Zaira is no Sania


"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." - George Bernard Shaw

2017 is here and how! Other than Jallikattu, Zaira Wasim, the child artiste from the movie ´Dangal´ was the other trending news over the last two weeks of January 2017.

All hell broke loose after the Kashmir government released photographs of Zaira Wasim with the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Ever since, Zaira has been receiving heavy criticism from the people of Kashmir in particular.  Her posters have been burnt and she has been receiving issues of death threats from masked militants.

The Kashmiris have lost all trust in their Chief Minister, Mehboob Mufti. She is the chief of PDP, the ruling party which is in joint collision with the BJP. She has faced the wrath of the Kashmiris after the 8 Jul 16´ killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by her security personnel. The killing was followed by more killing. Nearly 90 people died in the aftermath violence. Clearly, this issue has clearly taken a very dangerous political and religious turn.

Contrary to the girl she played onscreen in ´Dangal´, the real life Zaira Wasim is fearful for her own life and most likely, her family´s as well. Let´s be frank, most people in her place would be. Who knows who her enemies are and how dangerous they are? Who is she dealing with? How powerful are they and what are their connections? So, the girl decided to play it safe and publicly apologise on Twitter.

“I hope people remember that I’m a just a 16-year-old girl and I hope you treat me accordingly. I’m sorry for what I did but it was not a deliberate decision and I really hope people can forgive me...I understand the sentiments behind it especially considering what had happened over the past 6 months.”

And it didn´t just stop with an apology for meeting the Chief Minister. It went beyond that.

“I’m not proud of what I’m doing and I want everyone, especially the youth to know that there are real role models...”

So, basically she was apologetic for playing an onscreen character in the big bad world of Bollywood. And that automatically disqualifies her from being a good role model for Muslim women. She does not want anyone to follow in her unholy footsteps.

Unfortunately for her, the drama does not end there. Giving this non-issue an even more colourful spin, Wasim found herself trapped in another religious and political cage. Vijay Goel, BJP Union minister for sports and youth affairs posted a picture of him standing next to a painting of a woman in a hijab, trapped in a cage and remarked "This painting tells a story similar to that of Zaira Wasim. More power to our daughters!” Wasim immediately wrote in a disclaimer -

"Sir, with all respect to you, I feel I must disagree. I request you not to connect me to such a discourteous depiction. Women in hijab are beautiful and free. Moreover, the story depicted through this painting is not even remotely relevant to mine.”

Clearly, the girl is scared and already fed up over the endless string of controversies! Is that the kind of world we want our children or any one of us to live in! Yes, we understand it is a political issue. The Kashmiris have every right and their own valid reasons for being hurt, disillusioned and angry with the Kashmir government. But, death threats to an innocent 16 year old girl is a bit too extreme and using her as a political prop, much worser!

Let´s shift the focus from Zaira Wasim to Sania Mirza. I am not the greatest fan of her game but I am most definitely a fan of her persona. I love Sania Mirza´s attitude, her confidence, her passion, and her grit. Her mental strength is the secret of her professional success. Added to that the fact, that she´s always been paired with technically more superior team partners, be it Martina Hingis or Mahesh Bhupathi in most of her successful mix-doubles pairing. Back to her wonderful personality, I have always maintained that she is a fantastic role model for women in this country. And the more I see her grow and evolve over the years, the more I love her. I love her unapologetic way of living, courage and independence.

Now Sania Mirza has been the bone of contention for both Muslims and Hindus.

When Sania Mirza first hit the Indian tennis scene, she was the biggest sensation in the country. Which disturbed a few of the orthodox Muslim clergy who went on to hit her with a Fatwa in 2005, demanding her to cover up. She was targeted and criticised for wearing short skirts and revealing tops on the international tennis circuit.

The dress she wears on the tennis courts…leaves nothing to the imagination. She will undoubtedly be a corrupting influence.” said Haseeb-ul-hasan Siddiqui

Then in 2007, she got into another controversy for shooting a promotional campaign for Hyderabad's heritage site Charminar at Mecca Masjid. But this time she apologised.

'While I am fully aware that a woman must not enter the sanctity of the mosque, I was unaware that even entering the outer gates of a mosque was seriously objectionable, specially without permission, which I was assured by the agency they possessed,'

On New Year´s day in 2008, she got into deep waters for resting her feet on a table that was right in front of the Indian National flag. Following which, Prakash Singh Thakur, a social worker filed a case against her under the Prevention of Insult to the National Honour Act. She said that the pose was unintentional and accidental when her patriotism got questioned.

In 2010, she came under the patriotism radar yet again when she married a man whom she loved, and who happened to be the famous Pakistani cricketeer Shoaib Malik. Pakistani Cricketeer! Now, that is one hell of a combination to anger any patriotic Indian in the country. Her integrity, character, loyalty and patriotism were questioned. Then in 2013, Telangana BJP leader K Laxman addressed Sania as the ‘daughter-in-law of Pakistan´ questioning her credentials to be the brand ambassador of Telangana.

And who can ever forget her spontaneous and clever response to the journalist, Rajdeep Sardesai for questioning when is she finally going to ´settle down´!

Sardesai: Amidst all the celebrityhood, when is Sania going to settle down? Is it going to be in Dubai? Is it going to be in any other country? What about motherhood… building a family… I don’t see all that in the book, it seems like you don’t want to retire just yet to settle down.

Mirza: You don’t think I’m settled?

Sardesai: You don’t talk about retirement, about raising a family, about motherhood, what’s life beyond tennis is going to be…

Mirza: You sound disappointed that I’m not choosing motherhood over being number one in the world at this point of time. But I’ll answer your question anyway, that’s the question I face all the time as a woman, that all women have to face — the first is marriage and then it’s motherhood. Unfortunately, that’s when we’re settled, and no matter how many Wimbledons we win or number ones in the world we become, we don’t become settled. But eventually it will happen, not right now. And when it does happen I’ll be the first one to tell everybody when I plan to do that.

Sardesai: I must apologise, I framed that question very badly. I promise you, you’re right, I would never ask this question to a male athlete…

Mirza: I’m so glad, you’re the first journalist to apologise to me on national television.

