Recently India’s cabinet minister of minority Ms. Najma Heptulla spoke about the importance of passing the women’s reservation bill in the parliament and it’s effectiveness in solving issues concerning women in the country. She is handling the minority portfolio in the government and women unfortunately have become minority in our country. She also threw light on the ever-widening gap between man and woman ratio in India. In some states like Haryana this matter is getting worse day by day and soon women might become an endangered species. She quoted the phrase ‘Nation of disappearing daughters’ as female foeticide is rampant in our country but I am using the word ‘land’ in place of ‘nation’ as I believe it is not a problem of India alone.
If you analyse the problem and its root cause of the miseries of women in any country you will find interpretation of religion and that to by men who supposedly are the keepers of religion to be the main culprits. How a society view women is proportional to how a religion and its keepers views them. Yesterday an Israel’s premier minister was heard talking how different and unequal women are from men and the purity of motherhood and according to him this thought process is preached in Islam. I am not sure wither Islam or any religion preach about inequality between man and women? I don’t know much about religions around the world but I am confident about one thing that no religion talks about inequality.
Women suffer from perception and taboo of religion and its misinterpretation by the keepers. Just to give an example, In Hindu religion we had a malpractice called ‘Sati Pratha’. The word is derived from the word ‘Sat’ meaning pure or truth. In this practice women were burned alive with her dead husband. When Lord Rama rescued his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana in Lanka. Though Load Rama himself know how pure his queen, he being the righteous one wanted Sita to give proof that she is pure in front of mortals like us. As she had been staying in Lanka amidst demons many people started thinking that she might have got corrupted. Sita then sat on fire to prove her purity as in Hindu religion fire is the symbol of purity.
In another instance (non religious) in Rajasthan some Rajput women of royal families practised this when in wars their husbands the king and family members died and they fear of torture by the enemies. You will find practices like this in all religions. In every religion and history stories like these are there for a purpose but when keepers of religion or that society promote these practices for their cruel intentions, these practices become taboo and malpractices. Eventually these instances lead to the state where we see women now in our world.
For centuries women were burned alive with their husbands without their consent in the name of Sati Pratha, why because some men wanted to show their dominance over the other gender in the name of religion. This practice was later abolished by Raja Ram Mohan Roy but sometimes in remote villages even now we hear instances where Sati Pratha is practised. Like this in every religion practices have been tweaked to ensure women are deprived of their natural rights, rights as human beings. God has made everyone equal, frankly speaking we should not even need a reservation bill.
History has been repeating itself again and again and women are a soft target for all these so called religious and social keepers. Yes physically they are different from men but that does not suggest they are anyway inferior. Man and women complement each other and this is important for existence of mankind. There have been number of examples where species have been wiped off from the face of the planet due to disparity between male and female.
Malpractices in society like female foeticide, lack of education for girl child, malnutrition, dowry, widows considered taboo and even girls not getting proper rights in their parental properties has led to the current state of women. I should strongly state here that even women at times have been enemies of women as they encourage these practices. You ask any pregnant women, she would love to have a boy child, why? Is there any guarantee that this boy will take care of you in your old age? He will love you more than a girl child? let’s be practical here, times have become very competitive. No one has time, families are disintegrating, people are leaving home town for search of jobs and livelihood. Today husband and wife have to earn their living. Both have to work to survive. For that women have to be educated, they have to be treated as equals as they perform duties equally as a man.
Lets look at a future with disparity between man and women. There will be frustration in men, rapes, murders, women bring balance to a family and society which will be completely lost. There are number of villages in Haryana where there are thousands of young men who are eligible for marriage but there are no women in the village left to marry them. This needs to stop, this society needs to change the way it thinks. Just for records God has given women the greatest gift to give birth to a child which no man can ever equal.
If you observe carefully around the world, nations where women are respected , economy’s where women contribute equally are progressive and developed and the once where they are suppressed and tortured are under developed and backward. Recently a women was jailed for watching a volleyball match and even worse one women was hanged for murdering a influential man who tried to rape her. How much demeaning can it get. How can these countries ever progress.
India has a rich history and culture. It also houses some of the worlds greatest religions who co-exist in harmony. If you summaries all these religions, the one thing which comes out loud and clear is unity and equality and this equality is inclusive of women. I am quite hopeful that one day we will regain our past glory but we will need many more Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s and countless Jhansi Ki Rani.