Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. And while we waste time doing silly little things like begging you to vote for our Motherhood posts (dang, but I hope you voted for me!) … there are women suffering indignity of the worst kind. Government funded health workers are refusing to touch pregnant Dalit women. Yes. Really. The tax I pay is being used to pay the scum of the earth who think their precious hands are too good to touch these poor pregnant women just because they are Dalits. It makes my blood boil. What’s more, the anganwadi centres are run out of the homes of the upper caste who don’t allow the Dalit women in, so that the health workers anyway don’t end up meeting them. Click here to read the kind of abuse they face.
Here we are, groaning through pregnancies where we’re pampered, eating healthy food, visiting the best hospitals, getting the best care, swaning around in maternity wear – while there are women at the other end of the spectrum going through the same discomfort and being treated like shit. Would we go through our pregnancies if we had to live their lives? I often wonder how much of my love for motherhood stems from the fact that I’ve got a much better life than that…. It’s a question that shakes me to the core.
Anu mailed me too, about my gender wishlist from the elections. I didn’t have any because right now my concerns are more of terrorism and religious intolerance. And maybe also because no damn doctor dare tell me that I am too lowly to be touched. Not if they don’t want their damn arm ripped off and shoved down their throat. But I see what gives me the confidence to fight that while the poverty-striken Dalit woman shrinks away in fear.
And this sort of discrimination sets in early. Teachers refused meals to some Dalit children, made them sit in separate lines in case they were being fed, made them wash the utensils after the children from the upper castes had eaten, and this one is priceless – children refused to eat if the cooks were Dalits!!! What is it that makes us teach our children not to eat food cooked by people we deem to be lower than us?! What makes us higher or better? My children often beg a morsel off the driver, the cook, the maid, anyone they see sitting down to eat something interesting.
Speaking of discrimination – a bunch of hooligans burst in upon a church meeting in Mumbai and locking the room insisted that they should all chant Jai Shri Ram. Failing that, they beat them up. Is it just me, or is Mumbai reporting far too many instances of intolerance these days?
Although our neighbours aren’t behaving much better. Sikhs, Hindus and Christians are all fleeing their homes. Sad. Religious wars in this day and age. Makes me want to cry. Almost as bad as not touching pregnant women because they’re Dalits.