As you can see, Sania´s reactions have always been badass. She is the Muslim equivalent of Rishi Kapoor. Rishi Kapoor is a self proclaimed ´beef eating Hindu´and he's openly challenged anyone who questions his faith. He is the regular temple going, ritual following Hindu man who is proud of his roots. The only difference is that he eats beef and he doesn't see how that should affect anyone´s else life. He dares anyone who question his Hindu belief systems. He´s known to block all those who impose their views on him and abuse him for his way of life or his opinion. He´s always been brutally honest and unapologetic for his way of life or thoughts. It is simply nobody´s business.

Sania Mirza is the ´short skirt thigh flashing Muslim´. But, a devout Muslim nonetheless. She lives her life the way she thinks is right for her often making her own choices and being unapologetic about it! Thus, bringing on the ire of both the Mullahs and Sadhvis but never cowing down to either.

The problem in this country is that one´s individuality is completely insignificant. There is no respect and sensitivity to an individual´s own formed opinions, thoughts, likes, dislikes or choices. You are expected in fit in with the standard protocol. Often, in most cases than not, standards of mediocrity and hypocrisy. Or else, you are branded as a freak, or an eccentric or an outcast.

Mediocrity hates being challenged with ingeniousness. Veiled hypocrisy hates being confronted by the naked truth. That´s the bottom-line problem. Not a Zaira or a Sania or a Rishi Kapoor!

I am glad that we have people like Rishi Kapoor and Sania Mirza  and the likes in this country who are unapologetic for the individual choices that they have made in their lives. They may not fit into your conventional picture of what a role model Hindu or Muslim might be, but the fact remains that they are proud devout followers of their faith. I see the same kind of bullying even among Christian groups. First, they are brain washed and then they attack all those who don't fit into their pretty picture framework of what an ideal Christian looks like. So much for hypocrisy! Amen!

Back to Zaira! I will not be harsh on her because she is only 16 years old. Seriously, all I would like to say is give that child a break. Okay! Like really! Let her enjoy her childhood,her adolescence, her youth! Let her be! Let her do what she wants to do with her newly found fame. Be it trying to meet politicians to empower women, or make in roads to joining politics if she has political aspirations or take acting classes or pursue science or go on a celebratory world wide tour or visit discotheques like most teenagers normally do. Let her do what she wants to!

Right now, she is on the defensive. She has clearly made a choice not to upset the religious authorities. Unlike Sania Mirza, who was pretty clear in her head and conscience that she was absolutely not at fault. She was pretty certain that she was not wrong in both her intent or choices.

Yes, we all live in a society, belong to a particular community, gender and a religious group and a certain country.  And it´s great to belong in so many various groups. But, it is tough trying to find that perfect balance when your whole is classified into so many various sub categories. Then, you have a hard time trying to figure out your true identity and what you should be standing for. And that is a very tough call for not just a 16 year old Zaira, but many adults past their prime. They have no idea why they fight or stand for a particular cause. And if they do, how tolerant are they of other groups or other individuals choices.

All I can say with certainty is that there is nothing wrong with what Zaira Wasim did and there was no need for her to apologise to anyone. If people want to make an issue out of a non-issue and hold a 16 yr old girl responsible for all this mess, it is their problem and not hers. In fact, they should be the ones apologising to her and not vice versa. She owes no one an explanation except Her Creator. To each their own karma, judgement day, whatever!

Till then, let there be love, peace, joy and harmony on earth!

(This article was published at Women´s Web, http://www.womensweb.in/2017/01/what-zaira-wasim-can-learn-from-sania-mirza/ and Youth Ki Awaaz, https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2017/01/zaira-is-no-sania/ )

9 movies with a ´refreshingly real´ woman central character that you can watch with your kids!

Movies are a fantastic medium to teach children. They can learn so much from movies – the good, the bad and the ugly. So, it is truly important to learn and pick up the good, while pruning away the negative influences that come along with gamut of movie viewing.

This article deals with movie viewing with a definite purpose – Feminism! Clearly, there is a lack of real women portrayals in movies, especially in the Indian film industry. All that is expected from a main female lead character is to look like a million bucks, pout, flutter her eyelids, and act helpless – and not to forget to shake whatever her Mama gave her. Thankfully, recent movies like The Dirty Picture, Queen, Piku, Pink etc present the female standpoint in the movies but a lot more can be done.

And when it comes to finding feminist movies for kids, a parent really has their work cut out – how to find a movie that is kid friendly, yet one which does not dabble in stereotypes? How does a parent ensure that it is fun while still getting a gender positive message to the kids?

Here’s presenting 9 feminist movies for kids with honest and inspiring portrayals of women.

Mulan

Technically not a princess but somehow, she makes it to the stereotypical ‘Disney Princess Club’. Which is quite unfair to Mulan as she is a class apart.

Set in the paternalistic society of China, all that is expected of Mulan is to be a pretty, dumb doll who would make a suitable bride to a worthy Chinese man. And that, my friend, is how a ‘good’ daughter makes her family proud.

Thankfully, Mulan has a mind of her own and a steely gut despite her dainty exterior. She is extremely respectful, loyal and obedient to her parents at the same time. (Bonus points just for that). When attacked by enemies, Mulan steps in and does the unthinkable act of saving China and its Emperor.




Ponyo

Coming from the caliber and genius of Hayao Miyazaki, this Japanese animation movie tackles feminism and environmentalism.

Miyazaki’s movies have always had feminist undertones. Dubbed in the voices of Tina Fey and Betty White, this gorgeous ‘under-the-sea’ themed movie is the tale of a goldfish ‘Ponyo’ who longs to be an actual human girl and Sosuke, a five year old boy.

All the female characters are presented realistically – like Lisa, Sosuke’s mother. She has an identity and life apart from her marriage and her role as a mother. She works at an old age home. She completely trusts her child, Sosuke to make his own independent choices and decisions in life. She is not a perfect mother and she is perfectly okay with the fact as she understands her limitations and the fine balance of work-life-health.



Matilda

Faced with sexism right in her own family, Matilda bears the brunt, with her parents unfavourably choosing her brother over her, every single time. Things aren’t any better at school either with an evil monster of a Principal, Miss Trunchbull. But in her teacher, Ms. Honey, she finds support and solace.

Matilda teaches girls to be stand up for themselves. She is interested in books and learning and least worried about dolls or how to catch and keep a man. Matilda is a great role model and epitomizes intelligence, poise, kindness and goodness, courage and charity. These are the kind of values and ethics we should be inculcating in our daughters and teaching our sons to look for and appreciate in the fairer sex other than their anatomy. Oh and she has magical powers!



