So, one portion of internal marks in English is making a speech in front of the class. Now, anyone who knows me well in real life, knows my speaking skills goes awful. I went home crying in the first term of tenth, and I was thoroughly depressed the second time. It also didn’t help that my English teacher told me how I speak very fluently and how she doesn’t get why I mess up, when in reality I’m great at speaking with people and well, great at the subject. It wasn’t harsh, but it still made feel like the shittiest kid alive, so today was such a relief.
Out of five topics, I chose to speak about the status of women in India. I am going to share my speech here, because I feel very proud of it and also of the fact that I wrote it the day before, that too in class.
This is my speech:
‘In a supposedly free country, it is deeply saddening to know that not all are free. Indian women lead a frightened existence, one that is tainted with a dark fear. No matter how old you get, or where you go, that fear follows you everywhere.
You can’t walk on a deserted road fearlessly, be it in the light if day or in the dark of night. You are constantly adjusting your top and pulling down your skirt so as to ensure that you do everything in your power to stop people from across the street giving you ‘those’ kind of looks. You are supposed to dress appropriately at all times, wear nothing that is too short, or too revealing — not because such clothes don’t suit your fancy, but simply because if you go out wearing that backless top and that miniskirt, and if you do get raped, it is going to be all your fault. You’ve been warned.
For those of you who think I’m spinning tales out of thin air, I do have some evidence to substantiate my claims.
I’m sure the Nirbhaya case is not unknown to any one present in this classroom, however a little less known fact is that one of the defence lawyers said that had this been his own daughter, he would have lit her on fire and left her to die.
At this, we all need to pause and think if this really is the kind of country we want to live in.
In Uttar Pradesh, many community councils barred girls from wearing jeans and using cell phones, and their explanation for this apparent “safety measure” was that jeans encourage eve teasing. I can’t even begin to tell you how twisted that kind of thinking is.
Also, a few years ago, a foreigner, believed to be Spanish, was raped and robbed in her own home. She was sharing an apartment with a friend in Mumbai. Is this really the kind of message we want to give to those who visit our country?
This is the twenty first century, and nearly 67 years have passed since we first attained independence. However, if in all this time we haven’t managed to make the country safe for its women, then I think it suffices to say that we haven’t managed to achieve anything at all.’
So, I wrote that myself. I was applauded by everyone in the classroom, and my speech was one of the rare few speeches that the whole class listened to. I feel extremely honored, because not all speeches were applauded. And also a little relieved, that I hadn’t botched up like I had the year ago.
That’s all for today, I guess.
P.S.: I had to hold the teacher’s table for a while, because my feet were trembling like crazy. I was afraid that I’m gonna fall.