Thursday, March 05, 2009

The great Indian culture!

The events that unfolded in Mangalore last month was a plug coming off a pus filled wound festering in our society. A wound filled with the pus of resentment, anger and injured macho pride at women’s liberation and emancipation. Soon after the Mangalore incident there were many incidents of girls being beaten up in Bangalore. The perpetrators were people who were looking for an outlet to let off steam at the alarming trend of Indian women abandoning their traditional role as chattels and second class citizens! Alarm over female liberation has been simmering below the surface of our society for some time now. Mangalore merely bought the simmering discontent to fore.

For far too long the Indian man was the sacred cow of the family, worshipped and revered as a superior being. In the olden days he was the only bread winner. Women prayed for his well being and a long life. A widow’s plight was desperate indeed and only a presence of man in her life gave an Indian woman a social standing and security. This elevated the status of men to dizzying heights and it continued for some time and still continues in some parts of the country and individual homes. Later as the women too started working, his position as lord and master remained unchallenged. Whether the women worked in brick kilns, construction sites or offices, they kept the status quo in the home intact.

As time went by and women began taking on more challenging roles at the work place, the ladies found it difficult to cope with the demands of the workplace and the home and hearth. When there was no respite the women began questioning their traditional role as home makers and started resenting the additional work they had to put in at home while the men continued to enjoy their role as demi gods. This lead to the smartening up of women and they ensured that their daughters were bought up without the cultural baggage they were bought up with. Fathers too realized that it was better to educate the girl child as the security that marriages provided in the olden days could not be taken for granted anymore.

A new breed of gals are being produced today by the great Indian middle class. A breed that is told that they should be financially independent so that they are not left for the wolves at the whims and fancies of their men. And it is this group of girls that The Mad Man from Mangalore is fighting against. This is his definition of ‘against our culture.” It is sheer male chauvinism disguised as concern for the Indian culture.

However it is too late to turn the clock back. Indian women have come into their own and they have their parent’s blessings to go with it. It is a question of survival and no parent wants his/her daughter in a vulnerable position at any time of her life. And the scores of parents, grand parents and elderly couples on the roads of Bangalore on Valentines Day was an indicator of the same.

While The Madman of Mangalore may raise his head again, he is fighting a losing battle. The instinct to survive is very strong in every individual. And it is this instinct that will decide what the term “Indian culture” means for all of us in the future!

Today is the third anniversary of this blog. Thank you Mathew for reminding me of the same! :) And thanks to each and everyone of you who wandered in here and read my ramblings!


skar said...

I was anticipating a post after Mathew's totally :O comment! :)

It is an interesting process, this emancipation, as far as I am concerned. In many ways, the Indian woman is now going through the phases that the white woman underwent 50-100 years ago. But now again I see a more subtle form of subjugation by the men in the white world - one in which the woman's body has been overemphasized to such an extent as an after-effect of the sexual liberation that it reduces women's perception of themselves to mere sexual objects. Of course, it is still a good 50 to 100 years before India gets there, if at all. But the process is interesting :)

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
Have never commented on your blog before , but your post touched a nerve.
To begin with the M'lore goondas have so obviously never stepped into a Pub which is why they are suddenly in love. And the B'lore boys obviously suffer from Himalayan ego problem just like our Shaji Kailas heroes And men across any patriarchal socitey will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the "lesser" specie remains so(ni oru penn aan edi syndrome!!).And they have a most potent weapon for that - R.A.P.E

I also feel that this whole issue has its roots in the society not correcting itself. Most older women would take a man's side and say they are men, they are supposed to be so, or that the woman deserved it. Even when we have infants or octogenarians raped they reason it out instead of meteing the perpetrators with a stern action.
First and foremost the law of the land has to be faster and firmer. Secondly everybody needs to have a 'real' job, only then do i see any change coming to our country.


thomas said...

For too long the Indian man was worshipped and revered as a superior being. Hey, no girl worshipped and revered me! How rude! Just kidding. On a serious note, I agree with Karthik that the Indian women is going through the phase that women in the West underwent 100 years ago, starting from suffragism.

mathew said...

I agree completely here..the change has begun and its a postive sign indeed...i only wish this change happens in the grass root levels as well and not just among a miniscule you said probably the future generation of parents would make sure that woman are raised without the stigma which was earlier forced on them..and a sincere wish that guys who think that is appeasing to woman understand that its not a courtesy extended to woman but their own rights which they can rightfully claim in an equal world.

skar said...

