Friday, August 29, 2014

The boldest articulation I have read of what it means to be a woman in India

Read this powerful lead story in the college newspaper by Commitscion Devika Premlal (Class of 2015) here.
  • This comment, from John Thomas of the Public Relations Council of India (PRCI), was sent by e-mail to Tia Raina (Class of 2015), editor of The Chronicle:
I read the cover story in your magazine's latest issue. As a man, every time I read about incidents [such as the ones described by Devika Premlal], I squirm. I think what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on I-Day is so true and so important. Parents (especially mothers, but sisters as well) must raise their sons (and brothers) to respect women and send out the message that complaints from girls about misbehaviour will be taken very seriously.

  • From Commitscion Nishal Lama (Class of 2009), Bangalore: Brilliant article. I can't agree more with Devika and what it really means to be a woman in India today. And the problem, I think, is deep-rooted within our society. I am hopeful that the coming generation will see things in a different perspective. 
  • From Commitscion Monish Debnath (Class of 2008), Mumbai: Such a powerful article. Shaken up at the sheer audacity these men have; shame is the only word I can think of. Brilliant writing.
  • From senior journalist Kokila Jacob, Dubai: Well-written and, yes, powerful. She has articulated the experience of EVERY Indian woman. Sadly her starting sentence is so true. Nothing will change. Not as long as parents still yearn for sons and then, when they get them, they go on to spoil them rotten.
  • From senior journalist and editor of Khaleej Times, Dubai, Patrick Michael: Just three words come to mind after reading this powerful piece: Bold, frank, and fearless. Words come easy but only Devika will know the hurt, the pain and the frustration she went through when she decided to write this story. Shocking? No. A revelation? No. Will it trigger a change in the way men treat women as mere commodities? No. But it had to be said. And we need more Devikas. Women hold up half the sky and yet men won't admit it. Ever. Our egos will not allow it. Carry on, Devika. Don't let men influence who you want to be. More power to your pen.
  • From Commitscion Nilofer D'Souza (Class of 2009), Bangalore: Okay, I must admit, when I saw this link, I thought to myself, "Here goes Ramesh Sir, encouraging another new kid on the block..." But, then, I read the piece, and I agree wholeheartedly with what Ramesh Sir says. A raw first-person account, which is appreciated.
  • From Commitscion Arathi Krishnan (Class of 2007), Dubai: Brilliant!
  • From Commitscion Ria Dutta (Class of 2016), Bangalore: This article is indeed very bold and very true... I can relate to it as I have encountered similar situations growing up. Hats off to Devika Premlal for being able to write this. Truly very impressive.
  • From homemaker and mother of two young girls Vidya Nayak, Bangalore: Hats off to Devika for putting into words what, I feel, all women in India go through at different times in life. Except for our mother or, in extreme cases, our father, no one talked about it. We were asked to avoid the road, so what if it was the shortest way home....  I am proud to know a girl today is able to talk about it. I fully empathise with Devika. The only way ahead, I feel, is to teach girls, like I have taught mine, that they are not responsible for the weirdo's behaviour. He is wrong. Period. Evasive tactics need to be taught. Also to scream. At the end of all this is a mother who worries every time her child goes out with friends. Till she sees her child again. Where is the age of innocence? Are only boys entitled to it?
  • From Commitscion Ankita Sengupta (Class of 2013), Mumbai: Wow! Even though I am not acquainted with Devika, I feel so proud of her. She may be right in stating that irrespective of what we say, nothing will change, but to stand up and narrate such personal incidents deserves applause. Things may never change but thanks to bravehearts like her, more women will learn to speak up for themselves. Kudos to her!
ALSO READ: Gutsy Commits student Ankita Sengupta's story in Bangalore Mirror — an inspiration to women everywhere.