I’ve been watching mutely with horror as the recent incidents have unfolded in Delhi and all over India.
I’ve been echoing the sentiments of an outraged nation and people with nothing to say for myself.
I’ve been listening with concern young girls who with a mix of anger and horror have stepped back to think and said, “It could’ve been one of us. It could’ve been me!”
And that sets me thinking as a mother, as a parent.
It could’ve been my child, my daughter.
As a woman I completely understand the sentiments of the public demanding change.
As a mother, I am terrified. The change that we demand is not going ot happen in a hurry. Platitudes apart, about it beginning with ourselves only lead me to believe, I need to do something now.
I am sure, there are enough fathers who will echo these sentiments.
I think it’s time we apologise to our daughters and take their freedom away
So here goes my apology:
I’ve made a mistake.
When you were born, I thought I’d bring you up in this world to be a proud independent member of a civilized society.
I gave you the freedom to grow into your own, watched you as your character blossomed, encouraged you when you fought your own little battles in school and even commended you when your sense of fairness got you to protect even little boys in your circle.
In my mind, you were growing to be an exemplary addition to this society.
And I let you free. I set you free.
But I am sorry, I made a mistake.
I should have never let you go. I should have never given you all the freedom you got. I should have kept you in the confines of the four walls of the house.
I should’ve taught you only how to cook, clean and maintain a kitchen.
To knit, embroider and stitch.
To cover your head, to not come in public view
I am sorry, I’ve made a horrible horrible mistake.
I thought the world will grow as you grow.
But we’ve stepped back into a barbaric age.
I thought I’d nurture you in a cocoon and let you hibernate in all the glory of an independent spirit till you broke out and spread your wings to fly.
But no, I’ve made a mistake.
And I want to take away all that I’ve given you. Tie you back into the silken threads of my love mixed with fear and protect you within the confines of the home.
Don’t step out.
Don’t let the world see your beautiful wings. Don’t let them get enticed by the breathtaking colours. Don’t let them get enamoured by your incredible wingspan.
Come, let me clip your wings.
And like you, take away the freedom of a budding young generation of butterflies here.
I know you’ll remain cocooned forever in the confines of a virtual prison, and you’ll not grow but at least you’ll be safe.
I’m sorry I’ve made a mistake.
It’s time I undo it and take away your freedom forever.
And no one will protect you like I will.