Oh, damn. I forgot to mention the most important thing! Congratulations on your blog's third anniversary! And more importantly, I hope your think pad continues to exist and provide us with your unique experiences and thought-provoking insights!

Anonymous said...

For too long the Indian man was worshipped and revered as a superior being. In the olden days he was the only bread winner. Women prayed for his well being and a long life.

Oh damn... I was born late! You sure nothing of that sort is gonna happen now? :p

silverine said...

Karthik: You are right that the Indian woman is going through the process the western women went through. But I don't think the change here will be as extremist as it was in the West.

Gayatri: You know older women are changing too! I know many older women who think that they have to worry less about this gen of girls than the last due to the fact that they are more street savvy when it comes to guys! :) But you are right....there are people out their who still bat for the old system.

Thomman: lol! Hey you can still be worshipped and adored. Just be the nicest hubby to the wifey and watch the counter effect! ;) We women have no problem in worshiping such guys! :p

Mathew: Men like that Madman still think that women have no rights and it is the women's duty to uphold the culture so that the men can make merry! He is smartly circumventing the right to self determination with the Indian culture bogey. I hope too that this change reaches the grass root levels where the women have to put up with their men drinking away their hard earned money by threat and intimidation and by the mere fact that they are married!

Sriram: lol! Like I told Thomas you can still make it happen! :)

_ said...

It's pretty amazing that you, and so many of the people leaving comments here, can stand back and look at things from that far off place where you get perspective. I'm not disagreeing with you (of course not. :P), it's just that I don't think I would thought of this at all. "Instinct to survive" was an interesting factor.

'tis terrible though, I just have to think why why why ... :)

Deepti said...

3rd anniversary and all .. damn cool .. congrats :)
The change is happening and how .. and some poor folks now dont know what hit them .. the Halo is fading and that is not a pleasing sight for some mad men to see ..
Great post :) sistah

scorpiogenius said...

I dont know how such an astute, august and decorous culture like the Indian culture could suddenly become eroded by a few pubs popping up here and there. Our culture evolved through centuries of polished and finely-grinded practices, picking up virtuous aspects from alien cultures and discarding sinful elements such as Sati.

Ours is a culture which has traditionally taught us to respect women, as our mother, sister or wife. And the new watchdogs of this 'culture' has thrown up some seriously deviant domains. Ugh!

To think about it, Indian culture has survived years of conquest and assaults, even survived through 200 odd years of British invasion, and still manage to retain its glorious characteristics. And those Sreeramasena cowards and their retard of a leader has put the whole nation to shame.

Hell to them.

Anonymous said...

You are right, silverine... And, I don't understand why they expect only women to keep up Indian culture! As if all men here are wandering around in dhotis and loin clothes which were very much part of Indian tradition!

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

you'll be surprised at the approval the mangalore assault gets from certain quarters in kerala, the international model for women's empowerment. and the support comes from women!

Women's worst enemies are women themselves.

Abhi said...

Well it's so hard to believe that stupid people get to walk scot free after such brutal attacks. These aren't just physical assaults, they question the morality of the whole population, which stands back and just watches the fun.

I too agree the rise is slow and painful, but the positive thing is that it's coming and not stunted. Hope that Indian people aren't going back to the stone ages and go ahead in all spheres of growth, rather than just the monetary or the technical side of it. Good post :)

Dreamcatcher said...

Dear Silverine,


Congratz on ur Blog anniversary!

Your blog is like dynamite which hits the nerve of people and explodes and multiplies like nuclear reaction creating ripples like the waves of the sea.

Keep up the good work! :-)

See silverine, Culture, ethics and practices are made by human beings, which is largely approved by a collective group residing in particular society.

Since ages, rulers of society have made rules which suit them and bend it like any thing to suit their conveniences.

Mangalore incident was a political drama, just to show that they are the master of the society. But little did they knew that, they have touched the wrong nerve and played the wrong note of music.

The scenario of current society and perceptions & expectations are changing with each generations

Earlier women were confined to house hold chores, but now ; Women have try to be independent and techno savvy with the education she got and become great multi-tasker.

Now a days, each women knows her rights and are treated with equality in corporate .They are also presented with equal opportunity to excel in their career.

Corporates are considering the real talents which will take their business practices to next level and giving least priority on gender base.

Modern Corporates and Hr practices ensure that, women rights are protected at least in working premises.

