By Volunteer Himani Ramvani, FHI Rajkot
Considering the paradigms of Indian society and the culture inculcated into us as Indians since thousands of years, it is hard for us to not become a part of one of the parties, the abuser or the victim. We all could have been on one of these sides at some point of time in our lives. The social evils in India persist today in a large number like casteism, gender discrimination, male dominance, patriarchal hierarchy, racial abuse and many more. We all know what happens around us but a very few actually think of changing things for the better.
But just like it is not easy to change the years old traditions that exist, it is not really easy to change these social evils too. Why? You must think. We can simply punish the abusers and strengthen the victims and pass out laws that could keep a watch on people to abide by the rules, but that’s not it. Everything of this sort has already been done. You might find this strange or unacceptable but hear me out, the abusers are also victims. Victims of the societal norms and wrong traits that they have been seeing or going through since their childhood. For instance, if a child sees his father dominating his mother or his mother making plans to use the dowry money for so and so reasons (as we see in the movie Motichoor Chaknachoor), he/she would not know how to rebel. They’ll consider these things like every other day-to-day activity and they repeat the same mistakes. This is the simplest example I could jot down but in real life, things are worse.
I believe these problems can only be solved if we try to remove them from the roots. And for that, we must bring change in the children and their perception of life and things happening around them. The children must know what is right and what is wrong for two greater aspects:
They would stop doing the same mistakes and avoid being the abuser at any point of time in their lives.
They would raise their voice if they are victimised or see anything bad happening to someone else around them.
If the kids know what corruption is and how wrong it is, they can ask their dad not to drive on their right or wear helmet, to avoid giving the traffic policemen Rs 100 as well as to avoid getting a ticket. Again, this is just a small example.
There are several ways in which awareness of the social evils and the will to fight back could help to not give birth to more abusers. This could help in eradicating the evils that still exist.