Nature Talk

    With the progress of civilization, human knowledge has evolved to question the ongoing system of social management. Many traditional or conventional practices in the society have come under severe criticism by the educated persons. Technological application in day-to-day life has revolutionized human life. From cultivation to factory operation or to organized services or even to household work, technological knowledge has infiltrated into almost every sphere of human activity. Formal education to men and women has awakened human mind. The pattern of economically gainful engagement is fast changing, where women have been able to grab opportunities with required education. At this transitional phase of socio-economic change, the conservative views and practices need to be relaxed. Socio-cultural stereotypes about man and woman stand as stumbling blocks. The prevalent ideas about gender deprived women from getting equal opportunities or treatment. The injustice and discriminatory behaviour towards women has evoked concern among conscientious members of the society. Young widows are put on funeral pyres of their deceased husbands, which unfortunately has the social and religious approval. The peculiarity is that the family members (dominated by males) show encouragement; women of the neighbourhood are found to show enthusiasm to view such ‘pious’ lady being burnt alive! Though this ghastly practice had been stopped in 19th century, yet some ‘sati’ instances are found to have occurred in recent past.

    The populace in general was not (and even now) concerned that the prevalent regime of behaviour was discriminatory to women. Both men and women of family were and are still perpetrators of injustice and cruelty based on gender. The victimized persons or families often blame their luck being born as women. The woes are inescapable under the prevalent format of social system. Some social reformers did try to introduce some changes in the current social format so that the woes could be lessened but its effect remained quite limited.

    Human societies all over the world inherit the syndrome of masculine bias. Education (i.e. gaining capacity to argue), technological advancement and socio-economic-political environment have differential effect towards lessening of the social evil. Till recent past the European societies also denied civil rights to their women. A well-known researcher Alice Eagley very recently (2011) observed that most people in western societies do not rate women having equal potentiality of leadership as men. Obviously such widely prevalent ideas are so deep rooted that eradication is difficult. The discrepancy between man and woman still remains pronounced as was in ancient societies. The great Indian sub continent has nurtured for a few thousand years, traditional and orthodox view points on man woman relations.. These might have been developed as adaptive strategy to save the people but later on became irrelevant due to change in political system. Yet the customs and viewpoints still persist, leading to continuation of social injustice.

    It holds out a great challenge to all the progressive elements of the society as to how to severe this continuation.