Culture and People

#SatyamEvaJayate… Women Deserve Better

Satyam Eva Jayate

 Satyameva jayate nānṛtaṁ
satyena panthā vitato devayānaḥ |
yenākramantyṛṣayo hyāptakāmā
yatra tat satyasya paramaṁ nidhānam ||

सत्यमेव जयते नानृतम् सत्येन पन्था विततो देवयानः ।
येनाक्रमन्त्यृषयो ह्यात्मकामो यत्र तत् सत्यस्य परमं निधानं ॥

Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood.
Through truth the divine path is spread out by which
the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled,
reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides.

I could see Dad gently drying up the tears from his eyes while pretending to clean his specs…

There were tears in his eyes as he watched Aamir Khan talk about the missing girls, highly skewed sex ratio in India and my eyes were moist too.

How we are killing the girl child in India while outwardly praying to Ma Durga everyday. Our head hangs in shame when we talk about these dark sides of our society. Agree that problems like this are too big to be solved by one TV show or endorsement by a Super Start (Aamir Khan) howsoever brilliant he may be in acting or marketing his product. But these issues should also not be shoved under the carpet, keeping quiet about it is also not going to solve the issue. Highlighting it, shaming those who have done these deeds may at least put some pressure on the potential girl killers.

Look at the scary numbers, these demons are not going to go away if we keep them locked away  from spotlight.

http://censusindia.gov.in/2011census/censusinfodashboard/index.html

There was nothing new or shocking that Aamir Khan was talking about.

Lets move away from the gruesome facts about female foeticide, lets talk about the softer aspects, what happens in the day-to-day life in and around us.

  • Whats the education/qualification of the female in our families vis-a-vis the males? Why?
  • Whats the professional status of the women in our families vis-a-vis the males? Why?
  • How much economic independence the women in our families have vis-a-vis males? Why?
Improvement in the status of women in our society may not happen with a feminist revolution or slut-walks… but it would start to change when we have honest answers to the above questions. When we start giving girls equal opportunities – opportunities to live, opportunities to get education, opportunity to have professional careers, opportunity to have economic independence. Women being the worst enemy of women is also a myth… Its only when women see the bad deal that the society and life is giving them, they start participating in the discrimination them self – not wanting their future generation to suffer like they suffered.

I think most of us know how we discriminate against the girls in our society. There are so many dark secrets about the fair one’s… and not all these secrets are hidden. There are open discrimination against  the female all around us.

We may pretend to be hypocrites and try to prove with anecdotes, persona experience and data that it  doesn’t happen in our home, our family,  our social circle, our city, our state, our region, our religion…. but the fact it that it happens across the board. The acceptance of this fact maybe the first step towards fighting this demon.

There are so many issues that a plaguing our society and country that gender related issue somehow are forced into the background. Let us solve the bigger, more urgent issues at hand, these problems will be sorted out later, or will get resolved on their own.

I am not talking about the extreme case of killing the girl child, but just think about the general discrimination that happens against the women all around us, acceptance of that means how much value we give to the women in our life and how

Sample some thoughts which I am sure you would have normally came across too, it is so common to experience or hear these words. I observed, got to hear during visits to home, talking to families during ethnography sessions. And mind you it is more true for the urban areas, Upper & middle class house-holds, high income groups.

“In our homes boys are not supposed to enter the kitchen, that place is for girls/women of the family. Boys should just focus on studies” – A mother of 2 boys and a girl, her mother-in-law was approvingly nodding her head.

“I watch TV or listen to music when I am at home. I don’t even have to get up from the sofa or bed at home, Earlier it was my Mom and Sister and now my Wife ensures that I get everything there itself” – A husband when asked what he does when he is at home.

“My job is to pay the money to buy the Refrigerator. I don’t even open the refrigerator door even for water, I just call out for it and my wife gets it for me” A business man when asked about his interaction with the refrigerator at home.

“My husband & in-law feel that I do not need to work, so I left my job with the MNC bank after marriage. Now I supervise the many maids & servants we have home, to make sure that all the meals are prepared on time and the house is neat and clean’ A young, recently married women – well-educated & belonging to very high net-worth household.

