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Liberated Women.or is it?
A majority still do not have a choice

Graffiti and glitterati for all those alpha women celebrating their independence in the jet paced metros is what makes us exhilarated. But how about giving the 72.22 percent [according to 2001 census] of the helpless women waiting for liberation in some countryside where the fairer sex is still considered to be a helping hand at best, and a curse at worst?

The retrograde practice of Sati was exhumed again when it surfaced itself in Madhya Pradesh. For those who thought that killing a new born baby girl is a thing of the pastÖthink again. A baby girl who had apparently never been fed was found buried alive 150 km south of Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh. And as if thatís not enough, she was buried by her grandfather for being the fifth girl in the family.

Dowry, the issue that triggers a plethora of suicide cases and finds its way back into history is still in vogue. Not a story of long back is when a 21 year old girl stripped off on the roads of Rajkot- a form of protest against the harassment caused to her by her in-laws with issues pertaining to dowry. A step so drastic taken by a woman can only be evoked by some tremendous torment. In one of Indiaís most poverty stricken regions namely the Surguja district of Chattisgarh, tribal girls can be bought for just about Rs. 500 to Rs. 2000. Though the family members are lured with a fulfilled career of their daughters, the fact can be more simply described as simply purchasing those poor girls for a career in prostitution, and worse.

The women whom we celebrate today in exaltation are indisputably our pride, but they surely donít represent the women of true India. And till the time we do something about the self-effacing women, the exhortation of womanhood seem to be nothing but guilt in disguise of a shallow cause. Sure, let us celebrate the many spectacular successes that myriad categories of Indian women have enjoyed as they break the glass ceiling consistently. But let us also spare a thought or two for those who are deprived even basic freedom and choices.

Tanaya Bose

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