Congratulation! Once again on your 3rd anniversary of creative unleashed.

On a lighter note, sometimes, I feel that your feminist writing instincts are become prominent in your bogs.

Amal Bose said...

y shd we take it as a changing phase.. for something to be such a phase, it shd against a existing system as a whole.
I think majority of Indians are against these attacks and the real ones women have to fight against is these misled, idiotic a**holes who cannot even think logically by themselves and does whatever they are told their leaders.. its against them that we have to fight..
We all are behind you to put an end to this evil.

Twism said...

First off, A belated Happy Women's day greetings to you (and to the others from Venus) and congrats on your blogs third anniversary!!
I totally agree with you when you say that a change has begun, however I am of the impression that it has been late(a bit). I sincerely hope that it picks up steam and sustains momentum in the days to come.
As for dealing with the Madman from Mangalore, i have nothing to say but this dialogue from the movie Boondock Saints-
"Now, we must all fear evil men. But, there is another kind of evil which we must all fear most... and that is the indifference of good men!"

silverine said...

Raindrops: You are right! Which is why women lib is linked to deteriorating "culture" and the efforts to stop it. What hypocrisy! As if 'culture' is a thing you can keep safe with someone!

KPJ: And why am I not surprised to read that! I agree that women are womens worst enemies!

Abhi: Thats what is so frustrating! That nothing was done till the public and media raised a hue and cry! Judging from the reactions I would say that we will not let the slide to stone age happen! :)

Dreamcatcher: Thank you! :) While I agree with your comment I also think that the Mangalore incident was a sort of a watershed event for the urban Indian women. Reg your last comment...I am no feminist, but I do feel that our society overrates men and underrates women on whimsical mythical grounds. :)

Amal: I wouldn't say that majority of Indians are against what happened. Most are apathetic. It is the affected i.e the urban women and their families who took a stand.

Nitram:I think the movement took off late because earlier there were not much job opportunities. After liberalization women have so many opportunities and they dont need to depend on men anymore. That I guess was what led to the beginning of change. And that quote is so true!

Anonymous said...

I actually dont agree with some points you have written. yes i agree the girls of our generation are wayyy more emancipated than our mothers but to what level their parents support them is doubtful.

Yes my parents whole heartedly support my desire to collect degree after degree and land an impressive job. They are willing to mortage their land, their very selves to send me abroad and earn a fancy degree.
But when a group of girls gets beaten at *a pub* while my parents sympathise with them, they also comment that a pub is no place for a decent woman. Yes for them pub->evil western culture.
They condemn the ways of the SRS but they agree with the motive.
And that I am afraid is the story across most middle class homes. That is why not a single female victim from Mangalore registered a FIR. Because their parents must already be reeling under the so-called shame of their daughter drinking with male friends!
My parents are okay with me wearing jeans but would I tell them I am mailing pink chaddis to some random stranger as a protest.Not a chance!

And it is this silent support which lends these goondas their true power. When they beat up a single woman and not one citizen steps upto defend her because they believe she bought it on herself by wearing a spaggetti top, they further empower them.

For SRS it may just be a publicity stunt, something they will give up with alarming speed once they rise to national prominence but they have got a sentiment that is very much present in our huge middle class.

PS:I have almost done a blogpost here :)

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Many congratulations on the anniversary! Wishing you many more to come!

Well, with regards to the madman...what ca I say apart from the fact that he needs to be stoned!

Anonymous said...

The students of Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur, Chattisgarh, are on an indefinite strike to remove an incompetent Vice-Chancellor. Please read about it at and The strike has been on for 9 days now, and with the VC having declared sine die on Saturday, the students have the odds stacked heavily against their enterprise. What they need, if they are to succeed, is a little help from you. Please help in any way you can to garner public support for these students, who stand by their convictions despite the authorities, bureaucracy and government refusing to offer any help.

nestpa said...

Hi Anjali, Please use your contacts on the internet to help support the HNLU students movement. They have absolutely no support from the establishment. But their cause is just. I was a student there, and I assure you this movement is a venting of years of frustration on the students part. I hope you can do something to help.

Anonymous said...


Congratulations on ur blog's third anniversary. Well have to say a very well timed post. Only if all women irrespective of age, caste, financial standing and region would be able to stand up for their rights I am sure it would help a lot. While the number of creeps like sene fellow are quite less but so is the number of men who are "vocal" enough in matters like these.