Thursday, 29 March, 2007

"WOEmen" of devELOPING iNDIA

A widow should be long suffering until death,self-restarined and chaste.
a virtuous wife who remains chaste when her husband has died goes to heaven.
a woman who is unfaithful to her (DEAD)husband is reborn in the womb of a jackal.
The Laws of Manu.
Chapter 5 Verse 156-161
("SACRED" Hindu Texts)

According to dharamshastras there are three ways for a widow either sati,life of penance or remarriage with the younger brother of her husband.

There are over 34 million widows in India according to the 2001 cencus.many continue to live in the conditions of social,economic and cultural deprivation as prescribed 2000 years ago by the sacred texts of manu.

Film:Water(oscar nominated for best foreign film 2007)
Director:Deepa Mehta
Country:Canada(filmed in Sri Lanka)based in India on the banks of river Ganges.
Words defining the movie:Haunting Truth
Scandals involved:Shoot in Varanasi was stopped due to threats and demonstrations orchestrated by Hindu fundamentalist groups supported by the leadership of the state government in Uttar Pradesh due to which it had to shift location to Sri Lanka.
Principal Characters:
Chuhiya:a 7-8 yr old lil girl who is a widow.
Kalyani:a 19-20 yr old graceful girl who falls in love with narayana.
Narayana:a follower of Gandhi who is 30 yrs old or so and is in favour of widow reforms.
Madhumati:a lady who lives in the widow house and is in two minds whether to follow the so called sacred texts or to follow her heart.

Chuhiya's Father: [to young Chuhiya] Child. Do you remember getting married? Your husband is dead. You're a widow now.
Chuhiya:up until when baba ?

Chuhiya:(after visiting the widow house where she is left by her parents)baba where is maa ? I wont stay here baba i wont i wont i wont *cries out loud*

(Another widow while taking water from a river) a priest says "stay clear of me...let not your wicked shadow fall on me"

(In a temple where all widows hav to beg for money as they are not allowed to earn their own money)
chuhiya:why all this ? go drown yourself! (btw all the money was deposited in ashram's account)

A procurer comes along in the night and takes a young beautiful widow to a rich merchant where she serves as a cyprian(read whore)

In a particular event A very old aged widow dies after which the other widows have to look after her dead body for her last rites but they have no money to do that(coz they arent allowed to work they can only amass money by begging which by the way moves to temple what was the way out one might ask...i too am left asking the same)

Narayana:kalyani devi,when did you become a widow ?
Kalyani:I dont remember may be 9 yrs old
Narayana:how was he ?
Kalyani:I dont know,I never met him.

Madhumati:even thinking about reamarriage is a crime!
Chuhiya:why ?
Madhumati:Ask God!
(Chuhiya:where is he ?
Madhumati:how do I know ?
Chuhiya:then who does ?
Madhumati:God knows everything
Chuhiya:how and again where is he ?)

Narayan's dad:narayan listen a brahmin can sleep with any woman because the woman is always benificiary irrespective of who she is.
narayan:lord Ram once said to Bharat said never respect any brahmin who use vedas for their profit.

Madhumati:there must be a reason behind us coming here (widow house)
Narayan:a mouth less to feed,4 sarees,a bed,a corner of your house is free, no other reason,this too is a business in the shadow of religion.

Chuhiya a small girl of age 8 now is sent to a rich merchant who uses her as a tart.(just a fancy word for whore coz I as a human being feel deeply ashamed and immoral to use the word in context to a 8 yr old girl (for that matter any girl of any age) with all due respect to all the hindu shastras and the sacred brahmins and thier laws the sacred thread which gives them the right to... and everyother person who is supposedly sacred by birth and not by DEEDS)

