We are in a strange situation in the country today. This is a nation, a land where we are always worshipping the feminine. We call the planet Mother Earth, the nation itself is conceptualized as feminine – she is Bharat Mata. There is not a single village in this country where the feminine is not worshipped as Devi or Amman or in some form. At the same time, we are a nation, which is beginning to treat women/girls as second class citizens in many ways – with infanticide, feticide and all these things, almost as an unwanted gender.
This should not be perceived as something against women/girls. The essential problem is that just about any difference between people is, after a time, converted into a discriminatory process – every distinction is made into a discrimination. We have discriminated against each other in the name of caste, creed, race, religion, but discrimination in the form of gender is the worst kind.
Women/girls have a way with hiding things, for if they did not hide, they would be banished into hiding. The pain of being an Indian woman is immense and even though men will tell you they are good at keeping things bottled up and are therefore more deserving of being called the sufferers, I put up honestly- Being a woman in India is the happiest and the saddest thing.
Indian women/ girls are trapped in so many ways that even in their thoughts they dare not attempt committing to desires that otherwise come naturally to people. For years they have been kept prisoners inside the very loops of petting and pampering just to keep their eyes off the sky and their hearts, off what’s desirable.
Sometimes I wonder if women are the biggest enemies of women (in India). I would like to quote an example which I am sure is quite common in many of our Indian homes. A mother who has a daughter and a son shows difference in the way she brings them up. Most of the times the guy ends up having an upper hand in everything. I’m not saying that mothers don’t like their children. (I’m also not saying that the brought up solely depends on the mother) It is just that the son and the daughter are constantly conditioned in a stereotypical way. It doesn’t end here. The mother goes on and tries to show authority on her daughter-in-law too even though she has a daughter. That’s ridiculous !
Its not very rare to find the older generation and the middle aged women being skeptical about the “independence” of today’s women. They apparently are not OK with the “freedom” women/girls enjoy today compared to the previous generations.
Women/girls in India are continuously judged; irrespective of their age, physical attributes, dresses, professions, wisdom and contribution; by every random person; everywhere. Such judgements are usually aimed at demoralizing them and controlling their liberty and independence of thought.
To perceive an independent woman/girl as a threat to the existing patriarchal status quo is the general tendency of the Indian society at large. As a result activities like foeticide, infanticide, violation of physical and mental sanctity, difference of pay at workplaces, inequality of opportunities etc are still rampant in large parts of the country, despite laws banning the same.
Women who raise their sons instilling them with the belief of being superior to women (including their daughters), practice differential treatment of daughters and daughters-in-law, engage in baseless gossips about other women/girls, practice unfair treatment against other women at workplaces, are equally responsible for the plight of women in the Indian society. Such women push the equality movement on a reverse gear.