We are exposed to abundant news and incidents in our daily life, raising the tide of changes upon us, by means expected or unexpected. A saying goes, “There is no change for change.” If we think deeply, it is an undeniable fact in the world. As Indians, let us think about our lifestyle. We’ve studied history and are witnessing the present style of administration. But all of us aren’t fully accepting the past or admiring the present. At times, we may appreciate the past and wish for betterment from that.
My grandparents, parents and uncles took part in the freedom struggle and stories were retold in the families about their roles. The grandchildren, in their childhood in independent India, used to ask why Indians fought the Raj. The answer, given simply by the women especially, was that the foreigners occupied high posts and accumulated wealth and kept the Indians in lower grades, suppressed. That the ruling class assumed to have held absolute power and rights.
The children might not have fully understood the import, but would be sure that their elders had done great achievements. The kids, now 60 or 70 somethings, are witness to the power, wealth and greed of a new set of rulers.
If we compare what we heard during our childhood with what we are seeing today, there isn’t much difference but great befuddlement, as the rulers are our own nationals. It begs us to realise that “change” has taken a rebirth among our own nationals. In present-day politics, a new quote has emerged—“power is thicker than blood”.
We traditionally gave importance to women and projected divinity in them as goddesses. Women were safeguarded by all means. Marriages were arranged carefully. “Suyamvaram” was a norm in royal families. Pros and cons were noted in the practice. Later on, child marriage was introduced with the motive of “girls’ safety”. And when monarchy was overpowered by democracy, the practices were shunned. New changes were introduced with the rationale of women’s welfare and security.
But, what we are seeing today? A very small percentage of women may be safe. But the majority, married or unmarried, suffer. Even newborn girls are not spared by inhumane men. News about ugly gender atrocities abound. Will this stop? The more intelligent grandchildren of our present day question the past grandchildren, who got proud answers in early days of independent India. What do they answer? Smilingly, they will say that changes are always taking place in many ways, willy nilly.