Great power involves great responsibilities. This is an age-old saying that has been laid by many people throughout the years, including people like Voltaire, Winston Churchill and Stan Lee. But perhaps the phrase particularly points more towards the digital era where people's everyday thoughts, hopes and desires can be recorded and analysed by various technicians who often operate free of any democratic oversight. While the matter is abundant on the internet, our attention is limited and a treasured resource. To use our attention as efficient as possible, tech companies have developed a new kind of capitalism, which accumulates behavioural data to bring advertisement technology to perfection. We call it surveillance capitalism. And you are being tracked, right now! While you read this or while scrolling through anything over internet. As soon as you get on the internet, multiple parties track everything you are doing. We live in endless surveillance, and your online behaviour is used for targeted advertisement. But how did this happen and what is the cost our society has to pay? Online surveillance is ubiquitous: They know your location, search history, the installed apps on your phone, the websites you visit, and what you read and watch. They also monitor your social media posts, your private conversations, emails, what you buy, as well as all the metadata that comes with it and the list is endless. But who are we exactly mean with “they”? It’s the surveillance capitalists. Companies which offer products and services to extract our behavioural user data and make predictions and modifications to our future behaviour. Surveillance capitalists see your behaviour data as their proprietary and further use the information to feed machine intelligence to similar sophisticated prediction products. These prediction products are then traded on behavioural investments market places. The more data is fed into this new machine intelligence-based the more powerful are its prediction products. For example, every online search creates more understandings about us. This information is then structured and fed to machine learning algorithms. When trained with enough data, these algorithms can give accurate predictions on what you are going to click on, based on your search input and past behaviour. The consequence is that if google search is used to explore a particular product, you will suddenly see fitting advertisements following you around the internet almost everywhere you go. They simply professed our private experience to be theirs for the taking, for translation into data for their private ownership and their proprietary knowledge. The capitalist logic of growth works perfectly since information can be extracted with zero marginal cost. Their systems, which aim to modify our behaviour, are designed outside of our awareness and operate in the dark to maintain our ignorance. This data technology is turning the world into data. At its core is the continuous gathering of 'behavioural surplus' by big tech companies. This is the excess information retained from users’ online search and browsing history. When internet users specify a 'like' or a 'favourite' for a post online, when they are purchasing online or log onto an app, what time they make purchases, what music they play, what films they like, what political parties they vote for - every information is recorded. This data is then analysed for analytical patterns which could be coordinated with advertisements, after which products and services are targeted at the users. Tech companies then rapidly broadened the scope of their surveillance, finding new ways of obtaining more and more data. Camouflaged as personalisation of products, smart homes, smart phones, smart watches and smart cars have all been used to extract more behavioural data about users. While surveillance capitalism needs technology. Technology doesn’t need surveillance capitalism. The consequence being, surveillance capitalists are incentivized to create even more addictive products following the model of the attention economy. Pull to refresh, countless feeds or push notifications are just the tip of the iceberg. More than 70 percent of the YouTube traffic is driven by recommendations. These recommendations are tilted towards the range of Crazy Town, including conspiracy theories, anti-vaccine and Bigfoot. So, the predictive algorithm doesn’t show you what is best for you, but instead, what is in the economic interest of the platform benefactors. This debate goes way beyond the question of a free market economy, since the dispossession of knowledge and the behavioural manipulation of billions of people are a threat to democracy itself. Their business practices are revolutionizing on how society works and lead to significant social differences and spikes in depression among our youngest generation. To control an evolving new form of capitalism is tough. We just started to understand how it even works and only came up with terminology for it. In the meantime, it’s spreading throughout the world like wildfire and is implemented and integrated by more companies and marketplaces every day. Although it is not easy, there are still a couple of things you can do against it: Avoid their services when possible. You can also take a look at the data detox, which helps you find existing alternatives.
Urban poverty in India is over 25 percent, almost 81 million people live below the poverty line in Indian urban areas. In the next decade urbanization in India is set to reach 50 per cent and urban poverty is likely to increase along with the urbanization. There are sustainable goals for developing nations such as India, in order to attain the local and global developmental goals. What is necessary here is to pay attention to urban poor as they are more likely to suffer from poverty nowadays. But most of the developmental initiatives are focused on rural areas based on the primary idea of rural areas. Cities are not majorly seen as places where people need development opportunities. While basic needs such as shelter, ration, electricity, water and sewerage are the matters of struggle for urban poor’s. As India is developing and urbanization is increasing, so are increasing the slum areas. Although considered a persisting problem, slums weren’t just born overnight. They are a product of decades, even centuries of neglect and lack of development planning. Successful urbanization takes time, but life in the slums will only improve when its residents’ living situations are upgraded or bettered on a basic level. That’s why one of our key programs in India consists in rehabilitating and upgrading slums: building safe and decent homes for the millions of socially excluded families in India’s big cities. Rehabilitation can ensure that urban poor’s have access to clean water, electricity, better jobs, and a permanent shelter. Land rights are indeed a hot topic for most slum residents, who are at constant risk of eviction. This causes further extreme poverty and instability in the country.