Mary Poppins
Hailed as Disney’s original feminist, Mary Poppins is a kick below the belt to the male supremacy, patriarchy and not to forget utter stupidity prevalent in Great Britain in the 1960s. The high point in the movie, the ‘Sister Suffragette’ song is about women’s voting rights and freedom.

A covert revolutionary, Mary Poppins is a powerful feminist icon. Her ‘gentle yet stern’ nurturing side, balanced personality, impeccable grace and manners…a la Kate Middleton – she is also an expert in reverse psychology who also happens to possess magical powers.





Annie (1982)

Even though this movie has been remade in 1999 and 2014, the original 1982 version still remains the undisputed best.

Based on the comic strip ‘Little Orphan Annie’, the protagonist is progressive and a true feminist icon. She knows how to handle anybody and any situation with intelligent tact, effortless grace and an indomitable spirit. “The Sun’ll come out, tomorrow,” is her optimistic mantra as she triumphantly cruises along life, going from rags to riches.

What I particularly loved about Annie is her ability to bring about a phenomenal transformation, not just in her own life, but also in those around her.



Chak De India

This movie is a breakthrough movie in Hindi Cinema with its portrayal of strong women characters.

A movie for slightly older kids thanks to the profanities, Chak De India! is an endearing and motivating story of Kabir, a former Indian Hockey Captain and now coach to the National Women’s Hockey team comprising 16 young women from various Indian states.

The movie stirs strong patriotic sentiments alongside addressing grave issues of racism and sexism. It also helps instill the values of confidence, team spirit, perseverance and determination.



Mary Kom

This inspiring movie brings to us a real life hero, a real life protagonist who is current enough for the younger generations to understand, appreciate, and be inspired by. Mary Kom’s story is also a strong reminder to all the Indian men on their role as supportive fathers, siblings and spouses.



Labyrinth

This fantastical coming of age movie starring the likes of Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie, is unlike any other. Sarah, the female protagonist is one level headed teenager who does not do anything stupid or lame. She goes through the tough transition phase into adulthood by confronting her fears and using the powers of her psyche.

Again for the older kids, this movie has its dark moments.



Zootopia

This latest fun offering from Disney is the story of a cute bunny called Judy Hopps who aspires to be a tough cop. She is met with hurdles right from the word ‘Go’. Be it her own parents, her friends, her colleagues or boss, she has to fight preconceived notions and fixed mindsets before finally realizing her dream.

The movie is positive on so many levels and with many relevant messages ranging from feminism to diversity to racism and more.


(This post was originally published at Women's Web - http://www.womensweb.in/2016/10/10-feminist-movies-for-kids-that-you-will-enjoy-watching-together/)

Freelance Writing Jobs in India


There’s a kind of hush all over the world – Freelancing! And it has feminism writ large all over it.

As known by now, the traditional work structure is not designed to suit most women. Especially so, after marriage and motherhood. The 40+ hours week, the mandatory work meetings during and after office hours, the glaring disparities in work opportunities and income between men and women, etc. are major factors in this.

In their 30s, most women are at the peak of their familial responsibilities – marriage, children, home. And, most of them are performing a figurative circus act, juggling the tall responsibilities of both work and family. In their 40s, women are struggling to break through the thick glass ceiling in matters of promotions and pay. In the 50s and 60s, most of them are just ignored and eventually done away with altogether.

Why freelancing?

Freelancing comes as a life saver for most women looking for an escape route from that thankless and endless work grind. Women have taken to freelancing, much like bees to sweet nectar, owing to the ill-fitting office culture, economic pressures and the growing sense or need for a distinct individual identity. With freelancing, they have struck out on their own, harnessing technology to focus on work that they find rewarding, on a schedule that fits their lives, and on terms that dignify and not exploit them.

The benefits of freelancing are many. For starters, there’s complete independence from the office dynamics, politics, and the tiresome rat race of climbing up the corporate ladder. Coming to the glass ceiling bit, a study conducted by the Freelancers Union in America last year found out that 53% of full-time freelancers were women. That’s a staggering number of 53 million Americans alone. Not only were the women freelancers snagging up 58% more work opportunities than men, they were also earning 22% more per hour than men. Freelancing is a level-playing field where women thrive and shine.

Then, there’s the exciting range of variety in the available freelancing work options. You could be a freelance business consultant, software developer, writer, baker/chef, fashion stylist, graphic designer etc. The sky is truly the limit in the freelancing world. The top paying freelance jobs are writing, translation, photography, social media, mobile development and Search Engine Optimization.

Are you drawn more towards tabloid gossip? Then, you could get into the glitzy world of tabloid news reporting. Does penning down your travel memoirs and reading others’ travel stories kick you up? Then travel writing could just be your thing. Is walking down the memory lane a piece of cake for you, owing to your photographic memory and vivid imagination? Then memoir writing is your style. Are you great at the powers of persuasion and influencing people via the pen? Then, writing opinion pieces is your niche. Are you passionate in your line of education and career or particular field of interest?  Let’s just say computer science, food and nutrition, politics, education or perhaps, fashion! Then, feature writing is a safe bet.

Once you identify your area of interest and style of writing, it is good to read up similar articles written in various magazines and newspaper publications and see how you measure up to the industry standards. Then, it’s a matter of research and soliciting for freelance writing jobs in India.

One piece of advice is to treat your freelance writing career as you would treat financial investments. The wise old adage applies here – “Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket”. When you are beginning to venture into this field, even though the payment may not be that great, it’s sensible to diversify into different areas such as web content writing, etc. for clients.

Opportunities for freelance writing jobs in India

Writerbay

Write Freelance

Writing jobs freelance

Little India

Ayushveda

Guru

WorknHire

FreelanceIndia

Freelancer

Truelancer

Flexiport

Dolancing

Hirenodes

DESIGNnIDEA

Flexing It

Content Mart

Sheroes

DreamStarts

Jobisjob

Timesjobs

LinkedIn ProFinder

Chillibreeze

Women’s Web

There are several print magazine publications which solicit and pay freelance writers in India such as Woman’s Era, Time n Style magazine (A Times Group publication), Fashion and Fitness magazine, Reader’s Digest, etc.

Let us look at some cons of freelance writing jobs in India that you need to be aware of.

