Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fight for gender equality is far from over...

Most popular post on my Blog is "Chanakya and his views about women", I wrote that post with specific purpose, the intention was not at all to display Chanakya in bad light or to question his intelligence or to criticize him, I wrote intentions behind writing it clearly in that post, but some people may be blinded by their faith and love of their idols didn't even bothered to read it carefully. Many of those took the post as a direct attack on Chanakya and some how they also thought I am questioning his wisdom. They just couldn't tolerate my objections to some of his statements about women, they thought how can a person who was so brilliant and expert in many fields can make any mistake, and even if he made who am I to question it?

The post itself came into existence because of my two posts related with Prabhupad's book Gita as it is, in that book he (Prabhupad) used some of Chanakya's quotes about women to claim that women are generally not very intelligent and trustworthy (compared to men), he also claimed that women are more prone to (moral) degradation, ironically this all was written in a book in which he claims to explain Gits as it is. So the post "Chanakya and his views about women" was an attempt to show that an intelligent and wise man like Chanakya can also be biased  about women or may be it is possible that he wrote those lines purposely with specific purpose in his mind (to achieve his political goals, after all he was also a very good politician) but I was appalled to see that some people are misusing these statements to spread totally wrong message (Prabhupad's book is a ideal example of this). They are using it to suppress women, to hinder their progress, to restrict their freedom, so we all need to question misuse of these quotes, that's why I wrote that post. I thought it was very simple thing to understand but unfortunately some people failed to get it. This current post is not at all to defend that post or to justify it in any way, I don't think I need to do that but I want to share my experience in dealing with some people who aggressively commented on that post to defend these views of Chanakya, actually this was not totally unexpected but in that process they also claimed that women are indeed not equal to men, women have some 'natural flaws' which make them somewhat inferior to men, etc., so one can clearly see that even in today's world people are still nurturing that age old belief of gender inequality.  Surprisingly not only there were men who did this but also some women who claimed that indeed they are somewhat inferior (or weaker, having more problems, basically they meant inferior) to men. This clearly shows how strong is the prejudice against women in our society, years of brain washing and suppression has made even women themselves to think that they have some natural flaws which makes them less competent compared to men.

In last few years many laws are created to protect women from social and sexual abuse (this law includes others also along with women), these laws were required because there were many cases where women were harassed for dowry (specially in India) or exploited sexually (all over the world). These laws helped to reduce these cases to some extend, at the same time now a days there are many incidents reported in news papers for misuse of anti-dowry law and sexual harassment law. There are few women who use these laws to blackmail their partners for selfish motives. Misuse of any law is not a new thing, many people exploit some weak links present in any legislation, this is wrong and strict measures should be taken to stop or minimize it, but people should also try to understand that why in first place these laws were introduced? These type of laws were needed to stop those crimes against women and like many other laws some people misuse it for selfish purposes but that doesn't mean that we don't need these laws or only women misuse laws and men don't do it. Our society still needs these laws, we need to tune them as much as possible so that people can not misuse them, but few people misusing them can not be a reason to blame all women and conclude that all women are cheaters by nature and this is their natural flaw, it's very foolish to conclude something like this. This is just one example which shows how some people want to use certain incidents against women, based on few incidents they like to jump to conclusion that women should not be given total freedom and they should behave as per their traditional social status and role, so they are eager to turn the wheels of women liberation movement backwards.

Fight for gender equality is going on for decades, a lot has been achieved by many feminist movements but still lot needs to be done, it's far from over. We can clearly see that still there are many who think that men and women are not equal, they all want to force women to do only some particular jobs, want to put boundaries around her, suppress them just because of their gender but whether they like it or not those days are gone (or will be gone very soon). Women have already proved their capabilities and earned that respect and equal status in many societies around the world, societies where they still don't have equal statues they are catching up very fast, but as long as people with discriminatory mindset are there, doesn't matter what is their criteria for discrimination, it can be based on anything like race, gender or sexual orientation our fight for equality continues.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic. 

[Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

Links:
1. Chanakya and his views about women 
2. Bhagadvad Gita-As it is or As it is NOT..Part-I
3. Bhagadvad Gita-As it is or As it is NOT- Part-II

10 comments:

  1. Chanakya view on woman is not corract. Chanakya is great man genius of his age and time. But great man can also commits mistaks. We must all accept this fact first.

    Please read:

    http://boingboing.net/2013/06/14/blunders-of-genius-interestin.html

    http://discovermagazine.com/2008/sep/01-einsteins-23-biggest-mistakes#.UkPxmD9pMwM

    Nikhil B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Nikhil for sharing your thoughts. The links which you shared are quite interesting. I agree that anyone (including genius minds) can make mistakes, actually nothing is unusual about it. The problem is when some people make some one God or start worshiping then they can not tolerate any criticism or questions directed towards him/her.

      We need to critically evaluate everything, no matter from whom or where it's coming, all these genius people and their thoughts including their mistakes actually help all of us to progress and move forward, but only if we are willing to do it. We can choose to follow their ideas blindly or built on them, propose new ones (like they did) and move forward, choice is ours.

