Friday, June 25, 2010

WHAT WOMEN WANT?

By Sadho Ram

Let me guess… a good life? A rich husband? A perfect man (the one with six pack abs)? Happiness with lots of chocolates? Nail-polish maybe?

Hmm…

Well, I’ve known a lot of women in my life, like for example… my mom, my sister, my girlfriend, HER girlfriend (Yes, after one full year of dating her I came to know that she ALSO likes women). After this incident I often wonder that… do I really know women?

I mean it’s not tough considering men and women happen to be made of same organic materials but it ain’t any easy task to do (to know WHAT WOMEN WANT).

Their chromosome and our chromosome do not really match.

My girlfriend… she use to say that –

‘You know, Sadho, I like you a lot, but… I donno why… I don’t WANT you’

I would then look into her eyes and look deep… deep enough to see if… only if I could somehow know what really she WANTS.

But as luck would have it… she used to close her eyes and I would miss out on the rarest of opportunity to know at least what one WOMAN WANT.

-Sigh-

But the case with my mother was different. I knew what she WANTED. But she never really got what she always WANTED.

When she was alive… all she WANTED was the love of her family… her husband, her kids and a few more people around her.

She did everything that a woman is supposed to do… sometime… she did even more, but love… ah, she never got this one thing, never.

My sister says she WANTS to see me happy. That’s so nice of her, that she thinks of me so dearly. She knows what I want but once again I have no clue as to what SHE WANTS?

A few village women I met last year while travelling to north, told me that all they WANT is that their husbands to stop drinking and beating them. They also said that they WANT to see their son become good man (not like their father).

But this is all they want for other people who are related to them in one-way or the other. What about themselves? I asked them… so one of them said, looking up in the sky, -

‘Humara kya hai, who khush toh hum khush’

And I could sense the substance in her voice (I am not suggesting that this is what she WANTED)… there was this pureness (of being a woman)… which said –

­‘She is the kind of woman who would gladly sacrifice for the happiness of her family… that family who doesn’t really give a damn about her happiness’

And that’s what my mother did.

Although it would be wrong to call it sacrifice, as she WANTED to live. She WANTED to see me grow young. She WANTED to listen to me speak in English (yes, this she WANTED very dearly). She WANTED to see her daughter get married. She WANTED to grow old with her husband. She WANTED the love of him… that love which she so desperately needed… in order to survive.

But none of it… absolutely none of it… she got.


A wife WANTS love of her husband. A daughter WANTS care of her mother and support of her father. A girl WANTS… well; she WANTS so many different things.

But do anyone ever wonders that WHAT DO THE WOMAN IN THEM WANTS?

Indira Gandhi WANTED to bring a revolution (though I don’t know of what kind).
But did she get it?

And Mona Lisa now probably WANTS the world to stop analysing her simple smile.
Will she get it?

The answer is… No.


WHAT WOMEN WANT is often not important to the world, because the world hardly give it to THEM!

There have been lots of cases… like the little girl in my colony, who comes to pickup rags daily, WANTS to go to school. But she never gets to do that.

My maid, whose husband is in jail (for raping another woman), WANTS the world to stop looking at her through her clothes and into her fair skin… as if she is for all to feast their thirsty eyes.

Last I heard about her… she tried to commit suicide.


Material want is always there, but does it fulfil her from within? It might for a while… but on a long run… the attraction of it… would just fade away.

So it’s not material pleasure that all she wants.

Well, I guess I’ve some rough ideas as to what she WANTS…

Light of the day with her family, Dark of the night with her man, Sundays with chocolate ice-creams, Mondays with another flavour, Small gossips with her friends, Bed tea from the hands of her husband, to be pampered when sad and to be loved when mad!

A walk in the rain with an old college friend, An hour in the park with her dog, to watch the sun rise while standing in the midst of mountains covered with fog!


There are many things that SHE WANTS more than the years she lives.
But she gets less than what SHE WANTS… less than the decades she lived.

And so no matter how much I (man) claim that I (man) know WHAT WOMEN WANT… seriously… I've (man have) no clue as to WHAT WOMEN WANT!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Kashmiri Pandits: Dispossessed and Discouraged!

