Mr. Rebates

Sunday, January 2, 2011

To Be A Woman In India

Here is a must read unbiased report on the status of Women in India from Francois Gautier who has lived in India for 40+ years.

It was  amazing to see during last week’s International Women’s Day, the number of  stories in Indian newspapers, magazines and TV’s, which strove to demonstrate  that life for a Woman in India is the most miserable, the most dangerous, the  most deprived, the most unhappy, the most ostracized that one can dream off on  this planet.

There was this article in the TOI claiming that every year, millions of female  feticides are killed in India: there was all these statistics on the millions of  HIV-infected women, there were numerous articles on child marriage, girls’  labour, girl child exploitation and girl sex abuse, rapes and of course the  inevitable reviews on Water, a film, which claims that widows are still  persecuted in India.

It’s strange,  I am lived for nearly forty years in India and I have traveled the length and  breadth of this country, like very few western correspondents have. I am even  in close touch with villages of Tamil Nadu, populated only with OBC’s and  Untouchables. And my experience has been totally - but TOTALLY – different.  Yes, there are abuses on women in India, there may be some villages in UP or in  some remote tribal belts, where female feticide is practiced; yes, women in  India work so hard, toiling in the fields, looking after their children,  cooking, cleaning, getting up before dawn and sleeping late; yes, men in India  tend to drink a lot and sometimes abuse their wives. BUT I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANY  OTHER COUNTRY WHERE WOMEN PLAY SUCH AN IMPORTANT ROLE, WHERE SHE IS SO  WORSHIPPED, REVERED, PRIZED UPON.

Western  correspondents are always keen to do stories on female infanticides in Bihar,  child marriages, or sati cases in  Rajasthan. But who knows that no nation in the world has granted such an  important place to women in its spirituality and social ethos? “Without Him I  exist not, without Her I am unmanifest”, says Sri Aurobindo. Thus in India –  and it is true that it is often a paradox, as women, because of later Muslim  influences, have often been relegated to the background – the feminine concept  is a symbol of dynamic realization. She is the eternal Mother, who is all  Wisdom, all Compassion, all Force, Beauty and Perfection. It is in this way  that since the dawn of times, Hindus have venerated the feminine element under  its different manifestations: Makalaxmi,  Mahakali, Mahasaraswati, Maheshwari – and even India is feminine: ‘Mother  India’. “She is the consciousness transcending all things, she is the emptiness  beyond all emptiness, the smile beyond all smiles, the divine beauty beyond all  earthly beauties”. India has had many great female figures, whether warriors  such as the Rani of Jhansi, or saints like Anandamaia dn today Amrita  Anandamayi (who by the way comes from the lowest caste strata and is worshipped  by millions of upper castes Indians – so much for the caste divide, another  favorite whipping horse of India’s enemies). Today, behind all appearances –  arranged marriages, submission to men, preference of male children in some  rural areas (but girls are loved in India like nowhere in the world) - the role  of women in India is essential and it can be safely said that very often, from  the poorest to the richest classes, they control –even if behind the scenes – a  lot of the family affairs: the education of their children (men in India are  often “mama’s boys”), monetary concerns, and men often refer to them for  important decisions.

How  come then this flurry of statistics on Women’s Day, which tend to prove the  contrary ? Well, if you look closely, you will discover the source of all these  statistics. The writer of the TOI piece, claiming millions of female feticides  every year, was a Christian working for an NGO, funded by Christian funds (as  were many other pieces in leading dailies); there was also a sprinkling of  Muslim intellectuals led by Shabana Azmi and her husband, adding their bit  about the poor status of women in India and how they are raped, abused and  exploited ; The communists, under the banner of Brinda Karat, were not far away  in loudly denouncing human rights abuses on women in India; the Congress,  joined in the chorus, thereby demeaning themselves as Indians and putting down  their own  country.

Westerners  love to preach India on Human Rights. But countries such as France or the  United States, never had a woman as their top leader, whereas India had Indira  Gandhi ruling with an iron hand for nearly twenty years; and now Sonia Gandhi,  a Christian, a Westerner, and just an ordinary MP, is reigning on India like an
  Empress  ! The reverse would be absolutely impossible in the West, where there are  proportionately less MP’s than India, which is considering earmarking 33% of  seats in Parliament for women, a revolution in human history! This shakti concept is so rooted in the  subcontinent, that you have had women Prime Ministers, such as Benazir Bhutto  or Kaleda Zia, and now Sheikh Hasina, in Islamic countries (Pakistan and  Bangladesh) which are predominantly male-controlled in a much stricter way than  India.

Now who  is the target of all these attacks on Woman’s Day? The Hindus, of course, the  common enemy to Christians, Muslims and Marxists ! For Christians, Hindus are  still all ‘pagans’ to be converted. Please see the letters written to Sonia  Gandhi by some of the Christian religious leaders of this country after the  anti Conversion law was voted by the Himachal Pradesh Government. For Marxists,  who believed that religion is the ‘Opium of the people’, Hinduism is the  greatest threat to their planned hegemony on India (and on South Asia, as they  are propping-up the Maoists in Nepal, who are now in the Government while  retaining their armed stronghold in the country side. One day they will form a  Maoist belt from Nepal to Andhra Pradesh, via Bihar). Of course, this Marxist  hatred of religion does not apply to Christianity and Islam, who would  immediately reply in kind and who are their allies in their war against  Hinduism. Right down from Aurangzeb’s times (see my previous article), Hindus  have been looked upon by Muslims as inferior human beings, although it is better  to be born a Hindu woman, where one can go with open face, work, have some  amount of freedom, than be born as a Muslim woman. Finally, thank God, Water  did not get an Oscar, otherwise all Westerners will be certain that widows are  persecuted in India, as they are, after the City of Joy, that the whole of  India is a vast slum.

When Will Indians start being proud of themselves and  their own culture and stop berating themselves and looking down on their own  society ? This inferiority complex is a legacy of the British, who strove to  show themselves as superior and Indian culture as inferior (and inheritor of  the ‘White Aryans’, another false theory). India is a vast, complex, often  contradictory country, peopled with different races, religions, ethnies... It  is normal that there are problems. But women have played and are still playing  such an important role in this country, the Shakti concept is such a unique,  vibrant, respectful and holy concept, that all Indians, including Indian  Christians and Indian Muslims, whose women have somehow benefited from that  concept, which seeped into their religion unobtrusively, should be proud of it.  Long Live the Indian Woman and her astonishing Grace.


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