Recently media has been aggressively used by political parties for the propagation of their ideologies, agendas and mobilization of public opinion. The influence of media on today’s generation is very clear hence, various political parties have invested huge amounts on digital campaigning. Media is the easiest way to reach an enormous population irrespective of the fact if they belong to a rote area. Social media is now used by political parties to engage directly with their voters and influence their opinions. Advancement of technology has helped media to expand it’s reach like never before in the last decade, whether it be any source like television, radio or newspaper. This rapid growth of media brought both the pros and cons along with it for the nation. The people with power have been successful in influencing dissemination of information through media houses, by partially owning these outlets, and tangentially influencing the way news are presented. Clearly, ownership of the media significantly affects the perspectives presented in the reporting and bias becomes inevitable in such circumstances. Various media owners have direct or indirect links with politics while some of them are even representatives of some parties. The election commission is reported to have identified more than 1400 cases of paid news between 2009 and 2020. Media houses also depend on advertisement for their revenues hence besides direct or indirect control, advertisement are also influenced by the benefits of the media house. This becomes problematic when media house start emphasizing on advertisement of certain parties and spread their agenda for money. The transparency and independence of media has to suffer in such situations. Politicization of media had blinded major population of the nation and kept them away from knowledge of the real truth and their real interests. The situation is getting harmful for the subordinates of the society hence an urgent question arises if there should be a legislation banning big corporations and politicians to own media. India has recently been one of the lowest rank holding nation in the press freedom index and media ownership by political parties have been the major reason for that. Our nation needs regulatory safeguards against political control over media.
This is a sensitive issue that India now and again fails to address. Mental health is been mocked and underscored. People in India still ridicule going to psychologists for help; instead they think family members should gather and consult because ‘why go to a stranger and share issues?’ People are failing to understand that someone who is facing mental health issues needs professional help. When Sushant Singh was believed to have committed suicide, these are the statements that I often heard: ‘Why did he commit suicide? He was such a smart person and a talented actor.’ ‘He should have been stronger.’ ‘What reason does he have to be depressed? He had so many achievements.’ Instead of actively speaking about the mental health issues and how they need to be improved, all that was heard was the noise of people wondering ‘why was such an accomplished person depressed and what would have been so bad that lead HIM to be like this.’ These are the same exact words that echoed everywhere. This shows how our country really needs to have some significant and drastic measures in order to ensure the common mental goodwill. Understanding the Cause The WHO has estimated that approximately a million people die each year from suicide. And that’s not counting the failed attempts made. The first thing that everyone thinks when someone commits suicide is, ‘why did they do it? What would have been so bad that it drove them to take their own lives.’ Life is priceless; hence it is very difficult for those who aren’t going through depression to understand why one would choose this path. Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape the pain and suffering that has eventually or burgeoningly become difficult to bear. People who are suicidal see no hop and end of suffering and can’t think of a better way than death to relieve that pain. They don’t want it to be that way, they want to see the other doors but they are completely blinded by the feelings of hopelessness and self-loathing to see those doors. There are a few things that need to be understood when it comes to suicide. Almost everyone that attempts suicide gives you clues or warnings. They say things like, ‘you’ll miss me when I am gone,’ and ‘I don’t see any options’. People who try to kill themselves AREN’T crazy, they are just deeply hurt and are going through a lot. People who are suicidal can be talked out of doing suicide if done the right way. They have fluctuating feelings about wanting to live and dying. They want the pain to stop. Contrary to popular belief, talking about suicide doesn’t give someone the idea of committing suicide. Instead, open conversations about suicide can help save a life. Warning Signs of Suicide Like aforementioned, almost everyone who attempts suicide gives warning signs. It can be worse if there is a history of suicides in the family, or if they have mood disorders. The common warning signs are as such: Talking about Suicide: If they are talking about things like how they shouldn’t have been born, or any talk about dying or suicide. Self-destructing coping mechanisms: They would do self-destructing actions such as reckless driving and drug abuse. Hopelessness: Researchers has found that hopelessness is one of the strong predictors of suicide. They will feel trapped and have no hopes for the future. Self-hatred: They feel guilty and worthless. They believe that everyone is better off without them. Fixation on Death: They have an unusual focus on death and dying. They think about that more than anything else. Withdrawal: They tend to withdraw from family and friends. Suicide Prevention Tips These tips will help you save a person’s life. People who are suicidal feel extremely vulnerable and are subconsciously seeking help. Tip #1 Talk to Them If you see the warning signs, you might be thinking, ‘should I talk to them?’ The answer is yes, you should. It can definitely be difficult to talk to them about it but if you are unsure whether they are suicidal, the best thing to do is ask. The Dos: Start the conversation by saying something like, ‘I have been concerned about you lately,’ or ‘I feel like you haven’t been like yourself lately.’ You should ask them how they would like your support and if they have decided or thought of getting professional help. Let them know that you care about them and that they matter to you. Tell the, that even if they won’t believe it now, things can and will get better. Listen to what they have to say. Be sympathetic and non-judgemental. The Don’ts: Don’t act shocked or argue with them about having suicidal thoughts. They are upset and in a lot of pain. Don’t offer solutions and ways because they don’t want you to figure out their life, they just need someone to be there. Don’t promise them that you won’t tell anyone; a life is at stake. Tip #2 Take action in crisis. There are four major questions: Do they have a suicide plan? DO they have the means to carry out the plan? Do they have a time in mind? And finally, do they intend to take their own life? The answers to this will tell you the range of danger they are in and if it high or severe, then you need to take quick action. Call the suicide helpline or take them to the emergency room. However, at no costs, should you leave them alone. Tip #3 Offer Help It takes a lot of courage to help someone who is suicidal, and here are a few things you can do to help you navigate through it with an easier perspective. Get professional help. Don’t think that meeting up with other family members is going to solve it. People often find it very hard to understand them and a professional is what someone needs. Try to do whatever’s in your power to get the person professional help. Encourage positive lifestyle changes. Suggest changes like a good diet, or healthy sleep schedules. Remove possible means. Remove any means of suicide, including but not limited to sharp object, cleaning products, drugs, belts, chords, wires, and ropes. Make a crisis plan. A crisis plan aims the person to think about what support someone would need during a crisis. Some things that can be done: Don’t leave them alone, remove the means, talking to a professional or calling a helpline, distraction techniques and reasons why they would want to live (family pictures). *Note: Please add a note with suitable helpline number for the person to reach if they are feeling suicidal or if they know someone who is*