      Delete
  2. Vinay,

    Male dominance is so deep-rooted that not only men but even women presume it to be immutable. All of society seems to automatically obey the so-called rules of the game and play their parts as if according to a pre-defined algorithm. Another factor is that we have a silly tendency to consecrate anything that has been existent for ages in our society, be it casteism, male-dominance or anything else. No doubt, Chanakya was a genius and I have deep respect for him. But that does not mean I shall hesitate to question his thinking. If I find things wrong or misleading or inappropriate I shall always question no matter how great the man. That is actually the mark of a great man's writings - they should be subject to scrutiny and not be forced down our throats. If any part of it does not stand the test of time that part must not be considered appropriate. And not just Chanakya's writings, this also applies to all other men's writings.

    Sandeep Dinodia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Sandeep for sharing your views, I totally agree with you. Great people's writings and thoughts are suppose to enhance our own thinking and as you said they should be subject to scrutiny and not be forced down our throats. I hope more and more people understand this simple fact. Nothing should be followed blindly and forced on others without proper explanation or discussion. I think once we understand this we can solve many conflicts and challenge social evils without hurting each others sentiments. Thanks again for your very thoughtful comment. Please don't hesitate to share your views about other posts also, I really appreciate inputs from readers of my blog.

      Delete
  3. how u can u say chanakya wrong??? u know who he is??? pls show respect. nobody speak aganist this gr8 man. he independence bharat desh long time back. his comments is right. and if u not know about chanakya hw u can say he is wroing??? read his others books and he is gr8. womans r like that for all time. womans dominate man now. it shud be equality. pls study chanaaky first full and speak with me. abhilash

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again same rant, respect Chanakya, don't object to anything which he wrote or said....I don' think you even bothered to read both blog posts carefully, the posts are not at all about Chanakya or in any way disrespectful to him. May be your definition of showing respect is different than mine. According to me raising objections, questioning anyone's hypothesis or statements or debating any issue is not sign of disrespect. I wrote the post after doing enough home work and the post is mainly about strong prejudice against women and their rights so please understand the subject and aim behind the post and then comment, it will be more useful and meaningful for readers. Thanks.

      Delete
  4. if u did your homwork on chanakya then u cant say comments. u have not study chanakya in full amount. so u have no right to speak. study chankaya and then speak with me. abhilash mishra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How your this comment is any different than previous one? Who is talking here about Chanakya? If I am discussion about equation E= MC2, I am not talking about Einstein, but that only about that equation....first understand the difference..I know very well about my rights and responsibilities, I don't need any advise from you in this regard. Thanks

      Delete
  5. Abhilash

    Please get it very clear in your head first that nobody here disrespects Chanakya. I presume you have not taken any pains to read the earlier post on this topic whose link Vinay has provided herein. Nowhere has Vinay (or any other person for that matter) ever spoken anything impudent against Chanakya. Kindly understand that ‘views’ are separate from the ‘person’ and that we are here only concerned with the ‘views’ of Chanakya and not with Chanaya as a ‘person’. Once you differentiate between these two entities it might be easier for you to comprehend what Vinay intends to say. As a person, Chanakya is definitely one of the most revered figures in history. However, the discussion here is strictly about certain specific views of Chanakya.

    Furthermore, you have asked Vinay to ‘read fully’ about Chanakya before commenting on his work. I am sorry to point out that your spellings and sentence construction are a tad eccentric and they do not exactly give out what you intend to convey. However, Vinay has definitely done his homework before commenting on this subject; and he is not shooting his bullets at random. If by ‘reading fully’ you mean to say that one must ‘read everything about a person’ before commenting on his work, then please understand that this is not mandatory. I am sure you did not read the biography of Pythagoras before studying Pythagoras’ Theorem in school, did you? Or have you gone through the life history of Isaac Newton before you studied his Laws of Motion? Well, knowing about a person may help but only as long as it is pertinent to the subject in question and stays within the context.
    Or if you mean to say that one must ‘read all the available literature of a person’ before making any comment on any of his works then this is again quite preposterous. It is like asking to read the entire epic of Mahabharata just to understand the Bhagwad Gita. While reading the Mahabharata might help understand the background of the Gita, the Gita is a discrete entity per se and does not entail the reading of any other text to fathom its meaning or content.

    @Vinay

    Keep up your good work. I have taken to reading your other posts as well and I would definitely like to express my views on the topics you have discussed therein. : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for your encouragement and very balanced comment, you explained it very well much better than what I wrote. I wish people understand the difference between skepticism or constructive criticism and insult. India had a tradition of producing great thinkers and philosophers but slowly we started worshiping them and created cult movements by making them demigods this killed that tradition and created several sects which divide people and forbid any questioning or constructive criticism, this indirectly resulted in killing spirit of innovation in our society, but there is always hope and people like you confirm my optimism. Thanks again for sharing your views.

      Delete