Log Kya Kahenge: A Call-out for Feminism

 

 

high_spirits_girls
Being a woman in a difficult world!!!

Log kya kahenge? Oh! Give me a break from this never-ending adage. Amitabh Bachchan’s Letter to his Granddaughters refreshes some memories and flushes emotions that are there to stay and die with me. Dedicated also to all the parents, teachers, mentors and guides on Teacher’s Day.

While reading the letter from Mr. Bachhan to his granddaughters, I sighed and wished that my grandfather would have thought alike and been so open and supportive in his thoughts. Nevertheless, I’m overwhelmed to read the letter he wrote to his granddaughters Navya Naveli Nanda and Aaradhya Bachchan as life lessons on Teacher’s day. Plenty of emotions seeped in. I liked it so much that I kept the cutting from the newspaper safely to pass it on to the generations to come.

I can relate to this as I’ve grown up in Lucknow, a city known for its tehzeeb & culture. Where twenty years back people were less interested in their families and more in their neighbours. I love my city and plan to settle their, I look up to my neighbours and respect my family, however, one thing I could never relate myself to was the notion and unnecessary social hype and drama on “What would people say?”  Today, this letter recapitulates some days bygone, and I read it not once not twice, but several times.

AmitabhBachchan'sLetter-HighSpirits-TimesofIndia

Quoting some part of the Letter

“Both of you may be a Nanda or a Bachchan, but you are also girls…women !

And because you are women people will force their thinking, their boundaries on you.

They will tell you how to dress, how to behave, who you can meet and where you can go.

Don’t live in the shadows of people’s judgement. Make your own choices in the light of your own wisdom.

Don’t let anyone make you believe that the length of your skirt is a measure of your character.

Don’t let anyone’s opinion of who you should be friends with, dictate who you will be friends with.

Don’t get married for any other reason other than you want to get married.

People will talk. They shall say some terrible things. But that doesn’t mean you have to listen to everyone. Never ever worry about – log kya kahenge.

At the end of the day, you are the only one who will face the consequences of your actions, so don’t let other people make your decisions for you.”…

…”This may be a difficult, difficult world to be a woman. But I believe that it is women like you that will change that.

It may not be easy, setting your own boundaries, making your own choices, rising above people ‘s

judgement. But YOU !…you can set an example for women everywhere.”

——–

WhatsApp Message a Few Days Back

I remember, receiving a forwarded message sometime back. The message depicted a conversation between a father and a daughter where the former gifts her a new iPhone. The daughter immediately gets a cover and a safeguard screen for her new iPhone. On being asked by her father she explains, it’s to keep her new and expensive iPhone safe. And, the dad says to her that she’s equally expensive and special to him and that she should always keep herself safe by not wearing short dresses. The message also followed with a moral that the more clothes you wear, the more people appreciate and like you. The objectification and stereotypical mentality of the people is annoying and I  felt like responding in retaliation.  However, I controlled myself as I believe there are people with different thinking and ideologies.

Log Kya Kahenge?

Coming back to Log Kya Kahenge, well, I could never understand and digest this phrase ever since I heard it for the first time. I was always a rebellious type. If the things did not make sense to me, I preferred to either retaliate or not to bother. I remember, counter questioning on several occasions and not buying the idea at all. I always think that all those who care will not mind and all those who mind, do not care so why waste your time thinking about those who don’t care? Why should I be bothered about wo kya kahenge? If they have to speak against you, they’ll find reasons anyways. Empty minds make the most noise so, let them be.

Women in this Society

 

It certainly is a difficult world for a woman who is either undervalued or is expected as a superwoman, who can manage everything. Time and again women have proved their potential in all walks of life. Times are changing and so is the stigma of a girl child being a curse or a liability to the family. If I compare the teenage girls of today with my time back then, I see a drastic change in their personalities. They are more open, confident, mirthful and have an extraordinary zeal to achieve something at a very young age. They don’t give a dime on what people would say. They do what they want to do and live their own ways. Thus, we see more women climbing up the leadership ladder and attaining heights than ever before.

It is our responsibility to create such a positive atmosphere for our children, be a girl or a boy. Only a positive upbringing can bring forth a successful and a happy generation. Times have changed and it’s time mothers stop telling their daughters “log kya kahenge.” It is time we support our children and guide them in their process of development without criticising or defining the right and wrong for them. It is the time instead of blaming the society and nation for rapes, corruptions and scams, we sow the seed of right upbringing.

Many of our mothers have spent their lives being in the shackles of the societal norms and as a responsible and loving child we wish to make her do all that she ever wanted to do, but unfortunately time doesn’t come back for certain things. Hence, more than anything else, this piece I have written is for all the women who are fabulous mothers to let her daughter do what they could not do and stop giving a damn to the society. Do not restrict as it alters the originality and personality of children. Let them be what they want to be and that’s when they;ll outshine.

Defying Law and Criticizing a Rape Victim

A 11 year girl  raped; flashed the news channel just yesterday. There are so many cases where the girls aged 4-12 fall victim. None of them had worn a revealing dress or would even know what a revealing dress does to a man. Then why they had to go through this? A daughter is always a daughter and a sister always a sister; it’s the perspective that changes. Every girl is a daughter and a sister to someone. So, instead of blaming or finger-pointing girls, we must punish the wrongdoer. Age and sex-appeal is subjective, but committing a rape is a heinous crime.

A society can change if we change our ideologies towards our daughters and it is time we do. The parents serve to be the best teacher. On occasion of Teacher’s Day, I dedicate the below lines, inspired by the letter I read this morning by Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, to all the parents who are our mentors, guides in true sense:

  • Teach not your daughters how to dress and behave, whom to meet or talk to, where to go and what time to come back.
  • Do not set limitations, instead set right learning for them so that no matter where they go, whom they meet or talk to or what time they come back they make sure their safety and security
  • Don’t tell your children what friends are right and wrong for them. Instead tell them how they have to be selectively receptive to only good habits each friend possess.
  • Don’t force your daughter to marry only because other girls get married by this age. Let her marry when she wants and whoever she wants to.
  • Tell your daughter to do good to people and be herself
  • Teach your daughter to live life on her own terms and stay strong and focused and not worrying about log kya kahenge.

“Kuch to log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna.”–People will say something or the other as that’s their job. 

 

Anupriya Mishra is a writer, an independent blogger, a voracious reader and a freelance journalist. Truly in love with life, she wishes to celebrate each day by contributing to her blog. Her passions such as reading, writing, traveling, and photography have their unending space on the blog, which is a true reflection of her personality. She calls herself, “Wanderer by choice, Writer by passion.” To know more about her travel escapades, take a look at the “Travel & Living” section of the blog. Moreover, she conducts reviews of books, movies, hotels and restaurants. She also has a penchant for Fashion, Lifestyle, Events, Promotions, Books, Music, Features and Poems, all of which find space on the blog.


image sources

  • AmitabhBachchan’sLetter-HighSpirits-TimesofIndia: Times of India

4 Comments

  1. Priyanka Rastogi September 5, 2016 Reply
  2. nitin gupta September 5, 2016 Reply

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