Unjust social system that subordinates, discriminates or is oppressive to women.The society is where men hold the control and make all the rules and women stay home and care for the kids. Especially in India, Patriarchy is a socially-constructed system where males have primary power. I think it affects many aspects of life, from political leadership, business management, religious institutions, economic systems and property ownership, right down to the family home where men are considered to be the head of the household. After the marriage, a woman changes her status due to the other family. And the pressure which comes from her in-law house shows how racist they are. That’s why India is a big patriarchal society. If I had a power to do something, I would smash patriarchy. Before marriage, a woman uses the title before her name Miss. and after marriage why she has to change? From Miss. to Mrs.? Why? If it’s not patriarchy then what’s this? We talked a lot about what female sexuality looks like in the absence of patriarchy, so, let me clear that, their sexuality is not something that complicates their lives or labels them in any way. It informs their power.
Sometimes your wishes really come true. I can only think but couldn’t imagine. It had been four months since she met. In between I went to my theatre show and she went to her In-laws house. When I came back after a week, I heard that she lost her husband. The ground slipped from under my feet. I couldn’t imagine a bit for this worst thing. People called me up many times to know about her but I didn’t know the whole matter. But what was supposed to happen, happened. We didn’t meet for four months. She came back from her In-laws house after 3 months and I met her after a month, it had been four months. One day she called me up to be her guide because she was going to do her operation for her uterus problem. She went for operation early morning, it was 6:00 AM and I reached late by 9:00 AM because I was coming from another state. However, she had gone inside the operation theatre and I waited for four hours inside the hospital room. In between my mind started to run in my own way as usual. What I thought, her husband has passed, will she still have a dot (Bindi) on her forehead? Will she still be wearing the beautiful dark colour Saree or Kurta? Would she still have dark red lipstick on her beautiful lips? Would she still be wearing beautiful earrings and red bangles? I thought as much as I could. Well, the operation was successful and as she came back from operation theatre to the room, I was very happy to see her not because I was meeting after a long time or a successful operation but seeing a big dark red dot (Bindi) on her forehead. Society made me helpless to think so deep and what I was wishing, it came true. People think that widows should be in white clothes all the time, no make up, nothing. I ask, why? Now, they will say that this is the ritual! Stop please. Why don’t you show your rituals when your turn comes to do something? As a married woman has full rights to live as she can, same as the widow has. She’s also a human. She’s right to select her status. She just changed her status, she’s no longer a widow. White no more defines a widow. A widow no more defines her.
For centuries, women have been deliberately denied the opportunities for growth in the name of religion and socio-cultural practices. Religious tradition and social institutions have a deep bearing on the role and status of women. A widow woman can’t wear what she wants. She will do as society says. Why? As the choices you have, same as the choices she has. Either Indian Hindu women or Muslim women are the most significant and the totelarnt women in the world. I think I shouldn’t talk with their religion, because they are also human. Doesn’t matter who is who? The question is WHY THE PATRIARCHY?
The word ‘Gender’ evokes an interrogative response in India. It does so because Gender is a political category and despite this inevitability and timeless presence, Politics is construed as bad. This is a cultural cleavage. At the cost of provoking disbelief, I wish to state thus that Gender is insufficient for the politics it attempts. I say this to explain a very serious and fairly pervasive flaw in our imagination of not just Gender but most political categories. Identity as a point of departure can never hold a solidifying ground for a feminist political movement. (Butler: 1992). If we talk about the arranged marriages, we can see the huge difference in this case also. Women have no right to do what she wants. Even she can’t choose a better husband or a life partner for herself. On the other hand we can see Indian widows and everyone knows what society does with them after being a widow. A little has changed now with modern society. But the thinking is still the same. The inter caste marriage is like a sin in India. Arranged or otherwise, marriage in modern India countries to be bound by rigid socio-economic-caste structures.