A few days ago I was asked to speak about a topic in a sort of elocution competition the topic was "SHOULD WOMEN WORK IN NIGHT ?"I as a part of young DEVELOPING INDIA with a GDP of 9.3 and growing said "if today we ask ourselves that whether women should work in night then I guess we have no rights to dream of a developed India...what purpose does it serve anyway ? isnt it a shame that we are even asking these kind of questions when we CRY OUT LOUD about WOMEN EMPOWERMENT WOMEN RIGHTS WOMEN BILL WOMEN RESERVATION ? the question arises that why arent more women working in night shifts ? because the law and order situation in India needs improvement"and I said a lot more about SO CALLED women empowerment but what followed this was actually very saddening,then I thought why not ask the girls what do they think.I thought most of them thought the same way I did but then what I didnt realise was how deeply rooted this evil and profoundness of shadow of self doubt was.most of the girls who are currently pursuing bachelor's degree answered me negatively and said may be women should not work at night because of several reasons.after which i asked them would you consider your educated decision provided the law and order situation in the cities and towns of India becomes better ? there was a silence which made me substantiate the fact that women empowerment should start with women themselves and empowerment begins in the mind and soul until the minds are ignited with flame of knowledge andwisdom with urge to fly high no change will ever occur in India or the women brooding in it.

(I with all my heart and mind and body and soul want this India to change.hope some if not all of you girls will someday rise form the ashes of so called pseudo culture and customs and realise your potential and set yourself free and fly.......Best of Luck...and yeah kick some fundaMENTALists of which ever religion you want,afterall all of them have prejudices against womenhood)

I live for CHANGE so should THE CHANGE for a CHANGE !


abhu said...

hmm..well said. but its easier said then done. the problem is that pple (yes,like u) think dat women shud and can work at night, and they know that its not very safe for them to do this, owing to the SUPERB security we have in our towns and cities.but, do nothing beyond discussing and speaking and writing bout it.
its not bout traditions and customs. i think women today have learned to rise above these base discriminations and beliefs. but its human tendency to dwell upon the security of one's life. i dont think anybody is sooo ambitious that they'l put their lives in danger.
so, i think, the entire law and order system shud undergo radical changes, even the male population needs to "GROW UP" and respect the power and position that women can hold and r holding.


n how do u intend to make the "GROWN UP" male population RESPECT THE POWER ? by hiding in ur home inside 4 walls ?....n yeah its not abt wat position you CAN hold....its abt GETTING OUT there and HOLDING!!!!

twinkle said...

hmm.......yeah women CAN work in night!! But..SHOULD they?? People say they SHOULDN'T....WHY??? answer comes ITS NOT SAFE!!! Its more of a law and order problem and the entire law and order system should undergo changes..again who will change the system?? People like you and me can't....can we??? BUT we can change ourselves and try and get closer to being human least!!!How many GUYS or MEN do you find around u who think like you....RESPECT women like you??? not many,do u?? Most of the times women here are scared of..what u know?? MEN!! obviously not all but all those uncivilized ones....and i believe the number of all those educatedly uneducated MEN here is very high. So before all those changes undergo(hope it will someday) the MEN, the way the MEN THINK needs to CHANGE. HOPE all those uncivilized GUYS or MEN will learn to be decent someday.And that day no girl will say "I wont work at least not because of safety issues"

lagna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

justified argument...GUYS SHOULD! I knw do they ? tht I guess U knw better than me...(sorry :( )
but u ppl shud just not raise ur voice but actually go out thr n do something to change the situation n abt guys hitin on gurls THE TREND HAS REVERSED ! jus lik GLOBALISATION this too has cum full circle :P trust me!


but YES I THING FOR SURE COMMENTING ON UNKNOWN GURLS IS DEGRADING but yea witty replies if the fairer sex messes wid me ! tht cald playin the GAME !

twinkle said...

i trust u BUT..the trend of GIRLS hitting on GUYS was always there dear!! so NO trend has reversed....its just that NOW U know some GIRLS who DO HIT on GUYS n before U didn't(HahA)

NEways how many reports of GUYS being ..... or killed by GIRLS do u come across??

lagna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

yea gurls spill out beans most of the tym but thr is a larger concern repeatative tests show that girls are more emotionally attached to the people they care about.just like if something happens to you in your home or your father whom do u think will come first to your aid ? ans tht....its nothing bad its normal...lik a guy cant b as gr8 nurse as a gurl or for tht case a MOM.
guys may not be excellent secret keeprs but gurls certainly r worse in tht department but yes wat the Indian Intelligence n Army doesnt contemplate is on the fact tht Indian women can be given more jobs in Intelligence deaprtment for SPYING on others(sumthin tht evry other intelligence bureau practices)


well WOMEN shud b given jobs in in IFS IAS IPS in civil military or watevr service...thr r actually vlid points which make them more emplyable in those they are less corrupt wen compared to men...they hav more emotional will they shud be employed where they can do better;but alas India still lives in 16th century wen it cums to JOBS n WOMEN...ppl lik U shud change it.

