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Why Do Indian Women Not Rise Up To Fight Their Own Genocide?

April 11, 2011
Kali Maa

photo credit: Simon_ram

by Kishwar Desai in The Deccan Chronicle

There are many ways in which women can be wiped out -and India specialises in all of them…Violence against women in India is almost part of the country’s DNA…[Then], why are we surprised that the greatest victims of violence are  women, both before and after birth?

The suffragette and women’s liberation movement in the West was a powerful and often violent tool through which women gained respect at home and the workplace. However, women in India thought that we would automatically get the gains of this movement -but this has not happened, and the overweening patriarchal system which we inherited from our founding `fathers’ did not change even after independence and even after we had a woman prime minister…

But why do Indian women not rise up and fight for their rights? Isn’t it true that apart from not having the education or the self-confidence -Indian women do not even have a pan-Indian role model or a leader ? And isn’t it true that the constant aggression shown towards them (i.e, us) has given rise to the classic Stockholm syndrome: we are completely in thrall of our captors.

…docility is expected from us in the most trying circumstances. Even in our mythology, Draupadi and Sita are the dominant figures. And both women were publicly humiliated by their husbands just when they would have expected their support. Draupadi may have sought revenge -but for that too she had to depend on her husbands, the very men who had let her down! Radha, the ideal liberated woman, in love with Krishna, is also abandoned by him….

Are Indian women far too docile and too disunited -severely divided by class and caste to be ever united? For real change to come into society, you cannot have laws. You need a social revolution, you need a mass movement.  Read the whole article here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kishwar Desai is the author of Witness The Night, a fiction based on the dark reality of female infanticide in India.  The book won the Costa First Novel Award.  She blogs at

2 Comments leave one →
  1. alka permalink
    April 11, 2011 7:44 am

    a handful of us do speak up and there are a couple of ngo’s working for this cause but awareness campaign on a massive scale is the need of the hour.

  2. April 11, 2011 5:08 pm

    congrats to the Costa First Novel Award!

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