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Women Movements’ : An Overlook.

In women’s movement the main factor is that it brings reformation on structure of institution, value and beliefs that overpowered women over decades. Reformational efforts witnessed in the 19th and early 20th century were on women’s issues. To bring women’s issues into the mainstream Prathana Samaj, Brahmo Samaj and Arya Samaj played a prominent role. Anywhere across the globe including India the women haven’t had homogeneous identity. With regards to women, they have faced lots of problems. There were multiple dominance hierarchies that existed in the society. Also there were issues regarding the social circle of their lives.

The UN declared in 1975 that that would be the International Women’s Decade. This saw a series of conferences and discussions across the globe for the betterment of women. The series started off with topics such as that of betterment in the social circle to major issues of women such as their involvement in the socio-political economy. This helped women’s movement become a “power-ful source of political energy, a developing body of theory, a battle-ground and a sisterhood” according to A. R. Desai.. The last few seminars and meetings in India acknowledged the limitations of women’s movements in the decade and also appraised the achievements both within the Nation. Moreover some also discussed what to do in the forthcoming meetings after the end of the decade. This led to more reforms favouring the development.

Since long ago, the victims of many domestic problems were the women in the society. To get rid of this there were many social movements happening in the society, named commonly as the women’s movements. The involvement of females in a social movement is derived from 4 ways. Firstly in accordance with the socio-political and economical needs of distinct categories of communities like tribals, farmers and industrials labours. Secondly, for the reform in the problems in the working environment and control upon women. Thirdly, equal salary without gender based discrimination. Fourthly, upon the problems such as sexual attack.

The concerns upon gender discrimination and disproportion in subjects been discussed and made a reliable and changing impact on them at the decade of International Women (1975-85). Under UGC and Indian Council of Social Science, studies on Gender related issues has been an important topic and in the same aim in the year 1980, The centre of Women Development studies came into being with the assistance of ICSSR.

In the time of globalisation, the women’s resistiveness response towards the domination by men was at a raise. Men were impacted by the western model of education. In forming and acknowledging themselves about the objectives women took the initiative.The women’s movement occurred in western countries centered over “universality”of gender exploitation and thereby universal sisterhood.

This made an impact in the liberation movement of women in India as well. Even though there are observations that the dimension of dominance by male in western communities is totally varied from India. Because of this need and rights demand would also be different. The current phase which started from nineteen seventies, which projects capitalism and neoliberalism which encourages privatisation and non intervention to preserve human freedom as respecting the identity to consume and participate without the obstruction from inflated state.

In Indian during the post independence period there were a number of women centric programmes introduced for liberation of women in social groups. Constitutional and social legislation tried to make a series of reforms for the same.The aim of economic growth of women is one such. Women centric actions over this time frame made an impact from these wide social political and economical initiatives. Article 15(3) that promises special space for the women and children recognises the reality of women being deprived and they need some sort of encouragement from the state to compete with male.

During the Independence struggle itself there was a hope that the freedom to the nation will also help in the empowerment of women. In hindu family law, the government made a step to eradicate the problems of women. The reforms in legal background in the 1950s made more strength to women in inheritance and guardianships etc. Even Though they didn’t do well to bridge balance bw social and legal platforms. Apart of hindu, other communities also made the similar effort but they became failures. The organisations like Kasturba Memorial Trust and Indian women organisations, which came in post Independent India empowered women community all across the nation in building leadership.

The rejuvenation of the women centric movement in late nineteen seventies and nineteen eighties was in the form of a women ‘s group and organisation. This development was after the disappearance of women concerns in the debate on the public space after their active participation in the freedom movement. There were several reasons for this. The women organisations established in the pre independent with the objective of charity and welfare activities shifted there goal to some other social issues related with the women.Lot such reasons inflamed women movements.Even though the women who were active participants in the political, labour,farmer arena not really made the effort to pull up the women centric issues.

PROBLEM BASED MOVEMENTS (1970s &1980s)

Anti-dowry movements, a sustained form of campaigning, have been led by civil rights peoples and women organisations. In nineteen eighties at Delhi a joint front formed named “Dahej Virodhi Chetna Manch”. The same spread all across. As a result in 1984 a bill was introduced and changes were made to Dowry Prohibition Act (1961).Even Then the dowry related exploitation is at the same level. As of the National HumanDevelopment Report 2002, 6917 deaths were reported in 1998 and 1285 deaths in 1986 for the reason of dowry.