wildflower said...

i hav nt read da whole post (may b i l do dat after i comment here) :P
cudnt wait to tell u how much i loved WATER ...besides all da social issues it has picked up...i think da romance portrayed can even awake the dead !!!


yup water is lovely......yeah take ur tym n test ur patience(in oder words go thru my post n the blog....)[:P]

Anonymous said...

hmm,..wel,this is a tricky issue..appreciate that u've tried to understnd what we women go thru jst abt everyday in life...from catcalls 2 bad gestures 2 lewd comments..evrythn..but d fact remains dat u wil somehow never be able 2 understnd the sacrifices we hv 2 go thru jst bcoz we r's nice 2 see that ppl nowadays r respondin 2 issues such as these,bt respect 2wards women i thnk is still far frm bein achievd..bcoz wat usually happens is dat men talk intelligently abt it in public forums,online n in frnt of their peers thus establishin their superior thot process bt wen u see them on d streets n a gud lukin girl passes by,he is usually d 1st 2 pass a comment or a lewd remark.why,bcoz he thnks all d guys do it,all of his frnds do it n he thnks it's perfectly reasonable 4 him 2 do is dis 2 faced hypocrisy by d educated men dat saddens do u den expect d uneducated 2 understnd??


shreya WITH ALL DUE RESPECT my frniends here are will testify THT I M NOT SOMEONE like that i BY GOD'S GRACE neither do i need to...
n yes IF SOME GUY IS ATLEAST DOING the needed then atleast dont defame him...
ppl get respect wen they hav self-respect.
n i didnt ask ne1 to comment on the blog if he she thinks its a lost cause n the person is being hypocritic... nyes since u said tht other ppl do it i vl ask u to ennumerate another 5 ppl including urself who has done nethin personally to upheave womankind...i hav all my life and my blog is a testimony to that not jus this social issue but others tht plague the mordern world as well.....wid all due respect to U n as a human as a frnd plz refrain from narrow minded commentary.
thank you


n yes i on an average get 15 cat calls a week,loads of unwarrented comments n msgs from unknown nos n ofcourse they r not guys!
n no one is asking u to bcum demigods but act human n considerate enuf to ustand my cause n concern!get it ?
this is vry upsetting...mayb thts y u wont achieve the respect form ppl coz the ones who give u that u dont seem to appreciate..and my blog wasnt about PASSING COMMENTS (plz come back to topic AND READ IT!!!!) it was abt "WOEmen getting self-empowered" which ofcourse is in ur won hand...

HYPOCRISY lies in the fact tht although U"shreya" or any other girl who thinks the same way might WANT RESPECT when someone gives the same, they think it has ulterior motive...
BE A LITTLE BROAD MINDED AND AND GIVE RESPECT TO EXPECT RESPECT...! atleast to the ones who give you...if u evn vilify them then may God bless you

Anonymous said...

now,i don't think it's a lost cause,in fact far from it...i think it's progressing better than it was doing 20 years b4..i was merely referring to the fact that not all people show the same amount of respect that their words imply and i am referring to men in general and not specifically to you(it wud be wrong of me to comment on you as i personally don't know you and therefore i m not in a position 2 judge ur actions and behaviour)'s true not many women also show faith in empowering themselves against their conditions..but in a country like india,whr a women who raises her voice against a goon,and has to live the rest of her life in fear lest she shud be cornered sumday by the very person who wants 2 settle scores wid her(read d papers,kamonasish..u'll find scores of reports thr),it's very hard to be brave..again,i appreciate the contribution dat u've done in ur blog against dis issue..i'm nt undermining it.

