An Ailing Country Needs To Be Mothered

 I wouldn’t have written this if it were not for those newspaper ads on the Mother’s Day. From apparel manufacturer to jewelry designers, everyone is keen on ‘celebrating motherhood’, or so their words suggested. Don’t shoot me for being a cynic, but the hullabaloo doesn’t fit into the present social fabric. It seemed that mothers have got only one day in a year to themselves. They have just a single date to lead life their way, have their say on literally anything and get everything they couldn’t get the other 364 days. 

In a country such as India, which happens to be the ‘Motherland’ of some 1.2 billion folks, women have been covering much space in social discourse since forever.  Every god fearing Indian dreads the awe of Feminine power as mentioned in our ancient texts and religious parchments.  Every marital joke is centered on dictatorial wives seeking only the best in their husbands.  Indian film industry has penchant for portraying viragoes and quarrelsome monster-in-laws.

But, real women in ‘hard times’ are light years away from myth and reel.  They don’t really find themselves on the altar of power and dominance. Forget dominance, which is hateful hegemony in the eyes of some, basic rights of Indian women are being minced into crumbs and distributed among the lusty landlords of Indian law and order.  For every Mary Kom you see in India, there are hundreds of Irom Sharmilas. India may be quick to recognize women’s triumphs but proves to be a laggard when it comes to empowering them with ideas and initiatives.

Indian media turns euphoric at every title Saina/ Sania wins, when girls surpass boys in competitive exams, and when Indian origin American woman is called good looking by Obama himself.  This ‘attempt’ at showing women on the same pedestal as men actually betrays a sense that perhaps it is still a falsity.  There’s always this sense of being ‘other’ in the way their milestones are morphed into articles, stories and interviews. The questions asked to the women achievers reflect the “how-did-you-dare-to-do” curiosity.  

And then there is selective empathy. The same doctor who refuses to operate an ailing woman for few pennies less gets into ‘concerned’ mode when her mother complains of heavy breathing. How did India master this art of being selectively concerned? You may buy apparels for your mom on that dedicated day but don’t think of offering your seat to a woman who desperately needs it.  The latter costs nothing.  My armchair ire is not directed against any particular section of people, because hot-headed arrogance is all-pervading.  Like Derozio, I just narrated to my fellow countrymen, “the sad story of thy misery!”

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9 thoughts on “An Ailing Country Needs To Be Mothered

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more on this. It’s a hypocrite society we are living in where we are loud about the human rights of criminals or eliminating corporal punishment but remain indifferent about the sufferings of the victim especially when it is a woman and the crime is a sexual
    assault. It’s much easier to point to that woman’s character and blame her for her misery than to condemn and punish the criminals. Even though government has established stricter law about crime against women how many will get justice?

    How many of us still talk about “Nirbhaya” now? Why hasn’t her trial not ended yet? Why was the judiciary so keen to prove the most wicked and violent one in the lot a “minor”? How a minor can commit such heinous crime?

    We worship goddess and feel proud about this culture. But how many of our temples have woman clergy? Is there any at all?

    When a girl is teased on the road we so easily talk about the way modern girls dress up. As if it’s boys’ right to tease a girl if she doesn’t dress conventionally. If it was so, then eve-teasing, rape, molestation would be restricted in the urban area only. But this is not the case. We only need an excuse to justify our wrong doing.

    It is this country where numerous Hindi films and advertisements portray women as object of sex but they are never under scrutiny. But when a director portrays the bold and carefree side of 3 modern women it can not satisfy the censor board.

    It is this feeling of insecurity and poor level of acceptance makes India an ailing country that really “needs to be mothered”. Introspection is necessary …

    • You have asked a pertinent question as to why we don’t see women clergies in temples? That is something to be found out. On a different note I feel that the qualities attributed to women by our preceding generations were all taken too seriously by us.

  2. Well written.
    In general I have never understood the significance of celebrating ‘this-day’ and ‘that-day’. Still, the most ironic of them is Women’s Day. It is an oxymoron in itself. It tells us how pathetic the state of women is. Why not celebrate Men’s day ? Because they have assumed that they are the supreme and at the top rung of the society ?!
    Every achiever in a woman is a ‘miracle’ and projected as if she did something unusual.
    Honestly, the mindset that assumes and believes that women are weaker section, fit to be teased, exploited, mistreated and abused is the major issue with society right now.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I second your point that ‘mindset’ is eating into the well-being of our society. There are so many layered problems that focusing only on one will not do. Uphill task ahead……

  3. I’d like to believe that an ailing nation can be cured only if it’s peoples’ ailments are addressed. We often look at the symptoms in the hope of dousing the real problem, but then treating symptoms can only go so far. Change should come from within.

    Brilliant write. Enjoyed it. And yes, you have a brilliant blog here!

  4. I am reliably informed that the internet might help with increasing awareness but nothing will change until people in the real world change and do something different. You have elections soon. I visited here only because Google in its wisdom pointed out you mentioned the name of Irom Sharmila while like most Indians knowing little or nothing about her, Manipur or is Manipal. But it is true 2 Manipuri women Rahul Gandhi knows about and he wants Mary Kom to be a Congress MP. She’s the boxer who has no political interests though she is diversifying into modelling and the other stuff that athletes do. The CM Rahul’s acolyte in Manipur confirmed he doesn’t want Irom Sharmila as a Congress MP. And as he has paid to have them elected he should be the one to chuse. Irom Sharmila has a trial in Delhi. I presume you know where that is. You don’t know about her trial because she is not being presented. Ten court warrants. You’d think something would have to respond to a court warrant. Apparently not. Only if you are Italian soldiers charged with the murder of Indian Citizens. Indian soldiers who murder Manpuris haven’t actually committed an offence under Indian Law. Peaceful protest against it now that is a crime. You mentioned her name if you ever decide to write something about her and many do don’t let the fact that you have never met her stop you I’ll come back. For now Ekla chalo re.

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