March 30, 2006

Power to you- Suketu Mehta

Filed under: Of men women and Eunuchs,opinions,Random,This Gets To Me — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 12:42 pm

With great pleasure and utmost satifaction at having finally read something which has elicited a standing ovation, right here, before my laptop and in the presence of my office table, t.v., notes, all bearing silent testimony to this uncharacteristic burst of unveiled appreciation. . I present to you excerpts from the speech of Suketu mehta,award winning writer par excellence,delivered at the India Today conclave.

Last year, five thousand women were burnt alive because their families couldn’t give the dowry their husbands’ families demanded. In the last century, fifty million Indian girls were aborted or killed immediately after birth, for the simple crime of being female. More than half of all Indian women are illiterate, compared to a third of Indian men. These are issues where men and women can should not just be talking together but fighting together. You don’t have to use the ‘f-word’ – you don’t have to be a feminist to see that a man beating a woman because her father hasn’t come through with the dowry, or a woman earning half the wage for the same amount of work as a man, is just wrong. You don’t have to be a feminist; you just have to be human. Humanism could replace feminism and whatever its converse is – machoism? Masochism?

Shortly after India Today invited me to represent power machismo, the feminist playwright Eve Ensler invited me to write a monologue for V-Day this June, to fight violence against women. I accepted, because I love women. I came out of one. And because there are truly violent things happening against women in the world today. Under the Taliban, women whose ankles showed under their burkhas were whipped by the religious police. In Pakistan, there’s an epidemic of honor killings.
Every day, little girls are brought from the hills of Nepal to the brothels of Bombay to be raped for the rest of their working lives.

The modern urban Indian woman doesn’t need anybody to fight on her behalf. She’s perfectly capable of taking on the world on her own. The middle-class women that I know in Delhi and Bombay are powerful, resolute, and successful. They have the love of extended families, and are far more comfortable with fathers and brothers than most of the women I’ve seen elsewhere. Indian women like their men. They even love some of them. And if a man expresses interest in them, they know how to handle it; they know how to say no and they know how to say yes. If their boss makes a pass at them, they are perfectly capable of kicking him in the balls; if he then denies them a raise, they know how to sue him, and win.

Someday there will be girls and women whose name will no longer mean the mere opposite of the male, but something in itself, something that makes one think not of any complement and limit, but only life and
reality: the female human being.

This advance (at first very much against the will of the outdistanced
men) will transform the love experience, which is now filled with error, will change it from the ground up, and reshape it into a relationship that is meant to be between one human being and another, no longer one that flows from man to woman. And this more human love… will resemble what we are now preparing painfully and with great
struggle: the love that consists in this: the two solitudes protect and border and greet each other.”

, here’s my solution to bridging the divide between the toughest of men and women: Power feminists should hook up with power machistas. The resulting explosion of primal passion will create power babies, who will bring new vigor to our tired human species. More power to them.

And Power to you..Suketu Mehta. May your tribe increase!!

Not only have his words captured the essence of modern Indian woman but he has , by virtue of gaining privy into her soul, verbalised the spirit she embodies.

A man capable of making a woman speechless!!(husbands need to enroll asap)

What seemed immensely gratifying was his almost reverential approach , not meant as in the letter of the term , more the spirit. He seems to have no problems in evaluating the series of upsets women have faced down the ages, but his analysis though apparently free of emotion is pungent with understanding, so essential in discriminating feminism from appearing as anti- male-ism (if there is a word as this)

It is high time all humanity sit up and take notice of problems that have plagued us , not only stemming from the fact of undue advantage taken since we are the weaker sex physically, but also indifference, apathy, intolerance, centuries of genetic engineering paving male domination and superiority as a matter of right ,not open to discussion.

In a day and age when rape, murder, street harassment, dowry deaths, female infanticide seem ubiquitous, such utterings from a male are simply Godly.

“Feminism” as a concept has its roots in chauvinism being prevalent in overwhelming proportions. Either , ideally should be done away with to be replaced by ‘humanism’ as suggested by Suketu.

The clerisy, need to be more vociferous for the idea to permeate to all age groups and strata. One cannot underestimate the role women can play as mothers in bringing up boys worthy to be termed “MEN”, in character and outlook,most importantly towards women.


