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Fundamentalists against women freedom
By Marvi Slathia
Malala a young girl, who hails from trouble-torn Swat valley of Pakistan, came to global light after Talibans made an unsuccessful attack over her life. After the attack, the western along with Indian media and common masses condemned the attack on the innocent girl, who only wants to educate herself and get other girls of the region educated. The criticism of Taliban, who are against women freedom and their education, is appreciable and these fundamentalist forces should be criticised tooth and nail.

But when another incident, almost resembling Malala’s attack, repeated in the financial capital of our country, at Mumbai, majority of media and masses, or we can say our country’s majority populace, had a very different opinion.

That gruesome incident was the arrest of two girls of Mumbai, who had committed no crime but had only posted their opinion on the social networking site Facebook. They were arrested by Mumbai police and their uncle’s clinic was ransacked by the fundamentalist Shiv Sena goons. The police officers of Mumbai had initially justified the arrest of the girls.

The girls were arrested by the police, which is supposed to provide security to common masses and to maintain law and order, and this is a serious matter.

Like Talibanis, the Shiv Sena activist attacked the relatives of the girls but the police lodged case against the girls (who were embodiment of right to expression) but thanks to social activists and some right minded persons of our country, who raised voice against the undemocratic acts of police, the latter were forced to release the girls and register case against Shiv Sena goons.

In my opinion, the attack on freedom to right of expression and attack on woman’s freedom have almost same connotations and the perpetrators of such deeds, have also the same character and agenda. The fundamentalists, be it the Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or those belonging to any other religion, all are against the freedom of right to expression and democracy.

The fundamentalists never digest the voices of dissent against their belief and these forces are biggest challenge to any democratic setup of any country.

Bal Thackery who was considered as a great leader by some people, and if we think seriously, he had always worked against the constitution of our country. He was pioneer of the regional policy that Maharastra is only for Marathis and there was no space for north or south Indians. He openly talked about his hatred for Muslims, even in public rallies and these speeches were not as per our constitution.

The Khap Panchayats in Haryana, which are also associations of fundamentalists, also talk against the women rights, and when they witnessed abrupt increase in rapes in Haryana, one of their representative advocated to reduce the marriage age of girls from 18 to 16, which is also against our constitution.

In the past, when posthumous Pakistan’s minister of Minorities, General Taseer had raised his voice in favour of a Christain woman, who had been prosecuted in a case of blasphemy, in Punjab province of Pakistan, the fundamentalists in Pakistan had also killed him.

The cases of fundamentalists attack on right to freedom of speech and expression are numerous and in my opinion, these fundamentalists are against the humanity and also against the masses.

Leave aside Pakistan, which is virtually turning into a total fundamentalist country, but it is also shocking that in our country instead of tackling the fundamentalists with iron hand, the government, law and order agencies are giving patronage to these fundamentalists. It is very sad and this will have very disastrous repercussions, if common masses will not raise voice and stand against the fundamentalists, who are hell bent on killing every other person, having different opinions.

Democracy gives right to everyone to express his views but these fundamentalist forces consider themselves above the constitution and they take law in their hands and always try to silence the voices of dissent by any tactic. It can be either Talibanis, Shiv Sainiks, Khap Panchayat representatives or some other fundamentalist forces, all are against woman rights and also against the freedom of any person. There is a need for unity of common masses, right minded intellectuals and citizens across the globe to foil the designs of fundamentalists.

(The author is Student of MA Political Science (Semester 1) Jammu University)
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News Updated at : Thursday, November 29, 2012
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