-By J Navya Shilpa : BT II Year
Imagine this……. The year is 1994. A flight has just landed. Emerging from the cockpit is a jubiliant Harita Kaur Deol, the first Indian woman to perform a solo flight. Whoa!!!! This is the modern Indian woman. Intellectual, confident, strong and ready to take on the world. Starting from Jhansi Rani Lakshmi Bai, a fiery warrior, who stood against all odds to protect her territory, even if it meant facing the British to the suave and mesmerizing Aishwarya Rai, one of the jury of the prestigious of Cannes Film Festival and the brand ambassador for widely acclaimed international brands.
Nurturing, giving, an epitome for love and compassion, patience personified. The sacred feminine. Woman—- a single word, infinite roles. But inspite of all this, is the Indian woman really independent? Yeah right! If she were, the girl child would have been celebrated, not slaughtered; would not have to discontinue
her education for the sake of her brothers education; wouldn’t have been victim to dowry and terrorized by household violence; abandoned by the family. Think about it. We are glorifying the first woman President of the country. But what is the status of the Women Reservation bill? Come to think of it, do women need reservation? Doesn’t that just prove the fact that men don’t consider them as equals? Talk about hypocrisy!
Indra Nuyi, the CEO of pepsi is one of the most influential women of the world. And yet a Shashikala in rural India has to endure severe physical hardships to earn her daily meal. Medha Patkar, a woman of substance, who stuck to her stand on the Narmada Bachao Andolan. And a quintessential tribal woman who has to walk for miles to reach a hospital. Such a wide rift. Is this being liberated? Is this being independent? Glorification and oppression, the two faces of the Indian society. I ask yet again, is this the same society which worships women? The same society whose tenets lay down that women are equal to men?
Though, we have progressed immensely in the recent past, we still have a long way to go. And then I agree with Gandhiji, when he said Freedom is only when a women is safe enough to walk at midnight. That is Freedom at Midnight.