“Let’s stop begging”- 9 April 2014

The woman has travelled this far, has progressed on almost every count at which she, once, used to be called bogged down on freedom scale. She is a bread-winner, she is a head of the family in countless cases, she is also the decision-maker not only in homes but also in the workplace. There is also no doubt that at least in India women form the biggest percentage of teachers in schools or colleges. There are no fields in which the woman has not established her presence, if not predominance.

Yet, despite all this, at some emotional level, the woman, in general, has remained a beggar of freedom. Actually speaking, the emerging social reality in India is that the woman is a winner of freedom and not a beggar. Yet, she is found begging for freedom, asking for clearance from men for the concept called freedom. It is this part that angers Namita, whose case we mentioned in the last edition of ‘Persona’. She hates begging for freedom on any count.
What we need today is only Namitas who hate to beg for freedom for women. For, freedom is not something that someone else grants us. On the contrary, it is something that we have to work hard for and win — at any cost.
Yet, another part of the social reality in India is that the women are themselves granting men the freedom to rule over them, to be the decision-makers when that is not necessary. In marriage, too, the woman is the one playing the second fiddle, taking the shit from the family and outsiders, slogging in the home and also in the workplace.
This model militates against the very concept of freedom in modern times.
BUt why don’t women realise this?
Again, the reason is that they blame the men for this lack of freedom: It’s men who stop them, it’s men who stall their progress, it’s men who don’t allow them to grow as individuals.
This is a huge misnomer.
There is one simple question to be asked: What will the men do if the women take their own decisions and take charge of their lives?
The answer is simple: Nothing.
The men would not be able to do anything if women take charge of their lives.
Yet, the women don’t even try that.
That is the real trouble.
There is no intention to suggest that in a family setting, the women have to ignore the men completely. That is not the idea of freedom. The idea called freedom is to be able to make the choice appropriate at a given moment and in a given situation. And this choice may even lead the women to consult men, to work in tandem with them, to take their help, their shelter, their protection.
The idea of freedom is simple, though tough: Freedom means the ability to make choice, the scope to make the choice, allowance for failure, and celebration of success.
Once this idea gets firmed up in the mind, then the road ahead is cleared of all obstacles.
Thus, friends, the game is played in the mind.

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