India achieved independence in year 1947, then what else independence of women we are thinking about? It's about a change that took precedence over existing. A change that set benchmark across the world, by crafting the biggest constitution by the father of The Indian constitution Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Read on to feel the fragrance of feminism flourished by the eyes of futuristic viewer.
14th April-2019 has been celebrated as 128th birth anniversary of Dr. B. R. ambedkar. Their contribution in upliftment of backward class is priceless, but their efforts for women were also wide. Let us sail through his width of vision, depth of analysis and rationality of his outlook.
A roadmap ahead depicted as follows:-
1. History vs. current scenario
2. Light to lamp of legality
1. History vs. current scenario
Highlights of history:-
Manusmriti footprints were so printed in the minds of people that it took 2 years, 11 months and 17 days to wipe off that impression; that is actually time invested to draft our constitution. Manu Smriti Dahan Divas and the enforcement of constitution are the basic touchstones to bring equality concept.
Women in the past were doing mostly manual dexterity works. Heavy jewellery wearing, dalit women to wear 3/4th sari, lack of education, child marriages, sexual harassments, rape and boost to dowry, sati, untouchability , casteesm, devdasi, polygamy, etc left no evacuation map for women except to BARE. Ladders at each stage of life were tied off at proper inclination to define pathways. Tied off's were in the name of tradition, unhygienic environment , gender inequality and even to the extent of selling of women!!!!
"Ghunghat", "Izaat" and the tradition that women must uphold the 'family honor' by being chaste,passive and submissive, while men must be strong, brave and be able to control the women of their families. It was conservative when it comes to castesim, marriage and the role of women. Piteous persistency in castesim and arrangement of marriages to sustain 'status quo' was followed. Such type of thinking was propagated in earlier days.
Dr Ambedkar witnessed all these practices prevailing in the society and they wished to discard worn out thinking which leaves no stone unturned to provide pathetic environment for women. Their urge to support feminism was too high to measure that it took no time for them to resign from cabinet when Hindu Code Bill got rejected due to various objections against it.
History of women's treatment and turnaround today is a fruit of seed sown years ago. To be acquaint with history of Dr Ambedkar would pay homage in real sense on auspicious day of 14th April celebrated by President and Prime Minister of India. Also it's celebrated as knowledge day by Columbia university who awarded him as No 1 scholar in world.
From Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's dairy:-
Dr. Ambedkar commonly known as "Babasaheb" was born in dalit (Mahar) caste. They begin his journey by sitting aside and on the ground in classrooms as untouchable. Further, was sponsored by king of Vadodara to pursue higher studies by seeing their gist to acquire knowledge. They completed barrister and received valuable doctorate degree from London school of economics. They were the first to pursue economics doctorate degree abroad. Their reading habit and persistent efforts stood them out of crowd. They also faced many difficulties like death of beloved family members due to lack of medical facilities, untouchability due to born in lower caste, objections and so on.
They have undertaken many Satyagrahs for women equality like entering into temple, fight for rights, hygienic facilities, education, etc. which were supported by overwhelming response from all castes of women from the bottom of their heart. They used to say that " I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women achieved. So, educate, agitate, organize and have faith in yourself. You must abolish your slavery yourselves, don't depend on its abolition upon God or superman."
They discussed number of problems of Indian women and sought solutions in Bombay Legislative Council, in the Viceroy's Assembly as the Chairman of drafting committee and also in the parliament as the first law minister of independent India. They adopted Buddhism during last years of life and was posthumously conferred with "Bharat Ratna ", India's highest civilian award.
Camcorder to current scenario:-
Current scenario of women is an outcome of binding effect of law. "Human rights and independence are more important than Sanskar", a basic bondage of thinking of baba saheb. Today, women are surrounded by periphery and protection of law in every possible manner; let it be ANY law , there are provisions relating to women. We see stories of Chanda kochar, Indira Nooyi, Shahnaz husain, Vanadana Lutha, Indira Gandhi, R. Sivabhogam, Marry Kom, Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza, Kiran Bedi, Kaplana Chawla, Pratibha Patil, Mother Teresa,Saroojini Naidu and so on... which field is left untouched? Almost none, because the wind to collaborate and condense aspects to every area is blowing today. Recent addressal to defense ministry on occasion on international women's day by Nirmala Sitharam was truly heartening.
