Emancipation of women

The brutal gang-rape of a girl, eventually leading to death, in a moving bus late last year, has galvanised politicians like very few events have done in the recent past. More than the debate over big ministerial bungalows being taken away. Even more than the proposal to take away the ministerial privilege of blocking traffic for the common man while their entourage moves on the road.

In his usual forthright and utterly meaningless manner, the Finance Minister has sent out a strong message for the emancipation of women in the country.

“We will launch a ‘women only’ bank on the country”, he declared to an awe-struck Parliament while presenting the annual Union Budget. It has long been felt that the absence of a ‘women only’ bank in the country has led to the spate of violent crimes against women but no government has had the vision and foresight to translate it into action as the current FM had done. Even the Opposition was forced to support this move.

In another bold move, once again seen as a direct response to the brutal event quoted above, the central government has proposed that the age of consensual sex be reduced from the present eighteen to sixteen. This far-sighted move is expected to strike terror into the hearts of potential perpetrators, leading to a rapid decline and eventual stamping out of instances of this heinous crime.

It may be recollected that only a few months back, as a safeguard against abuse of children, the age for consensual sex had been raised from sixteen to eighteen. If the proposals are accepted and the age reduced to sixteen, advocates for child security will once again get to do their bit for children by advocating increase of age from sixteen to eighteen.

Thereafter, advocates for emancipation of women will get to, again, propose reduction from eighteen to sixteen. A virtuous circle of improvement will thus be activated. There is no saying how much good will be done to society by these two interest groups by the time they have finished reducing and increasing the age for consensual sex.

As is to be expected in a sane, mature society, nobody is wasting time on issues like parochial male attitudes and parental differentiation between a girl and a boy during upbringing.

A proposal to ensure equal representation of men and women, if not in numbers at least on voting rights, on all decision-making bodies, has been rejected by law-makers on the grounds that they (women) don’t know what is good for them and that the proposal is not being accepted for their own good.

Now who can argue with that?

20 thoughts on “Emancipation of women

  1. As always, another good one Ankur. Knee jerk & mostly half hearted attempts by our political bosses to please the public mostly fail. Let us see how soon will they act this time to bring about a genuine change for the better. Best wishes!

    • I am not sure but, I think, as a comparative number, and without being judgmental about adequacy, I think it should be a decent number, and growing. The Chief Minister of Delhi is a woman. The leader of the largest party in the coalition that rules the country is a woman. And so on…The issue, however, is of treatment of women lower down the food chain. And, like any person in power, males don’t want to give up that power.

  2. This government and it’s actions are DUMB . That women’s only bank idea is like saying that we will build up more Jain temples across India hoping that less animals are killed.Wondering when they will start thinking rationally!! I guess that would be a dream indeed.

    • Rahul, thanks for keeping up with my rants. You are right. Most actions are designed to somehow make the problem go away for now; not really solve it. Partly I think we junta also have to blame because when something happens, we somehow start expecting magical results. I hope some logical path to a more equitable society can be found.

      • Partly I guess even a cultural change is needed coz in many places as part of upbringing boys are conveyed that girls exist only to do household chores and you can feel free to treat them as servants.Simple things. U know in places like UP even for a 4 yr old they will refer to him with the title of ‘Aap’ in hindi. And the they will call their wife & mothers ‘tum’ .Till the time mutual respect between genders isn’t established we won’t be able to have a safe society.Rapes in India hv become a daily affair.Sometimes I think for rape cases govt should start shariaa law for the ones convicted.Should serve as a lesson to future rapists.

      • Quite right. Deeply embedded mindsets that need to change at the individual level. If parents favour a son over a daughter, should they be surprised if the daughter gets mistreated later on in life?

  3. Cudn’t agree more with u. In India people keep bitching about the fact that in the West the culture is not too good etc atleast girls are respected out there.I am not saying that there are 0 rapes in the west but when u compare it with India there is just too much of a contrast.We r the same people who claim to worship women as gods eg Lakshmi etc.What’s the use of all our so called ‘rich culture’ if we don’t understand basic things.?

    • I could be wrong, but, in my view, “rich culture” is an excuse which is offered when someone has a feeling of inferiority. If you believe you have a “rich culture”, I don’t think you would need to keep saying it. Like saying “I sat on my backside while the West made advancements in technology but at least I have a rich culture” or “so what if women are mistreated here, at least we have a rich culture”.

      • ya absolutely right! We are just looking for excuses to hide our incompetencies.Fine if raping ladies is a part of our ‘rich culture’ then God save this country from this culture, We shall keep running from the truth. It’s like saying coz I don’t see any poor people in my ultra posh residential society maybe they just don’t exist. So why care and feel sorry about them?

  4. Wherever in the world you are, if a politician has a choice between doing something and being seen to do something, they’ll go for the latter. Women-Only-Banks, a big splash! Whereas nobody notices if you work quietly with grassroots organisations gradually to change attitudes.

  5. It’s so hard. I think they mean well (in a strange sort of way).
    I once heard a religious teenage girl tell me that scantily-dressed women on the beach were begging to be hurt. The problem isn’t with the women, it’s with the people with violent mindsets.

    • Hopefully they do. And one issue that plagues politics, business, life, etc. is the increasingly short performance measurement spans. A mindset cannot be worked upon inside a 4-year voting cycle. Long-term benefit measures may appear to be hurtful in the short run leading to not being taken. And, hopefully, there are enough smart, sensotive people around, with a voice, who can initiate change.

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