Dear Iqbal Ansari
Congratulations on proving to us that you have finally understood what should have been obvious to you long ago: That Indian Culture is The Mother of All Things. It prescribes what one may wear, what sort of artistic predilections one can have, and whether or not it is permissible to demonstrate affection physically, and with whom, and when. You have now taken this a step further to also include the ways in which one may earn one’s livelihood, also called as, women working post 8 p.m is not allowed as per Indian culture. Don’t let the Governor stop you!
Initially you made meek noises about safety, and it is for your own protection etc. Now you have seen the light and demolished all those flimsy excuses. Safety? Blah, not good enough a reason to ban women from working. Indian culture? Voila! Thats what it is. Indian culture prescribed that all good Indian women must stay at home except when allowed to go out on life-saving errands (hospital workers etc), or when the money they bring in is too much. (IT/BT/ ITES etc). In all other cases, they must be home post 8.
I wonder you are restricting yourself to the workplace. How about going out and having fun after 8? (Oh yes, did you know that, there are actually wicked women frequenting pubs after 8, although let me assure you, only until 11.30 when your government’s much appreciated moral laws shut all pubs down). Are you sure these women are not flouting Indian culture by having fun after 8 o clock? What about their families, who will gasp die if they are not home to serve and “nurture” them? So you see, there are still loopholes in your law.
Indian culture, as you well know, is a monolith. It never changes over time, and it is uniformly applicable to everyone, in particular, female citizens, who are the flagbearers and carriers of culture. I feel it my duty therefore to point out all the areas which you have left uncovered in your quest to promote Indian culture.
I must point therefore all the women who work in those unorganised industries which you really haven’t considered. I hear that there are many such women who work as domestic help. Some of these women even cook dinner for their employers, act as full-time home-helpers and return home only after 8 o clock! I bet you haven’t heard of that. Shouldn’t you step in to help these women too? Farmers too – I believe this is one profession where both men and women work, and depending on the season and the amount of sowing, cropping etc involved, they do step in to work at any time. When will you be looking into that, could you please tell us? I hope all farmers who involve their wives or daughters in any such work beyond 8 pm will be severely punished by you.
And politicians! I am suprised you have so little consideration for your own colleagues. We hear that many of them undertake pretty strenous journeys especially during election time. I hope we are going to hear an amendment soon, that rallies addressed by female politicians will not be allowed post 6 o clock, so that they can finish well in time. (We all know how late these things start, ofcourse…)
As a professional who sometimes travels on work, I confess I have a vested interest in how you plan to measure work during travel times. I have to say, a little ashamed though I am, when I travel on work, if I have nothing else to do post 8 p.m, I sometimes do switch on my laptop and resume working. I also sometimes need to catch flights post 8 p.m, and therefore need to be at a public place after your curfew time. I wonder if your law also counts this as work? Maybe, if I am beyond your state borders, it won’t count? Within state borders though, your law must be enforced strictly, lest Indian culture crumples up into a sad little ball and dies in depression. I propose therefore, that all buses, from Mysore to Bangalore, for example, should not allow any women on, after 8 o clock. What if these women dared to work in Mysore till 7 and return back late? The temerity! Let them finish by 6…or quit, I say!
I hope you realise how monumental a task you’ve undertaken. Safeguarding Indian culture is no easy thing, and extends into every area, once you’ve started. My letter is a humble attempt to point out the extremes to which you will need to go, if you want to truly stop women everywhere from working after 8. I know you are facing a lot of flak for this, which you say you truly don’t understand. I don’t too. What could be more childish? I mean, these people actually think women can make the decisions for themselves. C’mon on! We all know women are too important to be allowed to make such decisions themselves.
Long live Indian Culture!
Yours, Cultural Fan(atic)