Well, so here goes my first write-up in this section. Although, it explains some of the things which many of you might be feeling right from childhood, but now is the time we express it, and express it boldly.
Even though there exists a buzz for women empowerment all over India, but have we really come any far in exercising due respect for women? Well, I would say a straight no to it. So, even if some of you must be fair enough to give equal status, respect and importance to women, but majority in our nation fail to do so. Yes, calling India a failed state for women is completely justified in this sense.
When we talk about women empowerment, what first comes across our minds is we need to find out the solutions for rape, dowry, harassment and all such kind of exploitation of women. Well, definitely this discrimination is not a newly generated thing; rather there has always been a wrong depiction of women in the Indian culture itself. Most of the epics or stories either show women as an obedient wife or as a sex symbol. If Indian culture and traditions are blamed for it, then its perfectly alright to believe that. In India, people have always treated sons as their wealth and daughters as their burden, this has been a tradition in Indian society.
Since, time immemorial, the Indian society has followed up traditions like keeping the women inside the four corners of the house, making them learn all the household activities, keeping them aloof from the outside world till they are forcibly married. Why are they always taught to obey their husbands or any other male member of the family? Why are men not taught the same since childhood? Women have always been taught to consider their husbands as Gods and themselves as their worthless servants.
Why do people in India think that only a man can help grow their religious creed? Why at all dowry is being asked from the girl’s parents? Why do people think that if their son is marrying a girl, then they are doing a favor to the girl’s parents? And thus should be rewarded with loads of money and gold. Till date I fail to understand, how can people not understand the importance of a woman? How can they kill them in womb itself? If they fail to do so, then the girl child is killed as she comes into this world, as an infant only she is then snatched away from her mother. Let’s keep apart the respect, equality and all other things, but why do not people have a little mind to understand that society cannot run with ONLY men? Of course, women are an integral part of the life of every man, whether being as a mother or a wife. It’s the woman only who brings a man into this world; why then people in India treat them as just another shit?
Adding more to the dismal picture, you will see this in many middle class families, that they think higher education for their son, but only marriage for their daughter. They would teach riding, biking, driving etc. to their son but not the daughter, as she only has to serve the in-laws as she is married, so she does not need to. They would send their son to any far off place for good education and environment, but no, their daughter does not need this. A special importance is given to the son right from their childhood; parents expect a lot of things from their sons, but not daughters. All they plan is to marry their daughter to a good family, without even caring if she also has some career aspirations, or some other desires. Yes, at times they are more than happy marrying their daughter and getting rid of her, sending her off to an entirely new and different family. This is why she has been taught all her life years to survive, so she can better survive in her in-laws house. What a pity on the state of women in India, where she is supposed to serve to males her entire life. I have few more questions in my mind like any other individual, like any other girl living in this society. Why do we have a tradition where only a girl’s parents are to give dowry? Why not the boy’s parents give dowry too? Why is a boy not forced to leave his family and go far off where his wife is? Why only a girl is supposed to handle family and all other works and a boy is only supposed to earn? And yes last but not the least, if a girl is brought up with all privileges and is earning well too, but when she marries, the picture of life changes for her. As she then financially also becomes the asset of the boy’s family, why can a girl not favor her parents the same way which a boy continues to does even after marriage?
Even for the Indian cinema, the general mentality of our people follows. If a woman is pictured in short clothes in a movie, then that’s a “bad movie with shameless creatures” and most of our elders end up classifying it as an “A” (adult movie). Whereas, if a man is featuring himself without any clothes except the least just to cover up his private parts, the movie is very well and happily called a “family movie”. Why does this happen? Why we cannot have same outlook for both men and women?
There is a major fault in the mindset of the society even now, and until and unless the thinking of the majority of people is changed, there can be no impetus to women empowerment in India. Gender roles and patriarchal notions clearly dictate the Indian society even now. And there can be no reduction in violence against women; in fact it would only increase certainly. How are we aiming for one of the top economies in the world, when we cannot have gender equity in place? Nonetheless, India carries a tag of one of the worst places for women to live in, so we really need to take forward steps and make a better and reasonable society.