Welcome to the Great Indian Symphony of Apathy. It starts with voices of concern that are hushed, murmurs that slowly rise, one event that tips the scale, a crescendo of loud noise boiling over from the entire country, simmering resentment directed at anyone in authority which quietens down over time and then back to static or worse, deafening silence. Then it starts all over again. While this is true for every cause pertaining to human rights violations, it is more evident when it concerns the largest group of second class citizens in India; women.
The true enemy has always been apathy; the doctrine being that things are understood but ought not to be spoken about. There can never be a better time than the present to challenge this culture of silence and acceptance. If women are to accept labels, gender based stereotypes, violence, norms, rules, verbal assaults and responsibilities that are thrust upon them, where is the freedom to exist which was guaranteed as citizens of the biggest democracy? The right to choose how to dress, whom to love, how to live should not seem so unattainable.
The taunts and comments that we are subjected to on a daily basis emphasize that women exist as an afterthought, even for the law, lawmakers and law enforcers. In a country where rape is prevalent, women are shamed for standing up and leaders use lines like, “boys will be boys”; Shakti Mills, the Delhi gangrape, and Badaun become dim, distant reminders. To not forget that you could have your choice and journey swerve to a complete stop and that you have no control.
July 2, marks the historic day when the Indian LGBT community saw the glimmer of hope, however brief for the freedom to love. We would like to take this opportunity to release this video where we underscore that the freedom to simply live freely without discrimination is still fought for by women all over India. Watch this video and if it strikes a raw nerve, share it with your friends or write about your views. There is something fundamentally unnatural about a country where a woman exists in survival mode right from her childhood. Let us address this, talk about why India is at this point, debate about how to truly safeguard the freedom of women. Unshackle yourself from the mindset that necessitates apathy to survive.
Over 3,00,000 reported cases of crimes against women in 2013 (increase from 2,00,000 in 2012)
Over 33,000 cases of rape were registered
51,881 cases of kidnapping or abduction of girls & women
10,709 cases registered under the Dowry Prohibition Act
2,579 Cases of trafficking