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Insecurity! Thy Name is Woman

– Mohammed Atherulla Shariff

Dec. 17:

If William Shakespeare were to be alive, looking at the serious threat to the safety of woman in the world especially India, he would have described woman in another ‘Hamlet’ as ‘Insecurity! Thy Name is Woman.’

“I have been sexually harassed to the very limit. I have been treated like utter garbage. I feel like an unwanted insect. Kindly permit me to end my life in a dignified way. Let my life be DISMISSED.”

This is the desperate cry of a female UP judge seeking permission to ‘end life’ over sexual harassment by a senior district judge.

In a letter to Chief Justice of India, she accuses a senior district judge and his associates of sexual harassment during her time in Barabanki and requests permission to end her life in a dignified manner.

She has further stated that an investigation was initiated into her allegations after she lodged a complaint with the Internal Complaints Committee of the High Court in July 2023. However, she believed that the inquiry process is a complete ‘farce.’

“The witnesses in the enquiry are immediate Subordinates of the District Judge. How the Committee expects the witnesses to depose against their boss is beyond my understanding,” she wrote.

“I have no will to live anymore. I have been rendered to a walking corpse in the last year and a half. There is no purpose in carrying this soulless and lifeless body around anymore. There is no purpose left in my life,” the two-page letter said.

She has advised fellow women that despite being a judge she could not muster a fair enquiry for herself, adding that a fight against the system was futile.

“I advise all women to learn to be a toy, or a non-living thing,” she stated.

“Beti Bachau, Beti Padhao” slogan looks a mockery when well-educated and qualified women who are unsafe during their education, after their education and in the profession. They are not safe in the temples of learning, temples of worship, temples of justice, and temples of protection and safety.

Leave the grown-up women, advance-aged women, and adolescent girls aside, even infant babies are subjected to sexual exploitation at home, by close relatives and even by their guardians and patrons.

Public transport, private vehicles – moving or stationed, nowhere women are safe. Saffron-clad priests or politicians – whom to be trusted is a big issue now. If a Yogi being head of the state is unable to check the increasing number of women’s victimization, what worth the government is?

How desperately Sahir Ludhyanvi had appealed to the conscience of the society half a century ago: Madad chahti hai a Hawa ki beti/ Yashodha ki hamjins Radha ki beti/ Payamber ki ummat, Zulaikha ki bei/ Sanakhwan e Mashriq kahan hain? (These daughters of Eve cry for help; Fellow creatures of Yashodha, daughters of Radha; These followers of the Prophet, daughters of Zulikha; Where are the eulogists of Eastern piety?)

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