By Ilika Ranjan:
This little short story dawned in my mind when I was reading one of the travel books on ancient India. The exact lines stated were ‘cattle and women were the movable properties that men could carry as they moved from one land to the other.’ I felt a surge of temper and my head could sense the tightening of veins. We women feel so deprived and disrespected even now, then what would these cattle equivalent women must have felt? Unfortunately, even education fails to change many mindsets for women. Then what is the solution… Economics, and believe me, God has discovered the solution!
Here’s the narrative
Once upon a time, millions of years ago, when God was creating the Earth, he was very clear that the existence of both man and woman was imperative for sustenance of the world. He made his replicas in form of man – Intelligent, strong, driven. He knew that he could not imagine his life without his wife -Â Devi, persona of beauty, compassion and mental and emotional strength and thus created Woman – to partner the Man.
The civilization grew, but in some pockets on the Earth, as in India, conceit ruled the mind of men and physical power overruled the brain power. Man worshiped God’s wife Devi in temples but downgraded her facsimiles on Earth. Arrogance and pride wrought Man’s mind and he created systems and rituals to domesticate the women, as he tamed his cattle. Dowry was introduced, a system skewed absolutely to the pleasures of the Man. He got the woman and even the money to keep the women.
When Devi saw this nonsense on the Earth, she blamed God, after all men were his replicas. God was traumatized, his most beautiful creation, women, were in an awful condition. He rattled his mind for a solution and thought his heart was filled with compassion from the day his daughter was born, so he gave Man daughters to instill compassion and fatherly love in him. But Man was corrupted by then, he killed the daughter as the child was born, before even enjoying the pleasure of being a father.
Devi was furious and so was God. He tried justifying “I made women only physically delicate, but mentally and emotionally strong. Why can they not fight for their respect like you?” Our Gods had no answer! Some enlightened Men and Women did take up his cause and fought against the in justice, but in vain.
Both Devi and God traveled for centuries to find a solution! Education did improve the situation somewhat, but each century presented a new challenge for bringing the respect for women. The ladies who aged, aged with bitterness and penalized the younger lot with ritualistic conservatism that they once faced. God and Devi had not anticipated this world. Then one day as they were crossing a building where a professor was teaching Economics, God was tempted to eavesdrop.
The Professor was narrating “When demand is more and supply is less, the price rises”. Devi was new to the terminology Price and innocently questioned God “What is Price?” God replied with the Divine Halo “The value of anything. I think I made a mistake. But I have a solution .I will not give the world daughters. I gave Man daughters and he killed them. Now let them pray and pine but I am not going to give them. Let centuries to come witness the decline till there would be no woman.”
And in years to come, the girl child would be a priced possession!
In the recent Census, the child sex ratio in India has dropped to 914 females against 1,000 males the ratio has declined from 927 females against 1,000 males in 2001 to 914, which was described as a “matter of grave concern” by Census Commissioner of India, C Chandramauli.
Unfortunately, where compassion failed, simple Economics might work! Give it some thought!