Two sides to #IncredibleIndia

 ‘It’s not like any other country I’ve been to’

‘One day you absolutely love it & the next, everything overwhelms you and you end up hating it.’



 So this post had been planned, scheduled and written for a while. 

Until it got unexpectedly deleted. 

However, my motto is there are no coincidences, so instead of grumbling about not being able to find it in the infinitely vast cyber space, I got thinking.

Being deleted actually came at the right time and right place. Much like many a thing I’ve come to notice in life these days.


What things, you ask?

Or, maybe you’re not – well I’ll tell you anyway 😉

One of my good friends just got back from visiting India.


Interestingly, more or less every non-Indian tourist that’s visited India, that I’ve spoken to at least, has said roughly the same thing about their experience:

‘It’s like any other country I’ve been too’

‘One day you absolutely love it & the next, everything overwhelms you and you end up hating it.’ 

‘Looking back though – it’s my most favourite country I’ve visited.’




Listening to my friends speak of India’s vibrancy; watching their eyes glint as they recall fond memories – make me proud to be Indian.

Proud that my heritage is so rich in flavour, weaved in with ancient spiritual practices and  sprinkled with pinches of colour and ladles of culture.




However, more recently, there are times when I feel sad, frustrated and dismayed.

 Female empowerment is an ongoing global issue.

Furthermore it will and SHOULD continue to be one until we can eradicate Female Genital Mutilation, (Female & Male) Child labour, Honour Killings,

And substantially reduce the cases of rape and domestic abuse.

However, I feel in the last couple of years, there have been several catalytic events to instigate change for good.

October 2012 – Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban. Yet now as a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, she she continues to act as an activist for education, and remains an inspiration for many worldwide.


December 2012 – The Delhi bus gang rape shook India to its core. In a country of more than a billion, rape, sadly is still a daily occurrence.


Chime for Change 2013

Beyonce, Salma Hayek & Frida Gianninni’s Chime for Change concert had the intention of raising awareness education, health and justice for women everywhere.


Though there has been progress, watching this on YouTube in 2013 and again in 2014:

reiterate just how certain beliefs need to be shattered before real headway can be made.

In certain parts of the world, not just India, the birth of a boy over a girl is seen as more favourable.

Yet, it’s this mindset that has become engrained into families; one that says ‘female’ = weak, dirty, wrong.

One that trains society that we need to ‘protect’ women because they are ‘reliant’ on a man to protect them.

No girl or woman

-should be made to feel guilty for being born female.

-should be made to believe they ‘deserved’ any form of domestic abuse, violence of rape subjected to them.

-should ever be made to believe their body is ‘public property’

-should feel pressurised into succumbing to genderised politics disguised as ‘protection’

I have only just read up on the firing of former RadiumOne’s CEO, Gurbaksh Chahal.

Though pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges in a domestic violence case and video footage supposedly showing him hitting his then girlfriend 117 times, he was not imprisoned.

Read more here.

‘There is a difference between temper and domestic violence’  – Gurbaksh Chahal

I reiterate:

Educate your sons and daughters to know that ‘temper’ when in the form of domestic abuse is INTOLERABLE.

Domestic abuse, domestic violence and rape – all are INTOLERABLE.

It is time to stop women from accepting these as part of ‘the norm’. These incidents are not normal, nor should you be teaching your children, your family and friends, these things are part of ‘culture’. Rise above the submissive culture you may have been brought up in, know that as a woman you are strong and independent.

June last year, I remember feeling inspired at Chime for Change 2013.

I do remember however, that when Madonna said:

”I keep telling people I want to start a revolution, but my revolution doesn’t involve bloodshed and violence. My revolution starts with education. My revolution is about achieving a higher level of consciousness, but this cannot start without education.’

I noted cynical murmurs and raised eyebrows.

However, I completely agree.

A high level of consciousness is required and here’s why.

Have you noticed that as soon as a major event happens, there are always the ones quick to ‘hate’.

And I am one of them.

1. It sickens me to the core to imagine what happened on that Delhi bus back in 2012.

2. It frustrates me that too many women have been brought up to be submissive and don’t feel worthy enough to voice their opinion.

3. It frustrates me that even people I know and respect believe girls and women need to be chaperoned in India by a male relative at all times.

4. It frustrates me that people believe that women are ‘asking for trouble’ if they were jeans and a t-shirt.

5. It frustrates me to hear people say: ‘India/The situation will never change’.

It’s easy to hate. It’s easy to become dismayed and fed up.

However a high level of consciousness allows us to understand the why, the how & to figure out, what next?


The reason why women don’t feel worthy enough to voice their opinion?


Why people believe girls and women need to be chaperoned in India by a male relative at all times?

Fear of something happening to their daughter, sister, mother.

Why people believe women are ‘asking for trouble’ if they were jeans and a t-shirt?

They don’t want to admit that we need to change the way in which we are conditioning and teaching our society to think.

From birth, if girls are seen as the inferior sex, they will never grow up knowing their self worth. They will come to accept abuse as normal without being able to stand up for themselves and the cycle will continue.

‘We cannot change this world, nor begin to treat each other with human dignity, without an education. Let tonight be the beginning of this revolution because education is not a luxury, it is a basic human right.

‘I invite you all to join my revolution of love. Join me tonight. The revolution of love starts here.’

–       Madonna

Each and every one of us has a voice. You don’t need to wait a single second before using it.

May 2014 see continued progress in female empowerment.

Ana | The Asian Destination xo

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One thought on “Two sides to #IncredibleIndia

  1. Pingback: Being a B.I.B. | The Asian Destination

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