The practice of sati was abolished in 1829. The burning of a widow, Kanwar in Rajasthan in 1988 ignited the active protesting from women centric organisations and as a result the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Bill passed. The act considers the practice is part of the customs and strange part is in the country still the barbaric system is active.

Anti rape movement was emerged by demanding review of rape cases.Because of active participation and efforts of the women in pulling government agencies to review. As a result in the year 1983 Criminal law Passed. A historically significant women’s movement happened in India recently. In december 2012, in the stimuli of brutal rape of an young girl sparked nation as well the same made people unite in the streets of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The movement impacted in framing strict laws against rape and exploitation. The movement and rape case became landmark in history of women movements in India. It was the first time the women centric problem became a massive social movement in the country.

In the state of haryana, due to the reason that a boy married a girl without going through the norms of khap panchayat; as a punishment the members in panchayat raped his 12 year old sister brutally. Against this heinous action nearly a thousand women led by Jagmani Sangwan protested. This was her first movement and by campaigning wider she networked nearly fifty thousand women to join Janwadi Mahila samiti. They actively protested against the social issues against women.

Today feminist movement emerging in a new dimension in which the debating topics were LGBT communities space in the society. Which witnessed an acceptance in the social space of the country. Also the judiciary addresses the rights and needs of such marginalised segments in a rational manner. While looking a bit back there were incidents like people united against the armed forces, one such was at the state of manipur. The movement was actively led by Meira Paibi. It was a protest against the brutal rape and murder of a girl by the armed forces. In nature the protect was aggressive and violent. They led the protest by calling out the slogan “Indian army rape us! Kill us.” As an impact of this crowd movement with active participation of women led to the removal of AFSPA in the constituency of Imphal in the year 2018.

In the nineteen nineties, the issues concerning communalisation and globalisation were brought up by the women into a wider arena both over the national as well as international platforms. While observing the engagement of women organisations in India at twenty first century at the beginning, that was linked as a network by involving actively over different issues and campaigns. There are methods from an earlier time frame for protest and advocacy but new ways of resistance and mobilising the mob for change have emerged.

The women’s movement in the nineteen nineties faced several obstacles in terms of socio-political and economical dimensions, also free market economy and the developing coservative religious approach was a challenge in reality. The thought of the nation as a welfare state has disappeared. The primary concern of the women centric movement has shifted to rights over livelihood and the religious fundamentals and use,mis-use, abuse against women. There was an uncertainty due to Liberalisation Privatisation Globalisation reforms. Women’s movement not only came into action, it also changed and progressed as of the need based circumstances.In the present day when looking into the women’s movements, they were not only aimed at women centric needs and rights, they made an active effort to cover communalism, militarism and globalised influence. They were not at all static also, they evolved and changed upon problems and rights.

References.

Desai, A. R. (1985). Women’s Movement in India: An Assessment. Economic and Political Weekly, 992–995. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/4374491

Roychowdhury, A. (2019, March 7). International Women’s Day 2019: Five mass movements spearheaded by women in India. Retrieved from https://indianexpress.com/article/research/international-womens-day-2017-five-mass-movements-spearheaded-by-women-in-india-4559761/

Gupta, R. (2012, January 4). Has neoliberalism knocked feminism sideways? Retrieved from https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/has-neoliberalism-knocked-feminism-sideways/

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Dr Ambedkar and Periyar in theorizing of caste question in India.

Caste is a sociological category and as of Ambedkar, caste is a kind of class that is totally enclosed. By this perspective he gets into the idea of how caste is formed. Brahmin segment where the group who enclosed themselves initially and later others copied the same. Ambedkar is familiar to the society in different faces upon different reasons. As one of the founding members and leader of the untouchables, creator of political consciousness among marginalised segments in the Indian society. As on his time frame; to question the untouchability, the caste system and ensure that the constitution abolished, illegalised and rendered the un acceptable the very thought of untouchability. Like this while discussing the life of ambedkar we can see different aspects in which he worked in the Indian community. Our constitution made democratic identity to the nation, which was a colony of britishers that doesn’t have anything that resembles democracy.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar is one of those faces in the history of modern India. He played a significant role in drafting the constitutional draft (1950) as being the part of the chairman of the drafting committee. Also he is remembered as an individual who made a metaphysical interpretation of Buddhism, i.e “Navayana”.  The general idea we have regarding him been developed from the gandhi’s view upon the caste system. It’s a comparison that happens very commonly. Even in recent days too when we talking of ambedkar’s caste view we will go to gandhi. 


