The Indian sub-continent is growing with a superb pace and the growth is inclusive. Attributing to numerous factors towards the growth of the world’s second largest populated democracy, the role of women finds an important place. Although, a great deal of apparent attention has not been given to the role of women in India, they have a fair, and quite evident share in the making of modern India.
Although, this piece of writing does not aim at emphasising the role of women in the growth of the country, rather it critically evaluates the place which women hold in modern India.
Moreover, the question is whether the social conditions of woman have improved over time or whether women really have become empowered, a word that today seems to be overrated and over-used.
In today’s time, we often get the chance to hear that women are empowered and have crossed the boundaries of their respective homes; they are reaching for the skies.
However, there was time when the role of women was reduced to just that of a home maker within the Indian society.
Gradually, education invaded into the homes of many and it slowly spread its light into the dark corners of closed minds.
From primary to higher education, a time came when women came out into the social and political front to rub shoulders with male counterparts. However, within Indian context is a partial reality.
Unlike many developed nations, India over the years has begun to experience a degradation in the condition of women.
In the Vedic period, women were worshipped as goddess to the pre-independence era, women like Rani Laxmi Bai fought bravely for the country’s freedom and became the face of a valiant female leader, for generations to come; today the mere safety and wellbeing of women is in danger and surprisingly, a topic of discussion in 21 century India.
It cannot be denied that women like Chitra Ramkrishnan, Arundathi Bhattacharya, Chanda Kochhar, and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, to name a few, have broken away from the shackles of gender-stereotypes, spearheading organisations and teams under them, but what about the common women?
A common woman is still struggling to be safe in her own house?
What about the society, where issues like ‘hostel curfews’ to protect women from “hormonal outbursts” are up for discussion.
What about dowry, acid attacks and rapes? The list is endless, and rather heartbreaking.
The need of the hour for modern India is to look at its the glorious past and revive its believes and thoughts, so a common woman can feel safe in her own surroundings.
A woman shall always be a woman which is a universal truth. While men being the ‘stronger gender’ needs to understand that men and women are like two wheels of a cart. The cart can only move safely when both of them pull it in the same direction and with equal strengths. Its not the woman who needs to change but the man … in his perception of a woman, with due respect to her women-hood, to her abilities, her views and ideas, her dreams ……… A practice of men protecting women needs to be replaced by inculcating culture of respect and gender equality. Let the society be “empowered” and “enlightened”.