I recently got this scholarship and the application process made me realize how privileged I am being a boy, it is not like I didn’t know anything before this, and I just got some enlightenment and shit, it’s just it got me thinking in a different way about what it means to be a man.
I am from Kashmir (J&K), this place is pretty conservative and conservative (x) 100 for women. I come from the poor section of Kashmir (J&K) and for people like us, there is a scholarship out there that covers our tuition fees and accommodation, I won't go into detail here because I will eventually reach there except its name is PMSSS and a student always gets college outside the state of J&K (I am saying state because this scholarship is also for students of Ladakh) based on his/her marks in 12th class.
Now when I started to apply I joined some groups on telegram where I met a lot of other students who were applying this year and some had applied in previous years. I met a lot of girls as well who were applying most of them had more marks than mine which means more chances of getting in compared to me but by the time results started to come in none of them got in.
In the process of application, there is a lot of stuff which a student has to do the most important thing being choice filling. In this student chooses colleges in which he/she is interested and then based on how many students applied to that college and what kinda marks they have, college seats are allotted. In the choice filling in order to get selected I kept colleges from South India at the top of my priority because most of the students go to North India so there is relatively high competition and fewer chances of getting in, but everybody especially girls were not able to do this thing because their parents won't allow it. A girl from Jammu with whom I was talking could not get in because her parents didn't allow her to put any college outside Haryana, Delhi, and Chandigarh and another girl from Jammu who was in touch with me had the same story.
Now it is not something new I have seen here, my aunt when she finished her MBA from a college in Jammu she got placed in campus placement in some company from Bangalore but she had to say no because her family didn't allow her to go there as she was a girl, most of the girls who studied with her were doing MBA only because they didn't want to get married after graduation which their parents had tried to do and they had asked their parents some more time to study and their parents had told them they are gonna marry them the second they are going to finish MBA and guess what almost all of them got married right after finishing the degree. When my sister passed her 10th class she could not go to a good tuition center because my parents didn't allow her because she was a girl. Once we started playing Rugby with girls in a local ground in my neighborhood there was such a big fight with the local maulana who brought almost the whole neighborhood in the ground and started lecturing how the presence of them(girls) can distract boys and bla bla bla. If I start to list examples I think this article is never going to end.
If you go around in Kashmir you will see that Kashmir is mostly dominated by men in almost all aspects, almost all the businesses, properties are owned by men. Hardly you will see women with jobs in Kashmir and if there are few, most of them leave their jobs after marriage because their husbands won't allow them because hii how can a husband let her wife work isn't he capable of providing for her, oh God literally a teacher once told me and my friends in high school that he is getting divorced because his wife is not leaving her job which he is asking her to do.
I think most of the men don't realize that they are privileged being a man which I don't think I even realized till now but I think acknowledging this privilege is the need of the hour to make our society better especially for women.