Few days before I happen to see an old episode of the new Mahabharata which was telecasted on Star TV. That episode left me with myriad thoughts about Draupadi and Krishna. The scene still replays in my mind where Krishna tells Draupadi to forgive Duryodhana first. Also how he guides her how to overcome her grief by thinking if she being a Queen can face issues of this magnanimity then what would be the state of affairs for a normal woman.
I think if we replay this in our minds still as Draupadi or Sita what has really changed in this century? I am not being negative here but it leaves me with a restless thought that Lord Krishna was there to help Draupadi from her grief and anger. But who would help the normal and desolate women in this century or for any century for that matter? We say we are developing and achieving so many things in society. But deep down do we really think that anything has changed for women? Just being educated and being successful is not everything as per the myths which have been set in the society.
The problems faced by women are still stupendous. I personally do not feel we are free as the thought process in the society has not changed. Any change cannot be enforced by law but it has to come from within. People especially our older generations and hypocritical male population needs to change their thought process. But is this really possible? You will be surprised it is very difficult in most people but extremely difficult with educated people as well. I would like to give you an example of an happening in an Pune court for which I was witness to. There was a group of lady advocates discussing some issues which they came across in the Bar rooms of the courts. The senior advocate mentioned that the Bar council had male representatives who were making fun of laws which were created to secure woman against cheating and adultery. The male representatives went up to the extent of saying that all laws are for woman then why do they even make an attempt to go to the courts? They already know that the case would be in their favour. These so called saviours of law went to the extent of saying that woman squarely misuse all the laws. But these so called elite lawyers of the society never thought why were these laws made? What was the need to make them? If everything was “hung ki dori” as it is said then why these laws would be needed?
The answer given by a senior female advocate really made me think through on what is the current position of our so called developing society. The female advocate mentioned when we are born we are asked our fathers name, when we get married we are asked our husbands name, when we grow old and are widows we are asked our son's name. So technically in all stages in our life we are appendage to somebody either father/husband/son. We as a woman are not an individual but are an appendage. So are we really independent?
Independence is all about treating each person as an individual and having an identity of our own. But we as woman cannot be recognized with her name but needs a surname or some guys name to support. The female advocate brushed aside the male advocates aside and said that when all you really start treating woman as an individual and not an appendage we would not need these laws anymore.
These conversations left a deep impression in my mind, which made me very restless. Am I nothing without a surname or guy’s name? For example Reema/Geeta etc do not have any vakue in themselves unless and until it has a surname Chopra, Thakkar, Mehta or Bobade etc. The classic experience in a current divorce case which my dear friend Revathi went through were her so called loving in-laws and husband insisted that she cannot use their family name but their granddaughter can. Why is surname so important just because it shows a family lineage? Are we Raja, Maharajas to bloody worry about family lineages. The so called supportive parents of my dear friend are equally livid of she turning back to her maiden name. What the hell is she supposed to do in this Ping-pong about family lineage?
The same best friend went through a gruesome experience with a finance company who were suppose to give her a car loan with a tourist registration. She wanted an additional income for which she decided to buy a tourist car and put it on rent but she was refused loan saying that her husband would also have to sign the loan papers and there would have been no problem if the car would be purchased in a male name. I was flustered completely after hearing this how can somebody treat woman like this?
So my dear woman friends the question still remains are we really free? I do not think we are free and their seems very less scope for anything to change. Draupadi at least could aim towards achieving personal satisfaction and overcome her sorrows because Lord Krishna helped her every bit of her treacherous journey. But pray who is going to help us? The situation is so worse that we would need so many Krishna’s to help us it is not funny. Please do not think I am atheist, I am an ardent believer in the Supreme. But the patience seems to be running out in my mind when would all this stop? The country is progressing, but I wonder when the society would progress. The PM’s, the National Woman’s Council, NGO’s of this country need to think how the thought process of the society needs to be changed. Pray where would they bring so many Lord Krishna’s from?
On a lighter note I personally do not think the current male population has even an iota of qualities of Lord Krishna. So I guess it is a tough road ahead, all we can do is keep on expressing our views, stressing our independence and help each other as woman to come up in the society. And of course last but not the least pray to Lord Krishna to help us also as he had helped Draupadi……