By Sadho Ram




“Gairon ke sitam pe kya sikwa karein
Hume toh apno ne hi patthar maare hain”

These two lines in Hindi by Dinesh Naidu fits that bleak pitch in which the thousands of Kashmiri Pandits are today so repulsively forced to express themselves and their unrelenting plight after years and years (exactly 20 years) of life living as a refugee at the doorstep of their own home.

And while India commemorate its ‘kaagzee taraqqee-ae-nation’ (Paper Progress of a Nation) and whatever it wants to, the Kashmiri Pandits, being dispossessed and discouraged in the hands of their own country, have got nothing else to do beside indulging themselves in the song of lamenting. And Ehsan Amir’s these two lines seems to be giving voice to their unheard sighs-

“Humse mat poochhiye hum kidhar jaayenge
Thak gaye hain bahut, apne ghar jaayenge”

Reading the huge online archives of sites dedicated to Kashmiri Pandits and going through the word-by-word description of the atrocities that was ‘showered’ upon them, my brain along with the raising impact of migraine tells me to stop reading any further but my heart, who himself is living the life of a forced rambler after being thrown out from his own house, pleads me to read on, so to grasp even a little bit of that inhumane treatments that Kashmiri Pandits had gone through, I read on.

It was the unfaithful year of 1989-90 which made nearly 400,000 Kashmiri Pandits ‘migrants’ (as Indian Government ‘fondly’ addresses them) inside their own nation, when Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front backed by the country on the other side of the border, indulged their selves in the ruthless genocide of tens of thousands of Kashmiri Hindus, they, the Pandits, then ran away, forced to leave their land, their home, their past, their present and into an uncertain future where today, they find themselves – unaccepted, unwelcomed and uncared – among the very people who happen to be their own.

A long quota of years (exactly 2 decades) has passed since then but the pain and the wound is still fresh – fresh enough to fill their eyes with tears and heart with pain of betrayal. And there is not a single day goes by when they, looking at themselves in the mirror, don’t see the longing in their red eyes which have been barred to soak themselves from the beauty of their own native place. It’s a longing for that home, which now belongs to the killers of their parents and relatives and which they, the Pandits, know that what was snatched away from them will never be given back to them – their home, their land.

This gruesome tale of Sarwanand Koul “Premi” – a Kashmiri Pandit, who was born in Kashmir’s Sofshalli, Anantnag village, depicts the misery that the thousands like him had to go through.


“Premi” was a poet and a teacher and when terrorism was at its extreme in the valley (though it is no less today, too) he refused to leave his village. He thought that he would withstand the Islamic hurricane as he had taught every Muslim man, women and dog in and around the periphery of his village and so they cannot as ungrateful as to kick him to dust along with his teachings and then bite him to death.

But his faith or whatever that he had in his heart for them, taught him the lesson which took away his life.
The ‘Patrons-of-Death’ entered in his house on the night of 28th April, 1990 and ordered all the members of his family to assemble into one room along with all the valuables. Whatever existed of any monetary value in the house of “Premi” was offered to those ‘guardians of Jihad’ who, as they put it, were fighting for their freedom – freedom for an ‘Azaad Kashmir.’

After taking away whatever material “Premi” had in his house, the ‘terror-mongers’ then demanded that “Premi” step out of the house for few words to be exchanged in private away from his family. And when the members of “Premi’s” family howled and whined the ‘Gods-of-Mercy’ gave them their words that, “Premi” would return and return ‘safe and in one piece.’

But “Premi’s” only son requested to be allowed to accompany his old father. So the ‘kind’ and ‘good-hearted’ as those ‘unmasked-men’ were, agreed to the plight of a son, saying-

‘If you wish you may also accompany him…’

And once they stepped out of the house, they never returned. The cold-blooded torture that was carried out at the old teacher’s body and his young son’s can put to shame even the worst tyrant of the three worlds put together.

The spot in the forehead where “Premi” would put his Tilak mark was brutally nailed. His body had the burnt dots of cigarette butts. The limbs of his body were broken and bones from his shattered ribcage poked out. His eye-balls lay crushed on the dust and he was hanged from a tree upside-down and bullets were fired on him. And the same orgy was bestowed upon his son.

The women inside the house ‘wailed and waited’ but feared to go out – feared that they too, might get raped just like the other day the wife of their neighbour was raped by these same ‘kind-hearted’ men.

Shame on those men who call themselves human after performing such tasks!

