Satyamev Jayate - Jinhe Desh Ki Fikr Hai

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Lessons in masculinity

Patriarchy not only harms women, men face the consequences of it as well. But some men are learning to fight patriarchy because of the work of a few progressive organisations in the country. Here are the testimonies of some such men who have lifted the burden of patriarchy and transformed themselves:

Ashok Damami: “In our society, the first born cannot be held by the father, and he will be ridiculed for doing so. So when my daughter would walk and fall down, I could not even pick her up. Even when I wanted to, I could not, for fear of what other people would say. But after this campaign I realised she is my daughter too, so why should I not hold her?”

Uday Bhan Singh: “My wife used to fall sick often. I realised that if my wife is sick, I should take care of her. Earlier I used to hide in the house and cook, for fear of ridicule, but later I thought why should I hide this? So we divided the work in the house—I do some and she does some. Now my neighbours are also emulating me and helping their wives.”

Dinesh Singh: “Sometimes we are very sensitive to our spouse, but because of the expectations of society, we have to be dominating. Like we can't even cry when our mother dies, because we are told we have to be strong and not cry. Because if we do cry, how will we uphold patriarchy?”

Satish Kumar Singh: “When I used to get beaten as a kid, I could not come home crying. I used to wash my face and come home, because we were told we had to win the fight, not come back crying.”

Pramod: “The new definition of masculinity is that men should be simple and open, should be sensitive, and most importantly treat family members, especially their wives, equally—that is a real man.



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