Chetan Bhagat during the launch of his book “Half Girlfriend” made a very bold statement saying “Educated girls don't date guys who don't speak English”. This made us ponder how the youngest country in this world for the next decade is going to deal with the frustrations of young Indian men coming from a rural or less urbanized background if the above mentioned statement is true. Aren’t there girls who also come from a similar background who can be reached out for courtship by these not so suave youths? The answer is a big NO as this society is still functioning under a patriarchal mode and women are very much under the radar of families, relatives and communities who keep a tight watch so that they don’t fall prey, or in some cases to establish dominance. To top it off, we have movies which have gone through a major liberalization phase and they project an unrealistic world where the entire cast looks like they are from Las Vegas with their hot pants, tattoos, dating, PDA, and the like.
Having been exposed to such a colourful reel world, our youth unfortunately has to grapple with reality. Also in the past three or four years, we have heard so many news stories that reported molestation, rape, physical assault of young girls by their own boyfriends which is really very disturbing as well as disgusting. Society at large is not really making any concrete steps to confront such serious aberrations which are sure to snowball into major crisis if adequate measures are not taken in the next few years. There is a need for major social engineering in this country to ensure that each individual is able to handle their sexuality in a mature manner.
So where do we begin?
As the saying goes, Charity begins at home, it is imperative that parents talk to their children openly about sexuality, respect for the opposite sex, puberty etc., in a very open atmosphere so that there is a trust factor established among the young. Such topics shouldn’t be taboo anymore and should be taken up by educational institutions for discussions with the students so that their sensitivity to the opposite sex is well established. This in turn will enable them to deal with emotional and physical needs in such a way that they are able to apply their discretion as appropriate. We see this happening only in the upper echelons of our society and it is time an ecosystem is created that will help percolate this aspect down to the grassroots levels. We need a sustained campaign for many years down the line as this society at large is highly fragmented with a huge identity crisis, economically and culturally deprived but aspirations are all together very high.
There are too many issues to deal with but we need to understand that women are still considered as some kind of commodity by all sections of the society and unless that mind-set changes we will keep witnessing atrocities against them which is not the sign of a developed country. This country has too many complexities in the form of caste discrimination, religion divide, abrasive political parties, lack of economic opportunities etc but we see some flashes of hope in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad etc. where such cultural barriers have been broken by plethora of opportunities created on the economic front. This is just the tip of an iceberg as we have to go miles ahead when it comes to fixing the fundamentals. Unless we as a nation create a level playing field for all citizens and create an ecosystem for children to express their potential without any prejudice, the future can be really bleak. To conclude, this is not just about dating anymore but it is about how we can develop our mental, emotional and physical capabilities in such a way that any interaction with the environment is smooth and seamless.
Credits: Varun Rajagopalan
Images: Google Image