Category Archives: Women Safety

The Friday Funda: The ‘Confession Page’ Rage

I went to Baba Google recently and said, “Baba! These days’ people are crazy about confession pages. They post whatever comes to their mind on a confession page. I am not on any of the confession pages so far but, wish to join one. Before that, I want to know the exact meaning of the word “CONFESSION”. Is shabd par prakash daalo baba.” Google Baba was ready with 1 crore 47 lakh results in 0.27 seconds after hearing my prashna.

Baba said, “Son! Confession means ‘An admission or acknowledgment that one has done something that one is ashamed or embarrassed about.'”
I replied, “But Baba, people are not using confession pages as per this definition. Instead of admitting something they are embarrassed about, they write something that embarrasses others. I am not delighted to see the direction these confession pages are moving towards.”
At last Baba said, “Dear! You can do one thing in that case, and that is, making “CONFESSION PAGES” a target in this week’s ‘The Friday Funda’. Tathaastu!


Here I am, with this week’s write-up which will talk about confession pages going viral around the web these days. Confession pages have been created for everything, from an educational institution to your local vegetable market, where the vegetable vendor confesses that, he charged Rs.10 extra from a regular customer, and still didn’t give her coriander for free.
Youngsters are found hitting “Likes” and posting comments on confession pages at the speed of a supercomputer. Students are finding it difficult to concentrate on their studies, and login to their social accounts after every half an hour. Hahaha! Ye toh main kam bol raha hoon. Actually, they log in after every five minutes. No?  Chalo yaar sach toh ye hai kay they don’t log-out from their social accounts.

[stextbox id=”info”]When you get the privilege to share your confessions without revealing your identity (anonymously), then you are expected to be responsible enough not to name anyone else as well in your confessions. Otherwise, the whole purpose gets defeated. This is what is being observed on almost all of the confession pages on Facebook. This is what prompted us to launch a separate website – DuConfessions.in where one can share only clean remarks as a part of your confessions and all the comments get duly moderated.[/stextbox]

Initially started as a medium to confess anything anonymously, these so-called confession pages have become a place to post offensive remarks about colleagues, educators and organizations. These confessions include students poking fun at the body language and style of their tutors, ‘dilphenk aashiqs’ confessing their attraction for a crush, whom they name openly on the confession page. Confession pages are turning into dating sites.

The purpose of starting confession pages is not clear even to the admins of these pages. Bas, sab ek hi raag aalaaptey hain “guys and gals! This page is for fun purposes.” Does that mean you can poke fun at others by naming them openly on a page? Many people, including me, do not support the very concept of confession pages because though these pages might have been launched for recharging your batteries by reading humorous but acceptable confessions, these pages have now become a source of foul comments and humiliating confessions. I don’t say that this freedom to express oneself should be withdrawn by blocking these pages, but some rules should be adhered to while posting on these confession leaves. These pages are being used to spit out hatred for a person, an institution, a law or a system and that my dear readers, is very upsetting. It seems as if some people are using confession pages as a weapon to start a cold war with someone.

On March 29, 2013 the Dean of Mumbai’s Government Dental College, lodged an official complaint against a Facebook page titled ‘GDC Mumbai Confessions’ with the city police’s Cyber Crime Cell. The ‘confessions’ GDC students posted on this page contained derogatory remarks about female classmates and criticism of the teachers.

Confessions posted on these pages are fun for those who post them but, a source of stress for the targets. It would be better if the administrators filter the content they receive before finally publishing it but, the administrators do not take this step because the inappropriate confessions are tagged as ‘sensational’. Facebook confession pages started spreading like an epidemic a few months ago and now these are eating up everyone’s valuable time like a disease. A regular Facebook user is observed to be active on at least three confession pages each day. All confession pages are not being exploited but you never know, an anonymous comment might come and spoil the page.

This new trend hypnotizes people in the age group of 16-25 and frights the coaches and the management of various institutions. Some people who have been targets on confession pages have posted requests to admins for removing derogatory posts but their requests are straightway rejected in the name of “take it as a joke” phrase.

[stextbox id=”alert”]BTW, we have created a separate confession page for Fans of Sonal Kalra as well.[/stextbox]

Safeguards:

  • Administrators of various confession pages and sites claim that they review content before making it public.
  • Facebook reviews pages on its site on a daily basis and takes immediate action on any content marked objectionable by the users.

Let me shed light on the fact that confessions posted on these confession pages are stored permanently in the web space. Misuse of these confession pages can land the person found guilty in trouble, as confessions can be traced. These confessions are anonymous on the face, but the person behind can be found out by tracking the Internet Protocol (IP address) of the user.
Facebook users have delivered mixed reactions to these confession pages. I am a regular Facebook user too and fall in the category of those who neither target nor are targets on a confession page. I am not on any of the Facebook confession pages. It might be possible that a silly confessor targets my write-up on a confession page. The best thing I can do about this is not joining a confession page and just IGNORE, IGNORE & IGNORE!

So, what’s your opinion regarding these confession pages? Confess it at techsoftwarez@gmail.com. See you next Friday  🙂

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Women: Need Respect Not Reservation

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Recently read an article that someone is forming a party named as AAM AADMI PARTY (AAP), the writer of the article was of the view that instead of AAM AADMI PARTY, it should be AAM AURAT PARTY (AAP), and it’s time that we should not underestimate the women power and should be provided opportunities but not in terms of reservation (I am not in favour of any kind of reservation as it is a kind of favour to the weaker class, and I genuinely feel that women is not a weaker class rather they need to stand up for their rights)

The impact of the Women power can be accessed from the recently held Presidential election in the US where in Mr. Barack Obama comes to power due to almost 55% of the women voting in favour of him. That’s Women Power. I know some of you might be thinking that what Jatin is talking about is utter rubbish, it’s the 21st century and look at me (particular girl), the kind of life I am living with all the facilities, but maybe we have narrowed our thinking to such a level that it only revolves around our self only.

‘Meri life set hai mjhe dusro se kya lena’

women-empowerment

Whenever the word ‘WOMEN EMPOWERMENT’ comes, the so called men class are so proud of them as if they have done any favour on women by providing them freedom, the opportunity of education, by providing them the chance to decide what they want to wear, what they want to eat and how they want to live. Yes, Yes everyone can take the names of Indra Nooyi, Chanda Kochchar, Kiran Shaw, Shikha Sharma, Naina Lal Kidwai, Sonia Gandhi, Sushma Swaraj and the list can continue for many more names but what we need to ask is

Are these few names representing the women class as whole in terms of WOMEN EMPOWERMENT?

We need to analyse this, once I also got a similar topic during a GD

Whether a woman should be career oriented or she is born to be a homemaker?

I don’t understand how every male becomes kung fu panda and say big big things about Women Empowerment during a GD as if he (every male) was directly responsible for providing this freedom to the women and they have fought a war for providing women with this opportunity where they can live the kind of life they wanted to and the name of the males should be taken with respect as a ‘Krantikari’.

We never talk about men empowerment because they were always free to do what they wanted to and on the other hand women were dependent on men for the basic necessities of life, so practically as men were providing them the food, clothes and shelter they treated them as slave who were responsible for doing all the work of the house and the problem was that women also accepted this role happily.

Yes the time is changing, more and more women are getting independent, they are getting out of their houses, also contributing towards the family income and I am glad that this is happening, but I have a problem with the speed of this transformation, even after more than 60 years of independence if we still have to talk about women empowerment then I think there is some serious issues which needs to be resolved.

We need to analyse Women Empowerment from two angles

1) Empowerment on an overall basis

2) Empowerment as compare to what

Empowerment on an overall basis

I live in a metropolitan city where women speak their mind, they are educated, independent and perfectly handling their personal as well as professional life. Here women class can be divided into two parts

1) The educated class and the problems faced by them.

When it comes to harassment whether it is physical, social or mental then it does not matter whether a woman is educated or not. What I feel is that the way to harass a woman is different when she is educated because she knows her right (even though she rarely use her rights) but it’s very easy to point finger at her character, to say bad things about her, we can compare this thing with the kind of rights a male have, I mean he can do anything, anytime but when it comes to woman then it’s very easy to raise questions. Still remember the episode of a programme ‘Satyamev Jayate’ in which it was shown how even the well educated women were harassed by their in-laws in which her husband was also a partner. That’s one kind of harassment.

2) The uneducated class and the problems faced by them.

We all know if a male is uneducated then it’s manageable but when a female is uneducated then it’s like hell for her specially if she belongs to a poor family. I have seen man beating his wife for no reasons, we never even tried to think the kind of life a below poverty line woman lives for the same reason as what I have to do with her life, I should better concentrate on mine. I can write many things about the women of this particular class but I think we all knows the kind of life they live if not then efforts should be made to know it at least once and they all around us.

Empowerment as compare to what

‘Mere ghar mein saare decision mere Dad hi lete hai and at the end woh jo kahe woi final hai’

We all have heard these lines many a times and there is no harm in this, I am also a believer that there should be one leader who should be competent enough to take decisions for the welfare of the family but the point what I am trying to make is that it does not matter whoever takes the decision but everyone should have the right to speak, decisions should not be imposed rather it should be taken after considering the point of view of everyone in the family. Why to go outside, it happened with my mother when she wanted to do something but could not because my father was not in favour of that. Yes, I am not talking about those lucky women who got this right, it’s good that you are fortunate but everyone is not. Another point is about the character about which I already wrote in the above paragraph. At the end of the day it’s very easy to put blame on women for anything. Recently heard a line

“UNFORTUNATELY” We live in a society that teaches women to be careful not to get “RAPED” instead of teaching men “NOT TO RAPE”….

[stextbox id=”alert”]Please do participate in the opinion Poll in the sidebar.[/stextbox]

“So kyon Manda Aakhiye Jit Jame Rajaan” – Daughter India

Memories of past have not gone stale, the agony is still so fresh, mind is not yet relieved, sleep is too far from eyes, felons are mocking at me – But I am alert, concentrating on my prowess, and prepared to deal with whosoever tries to come my way to belittle me or harm me. I am ready to take a stand and raise my voice – loud and louder – passing forward a clear notion – “Dare not ignore my significance in your being as human”.

daughters-india-rape-cases

I have wasted my sweat for your upbringing, have nurtured you, have sacrificed my interests to get your desires fulfilled, have made every minute contribution required for you sound survival and growth. I have been “Mother India” for long.

But you never thought of paying me back what I deserved. You could never see a woman in me, and you forgot that every woman has so many incarnations.

You killed me in womb in the first place; deprived me of my rights if somehow, you allowed me to take birth; sold me for dowry – I shouted, cried, but tolerated.

But you molested me, raped me, and killed me – Beyond my acceptance and tolerance. You did not even notice that I am a 5 year old, so young to be even called a lady.

How can you forget that you did all these ill-doings with your “Daughter India”? How can your foundation be so fragile? How can you get the morals go dumped so easily for a fractional sensation, which you call ‘Pleasure’? You became incestuous.

The harm which has been caused to me has prompted me learn my powers and made me formidable enough to teach you lesson. And there are so many who are standing by me in this rationale. I want them to introspect and improve, if essential, before I extend my thanks. We have a common voice against crime of any kinds and we take an oath to cut it from roots, and we initiate the fundamental from right here.

1)   I strongly condemn the brutality happening in front of my eyes.

2)   I promise to never indulge myself in ‘Eve-teasing’, and will make an effort to curb it if I see something like this with the lawful means.

