India, a country with 1.2 billion people is considered the largest democracy in the world. The federal elections in early 2014 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected has been counted as the highest voter turnout in the country’s history with over 66% of eligible voters using their democratic voice.
Unfortunately India’s staggering stats have been largely lost amongst the amount of negative press that has clouded the sub-continent. Stories of rape, sexual assault, murder and domestic violence hit a tipping point in 2012 when a young woman was gang-raped on a Delhi bus at night.
The protests that followed that incident showed that both men and women in the country are fed up of these gender crimes being covered up and brushed aside by the law and the dominant patriarchal societies that still rule in every state.
But there has been something else brewing under the surface: a boldness and anger from women who are not staying silent and not allowing cultural norms to dictate how they want this narrative to be played out.
Women are standing up to attackers and these stories are going viral. The most recent story of bravery in the face of potential violence was centered around Pradnya Mandhare, a 20-year-old student at Sathaye College who literally dragged an intoxicated man to a police station, who tried to touch her inappropriately on her way home in broad daylight.
She urged the police to teach this man a lesson that treating women as objects and not equals is wrong. But she also made sure she did her part by not being afraid to speak to the international media and set an example in order to empower other women to speak up about situations they face, because there is a culture that forces women to stay silent due to the often complicated legal and criminal process where in many cases the perpetrator does not face lasting consequences.
It is not going to be one person that makes the change needed in Indian patriarchal culture (or any other for that matter) it will be a collective effort over time to change the societal narrative and subconscious bias many are brought up with.
We came across this badass video on Cosmopolitan.com of two Indian women who say they aren’t rappers, but they are incredibly pissed off about the way women are treated in their society. Uppekha Jain & Pankhuri Awasthi call themselves the BomBaebs and the piece is titled ‘Rap against Rape’.
Here are some of their lyrics that have been going viral in India:
We’re now known as the land of rapes
But did you ever wonder, how this took shape
Don’t shy away now, you’re a part of this culture
Of lawyers who will kill
& politicians who ban our will
& all the other Blood-sucking vultures
We’re a land of ironies
& of rampant misogyny
Stop that tweet
And actually get on your feet
And help reform this mindset
That for years has been preset
That our women are nothing more than objects
To be controlled, shut-up and used for sex
No boy learn some respect…
When a girl who’s been raped, has to hide her face
And then that same society
makes a porn star their celebrity
To teach women obedience there’s domestic violence
But no one will report it
They’re meant to absorb it with silence
On that crowded train today, are you sure – you didn’t see the man
Who thought that under my tee-shirt he would rest his hand
Didn’t it boil your blood enough for you to take a stand
Or did you just let it be
If I walk alone at night – you say I’m irresponsible and lame
Yet when I’m seen with a man
To my family I’ve brought shame…
Stop throwing bundles of money away at her wedding
While the importance of her education, you’re conveniently forgetting…
Are you beginning to see the hypocrisy
In what we proudly call,
the world’s largest democracy
Instead of banning beef, swear words and a sexy undergarment
Why don’t they grow some balls & ban criminals in parliament?
Its time we refurbish our mental vicinity
And find new definitions for honor, dignity, respect & masculinity…
But wait there’s more, much more and you NEED to watch this video below. It will give you chills and make you want to get out there in the world and fix everything: