Speak Up


Hey reader!

Do me a favour and just shut your eyes for a moment. And think about how much has changed in the past fifty years in this country. From lungis to trousers, from ghagras to hot pants- there has been a huge transition, hasn’t there?

Well. Allow me to burst your bubble.

Now, where do you live? Rajasthan? UP? Haryana? Kerala? Bihar? Or is it a metropolitan city?

No matter what the place if you are a woman there is a 99.9% chance, actually scratch that, there is a 100% chance that you have been a victim to some kind of harassment. Doesn’t matter how old you are, doesn’t matter how you look . All that matter is that mere organ that you possess that differentiates you from the “stronger sex” so that it makes it okay for men(sometimes even women)to treat you in an unfair manner.

As far as equality is concerned, women are still treated as the weaker sex, the fairer sex. No matter what anyone says patriarchy still prevails.  Very few try to fight it, even then they are just feeble attempts before they resign to the fact that they cannot do anything.

I am a girl living in New Delhi for the past twenty years. I have been whistled at, leered at, blown kisses at and even been flashed countless number of times. And that’s not it. I have also been groped, eve teased, stalked and what not. If you are a woman reading this you would relate to this. This is every day for us. There is a very high chance that you have gone through at least one of the things mentioned above. There is also a good chance that you have ignored such vile behaviour. Only because you had a ‘what if’ in your mind. If  you are a man, I bet you have seen/heard about such incidents from your female friends/relatives. Such instances affect all of us.   But, enough is enough. We need to speak up, it is high time now. It is not just the female population but each and every one of us needs to raise their voice against such  injustice. Scream if you have to.

Because, if you don’t, someone somewhere pays the price of your silence.   Remember, it is not the violence of the guilty; it is the silence of innocent that fuels the flames of injustice.

Today, I vow to break the silence, I vow never to ignore catcalls, I vow to speak up against harassment. As humans it is our duty to stop this injustice. We are the ones who can bring this change. We just need to give it a voice. We need to make our cities safe.   We need to speak up. IMG-20140909-WA0005


-Smriti Sharma


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