The Place of women in Indian Society
Traditionally, there have always been two attitudes towards women, either it is that women are weak, they must be protected, kept at home and looked after – the daughter, the wife and the mother. The other is – she must be worshipped. We see them as goddesses – Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati. The reality is that Indian women are neither. They are not stone statues but they are human being to be treated equally as man.
The place of women in Indian society today is an uncertain one. She has not totally stepped out of the past exploitative role that the society had designed for her. Today we have the constitutional guarantees, the legislation that makes a girl equal to a boy, but social change is slow. We cannot brainwash the parents and gender conditioning still treats women as the weaker sex. The New Education Policy, the dream child of our late Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, guided in an age of equal rights. Yet the thousands of young women who have passed the institutions of higher have not caused a major revolution. The question still remains – after almost 60 years of planned development, in what way has the lives of women really changed?
Millions of women are still illiterate. They face dowry problems, malnutrition, discrimination, offences of rape, violence in the home and outside. There is a way to change this. Each educated women to whom knowledge has been given, must now understand the value of being a committed citizen. They must question the value of traditional practices. Above all, there must be a liberality of vision, a caring spirit that would like to reach out and help the less fortunate. All women must be prepared to be agents of change and instruments of women’s liberation. Only then will Indian women find their true equal place in society.