– Aradhana Pandey
In an era of where ideas have the potential to flow across the world, it is important for us, Indian women to relook at our progress. Are we simply being mesmerised by the Western view of life and have begun to accept that as modern . Does modernism mean Modishness ? Does it mean that the Indian view of womanhood is out-dated, old fashioned ?
Which is better ?
When we compare two things we need metrics to measure. For example when we two countries we have multiple dimensions to compare it- we can compare it based on area, population, GDP etc. We hear people saying women are equal to men. When we say men vs women , we need to exactly know what are we comparing. Individuals have multiple dimensions to compare- The physical strength,emotional strength, intellectual strength and many more things which cannot be measure or even defined. Hence comparing two individuals based on gender is a very complicated thing and needs huge study.The potential of women in some dimensions like emotional, social is far more greater than men which has been accepted in India since ages. This was not proved by today’s statistics where women are working and managing home but long back in India. We forgot to notice these things as we are always taught incorrect history.
Ancient Bharatiya women
We talk about the first women Prime Minister or first women in space but why were we not even reminded about the great women warriors and the same time were great mothers. How many of us remember Jijabai or Rani Ahilyabai Holker or even Jhansi Lakshmi bai when we are giving examples of great women. We might have not even heard of Rani Avantibai or Rani Durgavathibai
However we talk about modern day women who is going out just to earn money. These were the women who went out to rule their kingdoms, to sacrifice their life for the nation. They not only ruled the nation but proved themselves as Great rulers. When I talk about great women I don’t think youth of today can imagine these women but can imagine a women with western dress, western language and habits. I remember my mother and grand mother whose motherly nature was just limited to her kids. She took care of neighboring kids whenever required, she took care of maid, vendors and laborers. She gave them food, water and the soothing words where they shared their problems with her and got relaxed from mental pressures.
But today women are becoming more self centered. Let me explain it with a small story. This is the story of Narcissus and his reflection. There was a day when Narcissus was walking in the woods. Echo , an oread (mountain nymph) saw him, fell deeply in love, and followed him. Narcissus sensed he was being followed and shouted “Who’s there?”. Echo repeated”Who’s there?”. She eventually revealed her identity and attempted to embrace him. He stepped away and told her to leave him alone. She was heartbroken and spent the rest of her life in lonely glens until nothing but an echo sound remained of her. Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, learned of this story and decided to punish Narcissus. She lured him to a pool where he saw his own reflection. He didn’t realize it was only an image and fell in love with it. He eventually realised that his love could not be addressed and died.
Western concept of women today is Narcissus who focus on themselves first. Not only women there but every person their is self centered. This is the reason why the family system vanished in the west. Family is a group of people who inter depend on each other. To make a great family they need sacrifices, adjustments and need to have a attitude of giving. As with the case of Narcissus who could not love Echo but loved his own image. The same is happening with Women today who are aping the western culture.
Problem with today’s women’s empowerment organizations:
Many a women’s organizations are formed for the empowerment of women. Most of these organizations talk about women’s rights. We see that rights and responsibilities are two coins which cannot be separated and these organizations are just trying to show us the other part of the coin. Women responsibilities have changed totally from what it has been 50 years back. The change in the structure of the family, work culture, education system have increased the burden on women. She is not just limited to the house hold works but have to look after kids education, finances with not much support from the extended family. Most of these NGO organizations do not talk about the increased responsibilities of women or the ways to tackle the problems they face during taking up such new responsibilities. The only target of these organizations is to destroy the strong family bond women has with their family and to treat women as a separate entity rather than as part of family. These organization take inspirations from the Western women organizations where there is nothing called as family system. We cannot apply the rules as the west. In rural part of India we have elderly respected people who did resolve family issues if they had any but took effort not to disturb the family.
Every soil is different and farmer can get good results only if he knows the nature of his soil. The same applies to the organization methodologies. The problems of women in West is completely different from that of India. We cannot apply the same organization methodology of west in India. The organizations should think in a broader perspective to solve the problems of women. Instead they are in a hurry to increase the count of the issues they resolved or rather I can say issues they have interrupted in. The issue is said to be resolved when the person who has come with complaint is satisfied and happy with the resolution.
Modern day women definition:
Modern women should be the women who can hold the responsibility of her family but her positive aura should not be just limited to her family but spread in society. Women can impact on society more than a men as her way of handling things is different. We might have seen toddlers copying their parents but mostly they copy their mother than their father. It is the inbuilt nature of women to attract attention of everybody. To make a positive use of this very nature of hers, she should behave in a responsible way. Her every deed has impact on society. She has the power to build the relationships. It is she who can keep society bonded.
However the new western trend of being self centered has increased in the society. It may be in men or women or even the kids. Every one wants to think about themselves first. The self-centered attitude was the main reason for shattering of family system in the west. Today we see this in India too and slowly it is eating up our traditional family system as a pest eats the farm. We could not protect it from entering our strong Indian culture however we can still take care by making ourselves strong. We just need to realize the power we women have and use our strength constructively. It is a false notion created in society that women were given less importance and were neglected by Indian men. We need to recall those great Rani’s and Maharani’s. No other country had a great history of women as we Indians do has. However with the blow of invaders in Indian, women had hidden themselves in ghunghats and forgot to rediscover their potential. Women in India need only to realize which way they need to move. The western self centered way destroying her family and in turn the society or the Indian way where she plays the role of caretaker of not just her family but also the people around her. Women is always filled with lot of love and compassion. If she holds those feelings towards herself it would lead to destruction and if she showers it to others a new peaceful and compassionate world can be created.