18 June, 2021

Naked Among Wolves

Pooja Chauhan is one woman. But she spoke up for lakhs like her.

Naked Among Wolves
Pooja Chauhan, a young mother of a two-year-old, should be honoured by each one of us for having the gall to protest semi-naked in public against her tormenters—her husband and her in-laws, who were allegedly harassing her for not bringing in enough dowry and for bearing a girl child.

I shudder to imagine the depths of despair Pooja must have suffered before daring to take such a step. I feel ashamed to belong to a society where a young woman is forced to fight for her dignity by stripping down to her underwear and walking down the streets of a small town. What I find even more deplorable is that the authorities, instead of giving her shelter and compassion, chose to arrest her along with her tormenters, albeit on a separate charge of 'indecent exposure'. My blood curdles as I recall the number of times I have read and heard about instances where women of all ages have been stripped naked by village elders across the nation, and paraded through the streets for a petty mistake, or on cooked up charges. Does anyone ever get punished for that...
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