While Indian politicians contest to reserve 33% of the seats in the Parliament for women in lieu of their 48.04% population, a woman of Indian-origin (Kamala Harris) has reached the apogee of world’s politics, becoming the first woman South Asian Vice President of the world’s oldest democracy. Misogynists claiming that women hallucinate about being oppressed by men do not realise that the world’s oldest democracy would only witness its first woman Vice President after 243 years of Independence.
Whenever someone with an Indian connection creates history, Indians enthusiastically begin asserting one’s origin as Indians, even if none of their descendants have ever visited India before. Let us not deliberate on genealogy, but what has stunned me more is that Indians have altogether forgotten their conception of patrilineality.
Indians acknowledge their line of descent from the male’s side of ancestors and accept patrilineality as a plausible kinship system that accentuates male supremacy. But whenever a person from Indian via matrilineality makes a mark in any field of endeavour, we overlook years of admonishing matrilineality as against the natural order of continuing lineage.
Stemming from patriarchy, a girl child is believed to be a bane in Indian society, but now, the same society is lauding the success of our daughter who might just have strong discrimination or even foeticide, had her mother not moved to America at the age of 19. A woman who trespassed Indian traditions and prejudiced customs around her has now become an epitome of Indian culture.
Despite criminalising intolerance against widows, India retains its notoriety for accounting widows to be one of the most marginalised section across the nation. The same society lauding Harris’ achievements knows little about the fact that had Harris’ mother been in India, she would have been forced into living a wretched life for being a single mother, who could have called off to keep her head shaved with two daughters.
Despite the existence and implementation of stringent laws against discrimination against women, the unwavering attitude of Indians towards empowering women cites testimony to the fact that only a small percentage of women have been able to make their mark in their respective field of endeavour. We as a society have failed an egalitarian environment and cut our own throat while subjugating women’s potential from doing wonders. It’s high time we transgress paradigms of prejudice and stereotype, and bring some affirmative change.