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Madhuri Banerjee
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 at 18 : 08

Change my nation today


The awakening of this nation can last only a few more days if it doesn't permeate into every soul. Everyone is already back to work in the New Year and we'll continue to have rapes, sexual assaults and suffer undignified comments. India has become one of the most unsafe nations in the world. This is not good for the citizens, it's not good for tourism, it's not good for the future generation. It needs to change now. The government of India does not seem to be doing anything productive unless the country revolts against it. Corruption, price rise and now a gang rape. And while we are all mourning the death of the 23-year-old medical student, rapes continue across the country - the two year old by her uncle, the 17 year old by 10 men for 7 days. It goes on.

It needs to change. We need to change it.

I promise to sign every petition that will make sure the government hears our voice. I vow to fight to keep this movement alive. I swear to vote for the correct people and not give up on our leaders. I declare that I will teach my daughter to defend herself and my sons to respect women. I will be the change I want to see.

The Changes We Need to Start With Today:

Stop female infanticide. If your family insists on a male child, protest. You have a right over your own womb. No one can take that right away from you. A son is not going to love you more or carry on a family name with pride because he is a son. Believe in daughters and start from there.

Educate every girl child. Give to charities. Make sure your servants' daughters are educated. Literacy empowers them to think.

Don't tell your sons, brothers, husbands that it's okay not to do any work in the house and that domestic chores are strictly for women. Let equality reign from a young age.

Don't invite it. It's far better to take precautions than be sorry. Don't think that bad things will not happen. Try to prevent it. Know where to go, when to go, whom to be safe with, what to do and be on your guard always. Until the world changes, you cannot expect to be safe. Be aware of what could happen. It's okay to think of worst case scenarios. They prepare you to take on the worst.

Surround yourself with trustworthy people who you can call on whenever you need to. Have numbers handy, people close by you can call.

Teach the men in your house no matter how old or how young how women should be treated. Teach them gently, over time and do not expect an overnight change. But with sense and logic and not anger and frustration. Do it over and over again till they remember.

Speak openly about sex. Don't keep it closeted in a family. Be open with your sons and daughters. Encourage them to ask you things. Encourage counseling if they need help. Buy books if they need it. Let it be okay in the house to talk about it. This is not an embarrassing topic if questions are answered and it can help others.

Don't give in to marriage. Don't believe you need a man to be happy. You are successful, happy and you will make it on your own. God has given you the strength and the power. Believe in yourself. Find the courage to do more, not just look for a man to complete you.

Don't stay in an unhappy/ abusive marriage. Don't let your children see that it's okay for your husband to hit you. Go for marriage counseling. Find a therapist to help you or your husband. Do what it takes and if all else fails, go to court. Be strong. Don't let money or society or a family tell you what you should do with your life. That's how your raise your children with self respect and dignity. That's how you break the circle of staying in a bad marriage for the sake of children when the kids themselves grow up to be misogynists and unbalanced.

Work. Pray. Believe. Find a job so you can support yourself. Economic independence at any level gives you strength. Pray hard even if bad things happen. There's a larger picture for you. Strive to do better. Believe that no one but you can change the world. Believe that you are the leader. See it in yourself. Only then will the change happen. It will happen.

These are small steps that we need to take. But they are important. Let's start today. Or all we will be doing is mourning for the loss of the innocent times in our life when we could send our kids to buy a loaf of bread from the local grocery store. We will regret our inaction all our lives if we don't change today.


More about Madhuri Banerjee

Madhuri is a comprehensive media professional, having worked in all forms of the visual medium -as a Senior Producer with Zoom TV, advertisements with White Light Motion Pictures, Director in her own production house Gray Matter Solution, documentaries as a freelancer with PSBT and commercial Bollywood films as an Assistant Director. She has worked with stalwarts like Subhash Ghai, Kaizad Gustad and Rohan Sippy, and music director Anu Malik. Madhuri graduated from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi with a Bachelor’s degree in English Honours. She continued her education acquiring a Master’s in Mass Communication and Films from Jamia Millia Islamia. Her thesis film, 'Between Dualities' won her the National Award for best documentary on women’s issues. She is an avid reader, world traveler, and film watcher. She gives relationship advice in a column called Love Guru in the Asian Age/Deccan Chronicle every alternate Monday. She has currently finished working on a commercial film script. Her debut book 'Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas' sold over 40,000 copies in the first year of its release and was on the best seller list for over 10 weeks. Her second novel 'Mistakes Like Love And Sex' is a sequel and was released in November 2012. It’s already on the best seller list. She has her own website www.madhuribanerjee.com is active on Twitter as @Madhuribanerjee, has a Facebook page for Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas, writes for the CNN-IBN blog called Chastity Belt and has her own blog www.madhuribanerjee.blogspot.com which already has over 1,44,000 views.