Suppose you are called as the Chief Guest in an educational institution to address a gathering of youth on the issue of ‘cultural transition in India’. You confine your lecture mainly around one of the most apparent pointers of cultural transition taking place in the country, i.e. changing man-woman relationship with the latter being more open, forthcoming and assimilating. But the transition is marred by many sour and ugly events leading to sexual exploitation, honour killings and subjugation and defiance by male dominated office environment. After the lecture there is a question answer session. Answer the following questions that students and teachers posed in front of you: (a) Are women outrageous in their liberty with regard to dressing up, breaking the silence and asking their share in decision making? (b) What should be the “limits of openness” for women in a culturally transitioning India in an era of globalisation? (c) Is the institution of family responsible for the aberrant behavior of their male children regarding man-woman relationship? (d) What will you do as a Civil Servant to change the attitude of society with respect to women?

Answer:

(a) Are women outrageous in their liberty with regard to dressing up, breaking silence and asking their share in decision making?
• No. It is their natural and human right to choose, question and examine and also to decide.
• Nevertheless the problem is in attitude of both. Men do not want to lose their position of primacy in social hierarchy while sometimes some (feminist) women who are proactive in exercising their liberty lose sense of proportion and go up to the extent of teasing or provoking the male society.
• Women’s liberation is one thing, but the permeation of anti-male sentiment in post-modern popular culture stands testament to the ignorance of society. Things can improve by creating a synch in progressive realization of women’s liberty and social attitude and expectations, which take time to change and adjust. Making haste to expedite social processes is usually counter-productive.

(b) What should be the “limits of openness” for women in a culturally transitioning India in an era of globalisation?

• In the era of globalisation a cultural transition is taking place in which women not only want to have more control on their body, but also in their feminine charm and use them as they wish. Also they want to have a say in man and woman relationship according to their
own understanding and discretion.
• There is nothing wrong in it. But there is always a limit to openness depending upon the “space” in which it is being exercised.
• Here women shall resort to pragmatism or pragmatic ethics rather than absolute ethics. For example in “private space” women can choose to be more open, proximate and free with their choices and male partners; in the “social space” they need to be conscious about social values and customs because even if women are well within their “right” to be what they like, there is chance of explicit or hidden conflict with the surrounding which is not ready for “new ways.”

(c) Is the institution of family responsible for the aberrant behavior of their male children regarding man-woman relationship?

• Yes family is responsible to a great extent, because it is a very powerful “first institution” in the lives of the children that creates their world view.
• Seasoning, grooming and nurturing of male children has a lot of bearing on their attitude and outlook towards women when they grow adult.
• The way their mothers and sisters are treated, they way women are considered as a living being or objects of pleasure or the way their roles are defined in front of a growing male child- all these bring changes in their outlook and attitude towards women.

(d) What will you do as a Civil Servant to change the attitude of society with respect to women?

• As a civil servant first of all I would try to give dignity to women in day-to-day transactions, irrespective of their socio-economic status. This is so because civil servants, due to their power and authority, are often considered as “role model” which others emulate.
• Secondly, I would have a “collaborative education and awareness programme” with educational institutions, civil societies and grassroot level democratic institutions.
• Thirdly, I would try to be very strict in implementing “law and order” so that women can live freely and fearlessly.
• Fourth, I would create a hotline for women in SOS situation and a dedicated and fast grievance redress system.
• Last, but not the least, I would try to incentivise progressive and educated youth who respect and understand women better-both in office and outside.

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motoupsc
motoupsc
3 years ago

Q