Women empowerment is a subject close to my heart.
There is a drastic increase in crime against women. Newspapers and TV channels are full of occurrences of violence against women like dowry death, rape, domestic violence, moral policing, assault cases and sexual harassment Our political leaders fail to ensure a safe India for women. India is now considered the fourth most dangerous country for women. This is the harsh reality of India. What has made India so unsafe for women? Why can’t women be made to feel more secure in our country? It’s because women are not considered a priority. The dismal record of surging crimes against women attests to this.
In most homes in India, equal rights and benefits for women are simply a myth.
Here’s my short story (flash fiction-“Silence Is Not Always Golden” by Nandita Das.
SILENCE IS NOT ALWAYS GOLDEN (flash fiction)
Neena talked twenty to the dozen. She was the Mistress of repartee, wordplay, and witty rejoinders.
So, on this June afternoon, it was rather surprising to see a quiet Neena.
No Neena-esque witticisms. All was quiet on the Neena-front. Her parents wondered what could have caused this spell of silence? When nothing could compel her to speak, her friends wondered if she had lost her faculties of speech.
Towards evening, in came Dev, her best friend. All heaved a sigh of relief. Surely, Neena would speak now. With Neena and Dev around, you couldn’t get in a word edgeways. Their conversation flowed. No full stops. No commas. Like a waterfall, you never knew where it began or ended.
But Dev’s appearance did little to alter the glum silence. The family began to despair when Dev spoke up. “Well, it’s almost seven now. Neena’s reticence is admirable. She wins the bet. Silence until 7pm. I better give her the Rs.400”, saying which he drew the money from his wallet.
“Neena burst out, “It’s 500, and not a rupee less.”
“Well, technically, you lose the bet, Neena. It’s still 4 minutes to 7, and I did deliberately say 400. But you win, anyway. Here’s your 500. Well done!”
“Oh! I shall never again keep silent. Even if I am paid to.” Neena countered.
“It’s sheer torture. Just think. Women in our country are silenced. Not allowed to speak up against the injustice of gender discrimination they face every day. They are silenced into conforming to society’s dictates. Silenced in the name of culture and traditions. They are forced into silence when they face oppression in our patriarchal society. If they speak up, they are considered rebels and worse. They are violently silenced. Silence is not always golden.”
(For more on the subject of Women Empowerment please order your copy of “Girl On A Mission: A Long Walk To Equality” which is on pre-release now on Amazon.com. Releasing on 2nd July 2016.)