Children are not born criminals not pampered parasites. They are made that way by the environment in which they live. Crime nowadays is not defined by any age and hence has given rise to a new class of criminals i.e. juveniles. Who are juveniles and what give rise to turnover of innocent minds into well planned criminal minds? Well, a juvenile is below the age of 18. However, according to law, a person below the age of 18 violating laws which would have been a crime if committed by an adult is termed as juvenile delinquent. Who can ever think in dreams that when a child innocent mind is developing in his childhood, it can even take a turnover to think such criminal strategies and can result in committing a crime. But, in today’s era this has taken a turn from dream to reality. Juveniles are used as a source of crime by some dreadful criminals and sometimes other factors also lie there in making them take such a step. The most common cause is the environment they live in. Broken families, single parent families and frequent parent fights make the life of children full of hardships and often, disturb the inner peace of mind which make them choose the path of crime. Another major cause is poverty . when money is the need, and all the paths are closed, the innocent minds loose the capability of thinking what is wrong and what is right and they try the best possible way to meet their needs. It is this time that they either turn to crime or are used up by some selfish people in order to use as a source of crime. Sometimes, crime do not need influence or a way of force, it can even build within us by the enforcement of negative thoughts on our mind. Depression and loneliness are also some of the causes of crime. Bullying, which is a mode of fun and entertainment for some people can also take a turnover to crime. The influence of media and peer pressure also play some role in it. The showcasing of criminals is done in a such way by media that they leave no difference between personalities and criminals. All these factors play some or the other role in juvenile delinquency. But a thing to remember is where there is a problem there lies ways of prevention. Parents play a key role in avoiding the precious future of country into turning into a juvenile delinquent. They should keep a check on the activity of their children and help them empower their minds with positive thoughts which keep them away from such paths. Moreover, parents should keep a note of what environment they are providing to their children and how is it affecting their innocent minds. Education also has role here. Right education at right time helps to understand difference between right and wrong and help them keep the mind on right path. We, the youth, also need to think on this issue. We should keep an eye on our surroundings and should understand what is good for us and should interact with our parents and the society in the best way possible so that nobody uses our minds for fulfilling their purpose. These are the steps which can be taken on the primary level, but the government is also trying the best way possible to reduce juvenile delinquency. They treat the juveniles differently from criminals as nobody would like to investigate a 9 year old child but would like to know what made him do so and would prevent other children from doing so. The young people who commit crime are dealt as quickly as possible and the government has also launched juvenile justice act for the care and protection of children. The government believe that the children need to understand what crime is and what they have done. But, what disturbs today the most is where in the past juveniles were associated with just small crimes they had taken severe crimes in their hand, one of which include juvenile sex crimes. The severe turnover of juvenile crime is indicating that the sympathy which was associated with juvenile is going to end. And, why it shouldn’t end. The juveniles should be divided in such a way that the crimes which are not severe and which are done due to some reason or in innocence should be treated differently to the crimes which are severe like juvenile sex crimes. They should be treated the same way as criminals because giving them a second chance is of no use. The punishment of juveniles should be given on the basis of their crimes and they should not be kept on the same scale. Their punishment should teach them a lesson that they should think twice before taking such a step in life. For conclusion, we all can play some role in helping reduce juvenile delinquency but at the same time we should also keep in mind that we do not turn out to be a part of it.
In the past few days certain incidents has drawn the attention of every individual especially on social media on the importance of mental health among everyone. Suddenly everyone was trying to be concerned about the wellness and life of their closed ones. Everyone started to manifest that they are there for them and if anyone is going through any melancholy they are most welcome to come and share their feelings with them. Everyone is ready to end the stigma of mental health just because a famous and lovable Bollywood actor has committed suicide .I guess one need to die to draw the attention of the people towards such an important things in every individual life i.e.mental health. Stigma is a term used to describe the negative and stereotypical thoughts, attitude and feelings about people on the basis of a person includes gender, skin colour, sexual orientation, religion and mental illness. These attitudes frequently foster stigma and discrimination towards people with mental health problems. Stigma is the process of blaming a person wrongly and devaluing him or her for having an illness or being in an undesirable situation. Many people hold negative opinions towards people with mental health problems because they do not understand the issues involved and because they do relying on myths and misconceptions. Stigma is considered to be opinion or judgement held by individual or society. If these prepositions are acted upon , these actions may be considered to be discriminatory . Discrimination may be obvious and direct , such as someone making a negative remarks about the person mental health illness or his treatment. Mental health stigma are of two types one is social stigma which is characterized by a prejudicial attitudes and discriminating behaviour directed towards individuals with mental health problems. And second one is self-stigma which is defined as the process in which individuals with mental illness feel they are disgraced, blame and isolate themselves from people. It is one of the most harmful effects of stigma. Self-stigma occurs when it alters how the person views himself/herself. The person living with mental illness may mistakenly believe that his/her condition is a sign of personal weakness or that she/he should be able to control it .Besides self-stigma is the acceptance of prejudiced perceptions held by the patient. There are many causes of stigma like ignorance/ misconceptions, lack of education , lack of perception , lifestyle such as smoking and other drugs use ,and the act being seen as shameful, lack of information , economic instability etc but these challenges can be reduce by education which involves replacing misconception with actual facts .contact involved changing public attitudes about mental illness through direct interactions with people who have experienced mental illness , go public and share experience of illness and of discrimination join the association and supports groups. It is unfortunate that often people with the illness do not believe that they even have it, and turn down medication. It often takes events of hospitalization or severe sickness or illness to make people realize they do actually have an illness, so more education is needed to prevent some of these things from happening. In the recent data it is found that there are more than 60%of people with mental health problems and mental illness won’t seek the help they need. Stigma is one of the main reasons. We need to take it seriously as it can threat the life of many people. If we stop judging the people the people around us with mental health problems can start healing.
