‘Ya mummy I was born from your tummy, but I’m not ready to be a dummy.’
Yes, these lines are a fact for some women. Being born as a girl in a ‘sanskari’ culture, one has to be labelled sanskari.
Sanskari is a Sanskrit word which refers to a well-mannered person with good conduct towards others.
However, our Indian culture asks for something more from women than only being well-mannered – staying under a veil when elders, mainly male members, are standing before you, not uttering even a single word and accepting all the decisions taken by them without any hesitation or disagreement, etc.
Earlier, these things were quite popular among the households of our society. The popular thinking that – ‘the time till she is listening to the elders of the house, it is okay, otherwise abuse and torture is the only resort to bring her on track’ – has changed over time. With the spread of awareness among women for equal regard and treatment, many of them are stepping out of the patriarchy rotting their lives.
‘No more I am going to hold these chains,
when I too have my own pleasure and pains,
Now you will not be able to slain,
Use your brains, I am free to claim’
While the changing behaviour pattern of women is positive, they are most often labelled as ill-mannered and taunted for not being sanskari and for not accepting traditional norms.
Being sanskari does not mean that one needs to follow irrational traditional norms which hampers one’s dignity. Instead, values which enable us to be well-mannered without losing one’s own self, are the true sanskars which are to be followed.