Praise for My Books

"Manreet Sodhi Someshwar is a gifted writer of great promise. I have a gut feeling we have a new star rising in Punjab's literary horizon. She has an excellent command of English and a sly sense of humour."
- Khushwant Singh on The Long Walk Home

"An enjoyable tale of a sassy girl's headlong race up the corporate ladder."
- India Today on Earning the Laundry Stripes

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Swatantra Divas Mubarak Ho!

Swatantra Divas Mubarak Ho! 66 years on and our tryst with destiny continues: there are many battles still being waged and many trials still to be won. An Indian Daily asked me what I, as a woman, wanted most this Independence Day. Here's my answer.

The average woman in India steps out of her home and goes into combat mode: fists clenched, back stiff, eyes scouring her surround. We know the reason why. Guwahati, Mangalore, Maddur have hit the headlines recently for brutal sexual assault and yet, countless stories of sexual harassment go unrecounted because they are as common as the act of walking. Grope, catcall, leer are more ubiquitous than stray dogs on our streets.

Gandhi said the greatness of a civilization is evident in the way it treats its animals. Time for an update: the way it treats its women.

Keeping half the populace subjugated isn't going to get us anywhere - it’s simple economics. But then, this isn't about economics, is it? It's about cultural conditioning, stereotypes, Manusmriti and the fact that a woman’s identity is defined through her lifetime by the moving line of patriarchy in her life: father, husband, son.

We proudly proclaim that we are an ancient civilization. True, India and China are the world's oldest continuous civilizations. One visit to China though will show that women truly do hold up half the sky. In India, we are still having this discussion. 

This Independence Day I wish for the freedom to walk without having to go into combat readiness. It's time we jettisoned our medieval mindset and reclaimed the civilized half of that claim of 'ancient civilization'.


  1. We Indians have evolved freedom into a fine art, its facets unparalleled elsewhere. Today, we can litter, spit, pee, unload our bowels, unload our dirty minds and attend sinister calls of nature by attacking the females of the species with gay abandon. Thankfully, our police, the judiciary and the leaders understand and empathise with our urge to further the cause.

    ps: I have always been shaky in Maths but I believe it is the 65th anniversary of whatever transpired on 15th of August, 1947.

  2. It's the 66th year of independence, albeit 65th anniversary of the same.

  3. In India, it seems that many Indian men want the women to go out, earn, support the family and then stop there! She must continue to be the gharelu naari and not ask for real choices, all choices should remain with men. To change that mindset, how many gnerations will we need?

    1. Sad but true Sunil. I don't even know if there's any hope on that count ...

  4. This note is just a observation which goes unnoticed by many ...

    People say woman have come long way ,now well educated and well placed in society

    But We still read a lot about physics violence,insecurity etc for women…

    Apart from all these there are millions of women both educated and well placed in the society still go through
    mental torture everyday just by the people around them, who she loves,for whom she compromises many of likes, for whom she does everything.

    A woman who becomes a wife or daughter in law in the indian family, has to keep quiet without voicing her thoughts or her opinions at any time even when she is tortured mentally,verbally .This is called respect to elders in our soceity!!! Keeping quiet and compromise is called maturity!!!

    Just because they are elders, Just because they have brought the "SON" , Just because they are men , Just because they are the bread winner (A woman who is not earning has much bigger problem, Atleast the one who is earning can feel a little respect or honour for her opinions…)

    Ofcourse there are reverse too..we see families where woman dominates…which is easily visible from outside
    but the earlier one that I mentioned is not visible at all..because many woman think this is a normal in any family

    On this independence day I am sure many women do wish for respect and honour and acceptance of our thoughts and independence to express ourselves irrespective of whether its older,younger or equal age family,friends

    By the way study that suggests mental and physical torture cause the same amount of harm and are indistinguishable in their long term impact on psychological health.

  5. 65 years of independence or 65 years of freedom's mockery!

    i wish we never should have had complete freedom...!