Our local markets were beautifully decorated on the Christmas Eve and people selling White and Red balloons near the traffic junction were the most colourful ones.The weather was cold with chilly winds blowing all across but the ladies selling these balloons were wearing Rajasthani ghagra and men wore turban and blanket.
As I was approaching the group to buy some balloons,One of the group man started hitting the lady selling the balloons within the group.The lady was slapped thrice before she realised and the turban wearing man kept on shouting untill I reached .
The Man with big masculine moustache and turban told me with pride that the lady needed the beating as she was not listening to him.The Entire group of 13 people with kids were speaking in favour of the Man and the lady kept crying standing alone.The other women in the group also supported the Man and beaten lady stood alone wiping her tears.
I requested the lady for few balloons and tried to diffuse the situation…Thinking this might be one of incident in the family.
Suddenly,I could hear a feminine Strong voice shouting to the lady and asking her “Why do you have to go through the beating?”.The beaten lady with tears mentioned the she got beaten as she didnt gave money to her husband for drinks.
“Does this happens to you daily?” The strong Firm voice of a middle aged lady with Overcoat asked and the other person nodded her head in affirmative.She comforted the beaten lady and walked down to her car with me to the main market.I started the conversation by Saying that “Illiteracy and Poverty leads to such kind of behaviour in our society” and what I was going to hear next have forced me to write this blog today!
“You are Absolutely Wrong…This is the Story of Women in most of the world not India..This is not the story of Illiterate,Poor or villages but of Mindset”!I said “Mam!This actually dont happen in civilised society and in our homes…this is a matter of poor people”. With a loud “NO”,She said”Domestic violence with women is prevalent in all society”!
Her eyes were lit with fire and as We approached her car,She stopped and looked in my eyes and said”My Name is Mrs S. Malik and Principal of the prestigious Govt school in South delhi..Have two grown up daughters ..One is pursuing engineering and other is completing graduation and have been beaten almost daily for last twenty years in my marriage”…I was shell shocked and brought to senses with opening of her car door!
“Why”,the only word I could muster and she said while closing the door” Family and Security”.
This incident has not left me since yesterday.I believed we have all grown and this doest happens with us or people like us ..I always thought”Women Empowerment and Gender equality is already implemented at our homes ..WE HAVE ALREADY GROWN INTO A CIVILISED SOCIETY !
Has it?While I am trying to find the answer and try to introspect…