From time immemorial, I have been seeking answer to a common question, what is the intimate connection between cigarettes and modernity? It is popular trend in Kolkata as well as many other parts of India, to link these two. The moment you enter Central or North Kolkata (South Kolkata is relatively better in this aspect), with a cigarette in your hand, you would undoubtedly feel that you have just landed there directly from MARS or any other planets!! People scanning you from top to bottom…you can very well hear whispers here and there “huh!! She thinks that she is MODERN” and so on and so forth…
Few days back, I was chatting with an eminent film editor in this context, and she actually revealed some interesting facts. She is basically from a small village of India, and she proclaimed that even though her village is very poor with a handful of educated people, is more open minded than majority of us!! In her village women can freely enjoy smoking BIDIS and alcohol, with men and it is not at all a topic of discussion in their community!
With more and more schools, universities being set up, and organizing campaigns like TEACH FOR INDIA, are we welcoming regression then? My point is that if cigarette smoking is injurious to health, it affects men-women both equally! Then what is the point of using this as another apparatus to attack women?
Yesterday, while passing through my very own campus, a huge poster caught my eyes: “NARIR CHOKH DIYE PRITHIBI DEKHUN”…Even in 2014, while celebrating Women’s Day, you want to alienate WOMEN as a separate group/ entity altogether? In order to understand whom, you need to see WORLD with THEIR EYES??
In a city or rather a country, where even government fails to provide women enough security, rather asks women to reach home before its dark, I can proudly announce that even if its MIDNIGHT I am perfectly safe in my CAMPUS… I can freely exhibit my natural behavior in any departmental party (even though it’s late night) even in presence of eminent scholars, and professors…
Then, why on earth the so called FEMINISTS of our campus are insulting us simply by alienating us from the rest of the world?



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