Gender Equality – A Myth of Modern Era

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Abhay Burant

True Gender Equality – It’s a well known fact that when “Gender Equality” is mentioned in India “Women Empowerment” would be an automatic answer.

Accepted, as since the 19th century we have been made to believe that since the human where born women have been a deprived gender and always had made lots of sacrifices, their rights curled, have been controlled and dominated by men and further so many other allegations.

Really! Are you also among the many who believes the above to be truthful?

Hold On! If you are like me who don’t believe the above statements as the gospel truth, than let me narrate what is indeed correct!

Dictionary meaning of “Gender Equality” – the state in which access to rights or opportunities is unaffected by gender.

But isn’t it that we from our childhood are used to the phrase that life of a women have been of hardship, man domination, no freedom and cruelty towards them.

In actual fact exploring through our ancient religion and text the author did come across to certain facts as follows:

Among the Jain’s (one of the oldest religion) it is believed that in this current time cycle the first person to attain ‘Moksh’ was “Maru Mata” Yes! a woman and the mother of the Jain’s of first Tirthankar Rishab Swami (Adinath).

Isn’t from the above undeniable fact a question arises – how come a woman be the first person to attain Moksh? When men were more powerful they could have changed the history, refused to accept a woman being the first person to attain Moksh, but actually that did not transpire. Interestingly I was forced to think again and again how come a woman attain such respect and faith in a so called male dominating society where her condition was of slavery having no adequate means to support her aspiration as claimed by the modern world geeks.

I mete out to wonder whether the philosophy that was shared to me since my childhood on woman and her compelling conditions from centuries even stand a needle tip room as stated. After lot’s of research and studies I am convinced that since ancient ages Indian culture has been Gender Neutral and women were equally empowered as to men and the vice versa.

In the Ramayana we all know that Kaikaiye the wife of King Dashratha accompanied her husband to the battle field and as she had saved the life of the King, the King boned her with three wishes and the rest is history well documented. But here several questions arises and top of it is, a women in a battlefield, SERIOUSLY, I think something is way far wrong in here because isn’t that our primary education that notion that women life where restricted and she had no independence! If indeed the former was to be true than again a point to wonder why was their Koph Bhavan for the ladies in the Raj Mahal’s? Where the women even allowed to show their emotions? Furthermore, was a woman trained to be a warrior who could demolish the enemy in the battle field? Herein the notion of nari being abla and actual facts regarding women is of hell and heaven.

I still wonder why lord Ram, Bharat, Laxman & Shatrughan were also known by the name of their mother. Why Sita Mata is known as Janki why even her father King Janak at that time adopted a girl child? Why did he lend her his name?

Isn’t that the women’s of that period had self esteem and self respect? If not then why did Devi Sita not accept Hanuman ji request to devi Sita in Ashok Vatika that he would carry his mother Devi Sita on his shoulder to his Lord Ram. Instead Devi Sita ordered Lord Hanuman to inform her husband Ram that he needs to come to Lanka to rescue her from the clutches of Ravana and set her free so that her self-respect and esteem is retained.

It is a known fact that in Mahabharata that Dhritarashtra, Pandav and Vidhur was illegitimate son of rishi “Veda Vyasa Krishna Dvaipayana”.

Oh my God! Is it that our ancient history has been twisted if not than how come in the so called claimed Indian society that was so cruel towards women and unmannered towards woman could be respected as Raj Mata, Vidhur the son of a maid also attain enormous respect and position.

Now from the above “acceptable woman’s” of that period, the notion that women were not respected or they were just treated as a product indeed stood a chance as per our present claims than I am sorry to say that Kunti’s and Madri Son “Pandava’s” wouldn’t have been accepted in the society and the Pandav’s including their mother’s life would have been of hell and disrespect.

Ironically, since the ancient time there would have been no swayambar for the women – The Right to choose their companion. Ironically, people still amusingly claim that Indian women life was not independent.

If the life of women had been so pathetic than I am apologetic to mention that in our history books no women name would have been mentioned, if our society and culture was so much reserved towards woman than I am sorry to say we wouldn’t have even heard the name of Jija Bai, Rani Laxmi Bai, Captain Lakshmi Sahgal of Azad Hind Fauj, Sarojini Naidu or even of Indra Gandhi or a P.T. Usha let alone the name of our nightingale of India Lata Mangeshkar so on and so forth!

The accepted facts are that the ancient people life’s was of hardship, of limited resources and further the hardship was not limited to Women or Men, the fact is only the persons who had the ability, determination and keenness to achieve created history.

It’s true that due to frequent invasions our Indian society had gone reserved as the weaker persons failed to restrain the invaders from harming and looting them. Yes I have mentioned “persons” and not a particular gender as it is a known facts that the stronger persons that is men died in the battlefield as the role of personals where defined as per their abilities and not Gender.

Surprisingly, in the modern era due to vote banks politics, to gain easy popularity suddenly “Women Empowerment” has been coined and it has been the sole magic stick in the hand of such popularity seekers. Our history that we have been thought in our school have been of partial facts mostly of twist & turns, not showing the true gender neutral aspects that our ancient Indian society practiced and awfully convincing us to believe that men where stronger and women were weaker not only in terms of masculinity but also in terms of their position in the society.

