Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Let's see if age old discriminatory traditions withstand the challenge posed by modern women.

Women empowerment is still a subject of debate in many societies. Many developed countries are still trying to work out many policy changes which can help women to be a part of work force and contribute equally in all sectors of country's development. Many developing or undeveloped countries are still battling with many issues where discrimination against women is still practiced without any remorse or guilt. Recent issues related with entry of women in some temples or mosques of India is ideal example of it. Actually struggle for rights of some oppressed class is not new for any civilization, many great people have fought for causes like these, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar is one such example. This time it is good to see that the challenger to these age old traditions is the group of women, they themselves are fighting for their rights, there is not some political party or some charismatic leader leading their cause but it is a group of women who are leading this fight. I believe that this is really good thing, unless and until women themselves realize about discrimination against them and fight against it any number of laws or policies will have very limited effect. In reality there are already many rules, laws and constitutional rights which forbid any type of gender discrimination but in reality all those things just remain on paper and some age old traditions or beliefs take precedence over any law or rights. So it is good that women themselves decided to take on this task to challenge some of these discriminatory traditions. If they are really serious about this challenge then I am sure these traditions are facing the toughest threats they ever faced.

In reality, every religion has some discriminatory practice or tradition against women, it doesn't matter what their book or manual says one can easily notice that men and women are treated differently by every religion. For centuries most of these discriminatory practices were unchallenged but in last few decades things started to change. Many of these movements which challenge such traditions started on really small scale but they gained momentum as more and more women became aware of this discrimination. I guess they realized that just having an academic discussion about equality or conducting debates about feminism is not enough to change the things on ground. Many of these beliefs are centuries old, very strong opposition from section who is suffering because of them is required to change these things, just discussion and debates are not enough. I am glad that this is happening in India, I am sure things will change. Already many things have changed so this movement also will bring some desirable change. It might take some time but governments and courts can't ignore these protests for long, they definitely need to do something about this. I hope there will be some discussion about these issues with involvement of both parties and something positive will come out of all this. Actually it is not just about right to pray or enter the temple, this is a question about equality. One issue related with entry in temple is already in supreme court, this decision might act as a catalyst to change things across India, so a lot depends on what decision supreme court of India gives in this matter. Historically courts have always been more progressive compared to respective governments in such matters. On some occasions government reversed court orders on some sensitive matters for short term political gains, so it will be interesting to see what happens in this case. 

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

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

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