Time To Speak Up!

The sound of silence is shattering too many eardrums!

1/2/2018 7:16:31 PM
written By : Shobhaa De Print

TIME has done it once again! By declaring ‘The Silence Breakers’ as The Person of the Year (2017), one of the most influential global magazines of our day, has addressed a herd of elephants in the room – and that room is the world! Women, some known, most unknown, some powerful, the rest, not, have grabbed the attention of those who matter, thanks to this important media platform. Each year, readers eagerly await the selection of the cover subject for this special issue (some editions become coveted collectors’ items). Often, these essays reflect the key concerns facing humanity – for better or worse. The process is fairly transparent. But the interesting thing is the gap that yawns between the readers’ poll, and the final choice of the editors. It was no different this year. Twenty-five per cent of the readers’ votes went to the 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. The women representing ‘The Silence Breakers’ polled just 6 per cent. And yet, TIME thought it more important to feature a few of these outspoken ladies on the cover of this prestigious edition.

We in India can only applaud this bold decision, and pray hard that the strong #MeToo campaign initiated by Tarana Burke will catch fire and spread across our country. So far, its impact has been felt exclusively in urban pockets, with women belonging to a certain segment (urban, educated), responding to it cautiously. Not a single high profile, prominent woman has called out her sexual assaulter by name. Not even one man in a position of influence and power has lost his job, resigned or apologised. It is an entirely different story overseas, particularly in the United States, where the mighty are quaking in their pants, wondering which well-known victim will go public with her story and accusations.

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