The events that unfolded in Mangalore last month was a plug coming off a pus filled wound festering in our society. A wound filled with the pus of resentment, anger and injured macho pride at women’s liberation and emancipation. Soon after the Mangalore incident there were many incidents of girls being beaten up in Bangalore. The perpetrators were people who were looking for an outlet to let off steam at the alarming trend of Indian women abandoning their traditional role as chattels and second class citizens! Alarm over female liberation has been simmering below the surface of our society for some time now. Mangalore merely bought the simmering discontent to fore.
For far too long the Indian man was the sacred cow of the family, worshipped and revered as a superior being. In the olden days he was the only bread winner. Women prayed for his well being and a long life. A widow’s plight was desperate indeed and only a presence of man in her life gave an Indian woman a social standing and security. This elevated the status of men to dizzying heights and it continued for some time and still continues in some parts of the country and individual homes. Later as the women too started working, his position as lord and master remained unchallenged. Whether the women worked in brick kilns, construction sites or offices, they kept the status quo in the home intact.
As time went by and women began taking on more challenging roles at the work place, the ladies found it difficult to cope with the demands of the workplace and the home and hearth. When there was no respite the women began questioning their traditional role as home makers and started resenting the additional work they had to put in at home while the men continued to enjoy their role as demi gods. This lead to the smartening up of women and they ensured that their daughters were bought up without the cultural baggage they were bought up with. Fathers too realized that it was better to educate the girl child as the security that marriages provided in the olden days could not be taken for granted anymore.
A new breed of gals are being produced today by the great Indian middle class. A breed that is told that they should be financially independent so that they are not left for the wolves at the whims and fancies of their men. And it is this group of girls that The Mad Man from Mangalore is fighting against. This is his definition of ‘against our culture.” It is sheer male chauvinism disguised as concern for the Indian culture.
However it is too late to turn the clock back. Indian women have come into their own and they have their parent’s blessings to go with it. It is a question of survival and no parent wants his/her daughter in a vulnerable position at any time of her life. And the scores of parents, grand parents and elderly couples on the roads of Bangalore on Valentines Day was an indicator of the same.
While The Madman of Mangalore may raise his head again, he is fighting a losing battle. The instinct to survive is very strong in every individual. And it is this instinct that will decide what the term “Indian culture” means for all of us in the future!
Today is the third anniversary of this blog. Thank you Mathew for reminding me of the same! :) And thanks to each and everyone of you who wandered in here and read my ramblings!