Thursday, March 25, 2010

Route to Tranquility - Barkha Dhar - Hindustan Times

My latest article Route to Tranquility has been published in the Inner Voice section of The Hindustan Times,India's leading Newspaper.

Copyright (c) 2009 - present Dharbarkha.blogspot

Monday, March 8, 2010

International Women's Day - Femininity Is Identity

“In the ambrosial chattels of my dream,
I was born in the mountains, grew up to frisk in the plains
and slide on the oceans to caress the ecstasy of the winds.

In my trance, I had the liberty to effectuate my longings
propel my intentions to veer myself of fears. But angst
I awoke to discern the vagary of my thoughts to
actual, a truth of 'as is' and the aphorism of my state.

In the tangibility of existence, I am far away from the absolute,
gripped so tight in the shackles of confinement and control
and tabooed to lift off my veil.

I am the journey of femininity and my life is a biography of
emotions. In my silence I am auctioned for beauty, in my
hustle I am trafficked for wealth and in felicity I am beguiled
of love.

As a little girl I am forbidden to emancipate, in my youth
I am in a peril of assault. As a co-worker, I cope with harassment
and as a daughter-in-law; I am asked if the gold that I brought in my
marriage is authentic or fake.

My saga is an unending face-off with time and my name
holds the aura of my gender. I am the spirit of a woman and my
femininity bears the quintessence of my identity”. - Barkha Dhar

These verses are my own, a composition dedicated to International Women’s Day, which celebrates the liberation and the elevation of global women force socially, economically and intellectually. From its inception as a revolutionary movement in 1908 to United Nations subsequent role of signing the charter in 1945 to promote gender equality, March 8Th has seen evolution of women’s identity as both conspicuous and crucial for social change. With massive about face in the plight of women through education and equal opportunity, International Women’s Day has unequivocally advocated, identified and emancipated sagacity of the female gender. As a catalyst of vicissitude, this day has induced energy and hope in each woman to surpass the dictum of gender abuse and bias. Despite mindful cognizance and global recognition of women in Academia, Business and Industry, Science and Technology, Society and Politics, Arts, Media and Entertainment, Religion and Spirituality, femininity’s   docile face nonetheless bemoans oppression.  

According to Richard Robbins, Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, “Women do two-thirds of the world’s work, receive 10 percent of the world’s income and own 1 percent of the means of production.” According to UNFPA, “Women currently constitute over two-thirds of the illiterate adult population worldwide. They also represent 70 per cent of the planet's poor — a reality that became more severe after the recent global economic crisis”. United Nations Development Fund for Women states, “About 22 million were expected to have lost their jobs in 2009”. Also, United Nations statistics on violence against women reveals, “globally, at least one in three women and girls is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. 4 million women and girls are trafficked annually and So-called "honor killings" take the lives of thousands of young women every year, mainly in North Africa, Western Asia and parts of South Asia”. With such facts and figures, claiming that most women share equal rights and are empowered is a statement that I would take with a grain of salt. These statistics speak loud of the fragile sheath that a woman is ensconced under and her potent cue for change, a transformation not just for a fraction of us but for the entity of femininity. Accentuating individuality in each woman locally and internationally is no more need of the hour but a quest of an era. 

Recognizing women’s rights as a core of a nation’s political and social agenda is a means to an allusive beginning. However gender equality and role parity is also an individual responsibility. It starts with reconnecting to self and to similar others in the community, family and society. Sharing common goals and driving developmental motives collectively are some ways we can accredit ourselves with opportunities and achievements. An understanding of the fact that there is a thin line between being empowered and feeling empowered is initiating action in the right direction. Reinventing ourselves at any age or through any experience in life inspires us to aggregate against gender violence and discrimination in order to brace a progressive demeanor. Institutionalizing such progress as our mission can help us think alike and feel alike, a trait that break evens our emotions and ambitions and a pledge that conjoins us. Reinstating this grandeur time and again and not just today can rupture any social impediments that cease the rightful apportion of freedom, fairness and justice among genders. To begin such journey, redesigning our destiny indeed shall be an expedient step.

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