MY RELIGION teaches me that, whenever there is distress which one cannot remove, one must fast and pray.
Said, father of the nation and the h
po\.’o\mkio9ero of Modern India, Mahatma Gandhi Ji. Fasting has been an integral part of Indian tradition, either to cleans the body, mind and soul or even to strike a chord with the common to voice against oppression, misrule and ill-treatment.
This Indian way has been working as an effective tool to communicate the collective will of the people. There are countless examples and instances of the practice of Fast or Satyagraha. From Potti Sreeramulu to Anna Hazare and now to the Constitutional Authority like the Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohammad Khan.
In a rare instance, the Governor, who is the first citizen of Kerala took part in a day-long fast to register his protest against dowry harassment cases in his State.
There is a context to this
SV Vismaya, a 24-year-old woman, was recently found dead inside her house in Sasthamkotta in Kerala’s Kollam. This incident has shaken the collective consciousness of the nation and brought back the debate on dowry harassment to the fore.
As a first Citizen of the State, expressing compassion and empathy, the Governor responded to the call given by Several Gandhian Associations and supported their cause by fasting for a day.
His response to the pressing problem, Dowry- a social evil crippling the society, exposed the ironic situation in Kerala, which has got global acclamation for its social indicators like literacy and life expectancy.
Since 2010, over 1,096 cases of dowry-related harassment cases registered with the Kerala women commission.
How is it the state ruled by the “liberal” and forward-thinking dispensations failed to end the menace of Dowry harassment? Is it acceptable to the ruling class to have a society that embraces Dowry as a symbol of pride?
Can the “liberal” ruling dispensation pave the way for women empowerment without addressing the issue of Dowry and harassment?
An interesting call by the Governor
He has asked all MPS, MLAs and Ministers to investigate whether dowry was being taken or given in marriages they plan to attend. He wanted them to publicly speak out against dowry and say the reason for not attending the wedding.