This is my humble effort to refresh our memory on the rights of citizens who have been unfortunate enough to be born in this country. Yes, it may be surprising but our founding fathers gave us RIGHTS. Yes, even to women.
1. Right to Equality – Articles 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18
2. Right to Freedom – Articles 19 to 22
3. Right against Exploitation – Articles 23 and 24
4. Right to Freedom of Religion – Articles 25 to 28
5. Cultural and Educational Rights – Articles 29 and 30
6. Right to Constitutional Remedies – Articles 32 to 35
I appeal to women of India, to heed my call.
I know it was very noble and idealistic, albeit impractical of our misguided forefathers to give us these. But since we have them, I just thought I would remind you of them.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono his wife wrote a song called “Woman is the nigger of the world.” It was banned, because perhaps people thought it would disrespect the black people. Not women, mind you, just the black people.
But then our founding fathers gave us rights …
Right to Equality : Which means we can party, we can go out and have a drink, we can earn, we can wear clothes of our choice and talk to men we want to. We can, (Oh horrors!) even marry the man we chose to, and if it does not work out, file for a divorce. Phew! That makes us HUMAN. May be that is why everyone turns a blind eye to the violation of these rights, especially our law enforcers.
Right to Freedom : Yeah right! This does not only mean that we exercise our franchise and elect people among us to have the right to govern us any which way they feel free to. It also means that we are free to even own cellphones and drive, own property, to go shopping. To go out for walks unescorted. Free to talk to that cute fella who hangs around next to the lamp post waiting for us to take our damn walk.
Right against Exploitation : Against the low life who rubs his crotch against us in the bus, who stumbles against us in the lift, who tries to grope us or stalk us.
Right to Freedom of Religion : Now this an interesting point. I don’t think even men in our country; the superior beings can say in perfect honesty that their right has not been violated! So much for this right hah!
Cultural and Educational Right : Which means we can get degrees, go watch movies and read books. Even become dancers and singers. So sadly for the Khaps, we do have the right to music, even on cell phones.
Right to Constitutional Remedies : If we find our rights violated, we can seek redressal.
Do you know what the Constitution says?
All Rights and Duties always remain as silent Provisions interned in the Constitution. It is unto the People to realise them. They have to make the Govts to work, and ensure that they do their Duties and they get their Rights. Where necessary they have to fight for them, go to the Courts to agitate for them, and struggle in the Society to retain them. As Baba Saheb said, in his last speech in the Constituent assembly on 25thNovember 1949, while moving the Draft Constitution for adoption, the success or effectiveness of any Law and Constitution depends upon those who work them.
So what does this mean?
It means that we have to stop tolerating and stop whining. We have to, as women of India, kick ass. No more abla nari, main bechari. We have to fight and stand up for our own dignity. Otherwise we will keep beating our breasts as Khaps hold sway and women like that poor kid in Guwahati get vilified by a mob just because she stepped out of a restro bar.