Friday, March 30, 2007

Bangles for Sachin.

Cricket fans in Patna are angry with the Indian Cricket Team because of their exit from the world cup. So what do they do?

Take a poster of Sachin's, blacken it a bit, hold it up for the benefit of the photographer, and hold bangles to the poster.
[Picture here, scroll down a bit]

There are two things extremely offensive about this.

1) Offering bangles to a loser is an age-old Indian gesture of insult. Which is an abominable thing. It means that the loser is "no better than a woman". It is a terribly demeaning statement.

2) The fans who are offering bangles to the Sachin poster, are women. Yes. Not men. Women themselves, who are demeaning themselves by this act. Do they even realize what it means? Do they understand that they are putting themselves down? If they do know the significance of this gesture, do they really have that low an opinion of themselves as women?

[Anil and Emma on the same issue. Though they had already written about it, I felt I just had to write about it too.]


dharmabum said...

although i think there are bigger issues to be dealt with, i still couldn't help stopping and stating my opinion - i've always felt, and strongly so that in most cases (atleast in our society) it is the women that themselves demean their flock. it is quite easy to blame the men folk, btu it will not result in a lasting solution.

Shruthi said...

Dharmabum, there are always "bigger" issues, aren't there? Anyway I will just let you big people make noise on those big issues. If not, who will protest against the "small" issues?
And personally, I feel that this is a very big issue - the root of many problems in our society. Anyway let that be.
Women and men are definitely both at fault for putting women down - and the question I ask is - why?

Mysorean said...

This bangles stuff is age-old Shruthi. The urban woman might have come to grips with the present situation and how opressed she was all these centuries. Sadly, a major part of our coutnry is still under the same thing that you don't quite like. It is still a male-dominated society. It is going to take generations of such voices like yours to actually change the way the society is structured. It's a pitiable state of affairs but that's how it is.
If you go over to the rural parts (which I am sure you have) you will notice that women still are restricted or confined to certain tasks labeled "for women". If it had ended with that atleat it would be fine, but the problem is that a tag is added to it saying "for women only". Now as long as there is a gender-based division of tasks to be done in the society there is always going to be a difference in the way these tasks are looked at.
I don't understand "big" issues and "small" issues. My small brain cannot really look at it at that level. I see that women have been put down in this society for various reasons and as long as women themselves are a part of the problem, there is going to be no end to this.
It begins right from our homes. I have recently heard a mother say this about her daughter's decision to pursue GRE, "When guys come looking for girls for marriage, there is a certain hesitation in saying "yes" to a girl who has been in the US!". I told her as quickly as I could, "Then those are the guys who should be immediately said rejected without a second thought!"
I am looking forward to the birth of my own child and I haven't found out the gender on purpose. It doesn't matter to me. Girl or boy, a child is a child. A male cousin of mine remarked, "Kharchu jaasti kano hudugi aadre". Though he added a few smiles that were supposed to mean that he didn't really mean it, the people there were quite shocked with his statement. That I didn't kick him was his good fortune and also because he was born a few years earlier to me.
Anyways the point is, while at one end I have seen that women find it fashionable to sound "feminist", there is the other end where (like that mother I just referred to) women just go on looking at themselves in such a demeaning tone that you know that there is a future where these things will even out and there will be no distinction between men and women.
Sorry if this doesn't make coherent sense because of the length. But I am sure I have a point!;)

Veena Shivanna said...

Shruthi, May be this is a way to say sachin that wear bangles & sit at home.. Generally that was what most of the females used to do in older days & earning money was considered as a contribution to the family.
Well on the lighter note, I recently observe that guys are becoming more passionate about these girlish things, bangles, long hair, hearings & what not :-)
About sachin, he played really well till some years back & this time it was bad, he shuld have gracefully retired before his fans insisted him too...!!

Supremus said...

Look at this way: Maybe the women are telling Sachin that given a chance, even with their bangles and all, they could still do a better job than what Sachin can do.

And given Sachin's form, not just women, I think even 2 year old kids could probably hold up their small socks in front of Sachin to convey the same feeling.

I didnt necessarily see anything wrong in the pic - what I saw was women telling Sachin that even though he was a physically stronger player (probably), they could still beat him (meaning he sucks that bad).


Shruthi said...

Mysorean, yes, it will take ages to get out of that mindset. And yes, I got your point :)

Veena, yeah, even if that is the interpretation, then that is wrong too. We all know how difficult it is to run a home efficiently and bring up children to become responsible human beings. That is the more difficult task, really! :)

Supremus, that is wishful thinking, isn't it? :) You wish that this is the interpretation. But tell me, do you really believe it? :)

Supremus said...

I did! That was my first reaction when I saw the pic 2 days back. It is after reading your take on it, that I saw it in a different light.... mars and venus eh? hehe!

Viky said...

Don't worry about it - that lasts just until the sun sets.

Tomorrow is another day, and should India win another match - these same people keep the whole team on their head. Ads will again be aired and all will be well.

Women showing bangles is just another way of bringing out their outrage - like garlanding them with footwear - I doubt even one woman there had stopped to think at all that they are doing something which demeans them womenfolk.

When there is a mob like that, which is more often than not politically funded in the background, no one cares about how it looks on the bigger picture - all they care about is a news channel carried "Auraton ne pehnai Sachin ko choodiyan - dekhiye break ke baad!!!" on primetime.

me ^^ said...