3)   I will understand my rights and duties as Indian citizen, and will abide by law. bh

4)   I say – No to dowry – and will help my family understand that it is a curse.

5)   I will respect women and elderly people.

6)   I disapprove social misdemeanour of honour killing, and female infanticide and foeticide.

7)   I will not follow any sorts of superstitions with no reasoning.

8)   I will vote for a person of neat background and promising betterment of my land; not for caste, religion and other favours.

9)   I will pass on the same principles, which I have taken an oath for, to my younger generations.

My urge to youth through this platform is to be a participant at individual level as we, in some manner, bear the accountability on our shoulders for commencement for wrong doings.

To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. At our judicious moves, there will be numerous forces to suppress our voices. But we won’t let keep mum and will bang on with courage.

A lot has been said and is still being said since long, and for past 4-5 months with fervor. So many headlines have been made, but ugly face of crime is intact.

Police and Administration– Removing curtains and putting up barriers can help, but is not necessarily sufficient. You can’t be everywhere to protect millions, so how come so many of you are required to protect one politician. We know, you won’t resign and it’s futile to demand for. And we also know that any replacement won’t help when system needs overhauling.

Politicians – Sir, we would like to invite you with your daughter for a late dinner with a condition that no security would accompany you. It’s RAM RAJYA after all.

Secular/ Non-Secular Leaders –Which God to pray when one is being raped? For that God’s sake, please rise above your eccentricities.

Supporters of Brotherhood – Really? I want to tie you, beat you, and cut you in small portions. Come on, say it- Didi, please leave!! I so want to see whether the trick works or not.

With the alarming crimes rising every hour, every sensible human being has a voice. And millions of voices do create an impact. However, it is equally vital to be responsible with words. Heard it somewhere – Killing females at their birth is better than having them bruised later on. I have complete empathy with the emotion displayed by the author. But I can’t support the literal text, as it lacks responsible selection of words.

I would follow, support and spread the promises I have made to myself. How many of you are there to carry the cause forward? Looking forward to a sincere response.

Jai Hind/Bharat/India!!

(I know, the face of ugly politics may create divide with the name of land as they already say that crimes happen in India, not Bharat. Clearing it for once and all, don’t play it with names; for us it is our Mother/Daughter,; and we won’t let you harm her.)

[stextbox id=”black”]“So kyon Manda Aakhiye Jit Jame Rajan” (On female gender equality: “why call her inferior? From her, the Kings are born”) ~ Guru Nanak dev Ji.[/stextbox]

the-kaurs

A Calmer You: 13 things i won’t ignore in 2013

Police reform, judicial reform, system reform are all fine…. But what about self reform? So, we’ve entered yet another ‘New Year’…eh? Young kids have been duly taught that they are supposed to write 13 after the second dot in the date on their assignments. The Gods on the 2012 wall calendars have been packed away respectfully and the same deities, but with new datelines, have been hung on the walls. Couriers have started arriving in offices, carrying new desk calendars and diaries with best compliments from business associates.

Somewhere in the midst of all this, I hope, there are some people who, like me, are unsure about what’s new in this year. People who could sense the dates passing by, but felt that 2012 killed a part of them as it ended. People who are struggling to act all normal on the outside for the fear of being called morose — wishing each other, going about their daily lives — but the moment they are alone with their thoughts, wondering how it’s possible to move on in this atmosphere of sheer hopelessness, grief and anguish. As someone proud of being fiercely patriotic all my life, the mere thought of being ashamed as an Indian after whatever’s unfolded following the horrific gangrape of a young girl, is enough to snap something deep inside. But then isn’t it always the easiest thing in the world to shake your head, make some sympathetic noise sitting in the comfort of your own world and crib about the system? 90% of us are doing that right now. Maybe the rest 10% are the ‘system’. I’ve been thinking about what we can do, and listening to a whole lot of experts on TV, who keep mentioning the need for reforms.

new-year-2013-resolutions-a-calmer-you

I’m not very intelligent. But I’m glad they are, and that they know what needs to be done. All I’ve decided to do, in this new year, is to reform myself. Because I’ve realised that even while mouthing clichéd cribs about how women are not respected in our country, there’s so much I’ve subconsciously done or put up with, that has contributed to the rotten mind set we are now crying hoarse about.

