Indian Women Empowerment
Satish, Uma, Saranya,
I have been anticipating that around 2013 - 15, Uma might be invited to become a Judge. The present invitation from US Congress is a precursor to that, and her claims to sit on the Bench cannot go unnoticed now.
I realise the limitations to presenting a proper case for India and to defend it, when one is in a group and is limited by protocols, if any. Nevertheless, the topic for discussion is so deep that entirely new perceptions can be brought into discussion. Here are some inputs, ready at hand, can scratch my brain and give more if Uma is interested.
The Indian Heritage, though admired universally contains the seeds that have been germinating from time to time and creating social problems. These have been between communities, groups, faiths, also between the sexes. All these problems were resolved on the basis of might and never got into the public domain to be noticed and discussed. The Khap and other Panchayats constituted wholly by men to perpetuate their suzerainty ensured that their interests were protected against other communities, faiths and the other sex. The Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavatham, why even the Vedas have supported this idea of oppression, by sanctifying it.
The British came and adopted the divide-and-rule policy. They successfully set one group against another, one faith against another, man against woman. For this purpose they tactfully took up issues like Sati, Age of Marriage, inter-caste marriage, property rights, temple-entry, etc. The result was a flurry of legislative measures that did help the oppressed, like the temple-entry rights, maintenance and property rights for women, the Sarda Act etc.
Subsequent to the globalisation measures taken in India, the expansion of mass-media on a huge scale ( the TV, Mobile etc.) empowerment of women arising out of the exponential growth in education etc. women are no longer prepared to grin and bear the harsh treatment meted out to them so far. They have begun standing up and want to be counted. THEY CANNOT BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED, ANY MORE.
What we are seeing in India now is this spirit of challenge from women as a whole, from all communities and faiths, and in this they are strongly supported by most educated men. This challenging spirit has taken roots in the villages, in the schools and colleges, in offices etc. and cannot be suppressed any more, even by the dreadful Khap Panchayats, who will soon run for cover. The revolution has begun and is gaining support every day.
In the days to come, the Indian women would share in equal measure with men the making of laws and their administration, the running of the Governments , and in all walks of life. They will have their due share in the Legislatures, the Judiciary and the Administration.