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Women at Work- On Women's Day

Today is the International Women's Day, just as we had the Father's Day some time back and Friend's day before the day. The marketing machines are in overdrive and the rare days in the year without any significant tag attached to them must be feeling lonely and embarrassed with themselves, Ye Jeena bhi koi Jeena hai, lalloo?

I admit the thought when a man initiated the idea of dedicating a day to a cause or person must have had noble reasons. But that was before, before the marketing guys across the world noticed the happy fun in this exercise, you are dedicating something that does not belong to you and costs you nothing, at the same time which presents money making opportunity. What more can a marketing man (or woman) ask for, when he runs out of idea and has no place to run away from menacingly approaching deadline.

Anyways, I am old and boring enough to be motivated by screaming headlines. This post is not because of Women's day, and not because I wanted to align my forces with the new racism proposed by policy makers with women banks, women bars etc. what drove me to write this was the fact that my wife, a working professional was out on an official tour, and finance minister of India came out with the announcement regarding the setting up of women only banks.

Bars ran free drinks for women yesterday and today's newspaper carried the news of women's only post officer. It was hailed as a great move by the government, something which can be construed to my mind as nothing but initial steps towards gender apartheid. The absurdity of the move is painfully pronounced with another news of a three year child, who is so brutally traumatised that she is scared of fans, since her rape came with the threats of hanging her by the fan. That news mocks and pronounces the absurdity of women only buses and cabs and banks and post offices.

Women are out to work, joining the work force of the nation. Some are driven by lack of choice, some by choices they make. Boisterous statements are made claiming that only through working out of homes do women claim their identity. Which to my mind as erroneous as the belief that you are not a liberated woman till you get to stake claim to that glass of alcohol. Both the thoughts are juvenile and ridiculous. The first bases itself on the premise that working at home and raising a happy and well cared-for family, is something of a secondary profession, or may be a non-profession which no self-respecting woman ought to take. I believe it is based on lack if self-belief and insecurity. It also seems to me based on hero worship of men as a model. You have seen fathers and brothers going out and making the money and you have a notion that you need to take up their profession to be able to stake the claim to a position in society equal to what you perceives to be theirs. With a working wife and a kid to take care of, I believe that is a thought based on wrong premises. The value of a role stems from its significance in the lives of your family, those you love and the society. Just to work in order to find emancipation and respect is as kiddish as putting faux moustache on a kids face and pretend being grown up. Men are often found struggling hard to find work-life balance, the nonsense of identity in work is exposed.

If you need to work to support the family and those you love, by all means do that. But if it is only to support your whims, then I refuse to call it an act of liberation, it is as selfish as any man can be. It is not for the women to be same as men, but to celebrate their difference. If all women were to clone men, all the beauty and calm and happiness will be lost. It is the duty of society to protect, preserve and nourish the women and the duty of woman to do the same for the feminine.

Let us not be gender fanatics getting into us versus them, which has always resulted in votes ad fractured society in different context of caste and religion. Let us understands that the only fault line worth understanding in the society across the world is the one which separates powerful and powerless. A rape or molestation is not an act of love or even lust, it is a tendency to those with power to push the powerless in to subservience. We have long lost the path by abandoning moral education as outdated concept, it is high time to bring it back in. Women is not a uniform society and just as being a man does not makes one a God, being a woman does not make one a goddess beyond reproach. A blind faith cuts both ways and is the seed of fanaticism, which kills free thoughts. Thoughts are always gender neutral.

History had many answers which the questions of future desperately seek. We had Parvati, in Indian mythology, who chose a husband in Shiva and married him, against her father's preference, without worrying about honour killing. And we had Parvati who would be taught Yoga and all the knowledge in the world by her husband, without discrimination, and we had Shiva himself taking the form of Half woman, half man in Ardh-Narishwar. We need to step back and re-learn from the past. I know, with this post, I have possibly bitten more than I can chew, but in stead of responding with digital tomatoes, a term borrowed from Internet, will look forward for thoughts on this. Won't mind tomatoes however, which I could foresee coming.

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