A Country of Labels

Facebook posts, tweets, open letters and hundreds of articles later what have we achieved?
We told the world that WE are a country of rapists.

I see my feed flooded with posts about how men need to change, how we need to respect our women more and how we need to promote equal rights for women. But between all this outcry and anger we have changed the actual common man.

Social media is generally a platform for the educated and civilized to create a ruckus about black and white dresses. But when we are writing, sharing and liking strongly worded posts, the virality (yes! It’s an actual word) stays limited to the millions of people who aren’t ignorant about the facts. And will you seriously tell us that it is the fault of men? Do we have to be labeled as ‘perverts’, ‘jerks’, ‘rapists’, ‘eve-teasers’ and such? Why do we have to fear everytime the bus hits a speed-breaker and we bump into the girl/woman/lady in front of us? Fear that they’ll turn around, shout at us and slap us in public while some self proclaimed feminist is filming it for his blog on his smartphone. Why do we have to be ashamed for being men?

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When we waged a war on terrorism and racism, we all spoke out saying “all Muslims are not terrorists.” Now there is another war on our doorstep. It is a war in which heinous, unspeakable, unthinkable and unforgivable acts are committed by people who are anything but human. But is it not YOUR duty to make sure that the words you spread condemn the criminal and not an entire gender? When you write “friends we should respect women”, do you honestly think that the danger lurks in the heart of your friends? When a person looks at our country all he/she sees in the subtext is “all men are rapists.” Is that right?

The people who are actually to be blamed lurk in the shadows, out of reach of common sense and morality. They are the ones who stalk women on the internet, who have no sense of right and wrong and to whom social media posts are all but impermeable. And the thousands of girls out there who actually have faced the trauma and the torture fight another battle to make their lives better. They don’t sit on social media and rant about it. WE do. People, dear to us, who have been through hell and back don’t tweet their struggles. WE do.

I’ve seen too many labels. I’m a brother, a son, a friend, a mentor and a boyfriend.
I am a man and I’m not a pervert.

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The Big Fat Indian Paycheck

As the entire world knows, the Indian media is the most unbiased, uninfluenced and unabashedly truthful of them all (if you are clueless, then YES, I’m being heavily sarcastic). And they have proven their undeniable worth as a dependable watchdog of the Indian society in these past few days by their unparalleled coverage of the recent placements at the IITs that started a couple of days back.

Now as any Tanmay, Deepak and Hari will know in India, the IITs are the premier institutions for technical education in our country; while the people who study there are definitely India’s best and brightest. But the media suddenly has decided that the Indian youth isn’t pressurized enough in their formative years of high school (11th and 12th standard), so now they have decided to make our lives more hell with the constant news coverage of “an IIT-Kharagpur student getting a pay package of 1.54 crores” in the course of the ongoing placements.

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Now as a technical student though I’m in awe of the person in question, it’s now going to be VERY difficult explaining it to the average Indian parent and even harder living with the ‘pados waale Sharmaji ka beta’ (all, except Kapil Sharma. He’s nalayak!). Like any good and responsible media they have chosen to completely ignore and leave out facts like cost of living, the EXCHANGE RATE (he’s NOT going to be a karodpati in Amreeka!) and all the technicalities like stocks and one time bonuses. Leave Amreeka. Here’s whats happening on the home turf.

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What kind of job is going to give Rs 3.5 lakhs A MONTH!? (sigh). There’s already a dearth of professionals in sectors like education, research and the government. All this because all the parents suddenly decided a decade ago that “beta, engineering karlo. Life set ho jaayegi” because it pays good”. Now it’s going to be “beta IIT mein computer science padhlo. Life set ho jaayegi” for everyone. The media has been irresponsible and has made it a masala piece for everyone and people need to understand that. The common Indian middle class parent needs to understand what it means when such headlines are made. They need to understand how the system works. It’s been a fact for years now that students need to choose careers according to their interests and strengths and that parents need to be supportive of that decision. Please don’t try to ruin the life of the person who has managed to convince his parents that he wants to study science or commerce or history or literature or arts. Please don’t kill the dreams of the future Kapil Sharmas, Gutthis and TVF teams. I finish this article with words which have been trending my facebook timeline since today morning. these are from a student who studies in the same institute as the headlines.IIT 1