खुल्ला पत्र बन्दना राई ज्यूलाई सचेत नेपाली भाषी जनता, दिल्लीबाट

सम्पादकीय नोट

दिल्लीका नेपाली भाषी जनताको नामबाट यो नेपाली र अङ्ग्रेजी दुवै भाषामा खुल्ला पत्र आएको छ। पत्रमा कसैको नाम त छैन, तर पत्रले उठान गरेको मुद्दाको गम्भीरतालाई ध्यानमा राखेर यो पत्र प्रकाशित गरिरहेका छौं। यो पत्र केवल बन्दना राईलाई मात्र होइन सङ्कुचित र पितृसत्तात्मक सोच राख्ने महिला-पुरूष दुवैलाई पनि हो भन्ने ठानेर यहाँ दुवै भाषामा प्रकाशित गरिरहेका छौं।


गौरव, प्रतिष्ठा इत्यादि कुराहरू गरी, साथै हाम्रो ‘चेली-बेटी,   दिदी-बहिनी’हरू जस्ता मिठा मिठा अलङ्कारहरू प्रयोग गरी नारीहरूलाई आफ्नो नियन्त्रणमा ल्याउनु खोज्नु तपाईँको भुल धारणा हो। तपाईँ स्वयं एउटा नारी भएर यस्तो नारी विरोधी कुरा कसरी गर्न सक्नु हुन्छ?

एकातिर नारी विरोधी कार्यलाई प्रोत्साहन दिँदै अर्को तिर नारीहरूको उत्थान गर्छु भन्नु तपाईँको यो कस्तो आडम्बर हो? थप तपाईँले ‘गाउँमा भनिदिन्छु’ भनि धम्की दिएर डर देखाउनु खोज्नु भएको रहेछ। हजुरलाई कसले अनि कति बेला हाम्रो समाजको प्रवक्ता बनायो?


हामीले हजुरको १६ सेप्टेम्बरको लाईव फेसबुक भिडियो हालैमा हेर्ने मौका पाएका थियौं। उक्त भिडियोमा तपाईंले हाम्रो समाजको ‘दिल्ली NCR’ मा बसेका ‘चेली बेटी’ को ‘सेफ्टी अनि सेक्युरिटी’को मुद्दा लिएर कतिपय कुराहरू मन खोलेर राख्नु भएको रहेछ। हजुरको उद्देश्य राम्रो नै थियो होला, तैपनि तपाईँको बयान अनि तर्क सुनेर हामी स्तब्ध भयौं। यसर्थ हाम्रो मनमा लागेको कति कुरा अनि प्रश्नहरू यस खुल्ला पत्र मार्फत राख्न चाहन्छौं।

हामीले तपाईँको उक्त भिडियोमा पितृसत्तात्मक सोच झल्किएको आभास पायौं, जहाँ तपाईँले नारीहरूको ‘सेफ्टी अनि सेक्युरिटी’को निम्ति नारीहरूलाई अबेर रातसम्म बाहिर हिँड़डुल नगर्ने आग्रह गर्नु भएको रहेछ। यस्ता विचारहरूले पुरूष सरह राती काम गर्ने, हिँड़डुल गर्ने र प्रगतिशील नारीहरूलाई घरको सङ्घार काटेर अघि बढ्नमा बाधा पुराएको छ। नारीहरू राती बाहिर निस्कँदा मात्र असुरक्षित हुने हो भने, आफ्नै घरभित्र हुने अत्याचार र शोषण (घरेलू हिंसा) चाहिँ के हो त? यस्तै प्रकारले स्वतन्त्र एवं आत्मनिर्भर नारीलाई चरित्रहीन र अन्याय-अत्याचार सहेर पितृसत्तात्मक नियमको दायरामा बस्ने नारीलाई आदर्श नारीको उदाहारण स्वरूप ठान्नु कति उचित होला?

त्यस भिडियोमा तपाईँले एउटा प्रश्न पनि गर्नु भएको रहेछ – दार्जीलिङमा तिमीहरू रात परेपछि आआफ्नो घरतर्फ लाग्छौ तर दिल्लीमा चाहिँ किन अबेर रात सम्म बाहिर घुम्ने गर्छौ?

