We cannot allow ourselves to be broken: Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal


March 3, 2014

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217992-mahabanoo-mody-kotwal A woman stood at the heavenly gates,
Her face was scarred and old.
She stood before the man of fate
for admission to the fold.
“What have you done,” St Peter asked, “To gain admission here?”
“I’ve lived in India, sir,” she said,
“For many and many a year.”
The pearly gates swung open wide,
St Peter touched the bell.
“Come in and choose your harp,” he said. “You’ve had your share of hell!”

Published in the DNA

The above verse says it all. To exist in a nation that is considered, globally, to be the worst for women to be living in, is no mean task. A country that is so rooted in misogyny and shows a total disrespect for women, their rights, their sexuality, cannot be a healthy breeding place for our gender.

And, most of us suffer in silence. We have said nothing while millions of foetuses have been aborted just because they were girls. We have stood by in silence while women have burnt themselves to escape torture and humiliation. We have been mute spectators while our daughters, our mothers, our sisters and even our grandmothers have been raped, not always by strangers, but by men in our own family.
The daily battering and cruelty I have seen personally, among women I know, and the harassment of these innocent people by the police, the judiciary, the politicos, is heartbreaking!

But, we cannot allow ourselves to be broken. We must stand together in solidarity and seek the support of good men and there are many of those around. To tolerate abuse and violence because you feel there is no way out, is to deny other women the strength to lead lives devoid of these cruelties.

The plays I have been part of, especially The Vagina Monologues, provides succour, monetarily or otherwise, to the gender that finds itself in such dire straits in this bold-faced lie called ‘India Shining!’