Anonymous said...

it's not the question of respect that i want...i want things to be "normal" for all women who liv here..i want girls lik me to have the freedom of living our lives lik ordinary individuals without worrying our hearts out wen we walk on the streets widout sum1 to protect us or wen we work night shifts in jobs..i dnt belong 2 dat school of thot dat says guys shud alwez respct women bcoz they r d embodiments of motherhood,of life..etc..etc..even guys make wonderful fathers,why shud dey nt get respect on d basis of fatherhood??i jst want us 2 be seen as normal,giv us d same treatment dat d guys get,let d girl child get d same privileges as a boy child,let a wife hv as much freedom as a husband short treat as lik equals,nt lik minorities or even lik goddesses..respect is attachd 2 d individual as a whole,n not jst whethr it's a guy or a girl..i wud nvr badmouth sum1 who givs me respct,bt giv me respect on how wel u know me,how well u thnk of me,nt which class of ppl i represent..ur blog is a wonderful medium of spreadin awarenes of dis issue among men n women,equally..i thnk u r doin a gr8 job!!


see nothing is going to change until learned LADIES lik u take charge!!!
my blog ur blog our forum OUR COLLECTIVE noble cause wont go out of our LIVING ROOM(n make any difference)until girls lik u stand up n fight for ur rights!!!not jus against the lechers but also the "AVERAGE" Indian person "ps-person includes MEN n WOMEN" who are included in ur workspace ur college skoool house neighbourhood....its never about fighting the PEOPLE is about FIGHTING THE EVIL idea in the MINDs of the people.dont complain ACT!!! if u think sum1 is going to do something to u GET PEPPER SPRAY!or learn JUDO! n if its a larger concern then u hav to change PPL'S ATTITUDE and to change that u need to rasie ur voice against ne1 how doesnt respect u or doesnt giv u enuf space n leg-room!

tista said...

the silence was not the inability to answer your question
the silence was about the silent mockery of a better tomorrow
the silence was there but there were few unspoken words spoken...questioning how far the laws can work??
this silence indicates of a storm lying ahead dear...this not a suppressed voice..
the voice will rise..
the ashes are burning....
the brak of dawn is nearing..
and the women will no longer be woemen...
they will rise to their highest potentialities...

tista said...

moreove religion is not a curtain to hide behind...but u have to aGREE THAT AT TIMES CERTAIN THINGS DO PULL US BAK FROM DOING SUMTHING...


dont b SHY n COY...
stand for urself n realise ur dreams (if any...luk beyond the glamour..take a stand)
journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step... n so put ur best foot forward wid enuf strength n conviction to floow it up wid more steps until u reach ur goal....DONT GET MARRIED TO SUM @$$#0!% WHO TREATS YOU AS A PRINCESS...BUT MARRY SUM1 WHO KNWS UR VALUE N UR WORTH...the sad part is most smart young talented girls think MARRIAGE TO sum super RICH GUYS to b an alternative to a dream job...almost none of u vl trade a gr8 future prospect for a wealthy husband,coz its easier tht way..but IS IT NECESSARILY HAPPIER ??? ask tht to urself...WAKE UP!!! no1 vl pay u respect unless U LEARN TO EARN IT !!!!

This comment has been removed by the author.

and man, i was prudent even back then :D


its weird how ideas and ideologies change. I know no one will come here to read my comment on my own comment, but this is for you aayush :)

this is how you have changed

you now think that your wife shouldn't work because it will create turmoil in your personal life and her working might give both of you less time to love each other. also because of the baby that will come and because she has to learn the tricks and trades of a homely life to make your home complete.

Love and Life has changed me, may be made me more practical and pragmatic but is it necessarily constructive?

Lets see what you think about the same few years from now, when you come back to this spot and write again. until then mr.kamonasish aayush mazumdar...bye bye and hope the nest time you come here, you would have become even more seasoned person :) in every way possible.

till then best of luck with life :)


somarrita said...

well its the thought that i respect which induced u 2 write this blog...but seriously do u really think things can change for the better?
m askin more coz u a delhite...and delhi s considered to be the most unsafe metro 4 women!
i agree girls need to be more assertive..but who wants to take that risk?? i can hardly count a handful among my friends n relatives too who would!! same is the case in every family in this country...