Women are representing half of the world population but we can say they have control over only 20 per cent of the world’s property and goods. In the world in certain developing countries because of declining rural economies and environmental depletion, we have noticed that the condition of women is also declining especially rural women. Women in rural areas I would say especially falls into the trap and inhuman practice like prostitution because they are mainly confined to household and is mostly engaged in the household industry and agriculture but with that, they don’t earn enough money to run a household. While we see resources are being whittled away by the multinational companies women's petty trading are taken over by big business and the prices of basic commodities soar, wages decline, and- above all- their self-respect and self-esteem are crushed. Because of which women are dragged and is forced to become actively involved in the sex industry. Women are shown the money and that’s how they fall in the trap. They were paid a huge amount and women tend to get into the activity so that they can save their life and make it little better as they come from the backward class they don’t have sufficient money to even have one proper meal in a day and so when they are being paid such a huge amount they get involved even when they don’t want to. They force themselves to work in the sex industry for the survival of their families and themselves in this modern world where without money life is not possible at all. Poverty is the main reason why the rate of prostitution is growing at such a faster rate than the public can imagine. There are many women stricken to poverty who are working as prostitutes in the brothels. There are instances reported where it was noticed that whole village obtain a substantial income from selling off their own daughters, sisters and wives just to get money and survive in this modern world. The desire for making money is strongly inculcated among many that the health of women are being seriously affected because women involve themselves with many men who are suffering from HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases because of which these diseases get transmitted to women. The condition of women is declining because of these diseases that are being transferred while having sexual intercourse. It is even said that women are suffering more with HIV than men in the world. Because of unemployment, poverty and the influences of "modernization", many young people are migrating from the countryside to the towns looking for jobs, often helped by the village agents. Most of them are destined to become cheap labour, working in carpet and garment factories and hotels. All too many girls are either brutally raped or trafficked abroad from these workplaces. Many women lack work opportunities, that’s why many are induced to turn to the sex industry. There is a labour stratification and that’s why there is limited demand for work. Women's bodies, beauty and sex have become highly demanded commodities in this part of the world. Sex tourism, match-making, bride supplying, pornography and so on are all the result of this thinking. Since buyers of these commodities can spend a lot of money, girls and women are very easily lured. Thailand, Philippines and Nepal are the countries where such businesses are prospering but these countries are also paying a heavy price along with the spread and growth of HIV infection and AIDS. The main reason for this situation among women can be ascribed to widespread poverty, low status, lack of decision making, lack of timely access and so on. Government policies, services and awareness-raising activities are concentrating mainly on rural elites. Empowerment of women has been limited to the conference rooms of five-star hotels. The women in the countryside are being victimized because there are no other alternatives. While doing my reading on the concerned topic I have read an article where many stories about women who earn less than 100 rupees in a month. And how they were being forced in sex work because mainly they were illiterate and have no idea what is right and wrong. They were being given wrong I formation and was promised by their clients that they will be given work basically household work but later when the women agree to go with them they use them for sex work and earn a profit. There were few stories of three women and their stories about how they ended up in the sex industry. I would like to list a few of them. They are mentioned below. The two women sit in a grimy flat in west Delhi. The sound of traffic filters through the curtained windows.It is dark and they are talking about their rescue a few hours before and how – if – they might get back to their homes almost 1,000 miles away. Malti, 22, and Sita, 35, were promised well-paid jobs in the Middle East. Neither reached the Gulf. Instead, they were stripped of their valuables, travel documents and phones and held with 18 others in one room in a rundown apartment in the Indian capital for four months. Denied any outside contact, they were freed only when police, acting on a tip-off, raided the "human warehouse" where the women were being kept. Anis Begum, 27, an almost destitute mother-of-four from Hyderabad, southern India, said she had paid 10,000 rupees (£120) to an agent to go to Saudi Arabia after being promised well-paid work as a maid. Instead, she was locked in a storeroom and then sold as a sex worker at an auction for the equivalent of £300, beaten, imprisoned and abused. "I was scared I might get pregnant. If I did, I thought they might kill me," she said. She was freed by her captor's wife after months of confinement in one room at their home in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. There were many incidents like these which were reported by police. Most of the women recruited by the agents come from severely deprived backgrounds and are often illiterate. Unable to verify inflated or misleading claims, they travel willingly. In certain ways, women were from poor households were told that they will be working as a housemaid and they will be getting paid but when they reach the destination they find out that they were being brought here by their masters to not provide them work but to engage them in the sex industry and sell them to their clients and earn profits. Women are being used because they are not educated and have no idea but just want to earn their living. They are being forced into sex work. The two women that we were taking the examples of in the above part whose name was Malti and Sita released from the Delhi flat-cum-prison were typical of many victims. No one had forced them to leave their homes and Malti, from northern West Bengal, had already spent two years in Saudi Arabia, where she was neither abused nor denied pay, as a domestic servant. She was trying to return to the Gulf for more work when she got involved with the agent who imprisoned her. Sita, an illiterate mother of five whose husband earns around 130 rupees a day as a labourer when he can find work, had little idea where she was going or what awaited her when she left her village, also in India's poverty-stricken north-east, late last summer. "I was told I was going to earn a good salary with a woman who came to my home. I need to feed my children so I went with her. I had high hopes. She brought me to Delhi in a train but then I was locked up," Sita said. Now we can see how they are being forced into this work and were given wrong information. Lastly, I would like to put forward some suggestions about these actions and how they can be addressed: Offer alternative survival opportunities to poor and disadvantaged women so that they are not forced into prostitution, with such consequences as HIV infection and AIDS. Promote awareness among both women and men about HIV and AIDS, the risks of trafficking and preventive measures. Organize poor and disadvantaged women from the lowest social levels around the whole issue of sexual discrimination, and encourage them to overcome the problem collectively. Ensure the empowerment of women: socially, mentally and economically.