Keeping perceptions aside and challenging the status quo, women have achieved their untapped potential. As the landscape of stakeholder is changing, their ability of shift gear to skepticism sparkles their light to liberalization. Saying thus is not enough, breaking the barriers of thinking and "enlighting real emptiness empathies true music of flute" as per lord Krishna meaning thereby that we should mingle ourselves from outdated thought process to a stage where no jargons are added to jeopardize anyone's interest.
Empowerment is the process that creates power in individuals over their own lives, society, and in their communities. People are empowered when they are able to access the opportunities available to them without limitations and restrictions such as in education, profession and lifestyle. Feeling entitled to make your own decisions creates a sense of empowerment. Empowerment includes the action of raising the status of women through education, raising awareness, literacy, and training. Women's empowerment is all about equipping and allowing women to make life-determining decisions through the different problems in society.
Travel to transformation :-
The travel ahead takes through turbulence of history to transformation of today, across various sectors.
How can evolution of women in Indian advertisement be kept at bay? Not really at bay, instead its abreast with changes . Let's encapsulate few:-
# Respect for women- "I am not a kitchen appliance"
#Hawa Badlegi- Name change of husband after marriage
#Share the load-" Why is laundry only a mother's job?"
#Change is beautiful!-"Can the girl cook?~ Can the boy?" Pre-arrange marriage scenario.
• Tanishq Mia
#Best at work- "The only thing in my mind is to bring my best to work."
• Myntra Anouk
#Bold is beautiful- The calling."Pregnancy vs. promotion".
• Nirma Washing powder
#Hema, Rekha, Jaya aur Shusma- Dispelling the damsel in distress notion.
• Elle India WEvolve
#Let the girls be
• Vogue Empower
• Titan Raga
#Break the bias and #Her life, her choices
#Wheels in own hand-Rakhi
The list depicted above is just a snapshot , its endless journey is continued with countless companies like Dabur India, Prega news, no scars and so on..
We see aroma of refining in Bollywood through movies like:-
Chakde India, English Vinglish, Queen, Marykom, Neerja, Pink, Dangal, No one killed Jessica, Mom,Mother India, Kahaani, Dor, Razzi.....Also social awareness through pictures like Padman, Toilet, Margarita with a straw, Parched, Lipstick under my burkha, Mardaani were notable. One of the trending personality like Sonam Kappor who is awarded as "The Extraordinary Icon of social change" represents the voice of young India and there are many to mark about ..
The Companies Act 2013 and other labor related laws responsible are one of the driving force to feel "women and the warmth at workplace". To great extent issues like promotions, gender equality, effective work culture, maternity care,etc are taken care of mandatorily or in handful cases gratuitously. We see schemes in financial institutions like bank especially designed for women beneficiaries :-
• Cent Kalyani: #Together let's shape the destiny of women
• Stree Shakti
• Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana
• Dena Shakti
• Mahila Udhyam Nidhi
• Mudra Yojana
• Bhartiya Mahila Bank
• SHG-Self Help Groups
Not only schemes but also decrease in rate of interest if women is beneficiary in account are also promoted. Today corporate takes buy in from staff and increase opportunity for creativity. They are cross training people by overcoming gender biasness. They try to provide environment conducive to women by understanding their pressure points and stands erect to understand the meaning of "No " from any female. Even we should never step back to give gentle reminder whenever necessary to any men that "It could be your mother or sister"!!
Corporate corner is constantly cultivating way to civilization.
Odds and ends:-
Other aspects like health; be it reproductive or maternal, family planning, cancer awareness, economic justice, leadership, education and finally mapping path to gender equality and independence are duly addressed in some or other forms. Vodafone Sakhi, 112India -Emergency response support system(ERSS) under feature "SHOUT", etc are placing their marks high on care and independence.
Does cent percent independence in current scenario is achieved? No, there are instances of rape, trafficking ,domestic violence, sanitation and the most commonly used euphemism "eve teasing" -sexual harassment or molestation, honor killings, female infanticide and sex-selective abortion, acid throwing, etc. We express resentment when we listen to incidents like Delhi rape case and girl kidnapping cases.
The challenges exists, but their confrontations gets soothe with binding effect of law. Even protests by activist are add on to revamp and set the stage on fire for culprit. Are we missing the recent Supreme court decision lifting ban on entry of women inside Sabrimala Temple and freedom to climb Agasthyarkoodam.??No, we have not drawn ourselves to darkness , instead we have taken path to light the lamp of legality. Let us pave way towards it.
