Friday, June 21, 2013

The Country of Million Goddesses...

I was born in a country where people worship millions of different goddesses. They are not just consorts of other supreme Gods, but have immense power of their own that has shaken the whole world so often. Ours is one of those rare nations which believe that a Goddess (and not God) named Shakti was responsible for creation of the universe. She was there even before anything else existed. She is worshiped as the feminine creator, the supreme Divine God Mother who is subordinate to none.
Ours is the land where the power of knowledge, wealth and strength is in the hands of goddesses rather than Gods, yet the women of our country suffer from lack of education, financial independence and empowerment.  Our hypocritical society worships goddesses on one hand, while on the other they suppress their women subjecting them to humiliation, insults and violence.  Though we believe that Goddess Shakti exists as a svātantrya, which means she is dependent on no one, being interdependent with the entire universe; our  society has pushed women be dependent on fathers, husbands and sons which means they are never independent ever in their life.
I am a woman and being a woman has never made me feel weak or helpless anytime in my life. I always knew the pros and cons of being a woman, but then I had strength inside me which made me defend myself against odds. The first promise I made was long time ago, to myself, that I will respect and love myself - no matter who is with me or who is not, I will never let myself down. The promise I made to myself has stood strong for 38 years. I have been right, I have been wrong, I fallen and risen again, but somehow I have been accepting myself with all the flaws I have. Without respecting and loving the woman I am with 24/7 what will I be able to do to someone else?
I have always felt strongly about the violence against children and women all through my life. Off course I don’t have any intention of causing harm to men or other sect of population, but my feelings towards women and children are just stronger. The reason could be the physical vulnerability of women and children, besides most of them being dependent on others, which makes them easy victims of violence.
Mother nature has never given any hint to the women that they are the subordinate to men and therefore should suffer their dominance in silence. I am not a great biologist, but with whatever literature I have come across, there is no other species in which the male dominates and physically hurts a female. But somehow this has become common in the human race. Most of the women silently suffer domestic violence as they have been conditioned to believe that is the part and parcel of married life or precisely the woman's life.
Most of the girls are trained to obey their dads and brothers and be silent when the men enter home. The women of the house are the first perpetrators of domestic violence against women as they take away the self respect, confidence and empowerment of their daughters in the name of disciplining them.
Child marriage is another major contributor to domestic violence. The girls who get married at a young age are deprived of their education and proper development. They often end up being dependent of men for their everyday basic necessities which again make them believe that the men are the providers and their masters. My friend and blogger Anita says that women who do not leave their abusive husband should not be considered cowardly as she believes many stay because they are either brainwashed to thinking that being beaten is a form of love, or because they feel that if they leave or seek help, they will end up poor and homeless. The girls who are married at a young age are caught in the vicious circle with no way out. Where would these girls go from the abusive husband with 2-3 small children when they themselves are just entering the womanhood?
Most of the people do not tend to take domestic violence seriously. Even when they hear sounds of a man abusing his wife and her cries for help, they usually say this is their personal problem and tend to rubbish it all off. It is not uncommon in India to insult the abused woman for creating noise and spoiling peace of the neighborhood in the night. Believe me; this would be done by another woman in most cases.  Most of the people who ignore domestic violence assume that everything will be OK by the time the couple have dinner and sleep. Is this true? Should we really turn a blind eye to domestic violence and maintain silence even when statistics show that nearly 40-70% of women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends? This is only based on the cases that were reported. Most of the women who are victims of domestic violence suffer in silence due to various reasons. More than the physical violence it is the emotional and psychological torture a woman is subjected to in some relationships that is often overlooked by family and friends unless something drastic happens.
Law can be implemented only when the case of domestic violence is reported. Women who are scared of being thrown out on streets without anyone to care or support them will never gain courage to lodge a complaint against their husbands. Many of them would even consider going against their husbands (even the cruel and abusive ones)  a great sin which will take them to hell to burn there forever. For a educated and liberated woman, it would be quite difficult to think in the levels of those helpless women and for those victimized women it is impossible to imagine that they are respectful individuals who need not be subservient to anyone.
The change has to come in the thought process of the society and women themselves. They need to change their attitude towards self and start respecting and believing in their abilities. Even the women who stay at home and take care of their families are contributing equally as the men in their lives. Let them realize the worth of their work. Women empowerment groups should concentrate more on changing the mind set ingrained in our society rather than asking for stronger laws. Those who are responsible for law and order themselves do not take the complaints of domestic violence seriously as they again belong to the same society.
Time has come for the women who have realized their own potential to help the others do the same. There is no need to look down upon those helpless victims of domestic and ask questions like, “Why don’t you walk out?” “Why don’t you hit him back?” “Why don’t you lodge a complaint with the police?” “Do you really have a marriage there?”  Not everyone in our society is able to answer those questions. Let us not consider the victims of domestic violence as weak and not so courageous women. There is much more that has led to their present condition… there is lot influence and pressure exerted from upbringing, attitudes and circumstances that has sewn their lips. Support the women and let them come out of the vicious circle. When the daughter who has watched her mother being beaten by her father, she slowly accepts this as the part of life. She may not feel it is wrong for her husband to hit or abuse her thus creating a vicious circle for the generations of women to come from which there will be no escape.
My pledge is to create awareness among women about their own potential and power. They are the creators of man. They hold them in their wombs when and feed them with their breast milk when they are helpless and weak. There are the mothers and nurturers of society. Instilling confidence and self respect is what I intend to do for women around me….

My previous posts of regarding rights of women...


Bangalore for Women with Special Needs




This post is a part of Indichange joining hands with Bell Bajao where blogging turns into action .. 
Ring The Bell, Bell Bajao

3 comments:

  1. we are hypocrite pple. On one hand we worship women as devi and all and on the other treat them inhumanly. I hate such a society but what to do? The good part is that slowly perceptions are changing a bit and women are stepping out of the cocooned they are forced into. Nice post

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  2. Following lines stand out and I feel if every women in our country say this to herself, there will be a major change in society.

    "The first promise I made was long time ago to myself, that I will respect and love myself - no matter who is with me or not, I will never let myself down."

    We need to change a lot of things in our society. It's a tough job, lets see how and when it will happen.

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  3. With every such news that I read, I fear that things are going to get much much worse before they can start getting better. I had written a piece of poetry on the endless cycle of dependence, helplessness and the complete lack of confidence a woman finds herself in - mostly because of the rigid unsaid rules set by society. Do take a look. They resonate with everything you say about dependence on fathers and brothers and then husbands. Here's the link

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