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Words that Work and not Wreck

Dr Kamal Vilku is the first Indian physician to have been stationed at Maitri, the Indian research station in Antarctica. She stayed for more than a year. As the only woman in a team of more than twenty, most men resented her presence. They felt that they could not let their guards down and be free since she was around. Dr Vilku won her colleagues over by taking extra efforts while cooking for them. (Each member had to take turns doing the chores at the station) In a way, it helped the men too, to get over their homesickness, as they hardly have any contact with the outside world. Though many might not agree, I like Dr Vilku’s non-confrontational attitude, at the same time gaining the respect, trust and confidence of her male colleagues.

My maid’s husband is physically abusive at times. The reason she gave for putting up with him is, : “I can leave him and make a living with the money I make by working as a maid and by selling the cleaning products I make. How does it solve the problem? He will marry someone else and that someone else will undergo the same thing. Instead I try to reason with him when he is sober. He promises to reform himself, especially as the children are growing up and he doesn’t want them to think badly of him. I must say he has changed a lot, though he still beats me when he is drunk. Do you ever stop loving your child because he is errant? I think the attitude should be the same”. She too believes in being non-confrontational. I like her words of wisdom and attitude.

Coming from the land of Gandhi, the man behind the concept of ahimsa or non-violence, I realize that his methods are still relevant today. And that I would say is my vision. The personal vision for my life is to have a positive impact on as many people as possible through my writing. ‘Cause I am aware that the impact and response is totally dependent on the way I present facts. A small twist in the words can convey the wrong message. So, my personal vision is to practice responsible journalism.

My vision for my community would be an extension of my personal vision; that is, an advocacy for a change in the mindset of men. After all they are our fathers and brothers and sons. As for women, my words should educate them about their strength and potential and encourage them to find peaceable solutions.
I do not believe in words that provoke, but in words that make people ponder.

My weakness is being a non-starter. I always wished I had more mental strength. I believe that the one-on-one mentorship of the VOF program would help me get over my inhibitions and effect the change I wish to bring about. Being a VOF correspondent would help me take women’s stories of struggles and strength to a wider audience, enabling me to draw from my audience’s wisdom, strength and inspiration and translate the same into positive action.

Comments

CourtneyWilson's picture

Responsible Journalism

Thank you for your vision, your words really struck a chord with me. That your maid stays with an abusive husband to protect others and try to reason with him to change his behaviour takes remarkable strength. Responsible journalism is definitely key. Words have the power to hurt, and often the media are to willing to use emotive/demonising language to make money rather than help rebuild a society or protect people who cannot protect themselves. This is a dangerous mindset. I love your line: "I do not believe in words that provoke, but in words that make people ponder." I also wish to enhance this vision by presenting facts that open society's eyes to the possible avenues of change.

All the best for the future,
Courtney

Jency's picture

Thank you

Thank you Courtney. I realised that we can learn a lot from the every day lives of the common man. What you say is true about many media. They just stir up emotions that does not produce any result. As you say, we can do our best to present facts to society and help them make informed choices. Let's do it.

Jency

SharonK's picture

great article

Hi Jency,

Thank you for writing such a clear and articulate article. Personally, I'm tired of sensationalist media that focuses on catastophes, scandals, and politicking. I'd love to see more responsible journalism that makes me question and reflect on my perceptions and values. Your article has already done that, with your stories of non-confrontational approaches to difficult situations. Please continue writing and keep working to bring about your vision of change!

Sharon

Jency's picture

Thank you

Thank you Sharon. I am so glad you like what I have written. You are right. It's frustrating and depressing to read sensationalist articles. It's in us to practice responsible journalism that can make a positive change in the mindsets of people.

Jency

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