So 2013, I’ll acknowledge you’ve arrived, hope you acknowledge my resolve to not ignore these 13 things. Ever.
1 If I hear about a case of violence against women, I will not utter a vague phrase like ‘we should do something’, unless I’m able to complete that sentence with what that ’something’ is, or what I’ve actually done. We’ve done enough lip service to breed
a perennial culture of ‘kuchh karna chahiye’. Till we make the effort of applying our minds to what that ‘kuchh’ is, we better shut up. At least let the voices of those who know, be heard.

2 I will not be a mute spectator to statements
that stereotype genders, even if made casually. Say to a guy ‘why are you crying like a girl’ and I might smack you, just to remind you that girls perhaps started crying because of people like you.

3 I will find the courage to tell the colleague who recently praised me saying ‘your brain works like a man’s’ that it would indeed have been a compliment had it ended at ‘your brain works.’

4 I will not entertain or encourage sexist jokes. No, I’m not giving up on humour, I’m just giving up on easy humour generated at the expense of a woman’s dignity or abilities. Not funny anymore.

5 I will try to tell all parents, including my own, that if their daughter achieves something or does something for them, don’t bless her by saying, ‘you’ve been like a son to us’.
Just bless her.

6 I will not simply smile and nod at educated people who wish for a son in the garb of statements like ‘family complete ho jayegi’. I will tell them that a family is complete only with people who hold the values of respecting others, irrespective of what gender they are born into.

7 I will choose to not vote at all if the choice is only between parties that shed tears of sympathy on television and then go on to harbour and field politicians who make the most inane, disrespectful
statements about women.

8 I will tell all men in my family, and others’, that rather than becoming experts at cracking jokes on women drivers, it would do them well to become experts at looking at the road ahead, and helping a woman — or a man — in distress instead of shaking their heads and speeding away.

9 I will tell the young girls around me to never be apologetic about wanting to look good. If a man uses the excuse of how a girl looks or dresses, to justify the filth in his head, he deserves pity, not attention. Maybe not even pity.

10 I will teach the young boys in my family that
no matter which film they saw it in, it is just never cool to pursue a girl who is saying ‘no’ to something.

11 I will continue to argue and disagree with anyone who, under the banner of feminism, tries to make totally unacceptable, sweeping generalisations like ‘all men are lechers.’

12 I will not hop TV news channels like mad every evening, watching endless debates and shouting panellists at a time when an option such as having a chat on values over a quiet and peaceful dinner with my family is available.

13 Finally, I will proudly remain dented and painted, for as long as I feel like it.

Sonal Kalra has finally decided to move on, from a defeatist, apologetic mind set. Maybe it is time to say Happy New Year.

Have we really understood men?

If you think raising a voice for women means raising a voice against all men, you may have lost the plot already

Sorry, this week’s column is not going to make you laugh. It might make you think, which is also not a bad thing, if done in moderation. As tough as it is for me personally, to remain serious for long, there is surely something that snaps inside when I read about nightmares such as the one that befell the 23-year-old pub worker in Gurgaon last week. You know, all along while growing up, we are told that it’s unsafe for girls to go out alone at night. Or that it’s risky to venture out walking on the streets beyond a certain time.

have we understood real men women safety a calmer you column

I remember, on occasions when I would need to take an auto rickshaw, mom would ask me, or whoever was seeing me off, to note or remember the number of the auto, till I safely reached home. Doing just that, seemed to instil a promise of safety in our minds.

