skin color, figure should not even be criterias which need to be met to be what the society deems as a “suitable” wife. How can one be judged on the basis of skin color or their figure? Why is it a crime for a woman to be dark-skinned or fat? And, if it is indeed a measuring stick by which to judge a person then why should the courtesy not be extended to men? Why not be fair to all?
And all the time while we cry ourselves hoarse at the unfairness of the CBFC, being a mature audience and being able to stomach reality we can also be mature enough to turn towards issues which grapple the society, and raise our voice against such atrocities as well. It might not bring about changes immediately but I am sure with time it will.