दार्जीलिङ अनि दिल्लीमा धेरै अन्तर छ। दार्जीलिङ एउटा सानो शहर हो जहाँ साँझ परेपछि जन जीवन स्थिर भएर जान्छ। अर्कोतिर दिल्ली एउटा महानगरी हो, जहाँ जीवन  २४ घण्टा नै यथावत चलिरहन्छ। दार्जीलिङ र दिल्लीलाई एउटै रूपवालीभित्र राखेर तुलना गर्नु, साथै विशेष गरी नारीहरूलाई त्यस तुलनाको प्रमुख विषय बनाएर रात परेपछि घरभित्रै बस्नु पर्ने तपाईँको सुझावले नारीहरूको स्वतन्त्र रूपमा जीवन जिउने अधिकार माथि अतिक्रमण भएको छ।

हामी दिल्लीमा कति शिक्षा आर्जन गर्न त कति आफ्नो जीवन धान्न आएका हौं। आर्थिक समस्याको चपेटमा आएर कतिपय श्रमजीवी नेपालीहरू दिनमा मात्र नभएर रातमा पनि काम गर्न बाध्य हुन्छन्। साथै राती हिँड़डुल गर्ने श्रमिक मात्र नभएर शिक्षा आर्जन गर्ने अनि अन्य व्यवसायीमा संलग्न मानिसहरू पनि हुन्छन्। उनीहरू कति कामले हिँड़्छन् भने कति मनोरञ्जनको निम्ति बाहिर निस्कन्छन्। यसरी नै नारीहरू पनि स्वतन्त्र रूपले आफ्नो काम गर्न वा मनोरञ्ज गर्न राती हिँड़्डुल गर्दा त्यसमा केही अनैतिकता हामी देख्दैनौं। हामीलाई हाम्रो इच्छा अनुसार हिँड्न वा घुम्नको लागि कसैको अनुमति लिनु पर्ने आवश्यकता हामी देख्दैनौं।

साथै नेपाली नारीहरूले नै हाम्रो जातिको प्रतिष्ठालाई हानी पुराउँदैछन् भन्ने तपाईँको आरोपलाई हामी खण्डन गर्छौं। दिल्लीमा बस्ने नेपाली नारीहरूको स्वतन्त्रता, उनीहरूले लगाउने लुगा, उनीहरूले आफ्नो निजी जीवनमा गर्ने कुराहरूले चाहिँ कसरी जातिको गौरव वा प्रतिष्ठालाई हानी पुग्छ?

गौरव, प्रतिष्ठा इत्यादि कुराहरू गरी, साथै हाम्रो ‘चेली-बेटी,   दिदी-बहिनी’हरू जस्ता मिठा मिठा अलङ्कारहरू प्रयोग गरी नारीहरूलाई आफ्नो नियन्त्रणमा ल्याउनु खोज्नु तपाईँको भुल धारणा हो। तपाईँ स्वयं एउटा नारी भएर यस्तो नारी विरोधी कुरा कसरी गर्न सक्नु हुन्छ?

एकातिर नारी विरोधी कार्यलाई प्रोत्साहन दिँदै अर्को तिर नारीहरूको उत्थान गर्छु भन्नु तपाईँको यो कस्तो आडम्बर हो? थप तपाईँले ‘गाउँमा भनिदिन्छु’ भनि धम्की दिएर डर देखाउनु खोज्नु भएको रहेछ। हजुरलाई कसले अनि कति बेला हाम्रो समाजको प्रवक्ता बनायो?

