Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The cries every Friday

Every Friday, after the afternoon prayers, I walk out of the mosque a little miffed. Not because I find praying a pain, nor do I hate god. But because at the end, there is always one man at least who pleads to all of us praying inside to help him monetarily; because he's poor and sick and then finally, because he has three, four or even five daughters, and has to get them married.

"God didn't bless me with a son, I have five daughters and one of their weddings is coming soon. I also had an open heart surgery recently. Please help me," cried out an old man ten seconds after the Imam finished with the namaaz today. And once again, like every other man who pleads every week, his cries or rather his lament about not having a son irked me. I felt sorry for the poor man, but I wonder for how long will people consider girls a liability and look at them as something to get rid off.

It's the same damn case across the entire old city, nay all the backward areas, where muslim families unfortunately consider having a girl in the house a burden still. Yep, that's our dear India. It doesn't hold good only for muslims, but across all the poorer sections of society. Even in the lower-middle class social construct, I've heard lot of people say, 'Bhai, I have two/three daughters and till they are married I have to work hard.' I've always wanted to ask such people why they can't educate their daughters and let them work, instead of complaining.

I've personally met lot of people who are economically weak, and for them girls or women solely exist to bear children and to take care of the house, as men rein supreme. And this misogynistic attitude wears even a more horrible mask when these girls do find themselves suitors. Their families have to literally 'bargain' to marry them off, and end up giving, or rather paying the groom's family monetarily or in the form of a bike, and other things.

I don't know how or when or since when this attitude permeated the Indian psyche (probably from centuries), but its so conveniently saturated among the populace that we've begun to hate girls and even women. And when they fight back, they're called 'feminists', which is also another conundrum in itself that girls face. I wish I could walk up to a man begging for money and tell him that his daughter is as good as his son. But I can't, probably because my voice won't reach him.

And it's Friday tomorrow, and I have to yet listen more of such things again.

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