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Either politely or forcefully, our society since ages has been teaching women to be suppressed and stay quiet. But now it’s enough!
When I hear men say women look more beautiful in a saree than a gown or some other Western clothing, I wonder whether they are actually complimenting them or trying to say in a subtle way ‘ Don’t wear Western dresses ’cause it will ruin our tradition and culture’. This is how our society since eternity has tried to suppress women.
When they knew they couldn’t force their will upon us they tried a different way. They told us women must look pretty, they should not talk much let alone talk back and whatnot. Like there is a constitution laid down for the proper functioning of our country, our male-dominated society wrote an unpublished constitution about what a woman should do and not do and got it engraved in our minds since childhood. We saw and heard various things which didn’t make sense at all but followed them because that’s what everyone else was doing.
It seems like only women have the sole responsibility of preserving the traditions by wearing traditional clothes while the men freely wear pants and shirts. So the next time someone comments on your jeans or shorts tell them “First go wear a dhoti kurta then I will definitely wear a saree”. I have seen people making a fuss when a married woman forgot to wear sindoor on her forehead. I have no problem with anyone wearing sindoor but I don’t think it’s something essential for survival. It should be a woman’s choice, not something absolutely necessary.
I mean is this some kind of identity certificate like oh I am wearing a sindoor so you can’t hit on me and if I am not you can. This is ridiculous. It’s the 21st century and yet there are people who screen me from tip to toe if I am wearing shorts. They say ‘aajkal ki ladkiyan’ (Modern-day girls) but I never take them seriously and neither should you because if we listen to them then we will lag behind another century in getting what is ours – the freedom which we deserve, the freedom to choose, the freedom to deny. We need to firmly put our foot down and tell them that they have got the whole concept of our tradition and culture wrong.
Our culture is not about wearing a particular dress or doing a particular thing, it’s all about values – respect, love, acceptance and all other important values which make us human. And if there is something in our culture which doesn’t get along with today’s world then we need to change it even our constitution has scope for amendments why not our culture. What I want to say is don’t accept everything as it is ’cause it won’t change what isn’t right then who will.
Picture Credits – NH10 (2015)
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