This girl, who was returning back from work late at night because her shift demanded so, not only was inside a properly registered and verified radio taxi, but also had her own brother escorting her home, when she was forcibly dragged out of the cab by seven men and eventually gang raped. An incident like this, which is not the worst you would’ve heard of in India, sometimes turns all your beliefs about safety upside down. But, contrary to what you may be thinking by now, today’s column is not about women safety.

The morning after the newspapers splashed the story of this unfortunate incident, there were angry voices all over Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere.

`Indian men are bastards’. `We are a depraved society, castrate them’ -were just some of the points being made, in different forms or phrases. This reminded me of a letter I’d got from a young guy, Saurabh (would want to withhold his last name) several months back. He sounded severely anguished over an incident where a bunch of men were passing lewd comments and harassing a girl in front of his eyes. `I felt sick to the core. At that moment, I just couldn’t figure out what I should have done. Confront them and get into a physical fight, when they were many and I was alone?
Thankfully they didn’t touch the girl and she left the scene safely but I’ve not been able to sleep peacefully ever since. I feel ashamed and guilty, even though it wasn’t my fault,’ he wrote.

Reading Saurabh’s letter made me realise that his agony of having been a helpless witness to something like this would have easily got drowned in the sympathy I, or anyone, would feel for what that girl had to go through. Many of you may even say that he should have immediately done something, call the cops, fought with the guys singlehandedly, to prove that he’s a real man. Because it’s always easy to `say’ things in life, what’s tough is to be in situations and handle them.

Anyway, the point that I’m making is this, while there are millions of girls in our country who grow up facing harassment of some kind at the hands of rogue men who think this is a way of exercising their power, there are millions of men in our country who feel equally disgusted and repulsed by such acts, and also suffer from the additional burden of hearing angry comments when it comes to `generalised male bashing’.

I’m not likely to find many supporters for my theory, considering it’s almost always cases of women that get sexually harassed by men come to the light, but let’s face the reality. On hearing about a rape case or any such incident of harassment, although a woman’s reaction may be more empathetic considering they can imagine what the victim may have gone through, I can bet on the fact that an equal number of men and women also end up saying things like `she shouldn’t have dressed this way.’ `If a girl would go dancing late night in a club, what else does she expect’.

Because, my dear, my theory says that a distorted mind-set has no correlation with the gender.
Your mom may be equally vehement in telling you not to wear a certain dress to college, than your dad. Sometimes even more than your dad. Our women chief ministers of several states in the past have made public statements condemning a rape victim’s lifestyle, statements that earned them the wrath of the activist kinds. But they were only saying what a whole lot of unknown, common women say every day to their daughters.
There is cancer in our very mindset for several generations, some patients get noticed, some don’t.

I realise I may have been blabbering through this column, so here are the quick points I want to make 1 To the women: Not all men are lechers or rapists, and you also know that. So let’s stop taking the easy route of generalised male bashing. If only we would care to notice, most men around you are as repulsed as you are, of the heinous crimes against women. And sadly, as helpless. THAT needs to change, for both of you.

2 To the men: For the sheer fact that it happens to be members of your fraternity that mostly commit these crimes, the onus is all the more on you to bring about a real change. If all that you’ve been doing after reading news about these incidents is shaking your head in sadness, making a few remarks about what our society has come down to, and then supporting your wife in not sending your daughter to that party with friends, you are doing more damage than you think.
Think about it.

The biggest criticism I’m likely to face after this week’s column i that all that I’ve said is also mere lip service. How will just saying something bring about a real change? How will this ever stop a girl from being sexually harassed on a secluded road at night. Well, let’s make a villain out of the lips only if spoken words are not followed by constructive action o a definitive change in the mind-set. In our own small way, my team and I are hoping to bring about that, and you’ll get to see that happen in the coming weeks on facebook.com/htcity. Spoken words are just the beginning, change has to start somewhere.

Sonal Kalra would wait to hear from you on who you think make the `Real Men’.