How much respect do we give to women – not just those in our life,  our mother, sister, wife, daughter but women in general? How do we treat the women we interact with at work/socially (real/online world)?

Start respecting them before it is too late, discrimination against woman is discriminating against our own future… Wake up before its too late.  Remember the Kishore Kumar/Rajesh Khanna song “Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo mukaam, woh phir nahi aate…”

Watch the first episode of Aamir Khan’s TV program Satyamev Jayte focussed on the female foeticide  here http://satyamevjayate.in/ . I can bet that your eyes will be moist within the first 15 minutes of the show.

About ‘Satyam Eva Jayate’

सत्यमेव जयते

Literal English: Truth Stands Invincible is a Hindu mantra from the ancient scripture Mundaka Upanishad.

Upon independence of India, it was adopted as the national motto of India. It is inscribed in Devanagari script at the base of the national emblem. The emblem and words ‘Satyam Eva Jayate’ are inscribed on one side of all Indian currency. The emblem is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Asoka which was erected around 250 BC atSarnath, near Varanasi in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, but does not contain the motto. The origin of the motto is a well-known mantra 3.1.6 from the Mundaka Upanishad.  This post starts with the full mantra and its meaning in English.  

  • Country-wise Status, Gender Ratios across the Globe

And by the way India is not the worst offender when it comes to the gender discrimination or the skew in gender ratio.  There are others worst than us in the Wall of Shame…

But it is not about the number, the issue much bigger than that, it is about giving respect to the women that the deserve.

Only empty rhetorical like Mother Mary, Mother Earth, Mother India, Mother  Nature will not be sufficient. #WomenDeserveBetter – We must treat the women the same way we treat the men – provide them equal opportunity to live, to get educated, to have a professional life, a career, to have economic independence, to live in a safe environment (both physically & emotionally). That’s all they need. No  double standard. No crosses of special moral or emotional obligations that they have to carry on their shoulder from the day they get born till the day they die and beyond that. Allow them to go everywhere they want to go. Allow them to do what they want to do. If we all are god’s creature and equal God’s eyes then why these discrimination and limitations just because of the gender.

