I-Day: What does freedom really mean to Indian women?

Freedom to me means smashing patriarchy. Freedom in India is restricted to a select few, which are the men in society. India is free, but I don’t think that us women are free. I completely believe that all women want freedom from orthodox and suppressed thinking of the society. To be able to eat the way I want, to be able to say what I want to say and dress the way I want to. Day to night, I feel scared for my life. I want to be free from the gender discrimination that women experience every day, everywhere. There’s no safety when I leave home. Let women be the way they want. If I put up pictures that are revealing, then I’m labeled a s***. I want freedom from those people who make me feel uncomfortable, insecure, alone, while I drive. If I make a comment on something, or the patriarchy and how it functions in our society, then I’m labeled as an aggressive, bra burning feminist. Everyone has some problem or the other, maybe for the mother, for the sister, or for the wife. The fear to roam around in your own country remains the same. I’ve also seen it in my house. I want to feel safe. Indian independence has actually let us women down. The fact that we’re asking this question years and years after independence, in itself, is a shame on our society

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