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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Women??Assets or Liabilities?? Or Human beings??

Latest discretion by Supreme Court Judge Gyan Sudha Mishra to list her daughter’s marriage under liabilities section in the assets-liabilities declaration raises yet another question to support my non-conformity to such social obligations.
We are in the 21st century and claim to be a modern nation with a growing economy. But isn’t it shocking that there is only one woman judge in the country’s highest court and even she has discriminated her own sect? With the kind of education Justice Mishra would have got, we would expect her to be progressive, if education is meant to enlighten of course. But why, would she take such a decision? Knowing that this is surely going to attract comments? Or is it that her case just makes us broach this ancient issue once again. Yes we can take this as an opportunity to look to the current situation of our lives and delve deep about how, we women are placed in society.
I have grown up in a very modern and highly educated family and so for me it becomes impossible to conform to social ideas which make an unnecessary and unreasonable discretion to women. I have seen people, till today, paying huge sums of money to bridegroom, although that is not to be called as dowry, rather gifts of love!! And how many woman managers do we find in the higher management?Saddeningly this absence of woman managers is always mapped to “inherent inability” or “lack of that thing” but never realized that given all the expectations a woman has to fulfill, professional limitations would be just natural to her. And then, for women who are independent and confident to make it to the top are always faced with a lot of difficulties .Surprisingly these difficulties are posed by her own people, her closest people. I don’t deny that responsibility of children and family is on the lady, but how can it be just a one-sided affair? The responsibility is also vested upon the man. Most men think that they are done with their responsibility by earning a hefty amount.But when it comes to their wives, they extend, classify, change those responsibilities. The history of power has always been like this. So it is men who decide what women should do!!And that is obviously based on their convenience. We cannot blame men for taking decisions where outcome is convenient for them as every human being is exposed to bias for himself or herself. So it is not that we can urge men to take “equal” decisions but what is required is there should be equal opportunity to take decisions. I have faced this question, followed by disgust, surprise, gyan and what not from so many people on the topic of whether girls after marrying should go to stay with her in-laws or it can be the other way round. My take on it…it should be completely based on logical thinking,
1.On the requirements of each side i.e. how much my parents need me or my in-laws need their son, are their any other people who can take quality care of them,how much physically fit they are ,how much we need them
2. On our future plans, if any, and how we can converge those to our present
3. Convenience, comfort and ease of living of all parties
4. Finally, the priorities we give to each of the above factors.
Thus I can never conform to the “demeaning” attitude our social structure shows towards “ghar jamais”.I have seen ample instances of son-in-laws living happily and respectfully in their in-laws place. And why should we make our self respect so fragile as to get hurt in non-existent barriers?
It is people who can think neutrally, who could come up with social reforms. Widow Remarriage and Sati were also accepted social procedures, isn’t it?
One interesting thing my friend related was that when one of his friends didn’t change her surname after getting married, the couple was not offered a house on rent even after showing marriage registration certificate. These are all small difficulties and surely the satisfaction which the girl would have got living with her “own” name deserves much more.
Justice Mishras case has also brought up another topic of whether girls are assets (mostly non performing or toxic) or liabilities!!! And this reminds me of the diminishing value of girls...if at all they are assets!!So if you are past 30 or past 40 you become a non-value add entity in the field of marriage.Apart from the biological clock which is valid, surpirsingly there are "other" inexplicable reasons too.Strangely by social perception, single men of 40 can still get married to below 30s!!So no depreciation for men. May be the example of Crystal Harris and Huge Hefner will only prove this. But don’t we realize that there may be an economic angle to it also? Otherwise why most such cases occur between an old man who is very rich and the young girl who is very beautiful? Marriage is totally on the two people who want to get married, and unnecessary comments by third parties totally unwelcome, so why not let them derive their own value additions from each other? So the bottom-line is we cannot define the utility of human beings by age, beauty, money on a generic scale. Each person will have a different perspective and if we are thinking otherwise ,such attitude will only prove our confined perspective.
Hence let’s make this a point that we respect individual existences and not go on and on age old perceptions.

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