The freedom of Army daughters


A curiously significant proportion of women who do well in their working in areas as diverse as business, media, sports and the glamour industry come from an army background. There is something about cantonment living that seems to confer a distinct advantage to young girls as they step out into the larger world and try and carve out a place for themselves. 
The reasons are quite obvious. 
There is a high degree of emphasis on education and activities beyond studies that allow children to grow up in a rounded way, but if that were all,  an army background would perhaps be nothing more than a decent finishing school. Of course the more Westernised ethic of the military did make for a more liberal upbringing, but perhaps there is more at work here than just that. 
Perhaps the most powerful aspect of an army lifestyle lies not so much in what it offers as it does in what it doesn’t. Army life detaches the family unit both spatially and culturally from the larger social arena. 
The cantonment is another world—with its own distinct physicality and its own code of behaviour. 
Postings in each station are of small durations; no roots are allowed to be grown. Often, cantonments are located in remote places where one is far from the comforting and often overpowering bosom of ones larger family. At a time when the home town posting was highly coveted and connived for, the army made sure that the uniformity of the cantonment was the only home you knew. 
Army children thus grew up in a cocooned world that bore allegiance not to larger society but to itself. They enjoyed a freedom that few Indians experience—the freedom from the past. Army life is rooted in the now—there are few opportunities to get tied down to a place or indeed to a set of people. 
Transience made sure that one never belonged anywhere; everything became an experience that shaped one without being defining. 
The effect on girls was perhaps disproportionate given the otherwise narrow and fixed space they get allotted in the world outside. Girls grew up free from the invisible network of tongues and eyes that keep them in check otherwise. They grew up not knowing too well what being a girl in India usually meant. 
The freedom to live in the present and to be who you are is perhaps the reason why Army daughters display the easy confidence of those who do not see the world as a place full of invisible constraints but one of frequent opportunity. It is not that they grew up in an alien culture, for their parents, however westernised their lifestyle, came from the same traditional  social fabric but only that the relationship that they enjoyed with society was made up of dotted lines. The outside world was a hazy blur which was real but not consequential. 
Army wives did not have it so easy. These were women brought up conventionally who found themselves thrown in a world with very different rules. They needed to straddle two very different cultural universes without having any preparation to do so. 
At a time when most women got married into families, these were the few who got married out of one. Behind the sometimes awkward short-hair-dyed-jet-black-speaking-in-English every-fifth-word army wife lies someone who has perhaps made a dramatic transition in her way of life and learnt to be an individual one step at a time almost entirely by herself. No wonder the word formidable comes frequently to mind when thinking about army wives. 
The phenomenon of Army daughters shows that freeing the energies of women in India perhaps requires above all an absence of the overweening community that surrounds us. We can see a similar effect, for all children who had the benefit of growing up in self-contained colonies outside their native places. 
Similarly, hostels provide avenues for the young to discover their own independent selves and figure out what they want in life. 
On the other side of the success of army daughters lies the tragedy of millions of others who do not have the advantage of an alternative cocoon. For our social system does not let go of its daughters so easily—it requires a military cantonment to get a license to do so.

Via a dear friend!

It’s all our fault she died!

Yes, it is.
I slept watching the news last nite & prayed for her speedy recovery, I could imagine a day soon when she would have walked out of that hospital all healthy & fine and got into the game herself to Fu*# those basta#@s! But I failed somewhere because she just died. I never wanted to wake up to this news but as I did I realized that its actually in the end our fault.
All of us who are Indians living in this country are at fault.
Our mistake is that we have conveyed a message of cowardice to such men that they can get away with anything they do to harm a woman.
Its our mistake that we tolerated each time we, our sisters, mothers, friends were eve teased, touched/felt in a crowd or made cheap comments at.
Its our fault every time we saw somebody protecting women of such a thing, we turned & said “chhod na apne ko kya karna hai??” and got away from getting involved in that fight or argument!
Its our fault we haven’t taught our women to slap, kick or abuse back when anyone encroaches their safety zone.
Its our fault that we have raised our women to always be scared of the society and be at mercy of men to protect them or provide for them.
Its our fault that we haven’t had enough arrangement to make our women strong enough to retaliate.
Its our fault that if someone even attempts to do so we tag them as feminist or too bold or other stupid words.
Let alone rape the culture of this country should be such that men tremble with fear before even eve teasing a woman.
If those 6 men were beaten the first time they ever eve teased a woman, they wouldn’t have had the gut to even think of a rape. But each time they must have been ignored for their misbehavior their belief on their own disgusting intentions/actions got stronger.
I am not saying that women need to start hunting for men on the streets post 10 pm & castrating them,but what I want to emphasize on is that we must encourage self defense for women. There are laws where in we are allowed to take extreme actions to protect our selves.
Not just the laws but all of us need to set an example next time an incident like that happens around us as men or women!
Slap that jerk, give him a mouthful and drag him to the cops and do this often until it all stops! if every woman starts doing this, these jobless bas@#$%s will learn their lesson well!
Don’t gift her flowers next time, gift her a damn pepper spray for that will be of greater use if she lives in India than the flowers!
Teach your sons, brothers and friends to RESPECT women.
Its time we realize that we make the society what it is, with our attitude, beliefs and actions.
If you think this does not concern you today, some day it will, and then it may be too late.
Act now, all of us need to get a power dose of guts to stop whats going wrong starting now!!