Shameful political misogyny

Another year ends and a new year starts on a sad note, with the safety of women and increasing incidents of rape and molestation still being of high concern in our country.

As we boast of leaping towards a developed economy, how developed we would ever be unless the mind-sets of the politicians change on this really sensitive issue. It’s not the country, or its economy, it’s the outlook of these politicians which need to develop.

Shamelessly, our ministers, instead of advocating for stringent laws against it, have been giving bizarre reasons as excuses for this increasing figure of atrocities against the women. These explanations by our elected representatives, which clearly highlight misogyny in politics, as a man I just hang my head down, feel ashamed.

 A politician screams out loud that it has always been consensual sex, and that girls cry rape only when the relationship comes out in the open or fail to extract money from the man. Wow! You have almost classified women as money sharks.

 Another leader has clearly exposed his sexist leanings by attributing the reason for molestation and groping to “skin show” and women staying outdoors after sunset. Not a surprise at all, as this gentleman had remarked a year back that girls wearing short clothes should be banned stating that if one keeps petrol and fire together, it is bound to burn.

 We can’t expect anything else from this leader when the president of his party had remarked some time back that “boys will be boys… they commit mistakes”, condemning the death sentence of the court to some rapists.

 His own son, another politician and the Chief Minister of a State today, when being questioned a couple of years back over the rise of violence against women in his state, had shot back asking, “it’s not as if you faced any danger?”

 Another politician has blamed the youngsters’ “western ways” for the incidents casually brushing it aside with his utterly derogatory remark that “such things do happen”.

 Some Khap leaders have the audacity to say that if the marriageable age is legally reduced, so that girls are married off at an early age, the men can use their own wives to satisfy their sexual urges and wouldn’t need to go elsewhere. How do you explain, my friend, these monsters, most of them already married, satisfying their urges on elderly women too?

 Our ministers have even gone ahead in blaming alcohol for such dastardly behaviour. What these learned men haven’t realized that they could try enacting laws to stop the menace rather than advocating on increasing the age bar on liquor consumption.

 The advertisement industry hasn’t been spared either from this blame game. Some ministers claim that the scantily dressed mannequins in the lingerie ads are responsible for polluting the minds of the men. If a puppet can pollute a man’s mind, would they spare a living woman?

 A “poribortan” driven politician remarks that the rapes are on the rise due to the fact that men and women interact and mingle around freely. If women take a U-turn whenever they see a man, I hope these monsters’ urges remain unscathed.

 A very easy excuse for these well-read leaders is that women are scantily dressed. Wow!, I presume, you mean that it is like showing a red tag to a bull. Banning bikinis, to min-skirts to even suggesting overcoats for girls in schools, these idiots want the women to dress according to the urges of the monsters.

 Our good old minister claims that the pub culture is responsible for the increasing rape cases. Wish he could advise his sons to be in their senses rather than blaming a culture for it.

 Not sparing the movies too, vulgarity in the movies has also been blamed by some of our politicians who have run out of excuses. I am not a bit surprised to see these same ministers grooving to these raunchy numbers in their private parties.

 Ministers have cut across party lines surprisingly to even claim that mobile phones being used to watch porn are a major reason for increasing cases of rapes. They seem to have conveniently forgotten about a couple of their brethren who were caught watching porn inside the parliament.

 And the ultimate was yet to come, when the Khap leaders have blamed spicy food, or non-vegetarian food, which, according to them, lead to hormonal imbalance. I am really surprised that even women eat the same spicy food, why don’t they go around raping men. Perhaps, he feels that women look more like chicken and goat.

Shun this political misogyny and shut up your illogical reasoning, my dear leaders. Rather, try to address on enacting stringent laws to end this menace.

Or just try to keep the testosterone level of the men in control so that they are able to keep it in their pants.

  

 

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My reason for falling in love with Melbourne, the most livable city in the world

Oh, the city of
Melbourne…
When I think of Australia…. And why shouldn’t I
be thinking of this wonderful country…. Being a cricket crazy Indian, I
make sure that I wake up early morning every single day and switch on the TV
set to watch the scintillating cricket match going on between the two great
cricketing nations.
And every break between over, as we are shown the Australia
Tourism advertisement welcoming us to this picturesque country, I can’t help
but think and dream of only Australia. With the current test match going on in
one the greatest cities of this country, which place other than Melbourne can I
dream about. The modern, cutting-edge designs of its skyscrapers and buildings added
to the fascinating mix of heritage architecture, makes us feel that that this
city is never the same every single time we visit it, with its constantly
changing skyline. But mind you, talking about skyscrapers, building height
limits and heritage controls have kept the city at a human scale while
highlighting its diversity and creativity.
There is a lot to love about Melbourne – just
ask the locals. Melbourne’s lifestyle, the climate and its future plans are all
part of what inspires so much passion in those who live here. With the city’s
vibrant energy, restaurants, fashion boutiques, café-filled laneways, cool
bars, unbeatable galleries, spacious parks and village-like inner suburbs, each
with its own special character, no wonder, it has been ranked as one of the
world’s most livable cities.
We just
need to take a walk through the streets of Melbourne to really enjoy it’s
labyrinth of connecting laneways and arcades which provides us an ‘other world’
experience of intimate spaces and mystery. And believe me, it is while you
stroll through these streets, where you get a feeling of openness and natural
light, but still you find it home to many of Melbourne’s bar, dining and
shopping ‘secrets’.
The
streets of Melbourne provide a logical canvas for artistic expression and its
laneways are home to sometimes controversial street art. And did I not mention
that the locals also love a party, with the year-round calendar of events
offering something for everyone.
And if you lose your way through this
labyrinth, there’s no need to worry at all, because the locals are known for
being friendly and inclusive, strongly advocating the city’s strong culture of
philanthropy and volunteering. Looking worried and lost, and don’t be
surprised, if you are confronted immediately by the City Ambassadors, the
dedicated team of tourism volunteers.

