This is not about one woman shouting ‘rape’ but hundreds coming out and screaming of the atrocities by the Deva Gowda family!

Ever wondered where it started?

Well, not in the politician’s home or through his upbringing but in our collective, national feeling about women.

Instead of empowering women, by making them stronger, we weaken them by shouting, ‘love jihad’ and other similar phrases. And this comes from a mindset that wants women to remain weak and powerless. ‘Love jihad’ states that my woman and yours are unsafe in the outside world, and so needs to go back to the protective interiors of her house, which finally is the kitchen.

And why do these men love to see their women back in the kitchen, because they feel threatened with women anywhere else. Women in the workplace, women as bosses, is a threat to the traditional Indian male who’s grown up, seeing his mother, sister and now his daughter, going through the motions of education, just to place her higher  in the marriage market.

“I’m a doctor, let me work in a hospital!” shouts the newly married medical student to her husband.

“What? And be exposed to other men, who will try and have an affair with you?” whispers the insecure husband, and from such insecure men stem terms that reek of being protective, but actually from an inherent fear that they are not good enough.

If we are strong, confident men, let our women go out, make our public spaces safe for them. Strengthen our wives and daughters to handle a man’s sneers and jeers at the workplace, and help them build muscle to become a force to be reckoned with.

When we don’t, we show how weak we are.

‘Love jihad!’ and there’s a Christian bishop who has voiced this phrase too, which actually means, ‘Help! He might steal my woman, because I know I am not as good as him!’

So become as good. Become as confident.

When slavery existed in America, the white man, owner of his black slaves, was quite often scared about his woman being attracted to the muscular black and many a lynching took place with no evidence that a crime by a black had been committed. And here in our country we are equally scared. Scared of an emancipated woman, scared, she will choose who she wants to be with, and because of feeling inadequate, under the guise of protection we cast them back into chimney dungeons.

Ask the Deva Gowda family, if they believe in ‘love jihad,’ and they will tell you yes, not realising they are the real culprits.

Empower our women, let them walk on roads, ride on trains that are safe not from those that their men like to make you think are predators, but from Member of Parliament Prajwal, and MLA Revanna, the very ones who predate and make laws, under the guise of being protectors..!

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