India, a country where the term ‘item song’ exists and people celebrate it. Topping the chart-busters every year, it has become a necessity in every big movie. Seldom have people questioned the place of the song in the movie, which has absolutely no relevance to the plot. When the biggest screens of the country play such songs, the audience whistle and clap as if they saw a ‘Kalpana Chawla Biopic’. That pretty much defines the mentality of the people of this country living in the 21st century. Objectification of Women When the biggest stars of the industry have no problem in objectifying women in a movie, what can one expect from the general public? A common yet ignorant rebuttal that men give is that women do such roles willingly, but that just gets to show that women are constantly reminded of the powerlessness that is their gender. They don’t get the same opportunities as men do. It would be a challenge for a person to point out just 10 movies where a woman had a lead role. There are thousands of Bollywood movies, but it is tough to even point of 10. No wonder women try to do their most with whatever opportunity they get. In an industry when acting should be the primary criterion, an actress is expected to look like a model and dance like a professional dancer. Quite often, the acting part is even ignored and many talented actresses are disgustingly screened as if they are mere objects. And yet, this is not even close to the worst aspects of patriarchy in this country. Exploitation of Women Women in Indian society have been a victim of humiliation, torture and exploitation for centuries. Even after more than seventy years of independence, there is little to no respite. Dowries were made illegal in India in 1961, however, the law is almost impossible to enforce, and the practice persists for most marriages in one way or the other. There are numerous cases of rape, murder, dowry, domestic violence and discrimination in society. We pretend to look away and move on. From a very young age, women are specified their role in society and are discouraged to pursue their dreams and desires. They are said to tolerate and listen, not to speak up or voice their problems. ‘Adjust’ is a word that comes to mind. In this context, I never understood the Hindi word ‘izzat’ which translates to ‘honour’. A woman often has to consider and defend this so-called ‘izzat’ of a family. “What would people think? I shouldn’t say this... I shouldn’t say that”. But what about the woman herself, does she not have her honour as well? Individuality is something that most women never get to have. Most of their lives are spent in meeting certain expectations and suppressing her own desires. These are very serious issues, but now let’s examine a sport closely and try to identify the small things that could be holding back women. CHESS: Only 1 Woman in Top 100. Why? Chess is not a physical sport, so one might not expect there to be a separate world chess championship for womenIndia, a country where the term ‘item song’ exists and people celebrate it. Topping the chartbusters every year, it has become a necessity in every big movie. Seldom have people questioned the place of the song in the movie, which has absolutely no relevance to the plot. When the biggest screens of the country play such songs, the audience whistle and clap as if they saw a ‘Kalpana Chawla Biopic’. That pretty much defines the mentality of the people of this country living in the 21st century. Objectification of Women When the biggest stars of the industry have no problem in objectifying women in a movie, what can one expect from the general public? A common yet ignorant rebuttal that men give is that women do such roles willingly, but that just gets to show that women are constantly reminded of the powerlessness that is their gender. They don’t get the same opportunities as men do. It would be a challenge for a person to point out just 10 movies where a woman had a lead role. There are thousands of Bollywood movies, but it is tough to even point of 10. No wonder women try to do their most with whatever opportunity they get. In an industry when acting should be the primary criterion, an actress is expected to look like a model and dance like a professional dancer. Quite often, the acting part is even ignored and many talented actresses are disgustingly screened as if they are mere objects. And yet, this is not even close to the worst aspects of patriarchy in this country. Exploitation of Women Women in Indian society have been a victim of humiliation, torture and exploitation for centuries. Even after more than seventy years of independence, there is little to no respite. Dowries were made illegal in India in 1961, however, the law is almost impossible to enforce, and the practice persists for most marriages in one way or the other. There are numerous cases of rape, murder, dowry, domestic violence and discrimination in society. We pretend to look away and move on. From a very young age, women are specified their role in society and are discouraged to pursue their dreams and desires. They are said to tolerate and listen, not to speak up or voice their problems. ‘Adjust’ is a word that comes to mind. In this context, I never understood the Hindi word ‘izzat’ which translates to ‘honour’. A woman often has to consider and defend this so-called ‘izzat’ of a family. “What would people think? I shouldn’t say this... I shouldn’t say that”. But what about the woman herself, does she not have her honour as well? Individuality is something that most women never get to have. Most of their lives are spent in meeting certain expectations and suppressing her own desires. These are very serious issues, but now let’s examine a sport closely and try to identify the small things that could be holding back women. CHESS: Only 1 Woman in Top 100. Why? Chess is not a physical sport, so one might not expect there to be a separate world chess championship for women. Wrong, and therein lies what I believe is holding back the growth of women's chess. When a girl gives JEE Advance (All India Engineering Entrance Examination), she has the opportunity to go all the way. And you may get some years when there are very few girls in the top 100 or so, and