One of the factors that have greatly influenced the world today is Globalization. Today, the world has changed and matured in a way that was not perceived ten years back. India being a country that has a very diverse population with extremely deep-rooted traditions has become an economy that has changed drastically over the last decade.
According to Stephen Cohen: “India is an ancient state but a modern civilization”
What has made India different from other economies when it comes to globalization is the fact that the changes have little touched the culture and hindu traditions in India. While this is definitely a feather in our hats, the question at hand is, are many of these traditional practices still suppressing the capabilities of women? Widowed women in particular?
“We are marked with titles of being bad omens. We are not allowed to participate in any auspicious events.” (Lakshmi, Chennai, India)
“As soon as my husband had died, people took away all our rights to existence, even the vessels, beds and money” (Rani, Gujarat)
“My husband died of AIDS after having been with several women; I am plagued by his mistakes and afflicted by AIDS as well, but his family blames me for his death.” (Swati, India)
*(All names have been changed to keep the privacy of the individuals)
According to any statistics you read around the country, the widows are almost completely omitted. This is all in the name of up keeping Hindu traditions in India. This is case with not just hindu tradtions in India but many of the developing countries and they are very rarely taken into account when considering the poverty of the nation. They are a vulnerable group that has been susceptible to immense socio-economic and psychological hindrances that go completely unnoticed.
In many developed countries, widowhood experiences are secluded to elderly women than the women in developing countries. Closing our mind to the innumerable women who are affected by the society’s treatment of single widows and widows with young children is one of the many pitfalls of this beautifully maturing civilization.
Helping is about making small efforts in:
- Helping them feel accepted
- Respecting them as equal human beings
- Encouraging them to stand up for themselves
- Leaving traditions aside and respecting them as human beings rather than holding strong, the “Just-a-woman “mentality
- Understanding that religion is about being humane first and cannot be misused as per the convenience of individual preferences
“Widowers are more likely to be remarried than widows”
What is even more appalling about the society is that widowers are more likely to be remarried than widows, in the name of hindu traditions in india. This is plain unfair. They are also allowed to act on their own free will. It is time we change. While these hindu traditions in India and beliefs we hold are great, there is a line that might need to be crossed to break these hindu traditions in India and change the culture. Change comes from within and sharing about that change with others.
As a mother, teach your child to respect everyone equally. No matter which nation you belong to. No matter what religion you follow. Teaching your child to accept someone irrespective of the society clad ideologies is what will make you a better parent. Are you willing to speak to someone about this today?
Photo Courtesy: Daily Mail Uk