Wednesday, October 1, 2014

HAIL MARY ! For the daughters of India

For the last few years I have always done a daughter's day post, especially because in addition to being my online journal this is my intellectual legacy for my daughter. I hope some day as a  young woman she would come back to this space to know me better, to understand my compulsions and know my answers.

This year I did not do a daughter's day post, because it was a day with mixed feelings and a lot of disillusionment about how this online armchair activism had become plain and empty rhetoric and going by the number of crimes against little girls ,this country did not seem like changing sometime soon for its daughters.

I was in utter despair because just that week a young two and half year old had been sexually abused in her play school in this city that I call home. My little girl also goes to a school here and takes a school bus with many other little kids. Knowing that none of them are safe till each one of these kids is, is sad and disheartening.

And then today this happened MARY KOM WINS ASIAN GOLD IN BOXING

Mary with her youngest son , Photo courtesy: Google images

M C  Mary Kom is a renowned boxer from India but she has now transcended to becoming a symbol for many aspects of the lives of the marginalised in India . Her story is a special story of triumph because:
  • She is a WOMAN in a hugely patriarchal system, that either subjugates women or gives them limited powers as collaborators in oppression.
  • She hails from the NORTH-EAST state of Manipur, which for years has felt marginalised and suffered political turmoil.
  • She is into BOXING ,which isn't exactly as glamorous as men's cricket in this country.
  • She is a MOTHER & WIFE who carries the extra psychological burden put on her by tradition to always put her husband and kids first and her career down the list.
Her triumph then becomes the triumph of all of these marginalised sections- the women, the people from north-east and the sportspersons in less popular sports.
She is a personal HERO , who makes her own choices, pays the prices and overcomes all hurdles.

A special part of THE MARY KOM SUCCESS STORY for me is her husband Onler Kon. The man who is secure enough to look after their three kids when the lady steals international limelight, the man who supports her career choices and becomes her backbone.

So Mary's story is also a special message for all Indian men - Just Imagine what all your daughter, mom, wife, female friend, female colleague or any other woman could achieve if you would just let her be , if you take your fair share of responsibilities of the home and the hearth, if you let her be less intimidated and be free of prejudice and cliché.

Mary Kom for me is one of the stories that we need to tell our sons and daughters , as its multiple layers will make each one of them revaluate their choices about gender and about stereotypes.

Hail Mary !!



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