Country Population 2009 (Est.)
Total Population No. of Males No. of Female Gender Ratio: Female per 1000 Males
Qatar 1,409,423 1,062,942 346,481 326
United Arab Emirates 4,598,600 3,093,246 1,505,354 487
Kuwait 2,985,046 1,777,238 1,207,808 680
Bahrain 791,473 454,152 337,321 743
Oman 2,845,415 1,605,162 1,240,253 773
Saudi Arabia 25,720,605 14,097,790 11,622,815 824
Palau 20,457 10,987 9,470 862
Greenland 57,295 30,362 26,933 887
Western Sahara 513,206 271,486 241,720 890
Bhutan 697,335 367,631 329,704 897
Andorra 85,505 44,752 40,753 911
Samoa 178,846 93,173 85,673 920
Pitcairn 50 26 24 923
China 1,345,750,973 698,405,850 647,345,123 927
Faeroe Islands 49,883 25,842 24,041 930
Afghanistan 28,149,916 14,578,682 13,571,234 931
Solomon Islands 523,170 270,834 252,336 932
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 6,419,925 3,318,824 3,101,101 934
India 1,198,003,272 618,942,535 579,060,737 936
Brunei Darussalam 399,687 206,305 193,382 937
Pakistan 180,808,096 93,101,700 87,706,396 942
Guyana 762,498 391,442 371,056 948
Jordan 6,316,432 3,239,280 3,077,152 950
Iceland 322,691 165,242 157,449 953
Cook Islands 19,808 10,134 9,674 955
French Polynesia 269,043 137,487 131,556 957
Vanuatu 239,788 122,288 117,500 961
Micronesia 110,728 56,418 54,310 963
Côte d’Ivoire 21,075,010 10,733,376 10,341,634 964
Timor-Leste 1,133,594 577,044 556,550 964
British Virgin Islands 23,039 11,726 11,313 965
Palestinian 4,277,360 2,176,621 2,100,739 965
Guam 177,718 90,418 87,300 966
American Samoa 67,352 34,254 33,098 966
Iran 74,195,741 37,727,913 36,467,828 967
Marshall Islands 62,041 31,539 30,502 967
Papua New Guinea 6,732,159 3,421,356 3,310,803 968
Costa Rica 4,578,945 2,325,482 2,253,463 969
Malaysia 27,467,837 13,946,639 13,521,198 969
Fiji 849,218 430,910 418,308 971
Mauritania 3,290,630 1,668,537 1,622,093 972
Ghana 23,837,261 12,080,684 11,756,577 973
Tonga 103,967 52,651 51,316 975
Bangladesh 162,220,762 82,032,166 80,188,596 978
Yemen 23,580,220 11,922,786 11,657,434 978
Iraq 30,747,296 15,545,729 15,201,567 978
Guinea 10,068,724 5,084,856 4,983,868 980
Maldives 309,430 156,260 153,170 980
Saint Vincent 109,209 55,140 54,069 981
Paraguay 6,348,917 3,205,235 3,143,682 981
Algeria 34,895,470 17,615,802 17,279,668 981
Syrian Arab Republic 21,906,156 11,056,330 10,849,826 981
Benin 8,934,985 4,509,112 4,425,873 982
Panama 3,453,898 1,741,246 1,712,652 984
Belize 306,777 154,619 152,158 984
Philippines 91,983,102 46,327,763 45,655,339 985
Sudan 42,272,435 21,285,349 20,987,086 986
Seychelles 84,248 42,393 41,855 987
Turks and Caicos Islands 32,788 16,492 16,296 988
Egypt 82,999,393 41,742,457 41,256,936 988
Tunisia 10,271,506 5,165,389 5,106,117 989
Singapore 4,736,878 2,380,071 2,356,807 990
Dominican Republic 10,090,151 5,068,856 5,021,295 991
Turkey 74,815,703 37,579,409 37,236,294 991
Venezuela 28,583,366 14,348,961 14,234,405 992
Comoros 676,034 339,233 336,801 993
New Caledonia 250,055 125,449 124,606 993
Gibraltar 31,045 15,570 15,475 994
Cuba 11,204,180 5,617,285 5,586,895 995
Tokelau 1,199 601 598 995
Peru 29,164,883 14,617,472 14,547,411 995
Nigeria 154,728,892 77,547,502 77,181,390 995
Suriname 519,740 260,481 259,259 995
Wallis and Futuna 15,330 7,681 7,649 996
Ecuador 13,625,069 6,824,856 6,800,213 996
Uganda 32,709,865 16,382,656 16,327,209 997
Mayotte 194,159 97,236 96,923 997
