Happy Independence Day to each and every Indian around the world. Even those that don’t consider themselves Indian. Today is the 66th year of India’s independence. Being of India descent, I feel strongly attached to the country and its people. I must ‘pull the band-aid’ and say it, I have never been to India. Yes, I know. I know. I really, really want to visit though. I do.
As I was updating my Twitter and my Facebook with wishes of India’s independence, a question struck my mind. Is India really independent? I thought of the dozens of women in India, that are denied justice and are victims of misogyny on a regular basis. Does an independent nation not entail freedom? Why then are so many women in India raped and forced into marriage? Why do we hear of crimes upon crimes of issues related to dowry, acid attacks and gang-rapes? Why is it that an Indian woman is expected to sit at home and tolerate her abusive alcoholic husband? And should she file for divorce, she be classed unmoral! There are plenty of cases of female foeticide that we hear about. Why? Simply because a male is the preferred gender. All these crimes, this patriarchy, this misogyny, it occurs because a majority of the women are shunned from denying. They are not permitted to say no. This is not freedom. Now, I am not saying this is ALL Indian women, but a majority of them.
Tell me now, how can India be independent?