करंट टॉपिक्स

Oppression against Women – The Beginning of the Decline

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Swami Vivekanand said, “The ideal of womanhood in Bharat is motherhood -that marvellous, unselfish, all-suffering, ever-forgiving mother. The wife walks behind – the shadow. She must imitate the life of the mother; that is her duty. But the mother is the ideal of love; she rules the family, she possesses the family”.

Again, he once said, “In Bharat, the woman was the visible manifestation of God and that her whole life was given up to the thought that she was a mother, and to be a perfect mother she must be chaste”.

This speech of Swami Vivekanand, who introduced Bharat in front of the world, reveals the deep respect that Bharatiya people have for women. But what is the present situation of the women of West Bengal, the state where Swamiji was born?

The people of this state have heard the slogan ‘Bengal wants its own Daughter’. Incidentally, it is the woman from Bengal who holds the seat of the Chief Minister of the state presently. So why are incidents like Sandeshkhali still happening? Hundreds of mothers and sisters of Bengal are brutally tortured by the leaders and activists of the political party whose slogan is ‘Bengal wants its own Daughter’. We are just shocked to hear the incidents of Sandeshkhali from mothers and sisters of that place. Day after day, they have to endure the hideous, demonic torture of the leaders and workers of the ruling party. Although the current ruling party of the state brings forward women’s sympathy to overcome the election properly, are the girls of Bengal secured during their rule? Today, the mother and sisters of Sandeshkhali have raised the voice against the unjust oppression, but who knows how many more Sandeshkhalis are there in every corner of the state. Who knows how many mothers and sisters of the state have to endure the torture of such brute Shahjahans..!

Manusmriti says…..

यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवताः।

यत्रैतास्तु न पूज्यन्ते सर्वास्तत्राफलाः क्रियाः॥

Where Women are honoured, divinity blossoms there, and where ever women are dishonoured, all action no matter how noble it may be, remains unfruitful.

Again, the ancient scriptures say….

या देवी सर्व भूतेषू मातृ रूपेण संस्थिता,

नमस्तस्यै-नमस्तस्यै-नमस्तस्यै नमो नम:

That is, Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Mother. In the culture of Bharat, the significance of femininity lies in motherhood. And so, the female race is like a goddess to us. This is why we still worship women as goddesses through Kumari Puja. We believe that the primal power Mahamaya resides in Kumari.

Women have been worshipped as goddesses in Bharatiya society since ancient times. Again, as women empowerment is being emphasized across the country to make Bharat a developed nation by 2047, at the time of one hundred years of independence, are these barbaric incidents not leaving our West Bengal behind? Is Bengal going back to the rule of the tyrant Mughals? The incident of Sandeshkhali raises this question in mind.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale once said, “What Bengal thinks today Bharat thinks tomorrow”. There is no denying that this statement was very relevant in the early 19th century, but the position of Bengal today is completely opposite to this statement.

Rabindranath Tagore wrote, “Amar sonar Bangla Ami tomay bhalobasi”, but one has to be moved to think that the mothers and sisters in this Bengal described by Kaviguru are in dire straits today. They have to go on the road in the fight to save their dignity. It is surprising that these heinous, demonic incidents are happening to women during the rule of the Chief Minister and Police Minister of the state, who is herself a woman. But she is not seen to take any strict action against this incident. When something bad happens to women in other states, protest marches are not seen in this state. Rather, the state administration is very active to save the criminals by deception. But why? In fact, it seems that it has become a duty to save the leaders and workers of their own party even from the protection of women in the state. There is a saying sentence, “if you pull ears, the head will come”, maybe they are afraid of that! That is why this action is taken to save criminals like Shahjahan so that their heads are not caught in any way. Did those who were inspired by the slogan ‘Bengal wants its daughter’ imagine this day? After seeing the incident in Sandeshkhali, are they not trembling with fear even thinking about their own mothers and sisters? In this Bengal, where great women like Matangini, Saraladevi Chaudhurani, Rani Rasmani, and Kadambini were born and worked, it is sad to think about the condition of women in that glorious Bengal today!

Although the police administration has imposed Section 144 in the Sandeshkhali police station area for an indefinite period to deal with the situation, for a long time no strict action has been taken against those involved in these heinous crimes.

All women of Bengal have a question – Who will give them protection? Many people are still silent for the greed of a small allowance. But can everything be compromised for the sake of a very small allowance? Do you have to remain silent in exchange for anything against these heinous, demonic crimes that happened to the mothers and sisters?

Poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote in his poem ‘Nyayadanda’, “The one who does injustice and the one who tolerates injustice, then hatred is equal to him”. Today, the people of West Bengal want a stern exemplary punishment along with the ghouls like Shahjahans, whose long inactivity has allowed these miscreants to have the temerity to turn their mothers and sisters into commodities. The people of West Bengal do not want to witness such incidents anymore. They want to make Bengal as ‘Sonar Bangla’. Where women will be safe and secure. Where administration will be helpful and strict and people’s interest will be the first priority.

Finally, it can be said that history is witness to the fact that no society can ever progress by oppressing women. Those who have stigmatized women as commodities have fallen themselves. Incidentally, Swami Vivekanand mentions six main reasons for Bharat’s subjugation by foreigners for so long, despite everything it has. He said to the people of Bharat, “O Bharat, forget not that the ideal of thy womanhood is Sita, Savitri, Damayanti”. That is, the neglect of women is the first and one of the main reasons for Bharat’s subjugation for a long time. Swamiji has eloquently said that Bharat cannot progress if women are not uplifted. Based on Swamiji’s statement, it can be said that those who have tarnished the honor of mothers and sisters today actually started their own decline.

By Diganta Chakraborty

(Jagran Josh Awardee 2023, A young columnist)

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