Woman should rule supreme in every family
By Seshu Chamarty | Published: 27th December 2012 11:42 PM |
A typical Indian woman is far behind her male counterpart in many parameters if development based statistics of the nation are looked at, leaving aside homemaking and childbearing, of course. Our nation is a collection of peoples (plural intended). This is because we are truly a complex society. We were once the richest society before the British arrived. India was the cradle to one of the early civilisations. Besides, we can boast of the world’s first university. Bharat also gave birth to different religions, whose followers comprise nearly one fourth of the world population. Our Sanskrit is richer than some of the great languages like Greek and Latin in more ways than one.
Indian women speak different languages and dialects and sport a variety of clothes, cook varied food suited to the topography and climate, inland or abroad. Still all Indian women share a unique status of Bharat Nari (Proud and unique as Indian woman). With all this, she is not yet counted equitably on par with men in her social and economic participation in ways that matter. Where they are elected to democratic institutions as per constitutional mandate, most of them act as though they are stand-ins for their menfolk. This is a peculiar phenomenon cutting across all divisions of caste, creed, language, region and religion. Thus she has a concealed second-class citizenship that compromises her self-respect and dignity in family and outside. It is something alarming that ought to wake us up to the reality. Pitiably the average Indian woman is still being conditioned by some of the stereotypes that used to be dictating her position through social, religious and cultural ethos that are now woefully outdated yet not recognised.
Why Indian woman lags in many areas continues as an enigma to the social scientists (Exceptions of those women who rose or are rising to glory are few and far between, albeit their number is favourably higher than pre-independence days). Unfortunately, even to this day, many age-old social evils and shortcomings mar their uniform development. One prominent reason must be the lack of women’s participation in various leadership hierarchies. Or can we say such inequity is universal on the lines of male chauvinism?
Her role in the man’s life is eulogised in Sanskrit texts in a sweeping manner with some exaggerations/ generalisations. One such text goes as : “Bhojeshu Mata, Karaneshu Mantri, Karyeshu Dasi, Shayaneshu Rambha.” The English meaning roughly reads: an ideal wife has dharma to be a mother while cooking, a minister while giving advice, a servant or slave in actions and a divine courtesan in bed. Are these just fabled virtues taken for granted?
Why women are not able to raise the bar, despite the fact that nothing proves them to be weaker than men? Where lurks the vulnerability? Are they soft targets like in the euphemisms such as fairer or weaker sex? Why they are conveniently clubbed by the rulers along with men and referred in all and sundry statistics of emerging India, especially when some pluses are selectively highlighted? Such euphemisms by themselves suffice, calling for more empowerment to break the glass ceiling everywhere else, not merely the corporate world. Their progress should be in politics and social life and finally in the man’s mental make-up. The right attitude towards this should be inculcated among children through school syllabus. Is not woman a mother meant to rule supreme in every family?