The mindset of Indian women….has to change

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Before I start to write anything, let me tell you that I am a feminist. I advocate for the equality of sexes. But I don’t think even if millions of people like me support for the cause, there isn’t going to be any significant change in the role women are going to play in the society. The figures from World Bank which shows the labour force participation rate of women in India exemplifies it. To oversimplify things, millennial women in India can be classified into 3 broad categories of which only set is productive.

1. The Conservative set:

They make up a huge chunk of the population. Their dreams are limited. Cultural backgrounds have forced them to draw boundaries to their goals. Their parents don’t focus on what their aspirations are. They are told to study well and restricted from activities like late night partying, fashion dressing and sometimes even speaking out their opinion raises eyebrows. Fingers are pointed towards them when they mingle too much with men. But if they start to believe that it is the way they are supposed to live they are making a catastrophic mistake. Before anything else, they need to dig into themselves and find out their lost ambition. They need to stop worrying about their mounting age, pressure from their parents to marry early, pressure to quit their jobs. They have an advantage, they have studied well, they have good grades. It is up for them how they are going to use it. Are they going to print their qualifications on their marriage cards or are they going to make an impact with it? They can live independently and make money. One thing which they need to do is to start living their lives instead of others.

                 “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered”  – Hillary Clinton

2. The Vacuous Set:

Unlike the first set, they have the luxury of being born into liberal families. They don’t have any limitations or ceilings on what they want to achieve. But the problem is they never think of achieving something. They are tamed too much to act wild. They are content with what they have and never think of multiplying it. They need a guy who earns on one hand and unconditionally loves them on the other. You might probably have imagined a few people while reading through these lines. But this isn’t their fault completely. They have a sense of insecurity. The similarity between them and the conservative set is that they pay too much attention to the people around them. All their time is invested in materialistic things like glamour, beauty, crappy movie gossips, mocking the first set of people(the conservative set) etc. They never invest in themselves which makes them vacuous and in specific cases it earns them tags like bimbos. One thing which they need to do is to start  pivoting their time onto productive things and challenge men in all aspects of life.

“Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.” – Hedy Lamarr

3. The Rational Set:

These women are great adapters. Irrespective of the type of families they are born into, they capitalise on their status quo. They are rational minded and set up at least short term goals. These are usually the type of women who contribute the fair share instead of adhering to the fallacies that men are supposed to pay every time or that only men are supposed to save money. They aim high to the ranks of starting their own business or growing up through the corporate ladder or becoming a professor or sometimes even dedicating their lives to research. They don’t blame that society is inherently gender biased and sit back. They sense the rise of feminism and make full use of it. They know how to persuade people. Just like a majority of men, they are hungry to make a mark and make their voice be heard. They don’t let stereotypes dent their progresses. But the problem is they are very few in number and sometimes even these set of people become complacent.

             “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman” – Margaret Tatcher

It all comes down to a simple choice for women in India today. Are they going to sit back and play they blame game or are they going to figure out a way around ? I am not telling that there aren’t any problems faced by women today. There is no moral encouragement. There are differences in wages paid, for example like the men and women cricket teams(although, I blame economics for that). They struggle to balance their lives between their conservative older generations and their liberal peers. But even all of these circumstances might make things a little difficult for them but never impossible. Things are changing for better. Look at how the United Nations is planning to elect their next leader or how Canadian PM Trudeau elected his cabinet. This expanding list also features female Indian entrepreneurs. To sum it up, if the mindset of women isn’t going to change, no government policy will ever help in bridging the gap between men and women in the labour force participation rate that I have mentioned in the intro.

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment.

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An Open Letter to United States

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There was a time, not long ago when I used to think that people in United States are super affluent who can buy anything their heart wishes for. Be it bungalows or luxury cars or fashion accessories, that there is absolutely nothing which can dodge your purchasing power. And despite all the spending you still have money left to wage wars and to donate charity organizations. Somewhere in the middle, I read the novel “The Street lawyer” by John Grisham and understood that like every country there are people extremely poor who can’t even afford a house even in US. But, even that I imagined to be as something of past rather than present. As I grew and had become more accessible to Internet, I understood that the country is deeply divided between the advantages which I had always imagined it to uphold and the problems which even India as a developing country doesn’t face. I intend to break this post into three paragraphs which I also believe are the current burning issues faced by your country.

Your Expenditures:

When I know that I have just the sufficient money either to buy a play station CD or to buy groceries for the upcoming month I would choose the latter. As a matter of fact any rational person would do that. But as a country why do you choose to spend money on the sustenance of 7000 odd nuclear war heads when the cold war has ended instead of subsidizing the tuition fee for graduates who struggle big time to clear back their loans. Why do you choose to operate 800 military bases around the world with tens of thousands of troops not in countries like Iraq or Afghanistan but in countries like Japan, South Korea and Western Europe instead of bringing down the market prices of medicines which are way too expensive than any other developed nation on the planet. How can we be strong from outside when we are crumbling from inside. How are we proving that capitalism and democracy are the efficient and ultimate ideals for the governance of any nation state ?

Your Foreign Policy:

Picture me as a person who owns dozens of advanced rifles. Now, imagine me bullying someone who wants to buy a shot gun arguing over him that he is damaging peace in the society. That is exactly how you appear to be like when you argue over Iran that it shouldn’t possess nuclear weapons. Now, that doesn’t mean I want Iran to hold nuclear weapons but I want every country on this planet to dismantle their arsenal (including my birth country India which hasn’t signed the non-proliferation treaty) so that no other country in this world would feel insecure (like Iran right now which is completely normal when the country which has overthrown their government is nuclear enabled) or find the necessity to build a bomb. You are the only country who can begin that change and it is not confined to this particular aspect. Countries will follow if you make a move towards energy efficiency and renewable energy or towards Internet freedom or any other progressive idea. Such vital is your leadership.

Your Political Attitude:

To the 50% of the people who do not vote in the elections: Politics is not like a luxury item in a mall where you get to choose either to pick it or not. Instead, it is a basic need like the food you eat or the clothes you wear daily. Your involvement could define the future history. To the 30% of the people who are either democratic or republican leaning: A political party is not a football club where you say Forever Blue or Forever Red. You may naturally have a predilection towards a party’s ideals. But how can you support the Democrats when national debt is mounting and smaller businesses are struggling to survive or the Republicans when the environment is degrading and gun violence has become rampant. Your ultimate decision should depend on the candidate and his leadership capability rather than his/her party affiliation. To the remaining 20% swing voters: The country is in your hands and it needs you more than ever !!

Conclusion:

You may be a country of 17 trillion dollar economy but you will have a scar on your prestige when you don’t address basic issues like maternity leaves which BTW is what I was referring to as a problem which even India doesn’t face in the introduction. Now to the big question, why am I even bothered about all this ? Because, when 2008 recession happened it is not just you who suffered but it is also us who lost jobs, incentives and privileges. India’s problems are India’s. Pakistan’s problems are Pakistan’s. But your problems are literally everyone’s. And the fact that your Debt-to-GDP ratio is at a dangerous 104% worries me that history might repeat itself. Made my point, I guess.

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment !