21 Things About Romance !
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If you can see this message on your feed, it's meant for you. Not because it's another fancy status update on another fancy new page, but because it's the truth. We want to explain who we are, and what "21 Things About Romance" really means. The fact that we have grown exponentially over the last week, gives us enough confidence to speak one-on-one with each one of you. We sincerely believe that you're someone who believes in the simple difference between right & wrong, between good & evil. #21TAR is a revolutionary thought that places "Love" on the side of "Good" and everything else on the side of "Evil". In that sense, we're very similar to the newer, younger breed of politicians in India - we're inspired to create a better thought process in this nation. For about 67 years since India became independent, we have lived with our oldest notions about Romance- people probably tell you all the time that being in love is wrong. We're here to change that. We believe that every problem in society right now- rapes, marital violence, dowry, they're all a direct result of the stupid opposition towards love in our country. If you're smart enough, or if you've been in true love, you can probably make the connection yourself. We will still describe why exactly we feel this way.
1. Rapes: Young boys in this country, about 90% of them- are brought up by their parents in a way in which they're told that talking to girls who're not their 'sisters' or 'muh boli behens' is a crime. They are not encouraged to nurture healthy relationships with the opposite sex. When they reach puberty, they are filled with taboo notions about sex. This doesn't stop them from wondering about it- rather, this fuels their curiosity. At the same time, their upbringing tells them that their thoughts are impure, and they have a general tendency of keeping their emotions hidden, curbed. When they discover sexual arousal for the first time, they masturbate rather than attempting to be in a relationship. It's ironic- our society, in it's stupid fight against healthy sexual behavior, has created an atmosphere where boys resort to the most heinous crime on the planet to fulfill their desires.
The Solution: Do not discourage your young ones from falling in love. Do not tell them that sex is bad. Don't put down premarital sex as a bad concept. Educate them about healthy sexual behavior. UNDERSTAND that sex is not a crime, rape is. Forced Marital Rape is a crime. Statistics only show us the number of reported rapes. In reality, there are a million women in this country who are forced to sleep with a complete stranger on their wedding night, because of a strange phenomenon called "Arranged Marriage". We wonder why Indian fathers don't get scared at the idea of handing their daughters over to a man whom she's never met before. Does it not make sense for them to fall in love first, decide whom they want to sleep with, decide whom they want to marry and then go ahead? The only solution is to let them choose for themselves. If you want to teach your kids anything, teach them how to look for positive signs in people, to identify a potential life partner. Don't show them specific people and ask them to marry them.
2. Dowry - One statement. Think very closely. Dowry is, without doubt - the biggest source of Black Money in India right now. If you sit down and calculate, you'll find that the combined daily dowry transactions exceed most of the so-called Swiss Bank Account figures that people in the media talk about. Of course, it's banned on-paper. But in reality, Dowry is as existent as the air we breathe. In 70% of all old-school, traditional households, the Dowry practice is considered to be a part of the marriage process. And when their parents get questioned, they come back with statements like "Hum to apni beti ko gift de rahee hain uski zindagi kee liye". And then they choose a groom based on his degree, give him lakhs/crores of money in gold and cash, and then they tell their neighbours that they're happy that their daughter has a secure future. Our queestion - Is it completely insane to believe that your daughter can make better use of that money if you give it to her before she gets married, to choose what she wants to do with it? Or, can you not consider donating that extra cash to an orphanage or an old age home? Is it so important to act foolish enough to pay for a boy's car and then tell yourself that your daughter's husband has a big car? Why must we continue to live in that degraded state of
3. Marital Violence- We don't think it's even necessary to explain why arranged marriages lead to marital violence. Someone who has never loved your daughter, will not stop to think twice before hitting her. But the boy who has pined for years and years at a stretch to see her, will never dare to hurt her physically.
People who are going ga-ga over a new clean government should stop to realize this and ask themselves - have you done everything in your power to clean your society first? Because we believe, that only a clean society can elect a clean government. People who want to hide behind comfortable evils and old beliefs are not equipped to make a fair choice. Our message is clear, and so is our intent- we want to uphold the voice of those educated, logical millions who've dared to defy the odds and have fallen in love. We're here to remind you that you have every legal and moral right to fight for your love. Because it's the ONLY way out. #21TAR is a book in theory, but more than that - it is the revolution that we have all been waiting for. Our voice is getting stronger, but we're the steady turtle in the long race. If you want to give us a jumpstart, we request you to copy and paste this as your status update, or just share it. Invite your friends to be a part of the #21TAR revolution. Tell your family and loved ones about us. Talk about your right to be in love. If you don't get your voice together now, you probably never will. But if you do, you will live to see your kids smile in the world that they will live in. Let's hope that happens.
P.S.: 21 Things About Romance is the upcoming book of Grapevine India written by the bestselling author Shomprakash Sinha Roy. Book deals with different aspect of Indian tradition about arrange marriages and other things which are considered as a sin to do or talk about.
Book consists of 21 interviews and essays from winners of the contest called 'Lovesteps' , which Grapevine India did run some months ago.
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• Shomprakash Sinha Roy : www.facebook.com/thenewauthor
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