In here as described above our ancient, medieval as well as 18th century even after the post independence history has shown us a different facts, that we all knew but we have failed to canvas the correct facts in this modern present era.

The so called women empowerment has created hell lots of problems and road blocks as for gender equality to come effect in our nation India. We all have soft corner towards Women and Children. We men’s have always offered our seats even our standing space while traveling to the former. We as men have always tried to play a role of protector and provider perceiving women to be our weaker counterparts further we men have assumed that we have a lot of obligations towards women’s as they mend not only our homely affairs but also our day to day needs, we men have ourselves to be blamed as we shifted from a true gender neutral society to a hollow gender equal society biased towards a particular gender that is woman. We have performed our duties towards our family, friends and society at large without demanding a single pie for us Men’s.

The over protected role of men towards women, additionally having no demand, forever trying to take off all the burden from the shoulder of women due to love and affection led to squeezing of man space from Gender Equality world. Additionally the pampering of man towards woman went overboard and the result is that in the name of Gender Equality actually the ambition of women empowerment started to occupy our already cramped views.

Hey! No No I have no problem with women empowerment but what about “Men” isn’t it a fact that, to satisfy a particular gender, man has been left behind in terms of education, reservation, medical, monetary and economic aid and even the railway senior citizen subsidy age. This not being enough to give women a safe environment even the laws have been laid down that is only for the woman be it 498A, 304B, 354, 376, 377 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) Act, Domestic Violence Act, HMA act and various others laws and acts only and only for women.

I have been unsuccessful to comprehend that how can Gender Equality be achieved by depriving the rights and well being of a particular gender that is man. Is it that our society and law system so weak that women have given particular acts and sections to safeguard themselves that too from whom? The answer is from a person i.e. man who has from ancient time held woman to be at par with man. The person not only has worshiped man as god but also woman as goddesses, always been comfortable to render a woman position and respect as their better half.

Then why men have not been given any protection from law or even a Men Commission to secure himself. Why haven’t the so called women empowerment organisation who quite often flicker the term “Gender Equality” and not even acknowledge that as compared to man the woman of the present society are privileged.

Why is that in name of gender equality the so called women empowerment physiological thinkers raised alarms times and again for more protection towards women and not at all worrying about the fragile conditions a man has been going through in the society, his work place environment even to the health centers for regular check-ups.

Is it that our IPC sections and other various acts have flaws, that to safeguard women particular sections have been laid down? If indeed the facts are at all true than imagine the scenarios surrounding Indian men’s, he has no laws to safe guard himself leave aside the government aid.

According to the Constitution of India:

Article 14 – Equality before Law: The state shall not deny any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

Article 15 – Prohibition of Discrimination on Grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

Article 16 – Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment:

(1) There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State.

(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only on religion, race, caste, sex descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or officer under the State.

From the above our constitution preambles looks very gender neutral but Act of the State are not gender equal as they are only and only concentrated towards Article 15 (3) of the Constitution of India.

“Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provisions for women and children.”

From the above it is very much clear that gender equality as per Indian context is next to impossible as Article 15 (3) would always give special provisions for a particular gender, meticulously by depriving a particular gender i.e. male.

If the above fact is not true than in the law why the word wife has been emphasized and not the word spouse? When a wife can claim maintenance from her husband or ex husband than why can’t a disabled husband or even minor child claim maintenance from his earning wife and their earning mother respectively?

When the NCRB database has clearly recorded that Men Suicide is double than of women, more Boy’s as compared to Girl’s are not able to complete their primary education, Child abuse of boys is way more as compared to that of girl why a men commission or men aid or education for men not even being thought for?

Why the government phrase is “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” and NOT “Bache Bachao, Bache Padhao”? On record why the women and child welfare ministry always differentiate between a girl child and a boy child?

Why the country Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers and Opposition Leaders do care only about woman and tend to forget men in terms of development economically, physiologically, working environment hazardous scenarios? Why a man is requested / forced for serving the nation in difficult atmosphere and terrains? Why hard core jobs are for man and lighter job for woman, life endangering mission for men, no work no pay for man, no paternity leave for man, more working hours for man? Why there are no education, health, economic, reservation for man and all and everything in case the gender is woman?

Ironically that after Independence no women have been hanged to death even after the Hon’ble Apex Court decision but capital punishment is open for man to send a strong message to all men’s. As if crime is connected with a particular gender!

From the above isn’t it clear that our countries policies have created rupture among Gender. We need to find answers for – Why in the modern India the term Gender Equality is tilted towards women? How True Gender Equality can be set into force when bus seats, train bogies, seat berth reservations are designated for a particular gender?

It is very much a fact that in present scenario the Rights of a particular gender have been suppressed to make another gender feel much more important!

Isn’t that the True Gender Equality was best followed before our modern era?

Isn’t that in the name of Gender Equality men’s have been deprived of their rights?

Isn’t it true that Gender equality would remain a Myth unless and until a gender is ready to forgo the special provisions offered to them just to make them fell important by suppressing the rights of a particular hard working, never complaining never demanding gender – MAN.

In Short Gender Equality cannot be achieved without Gender Neutrality”