8 Mar 2021, 10:51 — 4 min read
One has only to go through some internet sites to gauge how women will be celebrating International Women’s Day. Socialists may have started the trend of celebrating 8th March as Women’s Day, but capitalists make the most of it.
In western countries, the day was earmarked to fight for equal rights. The day also marked ‘suffrage’ or women’s right to vote. In India, women never had to do that. Women always had the right to vote. Therefore, we cannot let the day go, without dwelling on what we want to celebrate this day.
According to historian and author Arthur Llewellyn Basham’s book, The Wonder that was India, “A woman, according to most authorities, was always a minor at law. As a girl, she was under the tutelage of her parents, as an adult, of her husband, and as a widow, of her sons. The Arthashastra reveals the restrictions that were imposed on women in Vedic times.
A woman had little initiative. Women were faithful and obedient to their husbands. A wife’s first duty was to her husband. And unmarried women were a liability to their families. However, they were treated with honor and accorded the respect due to her. In later times, women sometimes took part in the war.”
History shows that the women who fought on the battlefields were mainly to protect their husbands and sons. Rani Lakshmi Bai rose as a fighter during the Indian Rebellion of 1857; Razia Sultan and Sarojini Naidu rose during the freedom struggle.
Primarily their role has been that of a nurturer and caregiver of the family. The age of science brought with it Janaki Ammal Edavaleth Kakkat, a botanist who researched cytogenetic and geography; and the organic chemist, Darshan Ranganathan.
Most of the texts of that time, give the impression that life was looked at from the perspective of the Man. Society, Occupation, Family, Rituals, Life itself is described for a man. Women were their bhagidaar (partners). In fact, one of the texts says, “The wife is half the man…for a woman is the everlasting field, in which the Self is born.”
Reflect the importance of the woman in a man’s life. Her importance is there only if she is important to the man. Outside of it, she doesn’t exist.
It becomes easier to understand.
The past gives birth to the future and therefore, to script a new way of ‘being’ for the Indian woman, we have to discard what is not working in the social constructs of the past.
And to carve out a sense of ‘Self’
Today decide what do you want to celebrate!
On the enticement of marketers?
Or to celebrate YOU?
Who YOU are – pure emotion, creation, life itself?
What YOU make of your life!
Also read: Choosing a gender inclusive world
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker
Posted byGeet Mala Jalota
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