Regularly, we are passing through a worst way, where we don’t react, even don’t care. Another way of patriarchy. Comparing and judging the sex. Love between the same gender. The height of the patriarchy which dissolves the process of humanity. And who don’t understand the difference between the same gender then let me clear them that “HE+HE is no more ‘HEHE’ and SHE+SHE is no more ‘SHAME-SHAME.’ Shame and Hehe implement on them who are still living in the patriarchy. The use of the male pronoun to describe a group ends up invisibilizing women. God is a solid, upper case He. And he/him/his are default settings for all manner of truisms: “A man in the sum of his actions,” (Mahatma Gandhi) or, “Technology is the modern man,” (Octavio Paz) – but “mankind” excludes half of humanity. “If doctors choose to not follow science, they should lose their license” (S.V.B. Patel). “Gender equality can’t be seen as a continuing contest but as a collaboration that leads to relationships of mutual autonomy and interdependence” (Abhijit Das, the founder of Men Engage Alliance). We call it a modern country but women are still under the domination of male in India. She always suffers fear of dicriminaton, exploitation and subjugation. The main causes of these situations are unequal power relations, gender discrimination and patriarchy.
Celebration of Women’s Day and worship of women notwithstanding, we should criticise on the appraisal of women status. But we don’t because we don’t care about our sister, mother and wife. We just don’t care of the legitimation. When the chief executive officer of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, held up a placard that read “Smash Brahmanical Patriarchy” while meeting a group of feminists during a visit to India in November 2018, it created a huge uproar in the media, forcing him to apologise. Brahminical/Brahminism has been narrowly equated with the Brahmin caste, and even so-called “liberals” began to attack the Twitter CEO for being party to this casteist slogan that targeted one particular community and it’s not all about the Brahmins only, if I talk about the Muslims in India, there is a high level of patriarchy in the name of religion. As I have seen, every religion has a distinct patriarchy system in India, excluding all others. In India, this nexus between patriarchy and the caste system has been found to be historically exploitative and mutually feeding off each other. According to the eminent gender historian Gerda Lerner, patriarchy manifests and institutionalises the domination of men over women and children within the family, and extends its influence over the public sphere in a society.
The shocking aspect is that such patriarchal attitudes are institutionalised and legalised by laws in contemporary India. People fill the form for the admissions in the different universities of India. Every form asks for the caste and gender. Don’t you think that it doesn’t create patriarchy? An education place also teaches the lesson of patriarchy before getting admission in universities through the form. The activists, and all the other people who believe and think that patriarch should be dissolved but they don’t think when they fill the form for the universities. An intimation to the society can dissolved the discrimination but people only try when it comes on them.
Even today for women in India, it can be argued, “they tend to be confined to a ‘private’ domain- the domestic world of the family, children and the household. Men, on the other hand, live more of a ‘public life’ and they determine how wealth and power are distributed. Their world is that of paid work, industry and politics. Class inequalities largely govern gender stratification. Since the majority of Indian women are in a position of economic dependence on their husbands, it follows that their class position is most often governed by the husband’s class situation”. (Devi, 1999: 8)
The best way to dissolve resistance and patriarch, read them who stood up for the cause and added powerful voices to the movement. Such as – Mary Wollstonecraft (Vindication of the Rights of Women: 1792, Elizabeth Stanton (History of Women Suffrage: 1881), Betty Friedan (The Feminine Mystique: 1963), Germaine Greer (The Female Eunuch: 1970), bell hooks (Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, 1984), Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider: 1984), Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth: 1990) Eve Ensler The Vagina Monologues: 1996) and, recently, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (We Should All Be Feminists: 2014). The discrimination between the gender, religion and caste in Indian context can be understood through the writings of such women.
If you read about this news that last week Raeesa Ansari made headlines when a video of her went viral on social media. In the video, Raeesa was seen speaking in fluent English, protesting the repeated corona lockdowns in Indore. She later identified herself as a former research scholar of Devi Ahilya University, Indore. “A senior of mine from the university was working on the project from Belgium. Their research head offered me to join them and sent an offer letter. I required the permission of my Ph.D guide to accept the offer, however he refused to sign the document. Once I lost the opportunity to go to Belgium for the research project, I lost all hope and returned from Kolkata,” she told Jagran.com. “I thought selling fruits would be a better option than to do a private job,” she said. She said that she is upset with the district collector, municipal corporation and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the prohibitive measures. “The first question is who will give the job to me? The perception that coronavirus is being generated from Muslims has become common now. Because my name is Raeesa Ansari, no college or research institution is willing to give me a job” she told News 18.
The politics between humanity destroys the system of the country. And the politicians, who make rules to live in the country, do quite the opposite with the system. One side government makes equal rules for everyone, on the other hand the government doesn’t provide equal class to women. And this way leads to the patriarchy system of India.
Sufyan Khan is a post graduate from Jamia Millia Islamia.
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