With greater freedom, come greater responsibilities

Before you foray into the world of freelance jobs in India, please understand that freelancing is not as easy as it seems despite the factors of convenience and flexibility. It is an autonomous and exhausting job. As the saying goes, “With greater power and freedom, comes greater responsibilities”, and it truly couldn’t be truer than in the case of freelance writers.

You are your own boss when you are a freelancer, which has a good and bad side to it. Freelancing can be challenging for people who are not good with deadlines, following up on projects, collecting payments, enforcing contract clauses and uncomfortable with handling and organizing a lot of paperwork. As a freelance writer, you will have to don many hats. You will be your own job search engine, marketing person, typist, researcher, copy editor, cashier, book-keeper, accountant, etc.

Not really your own boss

And again, soon enough after you start working as a freelance writer, you will soon discover that you are not really your own boss in the first place. As a freelance writer, you will be working for not just one, but many bosses. Many bosses with different needs, claiming a share of your time, deciding the work deadlines and setting your pay.

Time management

Freelance writing jobs in India can also be a frustrating experience for those people who are not disciplined and poor in time management. It’s easy to lose yourself into working all the time because the line between work and home is so thin, especially if you are a woman who needs to juggle home and work, and are working from home! If you get sucked into wasting time on Internet, the day will be over in a blink of an eye, without any work actually being done.

Missing the regular benefits of a salaried job

Then, there’s the disadvantage of working in isolation. Also, you lose those corporate benefits like paid maternity leave and health insurance. Finally, in terms of remuneration, freelance work is a ‘feast or famine’ profession. Freelancing is not for those who shy away from taking risks, where it is hard to anticipate what your weekly, monthly and yearly salary actually looks like and when the payments will actually come to you.

Discipline

If you decide to become a freelance writer, you must be extremely serious about it. The key for success in the freelance writing profession is discipline. Nonetheless, after sufficient experience and gaining mastery in your niche area of writing, editors will start approaching you instead of you doing the chase, seeking work. But to get to that stage, discipline, hard work and perseverance is crucial.

Having said that, if you love writing and are truly passionate about the art, then you will view all these challenges as stepping stones to success towards a fulfilling freelance writing career rather than viewing them as drawbacks.

(This post was originally published at Women's Web - http://www.womensweb.in/2016/10/freelance-writing-jobs-in-india/)

Shattering the glass ceiling


In a game-changing landmark move, the Government of India is seriously trying to improve gender diversity across Corporate Boards. The revised Companies Act of 2013 mandates the appointment of at least one woman director to the Corporate Board.

Without doubt, this is a step in the right direction. But, there are serious socio-cultural challenges and traditional mindsets coming in the natural route to success for many potential women board directors.

Women want to be on boards

There is a clear-cut evidence of the economic superpower of women as consumers. This major untapped economic potential of women has led to a genetic makeover in composition of corporate boards, mandating the appointment of women directors across different sectors.

Considering that they constitute half of the potential talent base globally, it makes perfect business sense to employ more women. The under employment of highly qualified women means a significant loss of economic resources, which slows down the growth potential of a country.

In an exclusive research done by Biz Divas, 90% of the women surveyed had aspirations to get into the boards of companies. The under-representation of women, despite the possibilities, and the need to do so, is clearly because of the many socio-cultural practices and mindsets that dominate the families and communities of these women, as well as mindsets in the workplace!

The Biz Divas research also studied in depth the socio-cultural challenges faced by women in reaching to the top of the hierarchy in their careers. Some of them are as follows:

Regressive and biased mindset

A major challenge is the societal mindset and its perception of women. The society takes ownership of a woman’s entity, controlling her place in the society. Women have been trained to be followers and not leaders from birth. They are taught to be submissive and told that a woman’s beauty lies in her silence and not in her voice.

In a vicious circle, passive people are simply not considered for leadership positions and on this account, many women fall short.

Domestic priorities

Despite the efforts in providing quality education and training the girl child, many of them drop out of the workforce at the middle to senior management level.

Here are the stats of how many women are at different levels in the workforce, which shows a completely skewed picture, considering that women are half the population.

29% – Women at entry level

9% – Women at middle to senior management level

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So what happens? Many Indian women drop out of the workforce primarily because of marriage and children. There is a lack of supportive child care and the flexible work options aren’t good enough.

The Glass Ceiling effect

The educated Indian woman is a victim of a patriarchal system both at home and at work. Working women encounter gender prejudices with regard to their executive presence and communication style. Most women employees are not even considered for leadership roles owing to patriarchal bias or technically put, the glass ceiling effect.

Lack of information on vacancies

Most women have no access or information of the corporate board reforms or recruitment initiatives for the incorporation of women board of directors.

Lack of self-confidence

Owing to a lack of clarity around the responsibilities of women board members, most women lack self-confidence in taking up senior leadership roles.

Biz Divas also listed out the benefits in having women on board as directors.

The other perspective

Women board members improve the quality of discussions simply because they understand and speak up for 50% of the population. They bring in a completely radical and fresh take on traditional conversations.

The presence of more women in the board brings in a transformational change in the organisational culture. It transforms favourably the mindset of men and their attitude towards women board directors.

Better decision making

The inclusion of women board members gives a complete picture which is crucial in the decision making process. They offer better consumer insight as 50% of the population consists of women. This leads to better decisions and improved customer experience.

Better efficiency and output

Women’s increased participation in corporate affairs and decision making is the best way to reduce the gender gaps in the workforce today, ultimately leading to an increased GDP (gross national product). Thus, appointing women board directors is an efficient use of national human resource.

Better Corporate Governance

There is compelling evidence that more gender-diverse boards outperform the male-dominated boards, owing to better governance and management. Women board directors are proven to have a higher level of conscientiousness compared to their male counterparts having better attendance records at board meetings, siting on audits, etc.

Better Accountability

Women board members allocate more time in monitoring, and are more likely to hold CEOs accountable for poor financial performance. Women tend to raise questions that men often disregard.

Role models for women
The increased visibility of women in high positions will encourage the aspirations of so many young women.

Some of the possible solutions recommended by Biz Divas are listed below.

Government intervention

Government intervention might be contentious but it is the only way to ensure mandatory representation of women on the board of directors. These reformation laws will only hold ground if women are appointed purely on the basis of merit and not elite lineage.

Education

The almost equal numbers of men and women graduates dwindle to single digit figures of women in the middle management to the senior board level. Not only is there a need for increased access to education for girls, but a greater involvement of women in decision making at all levels.

