International Women’s Day is now heading towards becoming yet another significant celebration in India, especially among the elite masses. A quick look at the deplorable condition of majority of Indian women however, hardly justifies any celebration of womanhood in the country.
Women have been allotted a lower position than that enjoyed by men in Indian society. In days gone by women had no right to education or property and were subject to ghastly practices like sati, child marriage and dowry. If all this were not enough, women have always had to handle all household chores and raise children while men were totally absolved from these tasks.
Over the years, things have been getting better with several renowned leaders working towards women’s emancipation. However even in this generation when India projects itself as a rapidly advancing global player, practices like dowry, female infanticide and inequality can be seen rampantly.
Women’s empowerment movements have been making in-roads, but at an inadequate pace. The scenario has become much tolerable in urban cities where women have excelled in every profession, raised families and achieved on par with men. It is here that women’s day has become significant and a fitting tribute to womanhood. Besides sharing greetings, several seminars, conferences and festivities form part of women’s day.
The larger sections of Indian women however, do not belong to this category. Many of them pass the day, fulfilling their duties, facing the same old abuse, insult and injustice with absolutely nothing to be happy about being born a woman.
Even the few who do hear about the day being called ‘Women’s Day’ only vent out their anger at their lot in life rather than feel any positive vibe.
Women’s Day is not a holiday and life moves on as usual. Men regard the day as nothing more than exaggerated significance to the weaker sex and women themselves hardly look forward to the day.
Some prefer to observe the day as ‘Wives Day’, though this observance has even fewer patrons. Women in India still struggle for their rights and are often victims of neglect and abuse. Unless the men in the country decide to radically change and begin looking at women as people rather than commodities, ‘Women’s Day’ will continue to be celebrated with scornful mirth.
Here are two books for further reading
Buy Women in Modern India (The New Cambridge History of India) from Amazon.com
Buy Women In India: Trials & Triumphs from Flipkart.com