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Monday, 17 June 2013

Indian women and the transition period

Transition period is the most confusing in everyone’s life. Indian women were now caught in this transition period. As any other culture, India too is a male dominated society. India is rich in cultural values but at the same time it also suffers from many superstitious beliefs. Indian women are slowly getting bail from the cultural imprisonment but they are not fully released from the cultural disabilities. This transition from bondage to freedom can be a good sign but at the same time this is the period in which women should take wise decisions because this period has no direction, so the choice should be in such a way that it should first find a direction in order to be successful. As this article is about Indian women, I am going to produce some of my observations in Indian perspective.

Once love marriages were a rare phenomena in India. Indian literatures celebrated love marriages but Indian society perceived it only as a fiction and not as reality. The rate of love marriages are increasing day by day, at the same time honor killings and forcible separation of love couples were also reported in many places of India. One of the major drawbacks of love marriage is that most of the couples fail to continue their affection after their marriage. One of the reasons for this is due to the wrong choice taken in selecting the spouse.

 Women by nature are so sentimental; Men use it as a weapon to attract women. Women fail to believe in men who behave naturally at every circumstance but believe in men who involve themselves in many sentimental activities, not whole heartedly but only in order to attract the women. One of my friend said that the first eligibility to attract women is to become an actor. It is natural for a man to involve in many activities to attract women, but at the same time it is to be noted that this acting cannot be continued after marriage and once their natural character is revealed, women realize that they were cheated and it leads to break in the relationship.Society is responsible for this, In India especially in southern states, still women are not allowed to talk freely with men, and as a result women are able to communicate only with a limited circle of men which has led to very less choice to arrive at. So, the men who approach them become the world for them without any second thought and they easily fall prey to them.

Women are known for their sacrificial nature. In India women are most flexible, especially in their households but once they get out of the house, they are not so flexible. When I asked about this to one of my neighbor woman, she said that she can’t explain this exactly but this may be due to fear or inferiority complex. There is a wide gap between politics and women of India but at the same time it should also be noted that India produced many popular women politicians. People in India do not realize that politics is mixed with our day to day life. They fail to understand that politics plays a very important role in order to survive. Politics has its own advantage, in places like office flexibility and rigidness should be balanced but unfortunately women earn lot of enemies due to the immediate decision they take which may be ethically right but practically it ends in problem.

            Feminism is the most misunderstood concept in India. Indian feminist think that in order to attain equal status, a woman should fully transform like a man. Most of the Indian women fail to realize that each gender has some unique qualities and these qualities should be celebrated.  They do not say “We can” rather thy say “If men, Why can’t we?” This naturally makes men consider women as competitors and they start to treat them as their enemies but some men are so clever that they instigate this ideology in order to achieve something for their gains. Another issue a man doesn’t like in a woman who claims equality is when she request to show sympathy in some situations as she is a woman. Most of the men argue that showing sympathy will not lead to equality.

Who should be blamed for it?? We all know that nations where women were given freedom were the nations that witnessed success in their economy. It is fact that giving freedom to women will lead not only the nation to success but also each and every household. The responsibility now lies with us. As it is a transition period, it takes time for the adaptation. So, women alone cannot be blamed for the mistakes, the responsibility lies with men too; men should guide them whenever they lose their balance. At the same time women should not exploit the freedom rather they should understand the difficulty of the transition period and adjust to the situations in such a way that it should not lose their identity. Equality can only be achieved by the equal contribution of men and women, so mutual respect and healthy competition should be encouraged rather than hatred and envy between genders.

Nuclear Power Plant: Koodankulam, India.

“There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. Now a traveller came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveller who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”

The above passage is a parable from the Bible. India is said to be the fifth largest in Electricity Sector, and has an installed capacity of 205.34 Gigawatt with an additional captive power of 31.5 Gigawatt, and fourth largest energy consumer of the world. Over 65% India’s generated electricity comes from thermal power followed by 21.53% from hydro power, 3.75% from nuclear power and 12% from renewable energies.