‘Pro-woman’ work culture

Apart from progressive childcare and flexible work options, companies should also be more willing and open to invest and retrain women who went on a corporate break owing to familial commitments.

Women mentors and networks

Successful women can act as mentors to young women aspirants and help them in preparing themselves to get on board. A women’s network coupled with mentoring and sponsorship programs would be a wonderful means of finding creative solutions together to the career related issues of many women.

Gender based recruitments

A committed effort by corporate to maintain a certain if not equal level of women and men in the middle and senior level management is vital. There should be a gender based recruitment criteria via head hunting, board referrals, LinkedIn, etc.

Mindset change in families

This is the most difficult one. But times are slowly changing for the better.

The future is promising for ambitious women who are ready to take on the world by its horns. India is already heading in the right direction with reports of being the country with the highest number of women CEOs in the region. It is only a matter of time, sustained will, and sincere effort that the Indian woman will be taking charge on a global center stage.

(This post was originally published at Women's Web - http://www.womensweb.in/2016/09/biz-divas-report-regressive-mindsets-women-directorial-positions/)

Top 10 Indian Female Politicians

“In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.”

So rightly said Margaret Thatcher. Here is raising a toast to 10 powerful Indian female politicians – their struggles and ultimate triumphs in the dirty field of politics.

Like all politicians, though, these powerful Indian female politicians are not strangers to controversy, much of which is due to the game of politics, but some also on account of being targeted on account of their gender, or as a result of misogynist mindsets despite being women themselves. Though a few come from privileged backgrounds, some have risen despite having to struggle against odds.

Indira Gandhi

“Indian women are traditionally conservative but they also have the genius of synthesis, to adapt and to absorb. That is what gives them resilience to face suffering and to meet upheavals with a degree of calm, to change constantly and yet remain changeless, which is the quality of India herself.”

Being the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi was considered the logical heir to the Prime Ministerial post. Party bigwigs thought they had a ‘Goongi Gudiya’ who they could bend to their will. But, she took everyone by surprise by becoming one of the most iconic, charismatic and brazen Indian female politicians.

Remembered still for her unforgettable leadership and scientific temperament, Indira Gandhi had to prove her mettle owing to the preconceptions and prejudices around women’s leadership. She showed the world that women were capable of handling the responsibilities of war leadership (1971 Indo-Pak war). She had the balls to stand up against the United States, supporting ‘Non-Alignment’/non-involvement in the Cold War.

Jayalalitha

“If women want equality and succeed to the top like men, they need to stand on their own feet economically with the will power and strength.”

Jayalalitha has come a long way from being the first actress to don a skirt in Tamil movies to a larger than life, much-loved, admired, and feared Chief Minister. Her story would make a great case study on the rebuttal of Patriarchy in Indian politics.

Known to be a very independent woman, acting on her own volitions, Jayalalitha made a conscious decision neither to get married nor have kids. She values her freedom and independence and finds satisfaction in working for the people. Her welfare schemes such as the Amma Unavagam/Canteens, 20 kg rice for ration-card holders, focus on small scale industries and education are a huge hit amongst the masses.

Mayawati

“I have been called a lot of things. When people ask why I don’t answer back in the same language, it’s because that’s not in my character!”

Another Indian female politician, Mayawati is rightly described as a ‘Miracle of Democracy‘ by Shri.P.V. Narasimha Rao. She stands socially cursed thrice – for being poor, a Dalit and a woman. However, that didn’t deter her drive and fighting spirit to move ahead and far in life.

In her fourth term as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (2007-2012), Mayawati was seen as the proxy for SC/ST, religious minorities and upper-caste poor communities. The Newsweek called her the ‘Barack Obama of India’. She has always been subjected to verbal abuse and slander owing to her status as a Dalit woman.

Mamta Banerjee

“Women play a critical role in building a happy family and, therefore, contributing to the well-being of the society, but they are unfortunately also sometimes responsible for creating unrest in a family. Women often cannot stand other women, resulting in the mutual harassment of daughters-in-law and mothers-in-law.”

Born in a lower middle class family without any elitism and educational qualifications, Mamta Banerjee is a rarity. She is an entirely self-made Indian female politician, without any godfathers. The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mayawati’s political language is far from superfluous and apart from the political rhetoric of human rights and justice, she brings in deep religious and spiritual connotations in her message.

Pratibha Patil

“There is simply no way our nation can progress if its women population is left behind.”

As the first woman Governor in Rajasthan and India’s first woman President, Pratibha Patil has had an illustrious political career, starting from a humble beginning as a lawyer, and quickly rising up the political ladder. In her 28 years long, strong political career, she proved her capability in every portfolio she held, from the deputy minister of education to the minister of social welfare to minister of tourism and the minister of housing. She is has worked towards the empowerment of women and children.

Vasundhara Raje Scindia

“Women sarpanches would come with their husbands. Now the men make tea at home.”

Born into royality, Vasundhara Raje was introduced to politics by her mother and there was no looking back ever since. She has been Rajasthan’s first woman Chief Minister, and credited with turning around its economic fortunes.

Ms. Raje is a true-blue feminist and is a role model for the Rajasthani women – her confident personality, regal presence, transformative vision, administrative capability and last but not the least, her bold fashion statement and flamboyant sense of style. Under her leadership, there has been a gradual but sure social change in Rajasthan.

Sheila Dixit

“Enforcing a law is not sufficient. You have to change people’s mindset and empower women.”

The Chief Minister of Delhi for three consecutive terms, Sheila Dixit is a true statesman. Her sharp political acumen is credited for the defeat of the BJP thrice in its own traditional bastion. Her business like approach towards her work, no-nonsense style of functioning, calm demeanour and pro-development stance appealed tremendously to the Delhiites.

While she has invoked criticism over her remarks about a rape victim, stating women shouldn’t be adventurous so late at night, especially in a city like Delhi, she has always been an advocate for the empowerment of women.

Sushma Swaraj

“As a woman and an elected Member of Parliament, it has been my firm conviction that there is a shortcut to real social change — empowering the girl child.”

Sushma Swaraj is known for her hard-working, result-oriented and humanistic approach to her work. Her professionalism combined with a sense of duty towards people has won many hearts. Be it helping the woman who lost her passport in Germany, or rescuing the 168 Indians held hostage in Iraq, the rescue operation during the Yemen crisis, or the Nepal Earthquake relief operations. In today’s BJP government, she is one of the more powerful women.

Smriti Irani

“Just like charity begins at home, we have to start making change from our home and society. We need to work together to make this world a better place for women.”

She began as a beauty contest finalist and the lead in a regressive soap opera. Since then, Smriti Irani has come a long way!

She is perhaps the most vocally feminist Indian female politician. A political fire-brand, she has been in the centre of many controversies – the HRD and Textile portfolio, The Telegraph front page news headline screaming ‘Aunty National’/‘Spinderella’ etc.

Her recent Facebook post, ‘From Aunty National’ sends out the loud message that she will not remain silent. She talks about her struggles, as well as lists all her career achievements to prove that she is no bimbo as perceived by some.

Sonia Gandhi

“Together we can face any challenges as deep as the ocean and as high as the sky!”

Sonia Gandhi is the fifth foreign born person and first person after independence to be the leader of the Congress Party.

Unlike Indira Gandhi, Sonia is more measured and calculated in thoughts and words. She has proven to be more capable than perceived, leading her party to victory in two consecutive elections. Her natural origin as a foreigner has always been held against her. But she remains unfazed despite the onslaught of provocations from the opposition. The fact that she’s been heading a major party of such legacy, keeping it cohesive and stable, speaks of her subtle intelligence, political shrewdness, wisdom and fortitude.

(This post was originally published at Women's Web - http://www.womensweb.in/2016/08/quotes-from-powerful-indian-female-politicians/)


The Silence of the Domestic Goddesses




'I wish a wish,

A wish be mine

That every man shalt worship thy own like divine.'

Traditionally, an ideal woman has always been associated with quiet wisdom, immense maturity, unconditional love and sacrifice. A woman who will inspire and change her man, her kids and her family for the better! She has always been considered as the bed-rock of her family, the foundation stone. A woman whose gaze is always down, and built to take in every challenge without a complaint or a murmur. Quite a tall expectation and an honorable task, indeed! But, there’s a catch!

'Catch em’ young,

Treat em’ rough,

Tell em’ nothing'

(Sung by Hank Penny)

The ideal woman so pure and divine that is most sought after by many a suitor. Once caught though, treated rough and given no appreciation. And this has been the way it has continued for generations after another! Women who bore the brunt, responsibility and the burden alone with a smile on their face!

To understand rather than to be understood;

To love, rather than be loved.

(The Prayer of St.Francis)

And, so started the ongoing training from the day she was born! Tirelessly groomed to be that highest ideal of a woman…that unrealistically picture perfect image of a silent Domestic Goddess! Much like a gruesomely photo-shopped version of her true self! Or in lay terms, the naive, sacrificing and obedient house-wife!

“Oh boys will be boys!” chuckled the society in delight. “Of what use is manhood indeed, if it isn’t loud and rambunctious, lazy, pampered and spoilt like royalty, predatory and wildly adventurous, and where pride, prejudice and anger are his most treasured jewels in the crown. It’s a man’s world, after all”, they concluded, quickly dismissing the fairer gender. But, thrusting right into her lap, her many roles, duties and responsibilities while stripping her completely off her basic rights. Not forgetting to remind her of her only true purpose in life and this is to serve her man and her man alone.

But, they conveniently forget that girl trapped inside the woman. A girl who longs to jump out, and join in all the careless fun and play! A girl who hides behind that idyllic mask, but is refreshingly flawed, emotionally vulnerable and crying out to be heard, understood, loved and appreciated! A woman who would like to be a domestic goddess not merely by paying lip-service but also be treated rightfully as the queen of her home!

A woman who is just as intellectual, capable and ambitious for herself and the family like her man! A woman who is simply tired of the prejudices, misconceptions, true lies and stigma that comes with being a house-wife by both her own family and the society at large!

Questions often flashed at homemakers

“What a convenient life you live! Living off your husband’s earning and relaxing at home.”

If only it were as rosy as it actually seems! Clearly, its been a while since you haven’t taken charge of a home and know what it is like to deal with the various departments (kids’ affairs, kitchen, bathrooms, laundry etc). Or you probably have someone who does all the dirty work for you.

A ‘mere house-wife’, is in reality, a Home Manager ..a Domestic Goddess. And there are no two ways about that fact. With that kind of power, comes a huge responsibility that isn’t for the faint-hearted. It takes a certain kind of nerve and gut to get down, raw and dirty, be autonomous and in charge, without any payment or reward in return. This is not a convenient life, my friend but a tough, tough one!

“What a hopelessly aimless, dull and drab existence you must be living”.

“What do you do all day? Don’t you get bored?”

This is the other extreme, painting a grey picture of a housewife. Some of the successful and efficient homemakers are in fact extremely intelligent, focused and a very colorful, spirited lot. While some are in the game by destiny and some by choice, the successful ones are those who find a genius way to beat the blues, boredom and tedium that comes with the routine house-work.

Boredom sparks creativity and no one knows this better than a seasoned house-wife. They bring a certain enthusiasm, vigor and spunk to their home, performing varied home experiments and discovering something new everyday. Finding joy in the simple, every day moments and having enough time to smell the roses while taking a hike outdoors is stuff that many dream of but few actually get to revel in that sort of luxury. Tackling and conquering boredom and tedium is an art that very few have mastered. Barring a few Sadhus and some super genius Domestic Goddesses that is!

“Don’t you miss going out to work?”

Hello! We are working, just as much or perhaps, more than you. Enough said!

And here’s the classic husband’s eternal dilemma – “Don’t you have the whole day to yourself to complete all the work?”

Oh yes, indeed, we do, my darling! But only, if it were that simple, Babe! From dealing with kid’s tantrums while performing the Taekwondo with the knives and vegetables alongside, to juggling with the kid’s homework to putting a zillion unimportant paraphernalia back in their place, from being every one’s favorite punching bag and being emotionally exhausted to lying sore in bed, while wondering at the back of our minds if the iron box has been unplugged.

It’s a figurative obstacle race we run everyday, albeit in the small confines of our homes. And it’s not easy playing the virtuous martyr all day, round the clock, year after year.

(This is a tribute to all the wonderful homemakers who are making a priceless contribution and an immense sacrifice, for the sake of the happiness and good health of their respective families. And to all those wonderful husbands who truly see, understand and appreciate the value and beauty of these Domestic Goddesses, we commend you. And for those blissfully ignorant husbands, we urge you get into the shoes of your better half today, right now and feel for yourself where it pinches her most. To the society at large, there is more that meets the eye when it comes to being ‘just a house-wife’. So, stop being judgmental!)

