It was drizzling. I was expecting a delivery from Amazon when the bell rang. A delivery guy, completely drenched, opened his bag to get my parcel out.
“You will fall sick if you stay like this for long”.
“Sir, we don’t have the luxury. Paapi pet ka sawaal hain.”
“At least, why don’t you put on a raincoat?”
“I can’t afford a raincoat.”
“You can utilise the funds that will go to the doctor and medicines once you fall sick, to buy a raincoat now instead. You will not miss on workdays.”
“Please explain this to my wife.”
A dry smile on the wet face. The man walks away.”
The former Mayor of Kolkata, has moved away from his marital relationship and is living with another person, who is a professor. He proclaims that he was regularly abused and mentally tortured by his wife. The divorce petition drags through the legal process with his wife contesting it.
Recently we find that they are posting joyous videos of dance and singing, welcoming the forthcoming Puja festivals.
Huge backlash in social media spitting venom, body shaming, character assassination, and much more.
A friend of mine also went to the extent of saying that his heart churns with grief when he sees such videos, thinking of the former Mayor’s teenage daughter who is now without a father!
When I witness these I can’t help but remind myself that we have specific laws like Protection of Women against Domestic Violence, saving women from physical, mental, financial or other forms of torture. And rightfully so.
But please let me know in the comments if there is any law which protects the Amazon Delivery guy’s health. Any law which helps our ex-Mayor come out of the life of mental abuse and find solace elsewhere?
Or are we to say that the constitution provided ‘right against exploitation’ has become gender-specific with completed disregard to another fundamental right, ‘right to equality’?
Disclaimer: I am in no way saying that women don’t get exploited. I don’t have the numbers but will accept anyone saying that exploitation happens more on women. But individual lives are not statistics. Just because more men exploit, it may not necessary explain why a few will have to pay for the consequences, with no law to save their fundamental right.