  1. Great Post:):)

    Is Suketu Mehta married? He is what I need in a man.I will have to google his details NOW

    Comment by Anonymous — March 30, 2006 @ 2:33 pm | Reply

  2. Hi

    I would like to know who Suketu Mehta is and where can i find more information on the article above.

    “A man capable of making a woman speechless!!(husbands need to enroll asap)” I could fully agree.

    The words he has chosen in his speech indicating he is so well aware of the current plight and his appreciation for indian women.

    Further still his strong believe in her abilities.


    Comment by Anushka — April 1, 2006 @ 6:10 am | Reply

  3. Anonymous,

    So.. did u get to know?
    Sure Suketu is a man worthy of being idealised.


    Please click on the link ‘speech of suketu mehta’ which has been highlighted in my introduction.

    Yeah..He displayed an amazing capacity to win over with words.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — April 1, 2006 @ 7:58 am | Reply

  4. we have been taught that women are the weaker sex physically but apparently women have far greater tolerance levels to pain (LABOUR PAIN!!!!), reslience and tolerance to extreme weather…apparrently in china it used to eb women who caught fish standing in the paddy fields full of water coz they can withstabnd cold better…
    look at what women have beein doing through the ages to look beautiful and desitrable some of them are bloody painful things…
    and obviously the female feotus is stronger so how are women phsyically weaker than men …only because they don’t have brute force?

    Comment by silbil — April 1, 2006 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

  5. Silbil,

    I get your drift..When mentioning that women are physically weaker does not simultaneouly mean physically unfit. It merely means in comparison men are stronger. How,otherwise would there ever have been incidences of rape, violence against women? Women are overpowered by mere brute force.

    🙂 I like your passion though.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — April 1, 2006 @ 1:34 pm | Reply

  6. Hi,

    Where will we find mom-in-laws who have trained thier sons so well? There should be coaching classes for this kind of thinking..seriously. Instead of in-laws questioning us, we should interview all prospectives by asking them if their moms have taken the classes..not meant in a bad way.. but it will lead to happier marriages, if men understand our needs too.

    Comment by puja — April 1, 2006 @ 2:26 pm | Reply

  7. Wonderful read, Kaveetaa!

    I stand in solidarity with you, and all women and men; simultaneously standing in solidarity for the equality existance for women, everywhere in the world!!

    I am very fortunate; my son and I talk about the characteristics of men and women; we’ve had some great talks about the role of women; and the importance of respect for women. He is only seventeen, and barely out of the starting gate of having a steady girl(4 months on thursday)but, he finds it important enough to understand her/women; that he asks me “questions.” And, I am proud of him, for that.

    Great read, Kaveetaa; and here’s to one day, proclaiming freedom and liberty; for all females, everywhere!!


    Comment by North — April 4, 2006 @ 11:24 am | Reply


    Back in 99-2001, when I had founded a Lone Parent Support Group; I had used this as a hand-out at one of our meetings. Many tears flowed freely, from male and female lone parents that night, including from my eyes too. We resonated with this, profoundly!! May we strive, to recognise lone parent families and children of those families; as needing special care in our communities…we would do NO less, for a widow’d family…why do we do less, for them? Smile, and Bless someone with your essence,,,,North

    Net Worth

    A wellknown speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill.

    In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill? Hands started going up.

    He said, I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.

    He proceeded to crumple the bill up. He then asked, Who still wants it? Still the hands were up in the Air.

    Well, he replied, What if I do this?

    And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.

    He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. Now who still wants it?

    Still hands went into the air.

    My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson.

    No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value.

    It was still worth $20.

    Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our Way.

    We feel as though we are worthless.

    But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value:

    dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who love You.

    The worth of our lives come not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE.

    You are special Don’t ever forget it.

    Count Your Blessings, not your problems.

    (Author unknown.)

    — — —

    I am working on the last sentence, with an almost futility…anyone else,,,find the struggle to count blessings, not woes; a little unbalancing? (gentle smiles)


    Comment by North — April 4, 2006 @ 10:21 pm | Reply

  9. Hi North,

    Thanks for the solidarity..Women I believe can transcend all boundaries when it comes to bonding.Your participation and reaction is ample proof dear North.

    And a big Thank You for this lovely post.. I have been thinking of it the whole time.

    Count me in.. I am one for ‘counting blessings’ in the best and worst of times.:):)

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — April 5, 2006 @ 11:52 am | Reply

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