Mar 10, 2008

Unveiling India : A woman's journey

Anees Jung, the author has traveled across India, visited different cities and villages to analyze the lives and struggles of women from different backgrounds and the issues that loom large in front of them. Right from birth till the last breath, a woman faces problems and turmoils from her own family and the society. The author narrates her experiences in meeting women from Hyderabad, Varanasi, Kanyakumari, Mumbai and also many villages.

Irrespective of caste or religion, there have been barriers put forth in front of women from centuries which many are trying to break free from today. Be it the act of female foeticide, gender discrimination when it comes to education or work by their own parents, childhood marriage and a veiled day-to-day routine, these issues are rooted in many remote parts of the country. With no education or financial support and their struggles to lead a normal life, women feel stuck with these issues and couldn't find a way out of them. The one shocking verse of an ancient poem I came across in this book made me feel so angry - "Feed a woman less, for she is not going to fetch you anything. She is a burden for whom you need to spend on her marriage and dowry". From an outsider perspective, people might say that such days are long gone and women are treated better in the current Indian society. But there is a bigger entity called rural India where such practices still prevail but is not addressed or discussed, something which is taken as given. Some of the experiences mentioned in the book portray a clear picture of exploitation, prejudices and discrimination, escapism by blaming on the culture and traditions, rules set forth by some unknown saints which people blindly follow and restrict the women of this nation.

When every woman of this country lives her dream, only then we could claim we are independent.

1 comments:

Ed Vis said...

Anu, what you wrote is very sad, but true.

Even though in certain verses sage Manu [Manu Smriti] respected women, in many other verses he has restricted freedom of women.

But unluckily in the west also, women for centuries are NOT treated well either.

In US, women are still fighting for equal pay. In RAPE CASES, it is the morality of the victim is questioned more in the court and not of the assailant.

Catholic religion is still to have its VERY FIRST Woman priest, since St. Paul wrote women cannot speak in church.

In Middle Eastern countries, women still face severe discrimination in many aspects of their lives, like going out alone, voting rights etc.

Thank God that new generation of women will FIGHT for equal rights around the globe.

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