Ancient Padmavati To Aaj Ki Padma: What’s Changed For Us Indian Women?

From 'those days' when queens killed themselves for the sake of honour, what has changed for Indian women? These incidents tell us: Not Enough.

From ‘those days’ when queens killed themselves for the sake of honour, what has changed for Indian women? These incidents tell us: Not Enough.

A revered queen became the muse for a dream spinner, who cited ‘artistic license’, when asked to explain his version. This – an unshakable cornerstone for an evolved society – most opined!

But the aforesaid inspiration, was it a myth or a deified reality? Opinions stood starkly divided. The angry and anguished devotees felt slighted. Sighting a chance for bloody headlines and grabbing eyeballs grabbing, the fringe elements and rabid rabble rousers took over, issuing vile threats to the protagonists involved.

  • Meanwhile, a daughter had to sacrifice her soaring academic dreams and settle for matrimony. A good match was far better than a simple degree, you see?
  • Also, a young woman while coming back from work, was groped on camera. She dressed so!
  • A family decided to abort their yet-to-be born girl child, adding to the skewed gender-ratio statistics. A lineage-name-bearing son would have been better!
  • Yet another spurned lover, poured acid love, on the object of his lust. How dare she say ‘No’?
  • And a wife, got up at crazy hours, tended to her home, her kids, her snoring husband, grabbed a few morsels, managed to spruce up her self, ran across roads to put in a gruelling eight hours at work and also came back in time, to rustle up a hot meal for her ‘hard-at-work’ husband. All in a day, really!
  • Another mother-in-law forgot that she was a mother too! Her vexed daughter-in-law chose the ‘easy’ way out. The parents had suggested that her marriage was for keeps! Good or Bad, everyone managed! Why complain?
  • #MeToo became a cathartic sisterhood exercise, as stories of exploitation at the workplace, poured in.

It was business as usual, away from the studios, across millions of homes.

And the beyond-beautiful queen mulled, from the worlds above, ‘Self-immolation was my solution. Became salvation. Did anything really change across centuries? Did the women not stop being mere commodities? Would this story be ever rewritten?

When the prestige and honour of one daughter is all that matters…

The reputation of another daughter is shred to tatters!

While the world noisily natters.

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Composite image from movie promos and via Pexels

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About the Author


Anupama Jain is the author of: * ’Kings Saviours & Scoundrels -Timeless Tales from Katha Sarita Sagara’, listed as one of the best books of 2022 by @Wordsopedia. Rooted in the traditional storytelling of Indian legends, warriors, read more...

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