(This post was originally published at Women's Web - http://www.womensweb.in/2016/07/a-mere-housewife/)

How To Make Stress Our Friend


With our modern lifestyle, stress is unavoidable. But can changing how you feel about stress and viewing it as less harmful, make you healthier? Stress has got always a bad reputation and unfairly so! It is not stress per se that is bad for your health. But, how you view and react to stress that marks that vital distinction between the healthy and unhealthy zones!

While stress cannot be avoided or reduced, it can definitely be managed. The pounding of the heart, and the butterflies in our stomach before an anxious moment is simply our bodies’ realization that we are about to do something significant, of important consequence and if we acknowledge and ‘take in’ that feeling, we understand and manage the stressful situation a whole lot better. One of the most simple and effective ways to manage stress is to befriend and embrace it wholeheartedly and not demonize it.




In this highly informative video, Kelly McGonigal, a practicing health psychologist and author of the book 'The Upside Of Stress', she breaks all unfounded myths surrounding stress. McGonigal expertly swivels us around the science behind stress, citing medical facts, happenings, and statistical figures to drive home her point. She makes an intriguing revelation that our bodies’ stress response has a built-in mechanism, for stress resilience and that mechanism is human connection.

The simple truth is that if we all happily courted and dated stress in our daily lives, it will not only make us more courageous, resilient, confident and prepared to face life’s challenges thrown randomly our way, but also make us reach out and seek for value and meaning in our relationships, thus making us more trusting, loving, and empathetic.

Simply concluded, viewing stress positively leads to better health and a longer life-span.

(This post was originally published at Women's Web - http://www.womensweb.in/2016/07/kelly-mcgonigal-the-upside-of-stress/)

Still I Rise


This video of Serena Williams reading Maya Angelou’s inspiring poem, ‘Still I Rise’ is bound to leave you feeling all stirred and shaken – in a good way!

Watch two legends from the literary world and the tennis world make a powerful, soul-stirring and political statement via one of the most beautiful and effective medium there ever was – Poetry.

Two women who may come from diverse professional fields but share a common story of racial disparity and gender prejudices and rising above it all to stand today where they rightfully are – proud, accomplished and victorious like the glorious morning sun. Still I rise!

Here’s shedding some light on the background and underlying message of this poem, ‘Still I Rise’. A poem which has gone on to become a cult of sorts on racial discrimination, dreams, endurance, hope and victory! Maya Angelou speaks up for the minority.

In her case, as a black woman in America, speaking up and fighting against the many shadows of darkness that haunted her past and continued to haunt her till her death last year.

As a black, South American woman who grew up in a segregated community, she learnt early on in life to fight her own battles and not let the prejudices of the society cow her down or break down her spirit. The beauty of a woman lies not in her submissiveness as expected from the society but in her confidence, courage and phenomenal spirit. The nights of severe adversities and obstacles may be many but…. Still I rise!

Lending power to this already packed poem ‘Still I rise’ is the reigning Wimbledon women’s single champion Serena Williams. The timing and the protagonist couldn’t be any more appropriate.

Serena Williams has just created history being on par with Steffi Graf’s record of 22 grand slam titles. She also clinched her 7th Wimbledon title when she defeated Angelique Kerber in two consecutive straights sets (7-5, 6-3).

Rising up… against racism and violence
It’s not just the timing of her victory or her African American lineage that makes her the perfect protagonist of the poem. But also, the timing in relation to the growing police brutality and racial issues, lurking America as evidenced by the recent Dallas shootings.

Serena has been quite vociferous in her latest interviews and raised grave concerns over the growing violence against the African American community in her country.

Without a doubt, the poem is beautiful just as it is. It has the right blend of all the elements of love, pain, optimism, intellect, wisdom, hope, grace, gut, wit and humor, But it takes on a whole different level of perfection and packs on a far, greater punch when you hear the verses flowing out of Serena William’s soul – her voice, the intensity in her eyes, her raw grit and tenacity simply shine through this delightfully inspiring video.

‘You’ refers to the society at large. ‘I’ refers to the minority individual, here the black woman! She compares a woman’s body and soul to diamonds and urges women, to truly understand their self-worth, realize their inner potential and make their own destiny despite societal  limitations.


'You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.'

(This post was orginally published at Women's Web - http://www.womensweb.in/2016/07/serena-williams-reading-maya-angelou/)