India at present is suffering from power shortage. The Government of India says, shortage can be partly solved if the Nuclear Power Plant in Koodankulam starts to operate. The operation in Koodankulam nuclear power plant has been delayed due to anti-nuclear protests by the Koodankulam people along with NGO’s. Even if the koodankulam nuclear power plant is operated, it cannot be able to eliminate the power crisis fully.

The shortage did not happen all of a sudden,It was there for some years,now it has become acute. The causes for the shortage of power is due to shortages of fuel,poor pipeline connectivity,poor infrastructure,distribution and transmission loss,illegal tapping of lines,underestimating the consumption by faulty electric meters etc. Neither the Present Government nor the Past Governments took initiative to settle these issues.

The Government in order to safeguard itself from the issues that has lead to power shortage,cleverly puts the blame on the anti-nuclear protestors, and hid from the public the true facts of power shortage. Is Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant operation is the only way to solve the power shortage?

Koodanklam is situated in South India.An inter-governmental agreement was signed between Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the year 1988 for the construction of Nuclear Power Plant in Koodankulam.The Construction of the plant is delayed due to political disturbance in Russia, and the construction began only in the year 2001.

The anti-nuclear protestors were blamed of creating chaos after the plant construction is over but the truth is,the protest started in the year 1989 itself  by NGO’s but it did not yield any result at the initial stage due to lack of support from the Koodankulam people.The Koodankulam people sold their land for a low amount with an assurance from the Government that they will be given jobs in the Power Plant but they were not given jobs as promised, and thy did not take this seriously because they thought that the jobs in the plant may not be related to them.

The Koodankulam people joined the protest after they came to know that they were not only deceived of jobs but their livelihood is also in danger.They were afraid of  displacement because they were informed by the Nuclear Power Plant authorities that they cannot live near the nuclear plant,or do fishing on the surrounding areas.They also fear that the discharge from the power plant into the water will lead to marine life poisoning.The Government says that it has plan to rehabilitate the Koodankulam people but until now it does not take any steps to rehabilitate them.

The Fukushima incident also triggered fear among the Koodankulam people.The Government sent delegates to convince them claiming that the plant is 100%, safe but they could not be convinced and they argue that the Fukushima accident did not happen due to technical failure in the plant but due to natural disaster. So,they question, What will be the consequence, if natural disaster strikes the plant?.

The Government of Tamil Nadu used police force to disperse the protestors but their attempt was failed and the protest has been going on.According to some scientist,In the nuclear plant electricity can be produced from other energies,so there is not going to be any loss in stopping the operation.

Accidents happen everywhere and it is unavoidable but preventable in certain circumstances.Many argue that fearing accidents will halt the development of a country.There is a difference between nuclear related power plant accidents and other accidents.Usually in accidents the victims will be of those who present in the place but in nuclear disaster it not only kills those who present around but it will also cause disabilities for generations.

Indian Citizens are not robots.A robot needs power to do certain commands but it cannot sense anything of it’s own.The Government could have thought that Indian’s need power so they will not care even if it is at the cost of human lives but their plans were thwarted and Indians proved that they are not robots.I came across a statement in social networking sites where it raises the question: “whether those who claim that the plant is 100% safe are ready to live near the plant?”.

Now let us come to the parable.The Government is acting like a rich man, and the Koodankualm people can be compared with the poor man.Though Government has so many options to generate and prevent the loss of electricity.It is stubborn in operating Koodankulam Power Plant to generate electricity by displacing the Koodankulam people and destroying their livelihood.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Sex in India

The term sex is still considered as a taboo in India. The attitudes toward sexuality have changed to a certain extent, but it is not enough to decrease sexual crimes in the society. The recent gang rape in a bus in Delhi has sparked anger among the citizens of India and it has led to various protests to implement a strict law to punish the rapists. It is necessary to punish the sexual offenders, but more than that stopping sexual assault should also be taken into account seriously.

In ancient times India followed a liberal attitude towards sexuality, Kamasuthra which was still considered as the best text on human sexual behavior is from India, and one can see nude sculptures in Indian temples. After the invasion of Muslim rulers followed by British, India reversed its attitudes towards sexuality. India at present is caught in a confused stage because of its progress towards sexual revolution.

