December 01, 2014

Gauhar Khan slapped for wearing "Short Provocative Un-Islamic dresses" : Why some Indians want to be custodians of religion and culture

Gauhar Khan Slapped for wearing short dresses and un-Islamic demeanor

It is a well known fact that India is a country where women are associated with pride be it the pride of family,caste, gotra or religion. Yesterday Gauhar Khan was slapped by a fanatic self proclaimed custodian of Islam for wearing short revealing dresses and un-Islamic behavior. Ironically he himself was dressed in jeans and jacket and watched a music show based on Indian version of rock music which I assume is not allowed according to certain sects of Islam .

I hail from Lucknow city and have many Muslim friends and I do not want to give this article any negative hues which may be used to tag me as a bigot. I know for sure that no religion is a monolith comprising of one identity. What boggles me is the pathetic attitude of so called custodians of religions  who assume that it is their 'god-given' right to tell women what to do . Be it how they dress , should they use cellphones and have pre-marital sex. Should they marry someone from another gotra. To confuse the matter we have our scripture which tell us : " Gods reside where women are worshiped " . I think most societies have  denied women the right to decide for themselves and treat them as valued possession that can be used as an object of desires and can be used as object of worship as the need be. The most common swear words in Hindi and English are  same and even sound the same and it is needless to say that they are actually meant to demean the female relatives of the person who is being targeted by those swear words. Ironically in India the god of power takes a female form called  "Shakti " . But I think these definitions and notions take the light away from the gender discrimination issues. The defenders are quick to remind us the age old adage " Yatra narastu pujyante ramante tatre devta " and blah blah blah . It is not about what is written in the scriptures but how it is acted upon . The truth doesn't need to be told. We as a society are yet to come to terms with the rising status of women in India. I am using India in a wider sense here , not just the big cities but rural India as well which by many definition is real India .For sure we have come long way from the days of "sati" and commendable progress has been made particularly in areas of education. But we need to consciously work together to keep our society free of self proclaimed custodians of culture. Culture is like flowing water , it knows what way it wants to take. Indian women with their unique beauty and charms are full of compassion and know where to draw the lines. Indian women are known around the world for being beauty with compassion whereas the men have a quite opposite reputation , though a little too negative and exaggerated.  I think this can be explored more so I will be writing more about it in the posts to come.

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