India is the second largest country in terms of population. India’s languages, religions, food, music, dance and customs differs from each other. Where the individual or social differences in physical attributes, skin colour, castes, cultural and religious practices, etc. are not looked upon as a conflict. Rather, these differences are looked upon as varieties that enrich the society and the nation as a whole. Indian culture often called as “An Amalgamation of Several Cultures” or “The Epitome of the World”. The high mountain ranges, vast seas , large river-irrigated lands, countless rivers and streams, dark forests, sandy deserts all these have adorned India with an exceptional diversity. This is our India, the land of “Unity in Diversity”.
In spite of having the rich culture, our society is full of hypocrisy. Our society has double standards with countless things like gender equality, skin colour, religious customs etc. Double standards present in Indian society from Vedic period to modern days. The society can be very cruel on both genders, especially on women.
In our society it is said that men and women are equal. They have equal rights as well as they are treated equally. These things are said to prove that we don’t discriminate between the two genders. However, I always have the question in my mind, “How much of it is true? Have we really attained gender equality as a society? Or is it just a myth? “.
Women are expected to wear traditional clothing like saree and salwar- kameez in family gatherings and places of worship while men can wear whatever they like. A woman wearing jeans or short-skirts is referred as “cultural assassination” in India still now, while men have been wearing western attire for generations. In wedding receptions, brides wear sarees or lahengas while grooms wear suits. Brides are not allowed to do wear any western dress.
A revealing saree is favored over a combination of jeans and t-shirt which will cover the entire body. A girl wearing crop top is considered as a bad girl as she reveals her waist but if a girl revealing same amount of waist by wearing a saree is considered a cultural and good girl.
India is a country where we respect and worship many goddesses as “Devi” like Durga, Kali, Laxmi etc. but it is the same country where hundreds of girl child are killed before or after their birth as they are considered as burden to her parents and family. Families also give less preference in education of girl child compared to a boy still today especially in small towns and villages.
A house wife is considered as normal but a house husband is considered as an absurd thing. A house husband is not considered as a man in our society. Why only women or wives leave her job after marriage or having a baby? A man can also do that for his family. A woman with same qualities gets less salary than his male colleagues.
We love to watch 40-50 year old heroes in movies but a heroine above 40 rarely get an important role of a movie. A married actor is considered as handsome as an unmarried actor. However, a married actress is considered as unattractive after marriage in spite of having great acting quality.
A girl is considered as inauspicious during her period which is a biological process and that is not her fault. She is not allowed to go to any temple as well as can not take part in any religious custom. On the other hand a man who can be a rapist or murderer is allowed to enter in a temple because he is a man and has no periods.
Not only in religious or cultural discrimination is shown; in case of crimes also women are facing the Indian double standards. A girl who is a rape victim faces more difficulties, harassment and assaults than the criminal who have done the heinous crime. She may be shunned from the society. She may be blamed for what kind of cloths she wears or it is her fault that she went at night alone in the streets. She may be doubted as having a bad character. The same kind things happen in some other countries also.
In various statements you heard from insensitive politicians and famous personalities it is found that they are blaming the victim herself despite showing sympathy to her or talking about the accused who should be punished. These statements are insensitive, inhuman and full of double standards.
When it comes to beauty a fair and slim girl is preferred as a beautiful girl. In magazines, hoardings, films we see an impossible standards of beauty for women which creates insecurity among millions of women. Yes there are standards for men also, but they are much lesser. Men are asked to be bigger, stronger, occupy more space. Women are asked to shrink, become smaller and occupy even less space.
We worship lord Krishna and ma Kali but we don’t like dark skinned people. We want our daughters to do a good job but don’t allow our daughter-in-laws to do jobs. In our homes we all notice that males take important decisions only as the head of our family most of the times. If these things are not double standards then what is double standards? Not only India in other countries also these kinds of double standards can be shown.
These things are not all. There are much more cases are present in India where double standards can be shown. Now the question is why these things are going on from ages and continue still today? The answer is we women are not protest against this. They accept these things as their faith since they are women. Most of the women agree with these things and they stop other women to protest.
Is it all women’s fault? No. The problem is lack of education and family support. In India female literacy rate is only 65.46%; out of which only few percent of women get proper higher education. How can a woman protest where her family is also showing double standards from the time of her birth?
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