दिल्लीका स्थानीय बासिन्दाहरूले नर्थ-इस्टका मानिस लगायत हामीहरूप्रति असहिष्णुता अनि भेदभाव र अवहेलनाको व्यवहार गर्ने सबैलाई थाहा भएकै कुरा हो। त्यसै माथि पनि नर्थ-इस्ट अनि हाम्रा ठाउँका नारीहरूप्रति अझै बढी गरिने दुर्व्यवहारको यथार्थ नकार्न सकिँदैन। तपाईँको भनाई अनुसार यी सबै दुर्व्यवहारको कारण महिलाको छोटो पहिरन, खुलामा धुम्रपान सेवन र अबेर रातसम्म हिँड़डुल गर्नु नै हो।

तर देशमा यो कुनै नयाँ घटना होइन कारण हामी जस्तो मान्छेहरूले अवहेलना, पक्षपात, अनि नश्लवाद (rac।sm) का घटनाहरू कयौं वर्षदेखि भोग्दै आएका हौँ। यो समस्याको जड़ हाम्रो पहिरन, खानपिन, रात अबेर सम्म हिड़डुल गर्नु नभएर स्थानीय अनि तथाकथित ‘भारतीय’ समाजको नागरिकहरूको मस्तिष्कमा घर बनाएर बसेका नश्लवादका उपजहरू हुन्।

त्यसैले बदलाव हाम्रो होइन, बदलाव उनीहरूको मानसिक्तामा आउनु जरूरी छ। बदलाव यस्ता नश्लवादका भावनाहरूलाई लिएर हुनुपर्छ, न कि हाम्रो व्यवहार, हाम्रो लुगा लगाउने तरिका अनि हाम्रो जीवन शैली। साथै तपाईँले दिल्लीको स्थानीय बासिन्दाहरूको दृष्टिकोणबाट यस्ता नश्लवादका सोंचहरू उत्पन्न हुने कारण हाम्रै जाति हो भन्ने लाञ्छना लगाउनु, जातिवाद अनि नश्लवादका भावनाहरूलाई अझ बढी प्रोत्साहन दिनु बराबर हो। तपाईँको यस्तो विचार सुनेर तपाईँ हाम्रो भलो चाहनुहुन्छ भनी कसरी विश्वास गर्नु?

हाम्रो समुदायको पारम्परिक खान पिन त्यागेर दिल्लीको स्थानीय भोजन व्यवहारलाई चाहिँ किन स्विकार गर्नु? भारत त एक विविध समुदाय, धर्म, भाषा अनि संस्कृति भएको देश होइन र? त्यसो भए नर्थ इष्ट अनि हाम्रो मान्छेहरूलाई चाहिँ दिल्लीको स्थानीय बासिन्दाहरूले जस्तै लाउनु, खानु अनि बस्नु के बाध्यता छ?

के दिल्लीको (प्राय उत्तर भारतीय) संस्कृति मार्फत ढल्न नसके वा उनीहरूको विचारसँग समरूपता ल्याउन नसके, हामी भारतीय हुँदैनौ?

तपाईँ संविधान अनि मौलिक अधिकारहरूको कुरा गर्नु हुन्छ। भारत एउटा गणतान्त्रिक देश हो, अनि हामी हाम्रो मौलिक अधिकारहरूसित परिचित छौं। संवैधानिक अधिकारहरू साँझसम्म मात्र सिमित हुन्छ भनि संविधानको कुन धारामा लेखिएको छ? हजुरले त्यो ज्ञान हामीसँग पनि साझा गरिदिए हामी धेरै आभारी हुने थियौं।

संविधानको मुख्य रचनाकार डा. बी. आर. अम्बेडकरले पनि भन्नु भएको छ, “म एउटा देश वा समुदायको उन्नतिको मुल्याङ्कन नारीहरूले प्राप्त गरेको प्रगतिको परिमाणबाट गर्छु। आज विश्वभरि महिलाहरूको स्वतन्त्रता, समान अधिकार, सशक्तिकरण र यौन शोषण विरूद्ध आवाज गुञ्जिरहेको बेला तपाईँ भने उल्टा नारी स्वतन्त्रतामा पाबन्दी अनि सम्झौता गर्ने कुरा गर्नु हुन्छ। यसरी तपाईँले भने अनुसार नारीहरूको छोटो लुगा र जीवन शैली नै उनीहरूप्रति गरिने दुर्व्यवहार र बढ्दो दुर्व्यवहार मुख्य कारण भन्ने हो भने तपाईँ नै सोच्नु होस् हाम्रो समाजको प्रगति कहिले हुने हो?

नारीहरूलाई दोष्याउनु भन्दा पुरूषको मानसिकता र व्यवहारमा बदलाव ल्याउनु अत्यन्त जरूरी छ। किनभने नारीप्रति हुने दुर्व्यवहार, हिंसा, यौन शोषण अनि बलात्कारको कारण नारीहरूको व्यवहार र नैतिकता नभएर केवल अनि केवल मात्र नारी विरोधी र दमनरूपी पुरूषप्रधान समाजबाट प्रेरित पुरूषको सोच हो।

नेपाली नारीहरूलाई के सही हो अनि के गलत बुझाउने जिम्मेवारी तपाईँको होइन। नेपाली नारीहरूलाई आफ्नो अधिकार र जिम्मेवारीको बोध छ। हामी नारीहरूलाई नैतिक प्रहरिकरन (moral policing) गर्नु भन्दा उनीहरूको समान अधिकार र स्वतन्त्रतामा नै समाज अनि देश को प्रगति हुन्छ भन्ने विश्वास राख्छौं। अन्तमा हाम्रो असहमति अनि आलोचनामाथि तपाईँले विचार गरेर आत्मसात गर्नुहुन्छ भन्ने आशा गर्छौं।


तपाईँहरूको सजिलोको लागि बन्दना राइको फेसबुक लाइभको लिङ्क यहाँ राखेका छौं। यसैमा क्लिक गरेर हेर्नुहोला


 

Open letter to Ms. Bandana Rai

We write to convey our dismay on your views about “women and their safety” in a recent video uploaded by you on 16th of September 2018 on Facebook. In the video you have created a false and patriarchal binary of a- “good Nepali woman” who conforms to patriarchal norms and a “bad Nepali woman” who resists it and stays out during late hours in Delhi, smokes cigarettes and resorts to wearing short clothes. Women who go out at nights have forever been sexualized, demonized and discouraged from doing so at every opportunity by the society at large. This is an old moral and patriarchal tactic to keep women indoors, to supposedly keep her “safe” from what lies outside – without engaging in the harassment that women face inside their homes too.

We vehemently denounce victim-blaming based on such patriarchal norms of how a woman ought to be and what they ought to do and the various rhetorics and metaphors you have used to generate a fear among Nepali women residing in Delhi. We condemn this rationale which believes that women venturing outside in the dark invites rape, harassment or molestation on herself. A women exercising her independent agency in no way invites rape upon herself. If anyone needs to be told what to do and what not to do, it is the men who by the impunity given to them by society and patriarchal ideology, who need to be reminded that women are not property available to them as they please. It is this hegemonic practices that reduces women to controllable property that need to be questioned, and not women who lie at the rung bottom of the gender hierarchy in the Nepali society. We thereby, detest the moral policing of Nepali women residing in Delhi from you.

In the video you ask, “you don’t stay out this late in Darjeeling but why in Delhi?”. Let us remind you why: the socio-economic set up in Delhi (being a city) is completely different from Darjeeling. The city functions and runs 24 hours a day and our work as students and working women require us to comply with the city life. The way you mention the issue in the video suggests that we ought to keep all our work and tasks aside (the reason why we left home in the first place), and stay put in our rooms. Since you are a resident of Delhi yourself, we need not remind you of the differences between home and city. The two are worlds apart, putting them in one paradigm and trying to compare them, through the agency of women and women alone, feeds into a patriarchal narrative where your only aim is to control and impose your will on women. We strongly detest this.

According to what you said and how you said it, we understand that as per you, locals in Delhi are intolerant towards north-eastern people and especially towards women. This is not a recent phenomenon as cities in India have a history of racism and prejudice towards women (and men) coming from the northeast. Even in Delhi, it is not just Munirka alone, even if one goes to upscale colonies such as Greater Kailash or Vasant Kunj, people with mongoloid features, in general, have problems getting houses on rent. Even if they get lucky with accommodation, it is often accompanied by a condescending attitude displayed by the house owner and even the locals residing nearby. The problem, therefore, is not our people; it is the racism ingrained in general Indian society. It is this perception that needs changing, this pre-conceived notion based on harmful stereotypes and perspective tend to look at north-easterners in general as being the “other”. You have on the other hand spoken from the perspective of the local Delhiites, viewing people from our own community as the problem and further feeding into this racial stigmatization. How are we to believe that you are in fact speaking for our goodwill, as you claim to be?