Niger 15,290,102 7,657,127 7,632,975 997
Ireland 4,515,450 2,261,149 2,254,301 997
Grenada 103,930 51,979 51,951 999
Cameroon 19,521,645 9,758,751 9,762,894 1000
Kenya 39,802,015 19,895,274 19,906,741 1001
Dominica 66,634 33,302 33,332 1001
Djibouti 864,202 431,887 432,315 1001
Botswana 1,949,780 974,178 975,602 1001
Honduras 7,465,998 3,729,816 3,736,182 1002
Gabon 1,474,586 736,556 738,030 1002
Burkina Faso 15,756,927 7,870,112 7,886,815 1002
Macedonia 2,042,484 1,019,983 1,022,501 1002
Indonesia 229,964,723 114,807,198 115,157,525 1003
Congo 3,683,182 1,838,456 1,844,726 1003
Niue 1,477 737 740 1004
Lao 6,320,429 3,153,478 3,166,951 1004
Zambia 12,935,368 6,452,696 6,482,672 1005
French Guiana 225,651 112,547 113,104 1005
Bolivia 9,862,860 4,918,071 4,944,789 1005
Tanzania 43,739,051 21,806,639 21,932,412 1006
Malta 408,712 203,558 205,154 1008
Madagascar 19,625,030 9,771,243 9,853,787 1008
Ethiopia 82,824,732 41,204,063 41,620,669 1010
Norway 4,812,190 2,392,221 2,419,969 1012
Australia 21,292,893 10,584,820 10,708,073 1012
Uzbekistan 27,488,220 13,664,259 13,823,961 1012
Chad 11,206,152 5,569,532 5,636,620 1012
Malawi 15,263,417 7,584,763 7,678,654 1012
Liberia 3,954,979 1,965,192 1,989,787 1013
San Marino 31,358 15,581 15,777 1013
Anguilla 15,155 7,530 7,625 1013
Nepal 29,330,505 14,567,674 14,762,831 1013
Sweden 9,249,249 4,589,994 4,659,255 1015
Luxembourg 486,184 241,167 245,017 1016
Equatorial Guinea 676,273 335,402 340,871 1016
Gambia 1,705,212 845,691 859,521 1016
Israel 7,169,556 3,555,439 3,614,117 1017
Somalia 9,133,124 4,529,130 4,603,994 1017
Senegal 12,534,228 6,214,329 6,319,899 1017
Greece 11,161,335 5,533,114 5,628,221 1017
Denmark 5,470,293 2,711,537 2,758,756 1017
Netherlands 16,592,232 8,224,114 8,368,118 1018
Congo 66,020,365 32,717,617 33,302,748 1018
Mauritius 1,288,219 638,314 649,905 1018
Nauru 10,210 5,058 5,152 1019
Saint Pierre 6,056 3,000 3,056 1019
Guinea-Bissau 1,610,746 797,910 812,836 1019
Sao Tome and Principe 162,755 80,609 82,146 1019
Canada 33,573,467 16,624,571 16,948,896 1020
Korea, Republic of 48,332,820 23,931,788 24,401,032 1020
Saint Kitts and Nevis 51,715 25,605 26,110 1020
Nicaragua 5,742,800 2,843,353 2,899,447 1020
Togo 6,618,613 3,276,418 3,342,195 1020
Montserrat 5,924 2,932 2,992 1020
Man, Isle of 80,491 39,832 40,659 1021
Serbia 9,849,846 4,873,168 4,976,678 1021
Chile 16,970,265 8,393,119 8,577,146 1022
Mongolia 2,670,966 1,320,984 1,349,982 1022
Saint Helena 4,458 2,203 2,255 1024
Haiti 10,032,619 4,955,635 5,076,984 1024
New Zealand 4,266,498 2,107,347 2,159,151 1025
Viet Nam 88,068,900 43,498,243 44,570,657 1025
Mali 13,010,209 6,424,448 6,585,761 1025
Korea 23,906,070 11,804,293 12,101,777 1025
Tajikistan 6,952,223 3,432,263 3,519,960 1026
Albania 3,155,271 1,557,290 1,597,981 1026
Kyrgyzstan 5,482,200 2,704,978 2,777,222 1027
USA 314,658,780 155,244,097 159,414,683 1027
Spain 44,903,659 22,140,032 22,763,627 1028
South Africa 50,109,820 24,705,240 25,404,580 1028
Namibia 2,171,137 1,070,348 1,100,789 1028
Angola 18,497,632 9,118,212 9,379,420 1029
Kiribati 98,045 48,324 49,721 1029
Turkmenistan 5,109,881 2,517,980 2,591,901 1029
Brazil 193,733,795 95,406,000 98,327,795 1031
Sri Lanka 20,237,730 9,965,629 10,272,101 1031
Mexico 109,610,036 53,974,733 55,635,303 1031
Colombia 45,659,709 22,475,534 23,184,175 1032
Eritrea 5,073,279 2,495,201 2,578,078 1033
Thailand 67,764,033 33,327,947 34,436,086 1033
Liechtenstein 35,911 17,657 18,254 1034
Montenegro 624,213 306,802 317,411 1035
Cayman Islands 56,136 27,589 28,547 1035
Central African Republic 4,422,397 2,172,646 2,249,751 1035
Morocco 31,992,592 15,712,166 16,280,426 1036
Falkland Islands 3,026 1,486 1,540 1036
Czech Republic 10,368,946 5,088,338 5,280,608 1038
United Kingdom 61,565,422 30,202,183 31,363,239 1038
Argentina 40,276,376 19,754,484 20,521,892 1039
Germany 82,166,671 40,285,731 41,880,940 1040
Burundi 8,303,330 4,069,991 4,233,339 1040
Finland 5,325,587 2,610,217 2,715,370 1040
Belgium 10,646,804 5,214,181 5,432,623 1042
Lebanon 4,223,553 2,067,912 2,155,641 1042
Saint Lucia 172,189 84,294 87,895 1043
Channel Islands 149,850 73,354 76,496 1043
Jamaica 2,718,763 1,330,603 1,388,160 1043
Cambodia 14,805,358 7,244,747 7,560,611 1044
Bahamas 341,713 167,174 174,539 1044
Swaziland 1,184,936 579,298 605,638 1045
Azerbaijan 8,832,172 4,316,716 4,515,456 1046
Myanmar 50,019,775 24,433,683 25,586,092 1047
Slovenia 2,020,125 986,699 1,033,426 1047
Switzerland 7,567,661 3,696,232 3,871,429 1047
Austria 8,363,882 4,078,515 4,285,367 1051
Réunion 826,920 403,201 423,719 1051
Guatemala 14,026,947 6,835,693 7,191,254 1052
Japan 127,156,225 61,939,779 65,216,446 1053
Sierra Leone 5,696,471 2,774,304 2,922,167 1053
Cyprus 871,036 424,141 446,895 1054
Italy 59,870,123 29,125,996 30,744,127 1056
Mozambique 22,894,294 11,134,577 11,759,717 1056
France 62,342,668 30,311,870 32,030,798 1057
Romania 21,274,730 10,342,480 10,932,250 1057
Bermuda 64,863 31,523 33,340 1058
Trinidad and Tobago 1,338,585 650,418 688,167 1058
Monaco 32,812 15,921 16,891 1061
Barbados 255,872 124,151 131,721 1061
Slovakia 5,405,743 2,622,335 2,783,408 1061
Rwanda 9,997,614 4,842,097 5,155,517 1065
Portugal 10,707,130 5,184,723 5,522,407 1065
Bulgaria 7,544,581 3,647,758 3,896,823 1068
Zimbabwe 12,522,784 6,054,613 6,468,171 1068
Uruguay 3,360,854 1,621,804 1,739,050 1072
Poland 38,073,745 18,364,676 19,709,069 1073
Croatia 4,416,166 2,127,594 2,288,572 1076
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3,766,579 1,812,338 1,954,241 1078
Guadeloupe 465,386 223,168 242,218 1085
Puerto Rico 3,981,585 1,909,273 2,072,312 1085
Aruba 106,523 51,074 55,449 1086
Cape Verde 505,606 241,723 263,883 1092
China, Macao SAR 537,972 256,590 281,382 1097
Kazakhstan 15,636,987 7,447,034 8,189,953 1100
Vatican City 784 373 411 1102
Moldova 3,603,506 1,711,611 1,891,895 1105
Hungary 9,992,662 4,743,452 5,249,210 1107
Hong Kong 7,022,088 3,331,114 3,690,974 1108
Virgin Islands 109,503 51,886 57,617 1110
Antigua & Barbuda 87,600 41,386 46,214 1117
Lesotho 2,066,919 975,604 1,091,315 1119
El Salvador 6,163,050 2,908,008 3,255,042 1119
Georgia 4,260,333 2,003,918 2,256,415 1126
Martinique 404,720 189,767 214,953 1133
Lithuania 3,286,547 1,537,923 1,748,624 1137
Armenia 3,082,951 1,436,966 1,645,985 1145
Belarus 9,633,543 4,479,379 5,154,164 1151
Tuvalu 9,929 4,611 5,318 1153
Netherlands 198,198 91,938 106,260 1156
Russia 140,873,647 65,096,448 75,777,199 1164
Ukraine 45,708,081 21,076,311 24,631,770 1169
Estonia 1,340,263 617,997 722,266 1169
Latvia 2,249,362 1,036,706 1,212,656 1170
Northern Mariana Islands 86,895 37,676 49,219 1306
World 6,829,360,438 3,442,850,573 3,386,509,865 984
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