The Triple Talaq Tangle

As a country, we have many demons of our own to fight – be it poverty, rampant corruption, poor public health, hygiene and sanitation, various human rights issues owing to caste and gender discrimination, communal violence, rapes, female foeticide, honor killings, a debilitating infrastructure, a burgeoning traffic crisis, an overburdened judicial system, border security and terrorism, etc. Phew!
One such problem has snow-balled into a huge controversy of sorts in the recent times. Let us untangle this controversy ball called ‘The Triple Talaq’ and see where its history lies. The fundamental question that we are going to deal with is –What does it mean for the social welfare and justice for women, and in particular, our fellow Indian Muslim sisters?
The problem of women being abandoned after marriage by their respective husbands, sometimes in abetment with the in-laws is not exactly an uncommon story. Remember Siminder Kaur’s ongoing campaign to reunite with her son, Anhad after being tricked by her own husband and the in-laws? It happens in every strata, religion and culture in the world.
The good news is we have laws to protect us and fight for our rights. And there are women who brave through the thick veil of societal stigma against divorcees, coming forward to not only merely take refuge in these laws, but also, make a valiant attempt to change the prevailing norms of society.
One such brave lady is 25 year old Afreen Rehman, who was physically and mentally tortured by her husband and in-laws, following demands of dowry. Another sorry tale to be told is that of the English Literature postgraduate, 30 yr old Gulshan Parveen who was subjected to physical torture including being beaten with an iron rod by her husband. In spite of paying Rs.2.5 lakh, furniture, electronics, crockery and clothes, she was subjected to abuse for more dowry by her husband and in laws. The only reason she continued to stay was because she wanted her 2 year old son, Ridan to grow up in a traditional family.
Gulshan stated that she felt homeless instantly and wondered why her consent matters only in Nikah and why it is irrelevant when it comes to Talaq. Afreen, along with Farha Faiz, a Supreme Court lawyer is calling for a ban on the ‘Triple Talaq’, just like how it is banned in more than 20 Muslim countries including Pakistan and Bangladesh.
In their support are 50,000 Muslim men and women – fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters in the Muslim community. Some of the notable celebrities in support of the ban include Shabana Azmi, Hina Zaheer Naqvi, Resul Pookutty, Saeed Mirza, Javed Siddiqi, Hasan Kamal, Anjum Rajabali, Shafaat Khan, Talat Jaani, Feroz Abbas Khan, etc.
Whether it is BJP member Shazia Ilmi or Congress member Shama Mohamed, both are vociferously in tandem when it comes to the ban on ‘Triple Talaq’. Shama Mohamed, in particular, calls for a reformation of the Indian Muslim Personal Law board to be in compliance with the Arabic Law, wherein the divorced wife is given her due alimony and rights.
On the other end of the spectrum are some of the highly learned scholars in the Islamic community who argue that the Triple Talaq is grossly misunderstood and that it is politically motivated to push the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). They point out that many people with little or no knowledge of Islam and Muslim personal laws are interested in reforming them.
They reason that while the Hindu Sastrik Law and Christian Canon doesn’t recognize divorce, Islam recognizes the right of an individual (both man and woman) to divorce via four methods – Talaq, Khula, Faskh-e- Nikah, Tafweedh-e- Talaq. Contrary to popular belief, they say that Talaq-ul-Biddat, or instantaneous divorce is not at all common amongst the majority of Muslims.
Out of the four schools of jurisprudence in Sunni Law and the fifth Shia school of jurisprudence, only one, the Hanafi school allows Triple Talaq. They also claim that Muslim women here already enjoy a two-tiered system of justice and protection, one from the Muslim Personal Board and the other from the Supreme Court. This privilege is not enjoyed by women in the other Indian communities.
They finally conclude that Islam is a religion of peace that not only respects modesty but also protects its women. While their clarifications may hold ground in religious terms, the gross reality is that in practice, the divorced Indian Muslim woman often finds herself at the short end of the stick. Left nowhere to go and with no alimony to claim in reality, many Muslims in the community are standing behind their divorced Muslim sisters in their call for social justice.
With the whole country awaiting with bated breath the Supreme Court’s final verdict, the larger question to be addressed is how exactly is the ban going to help the plight of women in the community?
What if the real solution lies not in the ban alone but an overall change in the mindset not just in the society, but also within the women in the community themselves? And what about the similar plight of women in other communities? In the larger picture, no one religion, practice or cause can be pinpointed as the root problem when it comes to dowry and abandonment of women, and no amount of bans and awareness drives are going to solve and wish away all our problems. Hello Nordic Paradox!
Yet, this is a step in the right direction. Especially for many hapless women and their children who were abandoned and discarded overnight out of their own homes, the upcoming Supreme Court verdict might just bring back, along with justice…. their much needed honor, respect, dignity and most importantly of all, an identity of their own.
(This story was originally published in Women's Web at http://www.womensweb.in/2016/07/triple-talaq-ban-sought/)

Bring on the Judgement and We keep Marcin On´!



´Judge not, lest you be judged´- Mathew 7, 1-3

As you might have discovered by now, the world does not function this way. In fact, everyone is subjected to scrutiny in some form or the other. Judged at every stage of our lives. 

´That kid is so obese.´

´That girl is dark´

´That boy is so skinny´

Oh my god! She left her husband and her kids

She´s such a doormat! How can she stay with a man who beats her to pulp?

He is such a hen-pecked husband. 

She is such a sl$%! Did you see what she wore to that party?

Nothing is EVER right….with anyone! The tongues just keep wagging! 

You think once you attain massive success, people will finally shut their trap. But alas! the tongues that keep wagging only keep multiplying with every success that you meet. And you thought, only failure brought in judgement. How wrong you were! 

Whether you are an Obama or an Osama, a Clinton or a Trump, a Modi or a Rahul Gandhi, a Priyanka Chopra or a Sunny Leone, a Virat Kohli or a Dhoni, it doesn't matter how crazy successful you are. You can never ever escape being judged. As your supporters increase, so do your detractors. 

´One of the most valuable things one of my art teachers said to me was, Don´t get upset by criticism. Value the fact that at least someone noticed what you did.´- Chris Ware

Chris Ware is a renowned comic book illustrator and cartoonist. Imagine if he got bogged down by judgement early on in life! The point I am trying to drive is many of us believe those judgements about us. We let it sink into our deep unconscious psyche. We lose faith in ourselves and our potential. We question our worth and our value. We believe THEM. When the actual truth is that your value does not go down because others fail to see it. 

And we detract ourselves from taking that untrodden path or that risk for the fear of being judged one more time. What we fail to understand is that the world is not going to change irrespective of our success or failure. In fact, the more you are doing things right, the more you are going to be under scrutiny. You are going to be challenged, ruthlessly attacked and opposed even more. You are going to be judged a lot more harshly once you fall under the larger purview of the public eye. 

Get used to judgement!Whether it is your boss giving you his feedback about you, or your peers forming a certain image about you or your pokey neighbours or your parents or your spouse or family or friends or anyone, you will encounter judgement every day of your life. What we should not get used to and get rid of is our incessant fear of being judged and our longing to be accepted and liked. People are going to talk bad about you. Most often behind your back while some will take shameless liberties to say it upfront! Get used to it!

Judgement is the unspoken Law of this world and the other! As is the Law of Gravity, so is the Law of Judgement! 

The Law of Judgement - ´The higher thy rise, the greater thou art judged!´

This Law is as certain as any other. Just as Newton discovered that the apple that fell from the apple tree was pulled towards the Earth due to the force of gravity , so also there is no escaping judgement for any one on this planet or any other.

Even if you are among the lucky few who escape being judged by mortal human beings, remember that the Judgement Day awaits you post your death by the Heavenly Father who sits upon his kingly throne up in Heaven! Either the pearly gates of Heaven or the flaming fires of Hell await you!

´Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.´- Mathew 19:24

Even God´s judgement gets harsher with every success you meet. You are more accountable and far more under scrutiny than ever before. Okay, I think Ive digressed a bit too far from the topic trying to prove my point that there is absolutely no escape from the dreaded J-word. 

So yeah, go ahead and Judge all you can! Because we are going to do what we have to - Take those risks, do it, live, dare, face all the failures and embrace the successes. 

‘Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent´ - Eleanor Roosevelt