The Broken man theory is a way to understand him more properly. In tribal society , in the initial stage all tribals were nomads. Among different tribal groups, there was a tendency of fighting each other in between. It was a very common feature in the tribal society, but after as time goes by some tribals thought into the concept of settlement. Also some further preferred to exist as nomads.Settled tribes started activities such as agriculture and they increased the production as well to gain surplus. As the settled nomads started gaining surplus from there activities, the nomadic tribal group went into attacking them and to loot there gains. This projects the conflict between nomadic and settled tribes.Some people got deprived completely because of this, they would be from the settled tribals. These deprived were termed as Broken men. The nomads is again a threat for all other settled tribal groups. To address the threat the other settled tribal groups would  use the deprived groups help. They use them as an army to fight out to protect what they produced. But they will only accommodate the deprived broken men only at the periphery of their settlement, so that when a nomadic tribal groups comes up to attack them it would only going to affect the deprived broken men residing at the periphery. Also there is an observable distance between the broken men in periphery and the settled group in the centre. Which means the broken men were isolated from the tribal group. This is the place where we have seen keeping the people outside, so as keeping people outside that means they are not treated equally . This is the first place of inequality coming at. Gradually as the society progress, the broken men who are isolated gets into the tag of untouchables. This is the dimension ambedkar discuss. The deprived broken men becomes untouchables and assumes the settled community transforms as brahminical identities or hindu’s. This separation derived the foundation to the untouchability. It’s the first argument and primary objective of ambedkar in the caste system is eraze untouchability.

The way Ambedkar therotized to address the untouchability in the caste system can be discussed by considering the way Gandhi’s view regarding reformation in the caste system. Ambedkar says it’s impossible to reform the Hindu community  and change untouchability concept in the caste system. He says it is a unique and integral feature of hinduism. He strongly affirm in any landscape, if hindu’s are present there would be the classification of people in the name of caste. Ambedkar concludes without caste system hindu’s can’t sustain. The hinduism itself is existing in support of caste based division. In this context, to solve this problem, ambedkar is  approaching an another idea. It was that caste should be abolished and this is the root of authoring “Annihilation of caste”. 


There are many strategies he considered to address the caste based problems, primarily caste stated issues. Dalit consciousness is one of those. It voices out that, if there is brahmanical consciousness in the society and it is dominating. Its indeed to considering dalit consciousness, as dalit identity is also having an importance. Dalits also having an importance as they were working for others and due to that they are the breadwinner.  


Ambedkar believes that if the community doesn’t have access to power or not gaining the power, solving the problems wouldn’t  be easier. Power dominates in any system or society, so he urges to acquire power. This was the reason why, even at the pre-independence time frame, there was a conscious approach to grab power through reserving electoral space for dalits. Uplifting the standard of living of dalit from there poor condition is another objective. Ambedkar urges that standard of living of dalits should be improved, only then they will come up into the mainstream of the society with active participation and get balanced with brahmins.  


He tried all the above mentioned approaches such as removal of caste, Dalit consciousness, bringing power to the maginalised segments, uplifting standard of living etc. But he failed on those efforts and came into the observation that caste system is a complete menace of hindu society. On this context to going out of the hindu system is the way he found. This is the reason why he is converting into hinduism. Even before he converted his religion to Buddhism he made an effort to legitimate means; for example in constitution the try for abolition of caste, abolition of titles, equality, egalitarian society etc. All these been addressed. All these legitimate methods that are brought out by ambedkar didn’t worked as expected. The international Budhist societies didn’t actually accepted ambedkar’s view on caste. This is because Buddhism have a tendency to accept all, universal acceptance. But ambedkar having a specific purpose , i.e he is against hinduism and need to come out of caste system. The purpose of Buddhism is not that. Buddhism is not against hinduism but ambedkar finds Buddhism as a way to counter hinduism. 