Since you tell Nepalis in Delhi to conform to the food habits of the local Delhiites, we wish to ask – If India is considered to be a country of multiple diversities on religious, linguistic, ethnic, cultural basis where people are seen to be living together and respecting each other’s cultures despite their differences, when did it become obligatory for us, Nepali and north eastern, as Indian citizens to adjust to the habits of the dominant culture? Why should we conform and adjust our food habits in accordance with the taste and preferences of the local Delhiites to prove our “Indianness”? Why should we feel the need to homogenize into the larger culture for the sake of acceptance or for not being “Indian” enough?

Moreover, the stigmatization of Nepali’s (even within the north eastern community), can be partly traced to the migration of a large number of lower class Nepalis to all parts of India, to earn basic meals and send money home to their families. This can further be traced to the history of stigmatization and exploitation of working-class migrants across the world. You on the other hand, have tried to distance yourself from the working class Nepali population in the city by creating the narrative of the “other” within the Nepali community itself. We do not believe in othering the working class Nepali people residing in Munirka and other lower class colonies, who in the first place have to endure exploitative working conditions and whose long working hours entails them to return home during late at night. We are well aware that due to the rigidness of their working hours and conditions they would like to take a stroll around the colony for a while at night especially, the Nepali working class women whose working conditions are further marginal. We detest your attempt to curb basic freedom to mobility of the Nepali people residing in lower class colonies in Delhi.

Further, we are outraged by how you have put all the blame on women alone; how women are responsible for the “honour” of the Nepali society in Delhi and hence Nepali women going out at night, doing what she feels like and wearing what she wants to, is taking away the honour of the Nepali society. This necessity to control women by using rhetorics such as “honour” or even sugar-coated words such as “hamro cheli-beti”, “didi-bahinee” is something we detest. These rhetorics and metaphors tend to reduce women to the mere property who need to be controlled and regulated as per the wishes of those in power. If you believe that you are setting an example as a woman, you are deeply misguided because your role has been nothing short of an agent of patriarchy and hypocrisy.

Also, in the video, you have used fear instilling mechanisms such as “ma gaon ma bhandinchu” to generate fear and use it as a means to control women. The rhetorics and metaphors you have used are something we are extremely familiar with and are well aware of the incumbent factor it holds in our society. But, we firmly assert that these narratives which are systematic in oppressing women need to be questioned and challenged. One of our main aims of writing this is to question and speak up against such parochial thinking and hence we dare to dissent.

Lastly, as you so eloquently talk about fundamental rights and freedom, there are certain things we would like to remind you regarding the constitution and our rights as citizens of this country. It is helpful to keep in mind that we live in a democratic country and our fundamental rights don’t cease to exist after 11 at night or anytime during the day. As citizens, we are conscious of our basic rights especially that of Article 21 of the Constitution which states, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” You have misconceived the language of rights and used it when and where it has been convenient according to you.

Dr B. R Ambedkar, one of the founding fathers of India and the person responsible for granting us the constitution, stated on women’s progress saying, “I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved”. If we are to go by what you have prescribed we do in the video – staying inside our rooms as soon as it gets dark, dressing as per the wishes of men and above all not using our independent agency to decide what may be good for us without having everything dictated to us – then one can only presume what the way ahead looks like for the Nepali society as a whole. If we are to put it more coherently, it is needless to say that as a society instead of progressing we will be falling back to a state of retrogression.

Nepali women will and are marching forward by deciding what is right and what is wrong, asserting their rights to opportunities that the society has denied them structurally and otherwise and by reclaiming the freedom and occupying spaces that have been denied to them for so many years. We will not hesitate to act and speak up against the activities that suppress the growth not only of women but the society as a whole.

WE ARE HERE AND WE WILL MAKE SURE WE ARE HEARD.

Thank you

Sachet Nepali Bhasi Janta, Delhi

 

सक्दो सेयर गर्नुहोस्-

फेसबुकबाट तपाईको प्रतिक्रिया

प्रतिक्रिया

Related posts

Shares