it may look discouraging, but the solution to that is not to segregate the competition, rather it should be to motivate future generations, to provide equal opportunities and let them take the challenge. "Competing with Top Males Is Talent and Opportunity", one of the strongest female players of all time, Hou Yifan stated in a recent interview with Chess.com. She is currently the only female player to find a place in the world's top 100. You may find it hard to believe, but since 1971, only three women have made it into the top 100. But why? Judit Polgar, a female chess player, earned the title of Grandmaster at the age of 15 years and 4 months, breaking the record of 11th World Champion, Bobby Fischer. She once said, “Meanwhile, national federations use their resources, and public subsidies are creating more female-only competitions. It is high time to consider the consequences of this segregation — because, in the end, our goal must be that women and men compete with one another on an equal footing”, strongly believing in the integration of men and women chess championship. It is evident that women are ready for challenges, they just want the same opportunities. There is no reason to have a women’s tournament, which people look down upon. Again, it’s an indirect way of creating a division indicating a superiority in gender, rather than reducing the gap and providing equal opportunities. ‘Hope’. Does it exist? The list continues - Female infanticide, Child Marriage, Malnutrition, Poor Literacy Rate, Inheritance to name a few. The list is long and the tunnel seems too dark, with no end in sight. But we must move on and hope for light to be there at the end of the tunnel. And if there isn’t, we must punch and break the walls, no matter what, we must smash the patriarchy. . Wrong, and therein lies what I believe is holding back the growth of women's chess. When a girl gives JEE Advance (All India Engineering Entrance Examination), she has the opportunity to go all the way. And you may get some years when there are very few girls in the top 100 or so, and it may look discouraging, but the solution to that is not to segregate the competition, rather it should be to motivate future generations, to provide equal opportunities and let them take the challenge. "Competing with Top Males Is Talent and Opportunity", one of the strongest female players of all time, Hou Yifan stated in a recent interview with Chess.com. She is currently the only female player to find a place in the world's top 100. You may find it hard to believe, but since 1971, only three women have made it into the top 100. But why? Judit Polgar, a female chess player, earned the title of Grandmaster at the age of 15 years and 4 months, breaking the record of 11th World Champion, Bobby Fischer. She once said, “Meanwhile, national federations use their resources, and public subsidies are creating more female-only competitions. It is high time to consider the consequences of this segregation — because, in the end, our goal must be that women and men compete with one another on an equal footing”, strongly believing in the integration of men and women chess championship. It is evident that women are ready for challenges, they just want the same opportunities. There is no reason to have a women’s tournament, which people look down upon. Again, it’s an indirect way of creating a division indicating a superiority in gender, rather than reducing the gap and providing equal opportunities. ‘Hope’. Does it exist? The list continues - Female infanticide, Child Marriage, Malnutrition, Poor Literacy Rate, Inheritance to name a few. The list is long and the tunnel seems too dark, with no end in sight. But we must move on and hope for light to be there at the end of the tunnel. And if there isn’t, we must punch and break the walls, no matter what, we must smash the patriarchy.
In the 20th century, the court had observed that every person who is major, has the Right to choose his life partner and this right is also recognized by the Constitution and once it is recognized by the Constitution, it needs to be protected from any kind of violation and the same cannot be taken away in the name of Honour. Killing of a relative, generally a female, who is supposed to have brought dishonor to the family through the acts like Inter-caste/ Inter-Religious marriage is defined as Honour killing. In 2015 alone, 251 honour killings were registered in India and the Honour killings have been reported mainly in the Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, while it is also widespread in South India and the western Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. These killings are often sanctioned by the Khap panchayats in the rural areas. In areas governed by Khap panchayats, Love marriages are considered taboo and those living in a Khap are not allowed to marry in the same gotra or even in any gotra from the same village. Supreme court in 2011, termed such khap Panchayat as “kangaroo courts”, and declared them illegal and court wanted them extinguished. Although, Honour Killing violates Article 14, 15 (1& 3), 19, 21 and 39 (f) of the Constitution of India and it also Infringes right to live with dignity as per article 21 of the Constitution of India. It is a disgrace to peace that this kind of heinous crime is being committed within our society. India is a very diverse country with many cultures and languages, however, the rigidity of the caste system, Illiteracy and unawareness about the rights, Khap Panchayat, Danger of losing Prestige and Status in society are the major causes which leads to Honour Killing. This highlights that the caste system is deep rooted in our society and still traditional pattern in marriage is followed. To conclude this article, if inter-religious marriages are allowed with consent of both the parties then this caste system which is deeply rooted within our society will be eradicated. Media can play a major role by condemning such kind of crimes and should create awareness in the society about such kind of heinous crimes. Also, literacy can be used as a tool to curb this menace and people should be made aware about the validity and authority of the Khap Panchayat and the laws related to that.