20th June marks the day of world refugees and their plight. And on this day the entire world comes together to give their bit to the refugees from all around the world, but at the same time the Kashmiri Pandits who are in there 20th year of being the refugees in their own nation are still waiting to be remembered and addressed in that proper way which any countryman deserves to be addressed – as Citizens.

So a group of hundred odd Kashmiri Pandits in collaboration with a group called Roots In Kashmir, whose members are born in exile (as claimed by them) in Delhi organised a peace protest on 20th June 2010, which was held at Jantar-Mantar, in the scorching heat of 45 degree Celsius. The protesters, dressed in traditional Kashmiri outfit and draped in white, demanded that the Indian Government take notice of their plight and give them the status of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).

The many thousand Kashmiri Pandits since the exodus in 1989 have been living in the Indian Government's "semi-permanent camps for the displaced" in Jammu and New Delhi.

But if you go visit these camps, then you will see that, not only they are disgustingly stuffed but also lack sufficient facilities and basic necessities.

Like there is no regular supply of drinking water, always there’s a shortage of medicines, plus the sanitation facility are in the worst conditions imaginable. And on top of all this, the education and employment opportunities are severely lacking.

And so not surprisingly, as the result of all this below level of living conditions, the Kashmiri Pandits, after 20 years of their disarticulation, have faced serious health issues like high incidence of several kinds of diseases, depressions, stress-related problems and high death rate.

People might wonder why isn’t the government doing something concrete for them than? But the silence which marks the being of Kashmiri Pandits as refugees is actually an awkward truth that our politicians, our media and our secular parties are unable to come to terms with, so they push this matter under that dark carpet which happens to be the outcome of culpable silence and deliberate ignorance.

I can only hope – hope that someday these silent Kashmiri Pandits will be heard by those who can make a concrete difference in their life and with this – I pray (though I hardly pray) that all those who have died in this massacre may Rest In Peace (Although I feel that it ain’t going to happen any soon).

“Remember Kashmir. Remember 1989. Remember Kashmiri Pandits.”


Article Source and Few related Links:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I Was Bhopal Once: A Letter To India!

By Sadho Ram


Greetings India,

Howdy?

I hope (yes hope) that you are duan’ just awesome.

And why wouldn't you? Last week you delivered what others thought you can’t – as in your own word – “a righteous and fair enough justice” to my miserable people.

Why my?

Oh I am sorry… I am so sorry for not introducing myself at the first place.

But before I introduce myself to you, I think I should thank you, as it would be rude if I don’t thank you, right?

But what the heck let it be rude. I won’t thank you. Never!

Hmm…


Now the intro!

I was Bhopal once, yes, a very long ago – to be precise – 25 years and few months ago – I use to be Bhopal once. The land of happy and peaceful people!

Now all I am is a land of worst industrial disaster in history.

At that time most of your today’s generation was not even born, and at this time almost all of my yesteryear’s generation has been either wiped out or is facing unending health problems, still after 26 long but toxic years.

I myself sometime choke, and believe you me, though now I am kind of use to it but it still causes a lot of nausea.

When I heave, blood oozes out from my mouth along with froth.

You will say that I am growing old.

But no, I ain’t actually growing old.

As although I was born somewhere in 1000 – 1055 (quite a long time to be still alive) and so, I don’t exactly remember the date.

Not easy, you see, it has been quite a long period and since then I have been constantly tortured, gagged, raped, tormented, destroyed, betrayed and perished. So it’s just not easy to remember certain dates and events considering what I have been through all my life.

But one thing I am sure, I ain’t growing old.

I hope you understand my situation but please, I beg you to not sympathise with me. No!

I have had enough of this wretched sympathy which you have been showering upon me to cover your own apathy.

As you see, I am today considered to be one of the greenest (Yes) among the greens of yours. So that proves that I am actually not growing old.

So what’s wrong with me then? Why whenever when I heave, the goddamn blood oozes out from my mouth along with froth? Why?

Do you know the answer, India?

I know.

Of course, I am supposed to know but don’t you have any responsibility, too? Don’t you know the reason behind the existence of this bloody froth in my goddamned blood?

I know you won’t accept. Not because you can’t but because you simply don’t have the power of acceptance in you.

What you possess is nothing but your very own self-created pride of falseness born out from your own greedy actions taken against thousands like me.

Oh, I pity you, India. I pity you on your constitution. I pity you on your judicial action. I pity you on your government and its system. Moreover, I pity you on your judgements. I pity you, my India, I pity you!

I was beautiful once and peace prevailed at my door step. I was home to the leading industries (though I still am, but they are only adding up to my misery). I was bathing in glory and my life was set. But now at present, I am in dust and as my past loom hard on me, my future is in debt.

You would say then why don’t you cry, why don’t you shout, why don’t you yell, why don’t you mourn (like a woman) for help? Why, Bhopal, Why?

Well, to be honest I don’t actually want to but a part of me does cry and it also shouts and yells and yes, it also mourns (like a woman) for help, it does!

Not because it (that shouting and yelling part of me) is feeble or cannot fight. But because it (the crying and mourning part of me) needs your hand, your support to stand and ask for what belongs to it – Integrity, Justice and Righteousness.

Will you give me your hand, India? Will you support me in my fight against injustice and inhumanity? Will you stand by my side and say – “I, India, take pledge to support Bhopal and its people, who are still living under the shadow of Methyl Isocyanate, in their fight for Justice,” will you?

I guess you won’t.

Well, I have so much to say … so much so that you probably wouldn’t care to read just like you have not properly tried to avenge the culprits who robbed me off from my happiness and good-life.

So, India, I’m done. Khuda Hafez. Do well. Remember me. All things pass, but the poor and their misery remain. I am the land of poor and miserable people now. Tomorrow there will be more like me. But don’t worry; you won’t have to act to protect them just like you didn’t think about protecting me.


With Shame and Disgust


The rotting in dust Bhopal




The article appears as top story is an online newspaper Youth Ki Awaaz

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Die, Bhopal, Die!

By Sadho Ram

“Because you are poor and because you are miserable, so - Die, Bhopal, Die!
You won’t get justice; we won’t let you have it, so better - Die, Bhopal, Die!”

That’s what India and its judiciary system along with its loathing government seems to be saying to the nearly 1,80,0000 people and to more than 25,000 dead of Bhopal who have waited for 26 long toxic years for a rightful justice and a fair compensation.

But in return of their shattering wait, what they get – nothing, absolutely nothing!

Thanks to the false pride of India and its greedy & murkier politics.

On Monday, the 12th Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Bhopal delivered an order which at its best gave the accused 2 years of imprisonment and a day after, on Tuesday; all 8 accused were granted bail and released on obedience of a security of Rs. 25,000 by a trial court in Bhopal.

What a mockery of the heart-wrenching throbbing and anguish of thousands of people of that state whose water, after 26 years, is still contaminated and whose air is still toxic; and that too in the hands of its own Nation!

This, my fellow countryman and women, happens nowhere but here – in India.

On 3rd December 1984, under the shelter of midnight’s darkness, the deadly Methyl Isocyanate leaked from the Union Carbide factory in the heart of Bhopal, immediately killing and maiming its 4,000 people and injuring 300,000 out of the then 800,000 people of Bhopal.

There was absolutely no warning; none of the plant’s safety systems were working. The people of Bhopal woke amidst the harrowing darkness and to the soulful sound of screeching screams and with the gases burning their eyes, noses and mouths. They began retching and coughing up lather streaked with blood. Whole neighbourhoods fled in horror, some were crushed, and others convulsed and fell dead. People lost control of their intestines and bladders as they ran. And within hours thousands of dead bodies lay in the streets; inviting the crows and vultures but alas they too, have had fallen prey to the killer Methyl Isocyanate gas.

Today the toll has risen to more than 25,000 dead, and 1, 20,000 injured and after 26 years of its unfaithful wait – Bhopal has once again been fobbed off in the hands of its own greedy protector – who sold its dead as cheap as $450 million dollars in an out of the court settlement with the main culprits of world’s largest industrial disaster.

Makes you wonder, really?

Is that the life worth of thousands of people of Bhopal, who are still dying from the effect of Methyl Isocyanate? Is that much what the Indian government calculates the life of its poor people as?

Shame on it then, and as Shobhan Saxena so rightfully said in his TOI blog that –

“No country sells its people so cheap.
No country sells its poor so cheap.
No country sells its dead so cheap.”

No country but mine, my country, My India… and only my India who does so and does it without any shame! My heart goes out to all those people of Bhopal but then I wonder of what value is my sympathy to them?

Zero. Nil. Zilch. None. Nothing!

