Wrestling With Nay-Sayers!

malala

When I sat down with my little girl to watch Dangal, I only knew that it was about girl empowerment. That it would empower me as a parent, I realised  soon afterwards.

I watched a father battle against all odds, not the least being the self -limiting thoughts of his daughters themselves,  to make them international champions in an arena considered taboo for girls. I felt immense pride and  a sense of strength on watching the Phogat Sisters!

Actions speak louder than words.We have heard this sentence so often enough that we have started devaluing its merits, like a cliche.

More than any speech or seminar on girl empowerment, this movie- love in action veritably- has  communicated the message of human potential being gender neutral and the skies to which souls can rise, if guided properly.

What does it take to withstand mockery?

Courage and self confidence!

What does it take to excel in life?

Courage and self confidence and support!

What does it take to make a mark for yourself?

Courage and self confidence and support and unflinching faith!

***

We have a conversation : My little girl and I.

“Amma, there is a girl in my class. She says girls should study just enough to manage home. Men are the bread winners, so the property should go to them. If women go out to work, who will take care of the home? ”

Ahhhh! That age old devil in a new generation mouth- indoctrinated right from childhood, about what she can be/should be/will be. That  old crone of  misogyny. You  have destroyed many lives, millions, all across the world, through the ages.

“She must have heard all this stuff at her home, eh?” I comment, as I eat my food.

“Yup! She says her father and mother agree on this- so they must be right. Family is always right, she says.”

“So what did your friends say? All agreed?”

“No! We all laughed at her,” she says, drinking her milk.

Lovely reaction.

“I told her that all our teachers were women. They also take care of the homes, Amma. You too work, don’t you? Chechi topped  and Saloni di topped the school!”

“Have you heard of Rosalind Franklin?”

“Nope!”

“Denied Nobel prize? She should have got it with Watson and Crick for contribution to the discovery of DNA structure. She died early and was not recognised for her great work for a long time.”

“Huh?!”

“Marie Curie did not have it easy either. Did you know that? Women in Science had a very tough time to be recognised on their own merit. People sort of believed that they could not be Professors or do research or win Nobels.”

“Bad!”

“Is it not?”

A pause.

“So what do you think of those lady wrestling champs?” I ask her.

“Their father…said they will become champions.”

“Family must be right, eh?”

She smiles.

“For every family which says girls cannot study, or become anything, there is another family which says they can! Question is, what do you tell yourself?”

“Amma, may be I will practise badminton now!” she says.

This time, I smile.

Thank you Amir Khan! In this world, we can always do with  more lights that show the way.

*

Advertisements