Is Mother India Really Independent

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Aug 2018 11:37:31



It is the 71st independence Day that India will be celebrating on 15th of August this year. But while contemplating independence in its literal meaning ‘self-sufficient’, what enormously baffles my mind is the diffident status of the ‘second class citizen’ or the women of our country. Because the struggle with which the women are going through right now, most probably they need one more century, to liberate themselves from the vindictive hands of patriarchy, just as the Indians have taken two hundred years to come out of the clutches of the British reign. 

Few days back at a music reality show, a girl participant coming from one of the remotest areas of Rajasthan, mourned that the village she belongs to, doesn’t allow women to engage themselves in any kind of performing arts and culture, because music and dance is against the ideology of the village, and if incase a woman is being caught with practicing the same, she would either be beaten as punishment or ostracised from the village. But the underlying thought is - what is the fault of that innocent girl? Will she never get independence to do justice to her passion?

Every morning after reading the newspaper and coming across cases of rape, acid attacks or eve teasing, there is a constant anxiety that works on women, mantling towards insecurities. They don’t find it safe to walk down the streets not only at night but also in broad daylight. They are declining psychologically, losing faith in themselves.

But in such a harsh situation, I feel so proud to mention that according to the survey, in states like Kerala and Karnataka, more than the boys, girls are performing well and doing better than their male counterparts in the boards and even in various other competitive exams. But sadly when they are trying to effectuate their aims in a higher context, they are falling short because in India, freedom for women is demarcated to a limited boundary. Many a parent, even today, don’t feel confident to send their daughters away from them for job or higher studies.

Piya Roy, a software engineer from Kolkata says, “It is strange that most of the time after a sexual assault case in India, more than the focus of penalizing the assailant, the citizens blame the get up of the woman who is victimized”. So women cannot breathe freely, women cannot live freely, it is the society on which she is dependent on, to dictate her independence. And if this continues how do we expect them to dauntlessly excel their creative abilities or gain intellectual freedom in the global context?

Today also we get to hear incidents where a female fetus that is conceived in a mother’s womb is being annihilated, or a female child taking birth in a family is considered as a curse and is being murdered mercilessly. According to the paradigmatic structure of a patriarchal society- girls are considered a ‘burden’-especially in the poor families. Because they don’t have monetary ability to suffice dowry during their daughter’s wedding, therefore they believe that killing of a girl child is perhaps a better option.

But of all the stages in a woman’s life, the worst is probably being led by an office-going married lady, who endeavours to keep a balance between her job and her private sphere. Because on trying to concentrate fully on her public domain, if she, by mistake sidetracks her domestic domain, she will be pushed by her in-laws to leave the job and sit at home, looking after her children and husband. But the question is- if she forsakes her job, how will she get an economic independence?

To conclude, the status of women in India is very precarious and unassertive, but a country cannot gain success until and unless there are egalitarian rights and power for both men and women.

Therefore we should all join hands to break ourselves from the iron shackles of matriarchy and patriarchy and encourage women to obtain independence, as Nelson Mandela has said, “Freedom cannot be achieved unless the women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression”.