02 March 2014 :: Modern Indian women have played a vital role in leading the world towards a new direction. Women like the Iron lady Indira Gandhi, Swarsamragi Lata Mangeshkar, Queen of Indian Track P.T.Usha, Spacegirl Kalpana Chawla and Indira Nooyi have provided the world with new extensions with their indomitable courage, unbounded manliness, constant patience, firm will-power and determined intentions. Prior to them, the picture of Indian woman was that of an uneducated and powerless rural woman in veils who was declared Sati by burning alive on the fire with the dead husband or was burnt in the fetters of dowry.
In India, was women degradation practiced continuously? No. There was a time when it was said,
This means, God resides there where woman is worshiped. In ancient India, Lord Mahavir granted the supreme right of Enlightment to ChandanBala by making her SadhviPramukha. GautamBudh has made a vital contribution in women empowerment by establishing Independent Female Monk Organisation.
Centuries after them, new legislations formed have snatched away women rights to equality. History has changed, Geography has changed, Sovereign has changed but one thing that remained unchanged is the state of women in society. During Mughal rule, women were burnt alive in the flames of Johar. Why? Was there no life in them? Were they not humans? Like insects, were they born only for male satisfaction and procreation? Did they not have the right to live?
Ripping the house of darkness came out some beams of light. Women personalities such as Rajmata Jijabai, Maharani Durgavati, Rani Laxmi Bai, Rani Chenamma and Durga Bhabi have amazed the society, providing the social activist with new perspective. Dr. Ambedkar has said, “A country can prosper only when its women population is given equal opportunity to proper.” Swami Vivekananda has said, “It is necessary to bring about revolutionary transition in the societies of India. It is possible only when the women population of India stand out as lioness.” In the year 1949, through Anuvrat movement and Naya Mod, AcharyaTulsi brought out ample opportunities for Women development from conservativeness.
Efforts of these visionaries paid off. Minarets of beams of light came on the silver terrace of India. Several ladies like Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, Bachendri Pal, Pratibha Patil, Chanda Kochar and Ashwarya Rai have laid down new paradigm in society through their exclusive work. Their hard-working personality demolished all the walls of restrictions. Motivated by the success of these ladies, a queue of women was found challenging the masculine dominance.
Man could not stand such actions and the dominance over women started increasing, with an increase in their inhuman behaviour. In an incident in the Morana district of Mujaffarnagar, a 10 year old girl was physically harassed by her father. In another incident in the Veerbhum district, a 20 year old tribal girl was declared as a whore and was gang-raped by 12 brutal men as a punishment declared by the Panchayat of Labhpur. In a third incident, on filing a case of physical harassment against a dictatorial of Vrindavan, the courageous mother and her daughter were shot dead in broad daylight.
Not only the uneducated class, but also the educated and the self-dependent women population have come under this calculated conspiracy. Cases of sexual harassment have been witnessed even in the offices of advocates and journalists. It is an irony that even at home, half of the women population feels insecure. Summing up, acidic attacks, kidnaps, murders, rape, dowry torture, domestic violence, insecurity at workplace, sexual torture, cyber-crime and mental torture have become challenge for a woman’s identity.
Worst was the case when the young girl of Delhi was brutally gang-raped in a running bus. The entire world was shocked by this incident. Along with the common people, the youth of Delhi raised their voice for justice. As a result, new regulations were established and doors of fast-track courts were opened. Expectations increased that the crimes towards women would then decrease. But things happened the other way round. According to the statistics produced by the National Women Commission, cases filed against rape and sexual assaults in the year 2013 have been double in number as compared to that in the year 2012. Due to this, India was criticized in the global report of the International Human Rights Commission.
How will women feel secure under such circumstances? How will the mentality of the men change who considers woman as a materialistic object? How will the world change?
Matters are now not going to settle merely by lectures and planning in papers. The society requires instantaneous change with immediate results. A new batch of self-sacrificing workers needs to be established. They need to roll up their sleeves and develop the importance of education in the minds of all the men as well as the women. Because education is the only way which enables people to differentiate between right and wrong and remove gender discrimination.
Through education and employment, a woman needs to be independent so that she represents a strong personality in the family and the society as a whole. A woman should play the lead role in the family. Only then would matters relating to abortion and discrimination between boy and girl child come to an end. Only such activities would strengthen the foundation of women empowerment.
Gender discrimination need to be abolished also from the family traditions and social culture. Activities like ringing bells on girl child birth should be practiced. A daughter should be privileged to cremate her parents.
In order to remove gender discrimination from politics, every third seat in minimum of the Parliament needs to be occupied by a woman and women need to play a vital role in policy making of the nation. Women of India need to come forward in the roles of Chief Justice and advocates and also the number of courts should be increased by the government so that victims receive immediate justice and the culprit faces punishment with no delay. Along with these, Women Rehabilitation Centres need to establish all around the nation where physically assaulted victims receive security and livelihood.
Leader like Dr. Kiran Bedi, who is bold, unbiased and responsible, need to be introduced in the Police force. Women population in the police force also need to be increased.
Most importantly, it is necessary that, keeping secure their original qualities, women keep themselves updated with the global changes, train themselves in the self-defence techniques like Judo and Karate, stop being content with everything no matter right or wrong and by becoming self-dependent, enjoy the joy of self-empowerment. Few women like Mamta Banerjee, Jaylalita and Mayavati would not suffice. Every home need to have a Jhansi ki Rani who, along with leading the responsibilities as a mother, sister, daughter and wife, is capable enough for self-security as well as security of the entire family. Women empowerment would be successful in the true sense only when such environment prevails in the nation and celebration of International Women’s Day would be meaningful.
Dr. Kusum Lunia
Email :: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author:
Dr. Kusum Lunia is a famous author and socialist. Her book ‘Shakhahar-ShreshthAAhar’ is popular all around the globe. A novel based on the theme of female infanticide, ‘Unchi Udaan’ has been appreciated by many and honoured by many organisations and institutes. T.V. serial and film has been proposed based on ‘Shikhar Tak Chalo’, her book on naxalism. Many articles by Dr. Lunia are being published in famous newspapers, journals and magazines. Dr. Kusum Lunia has been honoured by Dr. Nemichand Jain Award, Karuna International Award, Arya Smriti Award, Gyanoday Puruskar, Sahid Bhagat Singh Samaj seva Award and many other international, national and state-level awards. She is the Secretary of Jain Shwetambar Terapanth Sabha, Co-conveyer of Akhil Bharatiya Anuvratanyas, Executive member of National Vicharmanch and Associate member of Film Writer’s Association, Mumbai.