Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Dooars XI - representing the struggle!!

This election season, politicians are running amok, hoping to attract their archaic votebanks. For years, the society despised the idea of community voting, rather than individual....but now the situation is dire. Certain communities are so deprived, that they have formed a votebank among themselves to promote their demands. The most popular of these would be the women. Unnoticed, discriminated, contained, harassed, and arbitrated, she is now left with one last grail. To pool their votes for leaders who shall heed their cries. This idea is constitutionally incorrect, but the situation calls for this. As Arvind Kejriwal rightly said; to clean the mud, you have to get down in it. The women of our country have to stand up for themselves and they must vote for their causes and their demands. Gone are the days when women used to be mere proxies for the men back home. They are now a near half of the voting mass in our country. Election in India is of continental proportions. It is a cocktail, with skulled ingredients. This is exactly why we all remember Juggernot, but never Scooby doo. Power, and strength are the 2 things that dictate your fate....and if you can command the former, you can anticipate your fate. This is the tactic that the women have to adopt. Flex their muscles and make their presence felt. Gender equality in our country is at an all-time low. Even the educated and sophisticated women fail to put their hands up when it comes to benefits of equal remuneration. We all admire and adore our filmstars and some of us brand them as extremely modern and broad-minded, which is indisputably correct. Then why is it so, that these messiahs of modernity continue to promote gender inequality in remunerations. Actresses are paid almost half of what the actors get...for the same job. The reason why gender inequality is so entrenched and parasitical in our society can be traced to our salient acceptance and approval. Do we see an actress demanding equal pay? A female labourer revolting? No! The society lies low and accepts injustice that is being served to them. The idea should never be; an actress suffers, the what chance do I have? This calls for better policies and a ignite the fire.

Society, in all it's aspects, is unjust to women. But there are some areas where they become clear-cut. For example in's cricket, football and what given heavenly importance, whereas their female counterparts are given..well lets say they are unknown. India brags that cricket here is a religion. Well this religion is extremely patriarchal and people don't even realise this arbitrary patriarchy. If you are an Indian, the my question is- who is the Indian cricket captain? Inevitably you know the answer... Now tell me who the women's captain is? Lost for words? Like in the case of many other sports, we are unaware of even the captains, let alone the players. In a country that is dominated by cricket to an immeasurable scale, the aim of other sports is merely to survive. Triumph over cricket is merely a euphoric imagination for these sports. In this backdrop, if you add the various variables, ranging from cultural restrictions, social disapproval, lack of patronage, general negligence and so on....the situation becomes grim and dismal. This is exactly the same void that Dooars XI, a woman's football team in India is staring at. A group of talented, hungry women, who are chained by all those dilemmas mentioned above. The club is extremely gifted, with passionate women fighting against all odds to fulfil the vision that they once saw. One of the players has even represented India at the international level. On being asked what she has received from the government, her answer was to the dismay of many football fanatics across India. "Shoes, socks, and jersey." The others also dream of representing India, despite learning of the meagre services that the government has provided. Well, black is black....but compare it with while and it seems dull. The 'shoes, socks and jersey' has to be read in contrast to the multi-million dollar transfers that the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid make in the 'fiscal hot balloon' leagues. The game they play is same....maybe they are not as talented as say a Lionel Messi...but why the million dollar gap. The Indian cricket team and BCCI is probably richer than the Government of India, and the brand endorsements run out of my hands. In stark contrast these women, talented and passionate wait for an opportunity to represent India, knowing the reward- roti in a gold plate.

Most of the players wear shoes that belong to their brothers or cousins...or those given by supporting and empathetic coaches or mentors. Despite their financial hardships in realising their dreams, they are pelted with disapproving and taunting comments from people in their village and even within their family. To think that if the Dooars would have been in a European football fanatic nation, then they would have been much better off makes us very sad to say the least.

So what can be done? A lot depends on us. Why has Indian cricket or European football developed leaps and bounds? Because of the immeasurable viewership that they clock. So we have to divert our attention to women's cricket, women's football and that our masters will divert money into these fields. But government intervention can only take us so far...lot depends on the privatisation and commercialisation of the sport. Live broadcasts create advertisements, international events give a platform for companies to sponsor, domestic leagues are the epitome step, as evident form the success of the IPL. A combination of these measures from our part and theirs can revive these games to their former glory. And through this, we can achieve the greater cause of women empowerment. And so for now, let the Dooars XI be a flag bearer for this cause, and I wish them all the best for their future.   

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