One has not come across such a hot, sultry and irritating September and October. It may be owing to 12 % deficient Monsoon. Going through the heat and dust, therefore, in the thick of election process in this booming ‘Nagri’ of real estate is an experience in itself. Nilgais, Peacocks, Koels, Crows and several other species of birds in the artificial green surroundings, however, tend to brighten up the spirits at dawn and dusk. If you watch them closely, they do have the power to inspire and energize you.
Electoral momentum is yet to pick up in towns and villages, though in Assembly elections, issues are supposed to be more intense and focussed. But party flags are fluttering and graffiti is being seen with or without permission. Deep inside, away from the wide highways, sometimes full of garbage on the sides, one notices palatial houses with latest tiles and fittings even on boundary walls. Marble and Granite floors and walls are very common. Unfortunately, the imposing dwelling units have few occupants. White Cranes are visible in every nook and corner. Despite sour ground water, agriculture is a profitable proposition. Assembly of mostly senior citizens, sometimes enjoying hukkas is the characteristic feature in the central places of the villages. Women in “purdah’’ do make an appearance, off and on.
Real Estate market may be reported to be down but massive constructions in unthinkable places (close to stinking and filthy drains and the so called Agra Canal) continues to be a thriving industry. Not everyone buys a house or a flat for living purpose. The decisions are taken, mostly by the Delhi-ites, from an investment angle. People of different income groups travel long distances on a day today basis, risking their health. Materialism is all pervasive. If stress level rises, shelter in the Ashrams of innumerable Babas and Sadhavis is taken.
Faridabad, once part and parcel of Gurgaon District and having a population of about 20 lakhs, serves as a hub of 25,000 small scale industrial units. One can think of its adverse impact on environment. Many global giants have set up their units here. It manufacturers 48% of cars,11% of tractors and 39% of motor cycles in the country. It is a leading contributor to the country in production of food-grains and milk.
All said and done, Haryana is one of the most developed and progressive states. It has a rich cultural heritage and is considered a land of warriors and hardworking farmers. It has excelled in many fields- agriculture, industry, sports, irrigation etc. The 3rd highest per capita income after Goa and Delhi (Rs. 1,33,236/- per year ) gives it a coveted place.
Free computer education is imparted from 6th to 12th standards and S.C. children only get free bicycles when admitted to VIth class. State is the highest exporter of one of the best qualities of Basmati rice. Afterall, it has a plethora of cultivated land with high cropping intensity. Farmers also get cheapest electricity in the country according to Government sources. Sports persons have a ‘win Medals, win Jobs’ scheme for the last 9 years and 494 award winners are reported to have been offered government jobs, thus far.
Despite all these noticeable and favourable development indices, the state has one of the lowest male-female ratios in the country-834 females per 1000 males. Abortion, pursuant to the inhuman sex determination tests goes on smoothly. Due to this skewed sex ratio, brides are reported to be in short supply. It causes deep concern. Something is wrong somewhere. The educated and the intelligentia know it, privately feel sorry but are unable to change the age old practices and the complex mind set. Even the Prime Minister, in one of the election meetings, called it shameful and coming in the way of the dignity of women. Someone has to bell the cat, therefore.
It is amply clear that women are given less importance than what they deserve. The sphere of election management is no exception. In 2005, services of only one woman SDM was utilized in the adjoining District. Over here, as on date, only one Master Trainer from the fairer sex has been put on duty to brief the male domain of the presiding officers. Neither confidence is expressed by the men folk, nor there is an element of assertion on the part of women. The number of women teachers and head mistresses in Government schools, nevertheless, has shown an upward trend. Though, they appear sincere and dedicated, they do not seem to be having much say in decision making. As a matter of relief, one is yet to hear about the influence of the Khap Panchayats in Faridabad. Though they claim to take up and decide only the social issues, some of their leaders are reported to be indulging in politicking in the typical traditional and rural settings.
When State Government lists its achievements and accomplishments, it is silent on women issues. Can society move ahead with hundreds of women “purchased” from several parts of country? And once brought, these Molkis or Paros are mis-treated, sold again and again, to live a miserable life, ultimately. They become child producing machines, even while being kicked like a football. They have to fend for themselves.
Very few of them, as per reliable reports, have been rescued. Though “married” to a buyer, they posses no legal right. As a result, some places in the region have also become transit points for trafficking. Sadly, it is happening for years with full knowledge of authorities. Some of them perform multiple functions- household chores, working in fields and at night, they get ‘transformed’ into the role of a wife. Paros have become a tradition, therefore, hardly any complain is lodged with police. It is a blatant example of objectification of human dignity. Neither the State nor the National Human Rights Commission takes cognizance. AND thus, the exploitation and suppression of the most important segment of humanity is allowed to continue.