Sex plays a major role in marital relationship. One of the reasons for the break up between couples is due to sexual problems, they feel ashamed to admit it due to fear of ridicule by the society and put the blame on something for their separation. Couples rather than approaching a professional to solve this problem, seeks advice from their known one’s who misguide them due to lack of understanding on this issue. Many people were reluctant in sharing their sexual desires even with their partners and repress it, which leads to various problems.

Indians are suffering from gymnophobia.Nudity is seen only in a sexual perspective ,so in circumstances where nudity is required they feel very uncomfortable and also whenever there is a wardrobe malfunction or undressing takes place, people involve in voyeurism. Due to voyeurism, many Indians are unwilling to do certain task in public.

Sexual assault has been increasing day by day in India; many cases were unreported because of the fear of the process a victim has to undergo to get justice and sometimes law will not take any action because of the influential background of the offender. There are many cases pending in court and in many incidents the offender has not been punished and left free. Media also fails to follow the issue. In many cases the offender will be close to the family members, so the families itself decide not to report this issue because the society has created a fake image as if sexual victims have no future and also families consider it as a shame to expose the crime.

 Whenever there is an incident like this, the opinions of people will differ. There are some narrow minded people who without knowing anything about the History of India but in order to achieve fame and political gain blame the modern lifestyle of women in India for the cause of sexual crimes. These people play a major role in distorting the Indian culture, they self claim themselves to be righteous. Unfortunately, there are many women who talk in this way because of the jealousy on other women. Until India gets rid of these people, who was a stumbling block to the nation’s development, sexual assaults will continue in India. I don’t understand how these people talk ill of the western culture but use western inventions, products and get loan from western countries.

 A woman scientist made an utterly illogical speech about women being raped, she criticized women for the cause of sexual assaults, for which she faced lot of criticism but was reluctant to apologize, but one of her statement can be taken into consideration.She said that the Delhi rape victim could have surrendered to the rapist in order to save her life. In case if there is no option available to escape in a sexual assault, surrendering is considered to be one of the options. A woman will not become immoral because of surrendering; she surrenders not for the pleasure but to save her life, in order to fight back effectively against these sexual offenders. Many women feels that a woman should rather die than surrendering but when you see it in victims family perspective, they would have never wanted the victim to die, no one wants our near or dear ones to die in these barbarous acts. There are many women who have surrendered to sexual assault and fought back bravely to get justice, these women did not become impure but more pure by helping other victims to lead a normal life. Surrendering has its own pros and cons, sometimes surrendering saves life but sometimes it may lead to death.

The tragic incident in Delhi has brought to light many incidents happening in our country. Politicians as usual tried to escape from this incident, but the continuous, energetic, and courageous protestors sent a shock to them. The protestors demanded Death penalty or Castration for the offender. India very much needs severe punishments for these offenders but this alone will not decrease the rate of sexual crimes. In countries where punishments are severe, still sexual crimes are prevailing, in these countries media is censored, so many incidents does not come to light. A person who is involving in sexual crime, at that moment will not care about the punishments. In some countries where the rate of sexual assault is low does not have a strict law for sexual crimes, but their approaches towards sexual attitudes are moral, liberal and broad minded.

Adolescent stage determines one’s attitude towards sexuality. In this stage curiosity about sexuality will be higher, if proper guidance is given in this stage, it will play a crucial role in decreasing sexual crimes. In India, adolescents are not given proper guidance, Parents and teachers who have the responsibility to guide in this stage, fail to do it. They treat sex like an abomination. So naturally the adolescents start to explore about sexuality by themselves and lands in pornography which not only misguides them about sex but divert their concentration, leading to academic failure and those who avoid exploring by themselves and was successful in academics, fails in family life.

One of the main reasons for the increase in sexual crimes is due to lack of understanding about sexuality. In order to remove this lack of understanding government should implement sex education not only in academic institutions but also in work places and special concentration should be given to socially and economically backward population and the task of teaching should be handed over to social organizations. The NGO’s should help the victims in the process of getting justice and people should be taught to approach the right place to get an effective justice. If someone comes across this situation, they should first approach some social organizations and with their help should file a complaint to the police. Only proper understanding about sexuality will lead to gender equality.