Read This: This Is Exactly Why We Need Feminism In India So STFU

Tania  Dey Tania Dey in Single Women Bad Women on 30 November, 2016

It is always unfortunate to be deported from a region of high cerebral quotient to the lowest one. But well, certain sacrifices have to be made in life to chase your dreams, I guess. 

I hail from Kolkata, where nobody cares if I forgot to wear my trousers underneath my top, because they re-program their brains and tell themselves that I'm probably wearing a dress, and they misjudged me. I have witnessed the depth of Kolkata's heart so I was obviously in for a shock when I first moved to Odisha.

Of course, when I came down for a recce to Bhubaneswar, I found the city dotted with fine buildings and clean roads with impeccable constructions, it was an attractive city. Little did I know, that mental growth was still a huge issue there. So I settled here, to finish my education, and that brought me face to face with a lot of disturbing experiences. Experiences that definitely gave me the chills and I'd do anything to erase them from my memory.

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Here's a little part of the backward India I'd like to share with you today. 

My hostel was close to my university, and the first rule that irritated me was that I had to wear salwars with a "dheela kameez", tie my hair up, wear no heels, because there were the rules stated by the authorities. In other words, there were special rules in my hostel to curb the youth with the aid of moral policing and Talibanism. The rebellious part of me rose to revolt, but I always got one answer till I finally got sick of hearing it,

"We need to control our children." As if boys come out of their mothers' wombs as 24-year-olds.

I was already shaken and taken by disgust by that answer. But there was always something more to surprise me. There were sexists rules written all over the city is an understatement. Boys were allowed to stay outside, at even 10 in the night, or more, whereas, girls were forced to come in by 7 pm. There was also limited access to outside tours, every girl had a four hour gap to return back to the hostel premises. This drove me to the level of insanity. Being a traveler and a wanderer, I hated being restricted. I wanted to have my own share of fun during my college days, but that was not an option. 

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When I discussed this with the faculty in-charge, he said, "It will be ugly if some rickshaw puller teases you," he smiled wryly, and continued, "and I won't feel nice about it, so wouldn't you. Girls should remain indoors." 

This made me lose my last thread of patience. An educated man with a PhD talking like a rustic, made me furious. But then I realised that people were still twenty years behind. The state hadn't seen much of urbanization, and even if I prayed and hoped for a miracle. I know it's not going to happen anytime soon. 

My hostel authorities still flinch at the clothes I wear, they aren't skin showing, but there is a degree of boldness as far as my dressing sense is concerned. Also, I have a habit of slipping into dresses, knee length of course, but even that troubles them. They like it traditional, full-length jeans and top are as far as their 'vivid' imagination can go. 

Initially, I used to curse the place because of the narrow mindedness they were oh-so-proudly projecting. But with time, I have regressed, and taken it slow. I cannot blame the people, because open mindedness starts from school and at home. They probably watch Sunny Leone on television, and even cheer and hoot for her, but in the same breath, they probably ask their daughters-in-law to cover their heads.

This culture shock needs to be cut on the grass-root-level.
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What shocked me more was Konark. It was a temple that propagated sex as a vital force. The walls were testifying that sex and carnal desires are to be embraced. The city that's shrouded in moral policing and taboos has a temple in the heart of the city that blatantly accepts all traditions- homosexuality, transgenders, naked stark bodies of men and women. The city dwellers who refuse to tolerate short clothes or odd in-times for girls, also visit this temple. That's the greatest irony that shook me up.

People do not accept their own cultures, they have become pseudo in an attempt of being "sober" and "religious".
Author's Note:

Culture shock has left me dumb-founded. It has made me more patient, yes, but it has also given me the fire to explain to people that equality is important. It has given me a reason to exist, a drive to bring about change in the mindsets of the people. And I will make a change, maybe as a tribute, for the education that the state is providing me. 

Editor's Note:

Very few people experience something horrible in life and decide to make a difference. The few who do, they should be encouraged and how. Share this story to tell the uniformed why exactly 'feminism' is needed in this country.