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Swami Vivevakanand stood for women’s equality.India now and then.

     “The idea of womanhood is perfect Independence”

In just six or seven words Swami Vivekananda has said something which we mortals have still not understood. Though our country had attained independence way back in 1947 but the women of our country are yet to. It is an irony of fate that women in our country who have been widely acclaimed as an object of worship in our scriptures are relegated to a secondary position in comparison to their male counterparts in all walks of life. They lag far behind the males in terms of economic, social and political status. However we can now sense a change in the scenario. In the last five decades, the idea of societal status of women has undergone a sea change from welfare oriented approach to equity approach. The rise of feminist ideas has, however, led to the tremendous improvement of women’s condition throughout the world in recent times.

“Desire, ignorance and inequality –this is the trinity of bondage.”

Much is talked about women empowerment today but it is more economic, political and health related. The issue of social empowerment of women need to be raised higher and given utmost importance then only it could complete phenomena. Women empowerment has five components: women’s sense of self worth; their right to have and to determine choices; their right to have access to opportunities and resources; their right to have the power to control their own lives; both within and outside the home; and their ability to influence the direction and social change to create a more just social and economic order, nationality and internationally.Be it household decision making power or political participation unless and until they are bestowed with such responsibilities  ,  this inequality of  gender can’t be eradicated from the grass root level. He understood that the women of India needed gargantuan level of access to education. One thing that we have been noticing since time immemorial is the gender gap that  exists regarding access to education and employment. “Women have suffered for eons and that has given her infinite patience and infinite perseverance.” Swamiji  is cent  percent right in his words. In no way can we consider the fairer sex weak . A women plays umpteen roles all throughout her life with the same grace and elegance without even complaining once. For her the family means the world to her. But on the contrary our community hurled her with unending miseries and pain.

Remember know one can make you feel inferior you without your consent”.-Eleanor Roosevelt. This is exactly what Dr.B.R Ambedkar wanted to instil  in  women. He put all his efforts to guarantee the educational opportunities without any discrimination to all the citizens of independent India. But after 64 years of its implementation, political order and the ruling elite of this country could not succeed in providing access to the “right to education” to its people. “Women will work out their destinies-much better, too, than men can ever do for them. All the mischief to women has come because men undertook to shape the destiny of women.”All we need is to unite and work together towards our goal without bringing in the vague thought of discrimination between sexes in our minds. Then only can we uphold the ideologies of great men like Gandhiji , Baba saheb who struggled all throughout their lives so as to secure a better and a much more secured  future for their children. Even the Vedic literature  echoes the same  thought:

 “Matrivat para-darshu para dravyani  loshtvat
  Atamavat sarva bhuteshu yah pasyati sa panditah”

It praises the birth of  scholar  daughter in these words :” A girl also should  be brought up and educated with great effort and care”(Mahanirvana Tantra) and “All forms of knowledge are aspects of thee ;and all women through the world are thy forms”(Devi Mahatmya).

Inspite of the various measures taken up by the government after Independence and even during British rule the Women haven’t been fully empowered. We may be proud of women in India occupying highest offices of President, Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker, Leader of the Opposition or any top -notch positions in the corporate sector but the fact remains that we still witness dowry deaths, domestic violence and exploitation of women. We need to change.  We don’t want any more tragedies like that of Nirbhaya .

By: Harsh Agarwal


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