India Uncut

This blog has moved to its own domain. Please visit for the all-new India Uncut and bookmark it. The new site has much more content and some new sections, and you can read about them here and here. You can subscribe to full RSS feeds of all the sections from here. This blogspot site will no longer be updated, except in case of emergencies, if the main site suffers a prolonged outage. Thanks - Amit.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Far from free

The Telegraph writes:
Usually, stories of women’s confinement originate in marital homes, and usually again, these tales are of dowry extortion and torture. But in Dhenkanal in Orissa, it was a prosperous businessman who locked up his daughter in a tiny chamber 20 years ago, because she was reportedly behaving erratically. That is, he, and the rest of the family, supposed her to be insane. Cruelty of this kind is not only routine and unthinking, it is also part of a general attitude. After the woman’s rescue, the police expressed approval of the father.
That last line is the one that makes me feel like I've been kicked in the gut. It isn't one perverse individual here, it's our society that is sick. And this desire to control the lives of other according to our own worldviews is one that we see every day: in the banning of dance bars, in the imposition of dress codes for women, in the protest against the way Sania Mirza dresses; heck, in all censorship, for that matter.

In my view, there is just one single barometer of the progress of a civilisation, from which all else follows: a respect for individual freedom.

This applies as much to the economic sphere as to the social one, which is why I abhor socialism as much as censorship. The stated intentions of both may be noble, but the outcome is inevitably oppression.
amit varma, 11:44 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

I recommend: