Today, India celebrates 73rd Independence day. Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Jawaharlal Nehru devoted themselves to the freedom struggle. Also, many women freedom fighters including Jhansi Rani Laxmi Bai, Sarojini Naidu, Kittur Rani Chennamma, and many more sacrificed their lives in the freedom movement. But, what kind of independence did these women warriors bring in to India? What does the word ‘Independence’ mean in the lives of Indian women?
Bleed for the nation
Women don’t bleed only during menses but do on the battlefield too. Then, how come the blood be polluted and her health is unimportant? Menstruation is still a tabooed topic in India as everything related to it seems impure or polluted. Millions of girls use cloth, rags, husk, or ash to manage the flow. While sanitary napkin and menstrual cup is still a distant thought to them. The government of India had introduced a campaign to provide a pack of ten sanitary napkins to school girls every month, to avoid girls dropping out of school, after commencing of the menstrual cycle. But, this stands still due to the pandemic situation. The issue is still dwelling in the air with women looking for a piece of cloth not being used for anything else- and use that, and wash it before using it a second time.
And the violence continues
Nearly 89 years, India sustained the violence of British rule. Well, the women still experience it from the very Indian men to the date. Most of them deny to speak about their experience and the rest don’t even mention the incident to any. And the one who put up the courage to confess about their pain, plead people to do something or else her family members would kill her soon. This is the level of grievous trauma they undergo every day and live with it.
Biased and ignored
Jhansi Rani Laxmi Bai, one of the renowned warrior who proved to the world about the strength of women, handling both family and the nation. Today, all the women put herself in great pain coping with the household and work pressures. Definitely, she is a multitasker but not a machine to function for all at every point of time. In spite of sweating all day, she has to face biased conduct in terms of remuneration, work opportunities, and more.
Time to fade the myth
It’s not the mere talk of feminism, but of the freedom, she deserves to enjoy part of independent India. IAS officer Beela Rajesh, Flight lieutenant Hina Jaiswal, Captain Tania Shergil, and many more women in other fields, are flourishing to break the norms of need to seek equality or freedom. Let the women march past, past the lifeless old beliefs.