Being and odd man out in a foreign country is
something which you would never feel in this city. Melbourne has a
multicultural population, being home to people of 140 different cultures:
Indigenous Australians, post war European migrants, and recent arrivals from
India, Somalia, Malaysia and beyond. Yeah, you heard it right! Indians, you
find in plenty there.

And in all these absolutely stunning things
that I mentioned about Melbourne, did I forget about its geography. For those
who are keen on this, Melbourne is located in the south-eastern part of
mainland Australia, within the state of Victoria. It is the capital of the
state of Victoria and the second most populous city in Australia.

But believe me, it’s not the geography, but the
lifestyle that makes Melbourne a magnet for so many people lie in the
combination of these things. It is the sum of its parts – and more.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2r0ptqQ1wBCimcqdfsBCks1YVaFDczLh

My entry for “Fly to Melbourne” – a contest by Indiblogger.

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Oh! the confusing case of pointing a finger
My
youngest daughter’s Christmas vacations started from today and like most
ignorant Dads, I was foolish to jump out of my bed at 05.30 hours on my mobile
phone alarm and run across to her room to wake her up.
The
poor child was deep in her sleep when I snooped upon her like the Lady Tremaine
and startled her out of her Cindrella dreams.
Absolutely
oblivious of her plans to be in slumber till midday, she opened her eyes wide
to stare at me for once and showed me her little pinky finger and went back to
sleep. The communication, though in gesture, was quite loud and clear. She had
conveyed to me that she is “Katti” with me.
My
misadventure was soon cut short by my wife, who had got up too, and in no
polite terms, told me to leave the poor kid alone and let her enjoy her sleep
as her festive season has already started.
I
immediately went back memory lane and remembered how this tiny little gesture
of pointing the fingers by our friends decided whether it made or ruined our
day. The little finger pointed meant “Katti” which conveyed that they are not
in talking terms with us anymore. We would wait for the day when these friends
would decide to change their sequence of fingers to point towards us, the day
they would lift their middle finger and pointer in unison and convey the
“Mitthi” or “Bucchi” (reference depending upon which place in the country we
were), which eventually meant that we were back in their good books.
Pointing
a finger has various connotations. Its meaning may vary according to the finger
which is pointed and the occasion in which it is done.
A thumbs up or thumbs down is a common hand gesture represented by a closed fist held with the  thumb extended upward or
downward in approval or disapproval respectively.
However, I have read that “Thumbs up”
traditionally translates as the foulest of gesticular insults in some Middle
Eastern countries — the most straightforward interpretation is ‘Up yours, pal!’.
In some countries, it is traditionally an obscene gesture, equivalent to the
use of the middle finger in the Western world.
In our country, although the gesture is well accepted, similar
gestures have negative connotations, and we need to be ultra-careful while
using this finger to denote our gesture. If while doing a thumbs up, if the
hand is wagged from side to side in a reverse-pendulum like movement, it means
“won’t work” or “disagree”. Kids show the thumb to a person
and say “thengaa,” sometimes followed making a face, drawing the
tongue out and touching the chin with it. It indicates cocking a snook at someone. And corporate
employees swear by this gesture to call someone
“angoothachaap”(thumb-print) implying that we are insulting him/her
as an illiterate person.

Adopted
all across the world from the western culture, pointing the middle finger
is an obscene hand gesture, often meaning the phrase “xxxx you” or
“up yours”. Performed by showing the back of the hand, extending the middle finger of the hand upwards while bending the other fingers down into the palm, it
is considered as a gesture and symbol of Taunt, disgrace and insult.

The
index finger is generally used as a pointer to specifically point out anything
specifically, more widely now used in books and publications. Yeah, it is also
widely used by Umpires during cricket matches, to signal “out” or a “free-hit”.

The sign of the horns is a hand gesture,
formed by extending the index and little fingers while holding the middle and ring fingers down with the thumb, is generally done when confronted with unfortunate events,
mostly of superstitious nature, like when a black cat crosses one’s path, when seeing a hearse (whether or not it is loaded), or when encountering any
person believed to bring about bad luck. Oh! Yeah,with fingers down, it is a
common gesture instead, by which superstitious people seek protection in
unlucky situations (something like touching wood).

The pointing of the pinky finger, apart from the “katti”
is also commonly used in our country to indicate that one has to visit the loo.
And here too, depending upon the nature of relief one seeks at the loo, the
fingers change, commonly referred to as going for “one number” and two number”.

As
till the end of the day, when I come back and see the smiling face of my little
princess, I shall keep my fingers crossed.

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