Yes, that’s what it will measure up to, as the people of Bhopal now seek more than just mere sympathy of its Nation. They seek full attention. They seek a better judgement. They seek that long lost path of hope which will bring them what they seek the most – Justice.

But in a nation, where the PM himself says – ‘We are a nation of one billion dollars.

Who is going to give any heed to the plight of some few thousand poor people’s?

I live in a country where the accused have the reputation of being a “Free and Protected’ man. Upon whom millions of rupees are spent. The most recent example being – the true keeper of Jihad – Azmal Kasaab!

I am reminded of a four line poem by Fiaz Ahmed Faiz that suits the Bhopal and its misery, and to those who seek or hope for justice in this country which sells its people cheaper than chicken’s meat, the best.

“Kyun naahak tukde chun-chun kar, Daaman mein chhupaye baithe ho
Sheeshon ka maseeha koi nahin, kyun aas lagaaye baithe ho”

And so there seems to be none but only one solution to the misery of Bhopal…

Die, Bhopal, Die!




This article is also published in an Online site for the people of India, Pakistan and other South Asian countries called CHOWK

A trimmed version of this article also appears in an online newspaper YOUTH KI AWAAZ

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Is India Raising or Violence against Woman Raising In ‘Raising’ India!

By Sadho Ram

As you read this article, Sabitri, a 21 year old woman in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad city, has most probably succumbed to the unbearable pain caused by the injuries in her private parts given to her by the same man who happens to be the father of her 2 month old son – her husband – Sannimar Munda, a labourer.


Theirs was an arranged marriage. They had tied knot in the year 2007 and had been living a normal life together. But it only takes a moment to change the course of life and so it was a moment’s fury over a small quarrel between the husband and wife that changed everything for everyone related to it – the husband, the wife and the 2 month old son.


According to the news published in Times of India on 14th of May, it so appears that – Sannimar Munda stitched the private parts of his wife – Sabitri – with wire after her request to visit her parents infuriated him.


Munda became angry when she said that she wanted to go to her parents’ home. He then charged her with having an extra-marital relationship.


Their quarrel took an inhuman turn when Munda tied her hands and legs and also gagged her by putting clothes in her mouth and started stitching her private parts with ‘steel wire’ (used for tightening fences and plaster bases created by iron rods). Still not satisfied by his horrible act, he then locked her up in a room and went out.


This is just one real life case of the atrocities that has been pouring upon the women in our civilised society in every part, corner and centre of today’s ‘raising’ India.


Whatever happened to uprightness!



According to the survey report of National Family health Survey-3 (NFHS-3) more than 35 percent of women have experienced physical or sexual violence. And this figure (35%) transforms into millions of women who have suffered, and continue to endure the atrocities, at the hands of their husbands and other family members.


And it’s not just the married women who are under constant fear and live at the so called ‘kindnesses’ of their ‘man’ but also the never married ones, who endures both – physical and sexual violence.


What is even worse is that most of those women do not even speak up or seek help when they are abused, and to top it all majority of women (54% to be precise) and men (51%) from our sensible society say that a husband is very much justified in beating his wife.


Sense, it seems, has been stitched and locked up inside a coffin to suffer and die (Just like our Sabitri).



And though, Sabitri had managed to escape from the room and somehow reached at her parents’ house. Her parents then took her to the ‘Patliputra Medical College and Hospital’ in Dhanbad and later logged a complaint against Munda. Police have registered First Information Report (FIR) against him on charges including attempt to murder, he has been hiding since then.


But who is going to help escape the “stitched and locked up sense” from the coffin and lodge a complaint against the millions and millions of those who are responsible for its miserable state along with the tortured women of our society?


Who?




Below is a small list of acts which falls under the category of Physical, Sexual and Emotional Violence against Women:


Physical Violence: Pushing, Shaking, Throwing something at her, Slapping, Arm twisting, Hair Pulling, Punching, Kicking, Dragging, Beating, Trying to choke or burn her on purpose, and threatening her or attacking her with a weapon.


Sexual Violence: Physically forcing the wife against her will to have sex or perform other sexual acts that she did not want to perform.


Emotional Violence: Saying or doing something to humiliate her in front of others, threatening to hurt or harm her or someone close to her, Insulting her or making her feel bad about herself.

The article also appears in an online newspaper YOUTH KI AWAAZ

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