Repost from ashish at ArticleBase.
Times have changed and so have our ways; today we speak of equality and brotherhood, peace and liberty but the Indian history has stood witnessto some of the most hideous practices of inequality amongst men and women. Fate had reserved marriage and house-holding in the lives of Indian women in our olden societies but modern societies have in store for us different promises; today women hold equal rights as men and earn their own living. Sati, child marriages and the killing of a baby girl –the bearer of dowry– were some of the most common practices; not only of the ancient times but of our recent modern times too. Knowledge and awareness played a great role along with western ways of thinking, thought to be inappropriate, to bring about a change in the social lives of womenover a long period of time. It was not until a few decades ago when Raja Ram MohanRoy, an educated and aware mind, fought for the abolishment of Sati on the grounds of western thoughts, nor was it until Pandit Vidyasagar propagandised widow remarriage by setting an example by himself marrying a widow.
But this transition of ways and thoughts is not yet complete in Indiafor there exist a few communities who yet continue some of these inappropriate practices.The ancient society held, and so does the modern society to a certain extent, men in a superior and more dominant view than that of women.It took a long time to dissolve this view and homogenise the human rights amongst men and women. There is an evidence of maltreatment of Indian women in a few villages due to this orthodox viewthat is yet rooted deep in uneducated minds: for the uneducated mind thinks not of another being’s feelings and flinches not at the prospect of depriving the nation of another mind that could have revolutionized its ways. There have been great women equal in blood and state to men and have contributed equally to the society as well as to the nation.
True as it seems to us in modern times the women suffer less; yetit is a matter of dispute, for it is suffering that has to depart and not survive in its gradations. It stands in opposition to our thoughts of peace and liberty.Compared to the olden times the women live a better life now but the question that has risen in the wake of a world stirring incident that recently took place in India concerns itself about their safety. It has been a topic of great dispute amongst the elite minds and makes the headlines in the news. The U.N. has passed all sorts of regulations and declared that strict actions will be carried out on an account of any misbehaviour with a woman.
Evidently, if not obviously, the world is moving towards a greater height, a transitional period, and voluntary or involuntary –the choice is our—we have to become a part of this inevitable change for it is this deeper change that will render all our problems solvable. Before we faced the problems of inequality amongst men and women and today we face the problems of a woman’s security and tomorrow we might face some other problems but until we find equilibrium in our conduct or harmonise our ways problems shall rise. It is to solve all our problems that the world is moving to greater heights but so are problems there to help it ascend.