Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Naari Shakti !!!!

An unusually nasty news story caught my attention in the Pune Mirror today. A young educated wife had lodged a complaint in police that her 26 years old educated engineer husband in co-operation with his parents was harassing her for dowry. She had been verbally insulted and often beaten badly. This in spite of the fact that the family was financially well settled and the husband was a project manager in a reputed IT company.
I wondered where the fairer sex of this country has in store for her in spite of such a huge cry over women’s reservation bill. What was striking was the fact that the girl herself was working and financially independent.
I discussed this with some of my male friends. What I got was a couple of indifferent sighs. One of them thought it was a family issue and should not be printed in paper. Imagine!!!! Whats the use of all the education and women empowerment we talk about ?
This is still an extreme case but such type of incidences are still largely kept under wraps. Women find it risky to talk about it fearing scorn from the family members and husband. Even in many so called happy marriages there are factors that are unreasonably expected from women only.
For Ex. One of my colleagues was telling me “My husband and me both work in equally demanding jobs. We both have our projects, deadlines, submissions, deliveries. But when it comes to home it is me who has to do it all. I have to entertain the guests. I have to be at home at 6.30 pm to attend to my in laws. I have to invite all my husband’s relatives for dinner and lunch even if I have a crucial work schedule in the office. I have to look after all the weekend chores. Why should only I neglect my work when its equally important for me ??” she was asking angrily. I asked her whether she has talked to her husband about this issue and she is quick to reply “Never. I had agreed to this before marriage.” So while her husband enjoys his evening cup of tea idly on the couch, she has to look into the kitchen. But I couldn’t understand if she was so unhappy about this arrangement, how could she even agree upon such conditions in the first place.
well you got it right . . . this has been the way since ages.
Often we see that the in-laws take pride in telling everyone that their “Bahu” is a working woman with a fancy pay package. But they rarely acknowledge the responsibilities that come with the high paying jobs. Whenever she is late from office, she is gifted with indifferent looks and rude comments.
One of the working couples I know is settled in Australia. Equally busy schedules and equally demanding jobs. But even from there, she has to call her in laws, ask their well being and sometimes even provide financial help from her earnings while her better half spends his own earnings on parties and wine.
One of the biggest arguments, I have observed, is about the religious rituals and family functions. Even if both the partners are working and living away from home, it is the daughter in law, the “bahu” who has to get leave from her office and attend the functions. She is expected to come for the husband’s brother’s mother-in-law’s sixty first birthday even if she has project deadline to meet. Before she leaves she has to take care of husband’s food and laundry for the time she will be gone. When she returns she has to find her home in mess which she has to clean herself. All this while her partner looks after his owm CAREER, his office his work. Hey !!! Doesn’t she work just like you ??
Well most of the times the husbands retort irritated, “But to look after the home is also her work” . Well I want to tell all such husbands to shut their stupid mouths. Looking after home is women’s work because they have made it so. Its more of a choice rather than a rule. Just watch out for the day women will stop doing all this.
It is surprising that these type of comments come from educated men, but more surprising is the fact that even women tend to ignore them or take it in their stride. There is still a lot of “Chalta hai. What can we do??” kind of attitude among women as well. Well I want to urge all these women to get out of their shells. ‘Chalta hai kyuki tum chalate ho’. Women like us should strongly object to such unjustified expectations they are conferred with. After all it’s as much their partner’s responsibility as their own. Agreed that these are smaller facets in the broader sense of picture. But such things have a great impact in changing the old male domination we are subjected to since ages. Eventually it impacts the maturity of the society and even influences the generations to come.
I hope some of my “Pati Vrata” friends read this and comment their thoughts on the post. No matter even if they are anonymous.


  1. Nice to read but totally impractical. Dont think that it is "male ego" that is speaking. One side you say that it has been agreed before marriage and at the same time you are saying that the agreement can be breached??? See other aspect is marriage where-in it is always mutual. So the jobs are very well definied for both the parties and if you are taking NARI out of her job and even the fairer sex daring to go in the NARI territory then definitely it is going to cause the havoc. I am sure that other readers would atleast appreciate the view that I put forth. With all due respect to the powerful-gender who considered to be home-minister (obviously woman) what is assigned or designated has to be followed as per the culture. Would you agree to the point or not?

  2. Very good topic you brought up here...The dowry violence is a big shame to society ....but would really like to discuss the other points with you. :)

  3. I know people will agree to what I am saying here. I agree with "Anonymous" about hte dowry violence... but if we are talking about dowry in this era??? Then I would say, come-on grow up people, what you are taking home (the bride) isnt it priceless??? Are you not capable enuf to nuture the life of who is coming to shape-up the family? Rather than dowry I think there are other topics in this article which could catch my attention.

  4. We plan to do a lot of things on the macro level (such as the Women's Reservation Bill) but totally forget the micro-level improvements needed in the society. Asking for Dowry is the most shameful thing anyone can do, notwithstanding the financial status of the boy's family. We have to solve this first. Then we can move on to tackle the violent opposition inter-caste marriages (honour killings) and other stuff.

    Does the Women's Reservation Bill guarantee that women will not be corrupt? Or that women will implement good schemes benefitting the female population? The answer is sadly a big NO, then what's the use in being so vehement about it? It's not that men have reservation!!

  5. I agree that women's reservation is never going to solve any of the problems. Its like creating a new problem to solve some older problem.
    The main problem here is women's empowerment through education and experience; and this cant happen unless there is a strong and effective drive at the grass root level.
    Its same like the reservations !!!
    Even after 60 years, it has not yet completely iradicated illitaracy.
    Same could happen with women. . some of the luckier ones would get into ministry and create more problems due to there inexperience and lack of proper knowledge.
    I hope a couple of generations later, atleast women are brave enough to understand this and work accordingly.

  6. Naari Shakti.....You have very clearly expressed your thoughts & views about the condition of working women in our society. I also agree with your view that all type of responsibilities in the home, including the routine daily jobs, should be equally shared by both the life partners and the responsibilities they share in their offices should also be equally respected.The males who argu that working in kitchen and handling all such type of jobs at home is the sole responsibility of woman and men have nothing to do with it need a thorough brainwashing. However it is also observed that a big percentage of working women in our society do not like their "Pati Parmeshwar" to look after the "petty matters" at home. They feel it their pride to serve their husband & in-laws in every condition. This attitued of our women needs to be changed first, otherwise everything is useless.