Empowering young people for global development and peace
One of the things that can turn both boon or the bane, being large in number is still our power. To complete the tasks, formation of the terms and to assist the change the world legacy, we can all stand up differently! If the unity is embarked in the talent of this unique age group, the numbers care enough to shrill the oldest existing anti powers. Global development also aims to improve general government Policies of these developing countries. State building is the strengthening of regional institutions necessary to support long-term economic, social and political development education is another important aspect of global development. It is important cause of hunger, unemployment, Poverty. Through education & teacher. Young people help others maximize their produce & crops with the inputs they have now. Global development is significant cause it impacts the educator & the educated. There is nothing more humbling then joyfully receiving food from a family that barely gets by. The rich become poor the poor become rich. The educated becomes the educator & the educator becomes educated. Global flips the order of things & grabs the educator into a world or change. Transformation on both sides of development occurs. GD is important cause of dignity. When others can believe in themselves, than they can create a change in their life & in their community. Handouts create helplessness. Education creates hope and drive. Education creates opportunities to become more than what we where before. Young people to be more effective in their endeavor to promote peace and development & democracy in their communities. In this , young people take an active role towards cultivating a culture of peace and development. Peace is not only as the absence of war and direct violence, but also the presence of an apparatus and conditions that favor the economy, social, physical and cultural and environmental well being of all people in a society. The vision of our country lies in the hands of our youths. They are filled with tremendous and towering ambitions. The youth are the real treasure of any country. They are more important for a country like India. Rightly termed YOUNGISTAN, about 65%of India’s population is under 35 year of age. The youth should be active drivers and not merely the passive recipient of development. Youth is age of discovery & dreams. Youth are fighters. The fight for problems which the world faces today. They need good morals values to handle conflicts in positive way. The primary role of youth people is to get a good education in order to become better citizens of tomorrow. The county’s young people can contribute to the success of the county if and only if they are equipped with the skills and the enough knowledge to do so The youth needs to understand the role and responsibilities in making of the country. They must focus in their physical as well as the mental development. Youth should generate or create jobs for others which help to increase employment and growth of economy. When jobs giver generate in market then then no body will unemployed and expenditure will increase with increasing consumption rate. Its help indirectly to rise gross domestic products. Youth should make their career in agriculture sector because it is one of the most booster industry which creates employment and contribute a good percentage rate in GDP when it will increase indirectly economy will developed. Youth should invest in large amount which help economy to create positive mood in the country whereas other countries also want to invest in countries. We should increase our human capital as compare to others when our country will grow and when it will grow also Indirectly trade between countries will grow and that’s how global development is possible.
Marriage and family sociologically signifies the stage of greater social advancement. For much of the history of the world, men and women lived together because they needed each other. Marriage was an economic arrangement, and love and emotional support came second or perhaps not at all. Marriage-its origin Most ancient societies needed a secure environment for the perpetuation of the species, a system of rules to handle the granting rights and the protection of bloodlines. The word called marriage, act as an alliance between families. With times, the marriage has also brought a different meaning, where some marriages are by proxy, some involve a dowry and some require a bride price. These have brought new concepts in the marriage and with time have become deep rooted traditions. The need for it In earlier days, men were superior and the women were considered as inferior, and these ideas are still carried by most of the people in today’s economy. In those days, women get married to men for the economic reason, where people think that women can survive only with the support of men. After marriage the men will look after the family financially and the women would take care of the family being a home maker In those days marriage were held only due to family pressure and economic need. As a partner, even when they have disapproval of thoughts or less compatibility, they were mending to be together, where mostly women will be the one to compromise but in the present time they get divorced. In those days and even now in some places marriage is an economic proposition, there is no love or mutual respect between couples. The last statement of the above paragraph is well portrayed in the movie “Little Women”, where a dialogue of the movie which inspired most of the people is, a conversation between Amy March and Theodore which as follows, “I’m just a woman. And as a woman, I have no way to make money, not enough to earn a living and support my family. Even if I had my own money, which I don’t, it would belong to my husband the minute we were married. If we had children they would belong to him, not me. They would be his property. So don’t sit there and tell marriage isn’t an economic proposition, because it is. Change in time Over time, much has changed in the institution of marriage: in those days marriage was about bringing together the traditional roles of men and women to form a union based on practicality and compromise, to today,, when it is largely seen as a equal partnership rooted in love and mutual respect. Times are rapidly changing, but for many people around the world, marriage remains the ultimate symbol of happiness. For a normal individual the actual plan is to meet a perfect man, get married, make a home together, have children and live happily ever after. This is only out of their happiness rather than for surviving. At present the couples are trying to get know each other, and wishes to be together with the mutual understanding and love, than considering what the society says. Modern century In today’s world, both the men and woman are given equal education in most of the families, where along with men, woman too become financially independent and do take their own decision. Women are climbing towards parity with the men in economic status and in leadership, this too states the different meaning of partnership and the couples wish to live together as partners with no differences mentally and economically. As partners, in today’s world they tend to share the load in taking care of the families and individually fulfilling their aspiration. When comes to our country, the practice of the above idea is less in number. In many other countries woman are proving to survive in this world all alone. The best marriages are those which built on deep love, mutual respect and the sense of equality. After the marriage, it seeks the two individual to own a different responsibility, legalities, commitment and challenge.