I JUST want to say I LOVED reading Mysorean's thoughts on the issue. I was JUST going to type out a response to your blog, but I read his/her comment, and realized I couldn't have said it better. Bravissimo! :)

Bit Hawk said...

I think there are two categories of women who insult women - one, the bangle-protesters and two, those who try to be exactly like men in the name of "equality".

I just remembered that Timothy Leary quote I had read some time back - "Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition"!

Shruthi said...

Suyog, ha ha! Apparently! :)

Viky, ha, you are right about that kind of mob mentality ;) And seriously, I do hope that you are right about those women not realizing what they were doing!

me^^, "his". thanks :)

Bit Hawk, hm. Different issue altogether!

Anonymous said...

i find nothing wrong with the gesture. i confess that i am not a good debater, but surely women cannot match men in cricket or most physical skills.

[off topic]isn't that why most - if not all - sporting events are held separately for men and women - even chess has separate tournaments for men and women (this is one sport that i would, and i think feminists should, pick on - for equal playing ground; at least the polgar sisters did).

having said that, the protesters' point - in my opinion - was that even women could play cricket better than tendulkar (or that tendulkar played cricket as badly as a woman). what is wrong with saying that? if i say that even i can play cricket better than tendulkar or that tendulkar played cricket as badly as i would have, is it demeaning to me? i think not - do you?

- s.b.

p.s.: [off topic] all said and done, i really admire jhulan goswami's bowling action (as smooth as holding's, if you want to ask me - what a contrast to malinga!), and seriously think that agarkar needs to take coaching from her!

Maverick said...

Besides, demeaning themselves, what's so wrong with them. I mean ok they lost, they did bad, but then its a game. I know people's sentiments are attached to the game so much tht they feel bad but over time im sure they'll fall in love with the team again.

praneshachar said...

like supetsititions some practices are followed to show their anger like some gestures etc., we should not give too much importance to these things. the same guys/gals who did this will worship them when otherway it happens. it is a small section of people who do this.
shruthi do you do either of the things? no I think none of us we always analyse and accept the reality. fanatics only do all such things and we must ignore them in total instead of these discussion which are not worth. better we debate on something more useful to all of us
even though I though I will not put my comment but after going thro various views i though let me also put my view for everyone's consumption
bye and all the best

Shruthi said...

S.B., I would prefer not to reply to your comment. I don't want my BP to shoot up, ;) I don't think I can say anything to convince you if you really think like you do.

Maverick, that's an entirely different issue altogether.... I would have talked about this even if this form of protest was used for something else.

Praneshachar, and I say, just like superstitions, we should aim to find out why such and such a thing is done, and then reject it if it doesn't gel with our present understanding of the world.

Usha said...

very sad - true many times we follow custom without analysing their meaning and end up insulting ourselves.

Sachin said...

I seriously wonder whats wrong even with "choodiyaan pehan na". I mean, why are even the women trying to use it as an insult. From what I know of women who wear "choodiyaan" in the context of where it originated from, they had a tough job going themselves, taking care of their homestead, rising even before the sun rose, getting everything ready for her loved ones long before they woke up, and even after finding enough chores to keep her busy till the end of day. Not much different from a higher-than-average professional's (note i said "professional" and not guy or girl) typical work day, in fact maybe even more exhausting, demanding and tiring. And imagine, doing this everyday, even on the weekends?

Must be a poor set of women who created the Sachin fracas in Patna - women who don't even realize that just "wearing bangles" does not signify being better or worse than women. That the "women" angle is a total non-issue here....that even the Sikh kada is a bangle after all, and there it means something totally different from what they're trying to convey....

And I don't even want to comment on the fact that they also seem to be saying that its after all something bad, something inferior in being a woman, in wearing bangles.

To veer off towards another related topic (Indian cricket, that is), Greg Chappell gave an interview to Mumbai Mirror. This was an explosive one, one that may make all Indian fans kill him for his words but I have to admit, if we take away the swearing and the sarcasm and the blatant anger he has projected, he is correct on most counts. A friend of mine wrote a letter to CNN IBN which obviously has not seen light of day but I have reproduced it on my blog as Another Point of View. Its his point of view and very insightful at that.

Shruthi, this one was short but hard hitting!! Cheers!!!

Vijay said...

Shruthi:I agree that a lot of it is self inflicted but we do nothing to change it...

I agree wuth what Adi (Mysorean) has to say (though I had to read it a few times to understand .. just kidding)...

Me personally.. not a day goes by where my wife doesnt look at my son and says "I wish he were a girl..."... Its not a very popular statement with my son though :-)

Shruthi said...

Usha, hmm, yes.

Sachin, exactly!! Yes, I did read your friend's views on your blog - thought-provoking.

Vijay, ha ha! Poor fellow :)

anand balaji said...

I like the way you put your strong points of view across... decently, yet forcefully!
You've been blogrolled:)

LAK said...

It is not only rural or poor women who get exploited. Have you seen "Kamla" starring Deepti Naval and Shabana Azmi (long ago)---it is based on a real report that one can buy women, and a reporter actually does so, as a scoop. Deepti is that tribal woman. Shabana is the reporter's wife, educated, articulate, assured. Yet, at the end of the movie, she realises that she has been no less exploited. Really thought provoking movie, Do try to get the DVD and see it.

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