2. Light to lamp of legality
"JUSTICE of social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief , faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity." Preamble of constitution itself assures the "DIGNITY" of individual!!! What level of respect do we owe to their drafters who addresses us with aforesaid language of law? Really, it's a treasured.
A synopsis of various provisions in our constitution regarding women are listed below:-
• Article 14:- Equal rights and opportunities in political, economic and social spheres.
• Article 15:- Prohibits discrimination on ground of sex
• 15(3):- Enables affirmative discrimination in favor of women
• Article 39:- Equal means of livelihood and equal pay for equal work
• Article 42:- Human conditions of work and maternity relief
• Article 46:- The state to promote with special care, the education and economic interest of people and to protest them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
• Article 47:-The state to raise the level of nutrition and standard of living of its people and improvement of public health....
• Article 51(A)(1):- Fundamental duties to renounce practices derogatory to dignity of women.
• Article 243:-Provides for allocation of seats in Panchyati raj and many others.
Various acts which protects women and their rights are also constituted. Some of them are enlisted below:-
• Maternity benefit act, 1861
• Factories Act, 1948
• Employees State Insurance act, 1948
• Plantation labour act, 1951
• Special Marriage act ,1954
• Dowry prohibition act, 1961
• Indian Divorce act, 1969
• Medical termination of pregnancy act, 1971
• Equal remuneration act, 1976
• Contract labour act, 1976
• Criminal Law act, 1983
• National commission for women act, 1990
• Protection of women for domestic violence act, 2005
• The Prohibition of child marriage act, 2006
• Sexual harassment of women at workplace (Prevention, prohibition and redressal )act,2013
Other regulatory body:-
Are we enlightening only the feminism legality? No, let us also see the miracles of Dr. Ambedkar in other constitutionality.
If we think about foresightedness of Dr. Ambedkar, then will realize that today RBI foundation is conceptualized as per guidelines , working style and outlook presented by them in front of the Hitlon Young Commission. When this commission came to India under the name of "Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance" each and every member of this commission were holding Dr. Ambedkarâ€™s book namedâ€œThe Problem of the Rupee - Its origin and its solution. Imagine his highness of wisdom of knowledge that created such a constitution and regulatory body like RBI!! Other constitutional changes like separations of state (recent division of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) which are taking place today are also backed by one of the book "Thoughts on Linguistic States "written by Dr Ambedkar, which conveys that "The number of pieces into which a state with people speaking one language should be divided upon:-
a) the requirements of efficient administration
b) the needs of different areas
c) the sentiments of different areas and
d) the proportion between majority and minority.
Words are probably incapable to define their contribution towards Indian economy.
Law of land: Supreme court decisions:-
There are many landmark judgments which were ruled in favor of women:-
a) Vishaka Vs State of Rajasthan-
Sexual harassment against women at workplace.
b) Mary Roy Vs State of Kerala-
Christian women are entitled to have an equal share in their father's property.
c) Lata Singh Vs State of UP-
Intercaste marriage," She was free to marry anyone she likes or live with anyone she likes"
d) Roxann Sharma Vs Arun Sharma-
Custody of minor child
e) Tamil Nadu Vs Suhas Katti-
Harassment through social media within ambit of Information Technology Act ,2000.
f) Laxmi Vs Union Of India-
Regulation on sale of acid to prevent acid attacks
g) Centre for enquiry into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT) Vs Union of India-
Prevention of female foeticide.
The aforesaid judgments' just gives the gist of legality and how does it magnifies the correct treatment by scrapping the bottom of barrel. These elucidate the enforcement of law in India.
After expediting a long path of thrones, we see the inflammable independence to womanhood. Contributors to our such flame are priceless and truly demands tribute at every occasion like their birth anniversary and other areas where economy stands today.
Let's fly with feather of independence inclined to spread fluorescence of feminism. That independence which is inherited from law and enables us to enjoy freedom and the warmth at workplace. The wisdom of womanhood pays tribute to the only legend "Dr Ambedkar". At the end, its incomplete without our motto," Ya esa suptesu jagrati" That person who is awake in those that sleep. Knowledge is implicitly placed in our motto and the lawful legacy could be drawn from "The symbol of knowledge-Dr B R Ambedkar".Satyameva Jayate.Jai Hind.