Women in Indian History

The short story of women and that of women in India is that of indifference, neglect and unfairness,
But still some situations and some characters overthrow all prejudice and register themselves in historical awareness,
During the early Vedic period women enjoyed equal status with men,
So they were able to achieve sainthood like Gargi and Maitreyi did back then,
Literature had great characters like Kannagi and Sita, Shakti was what she meant,
But after that, their position kept declining, in all sects except few like Jainism,
Except for ritualistic celebrities like Amrapali who was a nagarvadhu, what prevailed was largely chauvinism,
There were great exemplary lives like that of Delhi’s Empress Razia and later,
Durgavati and Chand Bibi, great rulers who stood against Akbar,
Or the stories of Rani Rudrama who defended Warangal, or great poets long dead,
Like Jahanara, Zebunnissa, Mirabai, Akka Mahadevi, Rami Janabai and Lal Ded,
The medieval society made their position even worse when child marriages, ban on remarriage by widows,
Purdah, Jauhar, Devdasi, Sati and a world of other exploitative demons hid beneath their pillows,
Maratha women like Jijabai and Ahilyabai and Sikh traditions make women seem equal on few criterias,
But side by side there were evils like men practicing polygamy and women restricted to Zenana areas,
Then came the time to fight, against the colonial invaders might, and an immortal leader like,
Hazarat Mahal or Laxmibai became the Indian knight, Kittur Chennamma, Abbakka Rani carried on nationalism’s light,
Many great leaders joined in, Nanibala devi and Rani Gaidinliu, Preetilata Waddedar and Rajkumari Amrita Kaur,
The famous, Aruna Asaf Ali, the martyr, Jyotirmoyee Ganguli, or the great Rehana Tyabji,
The reveolutionary, Kalpana Joshi, Bhikaiji Cama and Matangini Hajra, they can’t all be named here, as there are so many,
Woman is made, in the image of the abstract beauty, for the fulfillment of the eternal duty,
In her stand against intolerance, her subtle purity should not fade,
If she is betrayed, and exploited in the name of tradition, brutalized to the stage of submission,
It will lead to a grim eternal imbalance, and seeds for unpleasant lives and future strifes on earth will be laid.


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