The Societal Pressure on the Woman to be a ‘Woman’
In the Indian culture, there are goddesses who are worshiped and whose wrath is feared. There were many prominent Indian philosophers, scholars and poets who were female. Goddesses are respected above all others – people worship them for knowledge and money. And yet, in today’s world, the woman has been besmirched and their roles have been dwindled down to those of mere servants and slaves. Indian men and women all respect and pray to these same goddesses but when asked what a women’s role in society is, their answer is mostly always same: a giver and a caretaker to the family who is always taken for granted. This is not the culture that facilitated this but the narrow-mindedness of many people in India that have twisted the realities of our tradition and made it to be one that inhibits women from truly unlocking their potential. The society of India that has misunderstood and misinterpreted our country’s culture and that is the reason that women of this country are facing these struggles. Discouragement from pursuing careers In today’s India, many women are discouraged from learning and pursuing their careers. There are staggering statistics on girls who don’t receive formal education after tenth grade. Women who continue to pursue a career after the age of 21 and above are frowned upon. ‘But when are you going to marry?’ They are told that they need to think of marriage and making a family, because that is what they were born for. If after marriage someone wants to continue their education or career after or without having a child, the society is brutal to her. Women are highly discouraged from pursuing careers like engineering and sports. Women’s sports have extremely low funding, they aren’t well known because they get absolutely no media coverage. All the women players need to necessarily have other day jobs and often need to buy their own equipment as if their sports careers are just a hobby. When women pursue careers like engineering, they are told that no girls enter this field and even at work, there is extreme discrimination against her, often in the form of what men think are ‘harmless jokes’ What to do: Support these women. Let them pursue the career they want, without judging their decisions of wanting to having a marriage or a family. Donate in organizations that help these women in education and also the ones that help in funding of women’s sports. Rape Culture Victim blaming rears its ugly head every time a woman is raped. What was she wearing? Was she drinking? Was she flirting? What time of the day was she outside? These questions are always asked when a girl is raped. BUT WHAT DO THESE QUESTIONS HAVE TO DO WITH RAPE? They don’t. But the ‘traditional’ men and women of this country, who want to ‘preserve our culture’, think that these questions are absolutely applicable and appropriate. These repulsive people claim that this is in the ‘nature of men’ and for women to avoid these situations, they should wear ‘appropriate clothes’ and not go out at night. And these are the same men that worship and respect goddesses. The irony would have been laughable if it wasn’t so repugnant. What to do: STOP victim blaming. The thing is, you can’t change the mentality of those that have it embedded in their minds that victim blaming is necessary. But teach your children and your nieces and nephews that this is not correct. Raise the men right. Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse The number of unreported cases of domestic violence after marriage is extremely high. And even when the cases are reported, it often happens that the police tell the women that it is something that they wouldn’t interfere into because ‘yeh ghar ka mamla hai’. Neighbors dismiss the screams and the cries of the woman in pain because ‘yeh ghar ka mamla hai’. Many women are afraid to report any cases because they fear that after coming home, they would be berated even worse. There are so many times that women have come into the hospital with bones cracked and ligaments torn and people simply look at her without offering any help. And it is quite often that the domestic violence is packaged with sexual abuse but even if women talk about the domestic violence, they don’t share their experience of sexual abuse because they feel shy about it. Psychologists say that this cause them depression – the fear of being raped – and this depression adds to the trauma. These women often don’t take care of themselves. The problem here with our society is how they deal with this. They don’t interfere and help these people, instead they tell the women that it is their lookout. One of the main issues around this is that it often happens with women with a lower socioeconomic background and hence, she does what she is always told to do – she tolerates. It’s funny how people love to interfere when two people are consensually cohabitating without marriage but don’t ever interfere when they hear a crying woman who had been almost beaten to death. What to do: If you find anyone who is suffering, don’t stay quiet. Accompany them to the police if she wants to report it. Donate to the foundations that support these women and help them to get out of these barbaric situations. Predetermined Roles After Marriage There are a lot of ‘traditional’ men and even women in this country who are extremely respectful of the goddesses, they pray to them. But when it comes to actual women of this country, the one that stays in their homes, they want to keep them there itself. It’s strange that these men worship a goddess for having greater knowledge and discourage women from pursuing education and their desired career and it’s strange that they pray a goddess for more money and happiness but forbid a woman to go out and earn money for herself. The people don’t want women to be free humans, they want them to be locked inside. After marriage, it is always expected of the woman to abandon her ambitions and her dreams to take care of her family and her child(ren). The in-laws often ‘forbid’ women from doing jobs after marriage and many husbands support this. And many companies don’t hire women because they think that these women would start a family and would have to leave the company after that. Furthermore, if the women do their jobs or run their businesses, it stills falls upon them to come home and do all the domestic work. What to do: Share the burden. It is NOT only upon the women to do domestic work and take care of her family. Men should also know how to do domestic work because that is something one has to do for survival. Child Marriage 27% of the girls are married before they are even 18, and that is a very concerning statistic. People in this society, mostly in the lower socio-economic backgrounds, have wedded their girl children before they even hit puberty. They give away their daughters as if they were livestock. They are girls, not brides. Their childhood is stolen from them. And women are often wed to men who are much older to them. The society does this for many reasons – poverty, traditional customs, betrothal, and avoiding pre-marital sex. The Muslims don’t follow the provisions of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (2006) and follow their own Muslim Personal Law for the minimum age of a girl before she can get married. What to do: Support the NGOs that work to end child marriage and donate there. There isn’t much that can be done but supporting these NGOs would be a great step towards contribution for the betterment of the country. ‘Tolerate it’ This is what every woman is told in her marriage. He hits you? Tolerate it. He physically abuses you and sexually harasses you? Tolerate it. He mentally harasses you? Oh, that’s all in your head, he isn’t doing anything. This is what women are told and the sad thing is, not only men, but other women say this, too. Divorces are very frowned upon and remarriages of women are extremely difficult because all of the society looks at it as if everything was the woman’s fault and because ‘she doesn’t have it in her to tolerate it.’ What people of this toxic society don’t understand is, she doesn’t have to tolerate anything! It shouldn’t be upon her to be helpless and lay there without saying anything. But ‘tumhe sehen karna padega’ is the society’s mantra when it comes to women. What can be done? Be an advocate. Don’t stay quiet – talk about these issues out in the open, start a conversation. Because starting a conversation is the first step to approaching a problem and coming up with a solution. Educate the Future Generation. The generation that has been led to believe the same ‘principles’ for decades aren’t going to change their minds now. But let your kids, nephews and nieces know what our true culture is and tell them about this injustice, even though it might be uncomfortable in the beginning. Donate. This is extremely important. NGOs are always in need of funding. Donate to the NGOs that helps women getting out of situations they shouldn’t be put in. Volunteer. Something else that these NGOs usually need is volunteers who can help them with the betterment of this country.