According to the Ambedkar every modern problem that seems irresolvable has a certain ancient or classical remnant, he is the first and foremost thinker of concepts. Ambedkar is a master of counter intuitive formulation. He never stated that the hindu is unreasonable or manusmriti is completely toxic. What he expresses is hinduism holds the freedom to use reason. He began counter intuitively by looking into the problems of human freedom. His moral vision is very simple, that is we have to undo the long history of pure politics.

E.V Ramaswamy better known by the name, periyar was the man whose ideas of social equality, rationalism and feminism laid the foundation for the Dravidian politics in Tamil Nadu. He joined Indian National Congress (1919) and later left (1925) over the observation that the party was standing with the interest of brahmins. Afterwards the revolutionary movements like Self respect movement demands, whole social sections in the society should be entertained by equal rights. By seeking the right to use the public road in the premise of Vaikkom Mahadeva Temple (Kerala) for dalits, there was a movement named Vaikom satyagraha. He has been part of  that revolutionary movement. He was an atheist and went on to head the reformist Justice(Tamil Nadu). The three year long agitation periyar fought against Hindi in the secondary school educational system led to reverse the policy in the year 1940. By bringing up the social problems like Birth control, widow remarriage etc into the front row by his weekly named “Kudi arasu”. He called out to the women to raise their voice and led up the feminist movement. There is a famous quote by him “Have cats ever freed rats? Have foxes ever liberated goats or chicken? Have whites ever enriched Indians? Have brahmis ever given non-brahmins justice? We can be confident that women will never be emancipated by men” It can be considered that he was an advocate of separate Dravida Nadu and remained as a crusader and influential voice in the social and political space.

Over the present times periyar is an idol for the average tamil society. He always stayed with the politics that foregrounds  equality, self respect and the linguistical pride. In the role as social reformer he aimed on gender, faith and traditional rituals. He spread the thought to the individuals to approach life in rational. Through  self respect movement he led appealed to have weddings without ritual and property and divorse right. He also called out to remove the suffix that showcase the caste. Also the inter dining he made done possible in a conference in nineteen thirty. Over the years, Periyar has transcended the political divide as well as the faultlines of religion and caste, and come to be revered as Thanthai Periyar, the father figure of modern Tamil Nadu. Today, as his legacy and relevance are debated, E.V.R. Periyar remains a bearded, bespectacled, state-erected statue looking down helplessly at Tamils. Come election time and every Dravidian party features him on their posters. Speaker after speaker finds it convenient to rewind to his sayings. But beyond that, Periyar remains an icon more forgotten than remembered.


Both the personalities made an active and visionary approach to eradicate the inequalities and discriminatory practices in the society. The space in which they worked was different. While Ambedkar having an approach to make possible the development in a sustained manner from the core egalitarian ethos. In the present days, there were multiple means of marginalization is happening. Biased in norms and social institutions etc are aspects of discrimination. While considering Periyar, we can observe that, his visionaries were also aimed on breaking the norms and tradition and creates social discrimination’s and restricts the equality. The caste, class based  restrictions were strongly objected by both of them. Ambedkar was involved in reformation actions benefiting the individuals in downstream all across the nation. Meanwhile Periyar is regionally involved in reformatory actions across south India. His efforts to crush the brahmanical base in the state of Tamilnadu by calling out to break the idols were remarkable and were more aggressive in comparison to the approach of Ambedkar towards social evils.

poem

ഓർമകൾ മറിച്ചുനോക്കും നിമിഷം

Akhil clal
” ഓർമകൾ മറിച്ചുനോക്കും നിമിഷം,
വെറുതേ നിന്നസാന്നിദ്ധ്യത്തിനുമേൽ
മഷി പടർത്തവേ…
പുറത്ത് ജനലഴിക്കപ്പുറം-
രാത്രിക്ക് മുകളിൽ,
കുറേ വെള്ളിനക്ഷത്രങ്ങൾ-
നമുക്കെന്നവണ്ണം
മുല്ലവള്ളിപടർപ്പിനിടതുവശത്തെ –
കുളക്കര വഴിനോക്കി നിൽക്കുന്നു.

കാൽപ്പാടുകൾ മാഞ്ഞ വഴിയിൽ,
കാലം നമ്മെ പ്രതീക്ഷിക്കുന്നത്-
കാലത്തിന്റെ കുറുമ്പ്. “