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  • Writer's pictureMitra Swayamdeep

The Freedom of Exploitation

Let us ask ourselves,

do we have the right,

right to exploit anyone?

or do we have the freedom of exploitation?

Is it in the constitution?

or in any of religious texts??

or is it because of the patriarchal mindset,

which defined who is weak and the strongest?

Physical or mental abuse,

is very prevalent in the society,

but, what has been the cause for it??

what is the ultimate solution??

Women have been criminalized,

throughout history,

have been portrayed as demons, witches, sluts, and what not,

if stood against the patriarchy,

or have not fulfilled the patriarchal desires.

They have been exploited,

they have been abused,

they have been controlled, objectified,

they have been killed, and have been burned,

We all have heard the one side of stories, mythologies,

from the perspective of men,

but what about the portrayal of women, the other truth,

from the perspective of women?

It is not just the mythology,

It is the real world,

the victim of abuse, rape, murder,

is blamed for whole life in real.

Ask yourself, do we listen to these struggling women?

I am not surprised,

how sick, we humans have become,

when we celebrate,

burning of a woman.

Holika is not the past, Holika is the present.

Do we have no moral responsibility?

Do we not have logic or sense?

We blindly believe in religion and its practices,

without a single question.

Is it really the fear of god?

Or is it the blatant ego??

unfortunately, we have lost morality,

and skills to reason,

in the fusions of celebrations,

No one has the right to exploit anyone,

there is no freedom of exploitation,

We have the freedom of speech and expression,

We have the right to live with dignity and to protect ourselves.

We must achieve moral responsibility,

We must respect each other,

We must respect the consent,

and stand against exploitation.

The Freedom of Exploitation

You must be wondering, why I chose Holi festival to bring this topic when exploitation happens every day, abuse, rapes, murders happen every day. It is true, it happens every day, but have you observed, we people believe in the freedom of exploitation on this day without any fear, just one phrase 'bura na mano holi hai' and women are physically abused or raped and murdered to hide the truth, children are abused, bullied, raped. This is the only festival when crime rises in India, the next day newspapers are filled with news of exploitations and even with revenge crimes, and disputes. Does this festival teach us to behave in such a manner? People drink and celebrate forgetting their moral responsibilities. I did try to find factual data to prove what we humans have made ourselves during this festival but found nothing except the blogs, news about the crimes happening during Holi. But, is proof needed? Haven't we observed and experienced many things during this period. Don't we need to take a stand against the exploitation? Should we be dependent on police or authorities to protect ourselves? There is no auspicious time when a crime happens, it can happen anytime, it is happening now and then, don't we have any moral responsibilities to take a stand against the exploitation.

We fear the legal drama, we fear family reputations, we fear taking a stand, but is anything else important in the matters of life and death? We question the victim, not the accused, we compare, yet we don't fight for justice. Many, must still be wondering exploitation happens with men too, why no one takes a stand for them. Yes, it happens with men too, but men are privileged, they are not victim-blamed, they are not judged. Women are not exploited only on Holi or specific day, they are exploited every day, domestic violence, eve-teasing, and whatnot, many complaints are not even filed because it happens in home spaces, workspaces due to fear of reputation. We all understand the issues, we protest, we do candle march, in some cases, the accused gets punished, some actions are taken, these cases come like a trend and goes like a trend, but we have not come up with an ultimate solution.

On the other hand, I chose this day for this topic because I find no difference between Holika and the female victims of exploitation today. What is the truth of Holika? Why haven't we questioned? We have been fed with stories, mythologies from one perspective, what is the other truth? I do know about the story of Holika being a Bahujan woman, I do believe in that, though there is research still going on, and we need to find the truth, we need to know the other story. I will share the story when I get proper references. There are many who do not celebrate Holi because they believe that Holika was a Bahujan woman, I have a question for you all, does a victim needs to be of a specific caste or community to reject the idea of celebration? Isn't she being a woman or a human enough to stand against this practice? Also, ask yourself do women own a caste?

Coming to the solution, what can be done to prevent crimes from happening. Yes, there is a solution. If we observe, Holi is the only festival we all break morality, we lie, we steal, we drink, we harm others, we misbehave.

Buddha had a solution for this, he/she knew we can't control other people around us, yet, we can control ourselves, we can control what we do. He/She gave the Panchasila, what we call today as 'Five Moral Precepts'

  • I shall not quarrel or fight,

  • I shall not touch other's things without their permission,

  • I shall not do any sexual misconduct with others,

  • I shall not speak a lie,

  • I shall not drink liquor, smoke, I shall not eat beetle-nuts, gutka, etc.

It seems so simple and easy, right? When it comes to practice, it is the most difficult part, it teaches you to be morally responsible, it teaches you to respect self and others, it teaches you consent. It teaches you how to live a life free from sufferings, as all these ill-actions lead to suffering, and hence I shall not do that. Shouldn't it be practiced every day? We must teach and embrace it, we must enlighten the children and upcoming generation with the idea of Five Moral Precepts. We must remember we can't control others, we can control ourselves.

Thank you for reading, do not just be a citizen, be a morally responsible citizen.


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