What went wrong with Indian women after women’s liberation? Now, if you are looking for hypocrisy these words are not for you, these are for people who can accept the truth that an axe is an axe and a quill is a quill. They are not meant to be and can’t be same thing, serve same purpose mostly.
Now you can of course use an axe to make someone wield a quill and use a quill to make someone use an axe but that is a different story altogether. Not what we are about to mull over.
What went wrong with Indian women after women’s liberation, now, if we dig deep we will notice that the women described in post independence literature and the ones in pre independence era are so different that you will think that they all packed their booties and jumped down the hill to hell of materialistic pleasures and fun; shedding all those dumb (!) old values that have been tormenting them mostly but keeping the society in a better path.
The fact is Indian society has never been nice to women, just take a look in the past and you will see, dowry, sati, Kaulinya Pratha… oh boy! They will make your hair stand up like pins and prick you!
Dowry is the only evil that outlived its two other sisters, this gorgon is staying because women too want it to stay, that is the women getting married after procuring a hefty amount of money and other goodies from their parents to start their new lives, now, why will they be all against it? It provides them with better bargaining position when it comes to buying a groom, forget about the Venus+Minerva combo package, a Cyclops will have cupid’s hands in marriage if her father can buy him. The Cupid will of course go out and have dozens of extramarital flings but most husbands do that anyways, at least this will be the one ground in which she will be able to beat Venuserva- not that bad is it or the society that looks down upon women just because they are ugly? She will settle score for all her ugly sisters who have been forced to marry monkeys (without tail) or leftovers of the society just because daddy can buy her a diamond ring? A little tempting, is not it? That must be the reason that this one gorgon sister did not die, because no matter how hard women try to deny with red eyes and foaming mouth at least 70% are willing partners in this social crime. Bribing is a common practice in India to get what you can’t have, dowry is no exception.
As for Satipratha, the custom in which women were burnt alive with her husband’s corpse, yups! It was quite rampant till Raja Rammohan Roy and William Bentinck saved Indian souls by banning it in 1829, it is one ugly stain on Hinduism if you take my word for it. So, naturally women certainly won’t be desiring it thus it went away for good.
Equally creepy was the Kaulinya Pratha for women, Kaulinya Pratha was introduced to Bengal, only Bengal in 15th Century with very little time it became an ugly system, women born in Kulin families could marry only men from Kulin families and vice versa, you can guess the result- a huge amount of dowry or one man marrying multiple women, there were men who married for only one purpose- money and fun, they had hundreds of wives who sometimes saw their husbands only once or twice and lived a barren life, serving their families like slaves or worse.
So, no wonder women decided to settle scores when they finally got liberated I guess, in place of improving themselves they mostly went astray. Just like the bull that tears its chain… they went on rampage of the old values. There can be another side of the coin too, Hindu men killed majority of decent women, so the decent women that are still born are surrounded by huge majority of Surpanakhas, so they have become invisible.
Therefore, in the pre-independence era India was full of Sitas and now it is full of Surpanakhas.
Now you must be wondering who is Sita and who is Surpanakha, well, Sita was Ramchandra’s wife (Ramayana), when they were living in forest to fulfil Ram’s father’s promise to his wife Kaikeyee Surpanakha, a female demon, Ravana’s sister saw Ram and fell in love with him, she proposed him, he said he was married and asked her to propose Lakshman, she did, he too refused, angered she tried to kill Sita, but Lakshman chopped off her nose and ears and drove her away, this incident resulted in the epic war of the mythology. Surpanakha of course settled her vengeance indirectly, she ruined Ram and Sita’s marital life. Must have had the last laugh if she survived the Lanka war. Anyways, it is a huge story, you can read it in Internet. This is the gist.
BTW remember one thing, when Surpanakha pitted the Rakshasas against Ram she certainly did not admitted her own wicked deeds. Just like so many women we see around us these days. They blame men for everything, hiding their own follies.
Article from Kartik, October Agnijaat
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