Fifty years of the UN resolution of human rights and life, liberty, education may all be in their place, but the undeniable truth is that we South Asians are still simply curbing human rights and freedom. The resolution to respect the fundamental human rights remains largely confined to books and speeches even today.
Ironically, it is not only the governments that are curbing freedom, rather than promoting and safeguarding it, but also the common people who are the custodians as well as the victims of the absurd log kya kahenge (what will people say) syndrome.
Interestingly, most Desi families do not even realize that log kya kahenge syndrome is curtailing their right to freedom. For example, when we bully our children not to follow their dreams and passions and compel them to choose a career they have little interest in, just because log kya kahenge, do we ever realize that we are denying them their right to choose their own career. We are guided not by what is right and required, but by what is socially acceptable.
Log kya kahenge affects not only our career choices and education line but also the choice of our life partner. Honor killing is a result of this syndrome only. Many families do not allow inter caste and inter religion marriages because they are more worried about what people would say rather than about what two adults desire. Social prestige becomes more important than the happiness and rights of two people who want to marry and settle down.
Similarly, many people cannot even wear dresses of their choice if it is not socially accepted and approved. How many times has it been that you really wanted to do something but stopped just because of log kya kahenge?
This Human Rights’ Day is, step back and measure the extent to which you are in the grip of the log kya kahenge syndrome and start making honest efforts to break free from it.
Because ultimately you are the only one who can.