Male Literacy Mission

Statuary Notice: This write up is not meant to insult any particular sect nor is it a generalized analysis of any particular sect. No misunderstanding please.

Recently I read an article in TOI (4
Th March, 2013), which quoted one bollywood director, Kapil Sharma, saying “Indian man has not kept pace with the Indian woman”. And since I am a big time thinker of all things crazy, my mind floated back to the era of 80s and 90s.

It was a time when doordarshan ruled the television world. I remember frequent appearance of government-sponsored advertisements on “Female Literacy Mission”. Today I feel the mission of the government was successful – women of the nation are well literate but somewhere (some) men have been left behind. So now the government should seriously start working upon “Male Literacy Mission”.

These days, almost everyday, we hear cases of violence against women. By violence here I am not just referring sexual abuse but also domestic violence. And the abusers in all these cases are always (some) less educated men.

It seems (some) men have forgotten one basic ideology of Indian culture – to respect women. All religions in our country emphasize the fact but still there is so much disrespect for women. The role of women as a homemaker, as a mother, as a sister, as a friend, as a teacher, as a companion is all forgotten. The only thing that (some) men remember is that woman is a commodity to fulfill their filthy desires. And then all the (influential) people of the country, who claim to be well-wishers of Mother India, blame women for such incidents. According to them women who do not look upon men for something as basic as breathing in air, deserve to be molested and abused. Such people, beyond any doubt, need to be getting literate.

I have also come across many issues where a well and highly educated women had to go through bad divorce. I am not saying divorces are always an outcome of man being wrong. In fact there are many cases where men had to go through a bad divorce too, just because the wife wants money or whatever be the reason. In short, what I mean to say is that both men and women can be at fault. But in this write up, I am going to concentrate on faulty men (after all, this all about Male Literacy Mission)

And my research, which is limited to first hand information from friends and foes, and related stories on internet and in magazines, says the reason for this could be that Indian men, on an average, are incapable of handling educated wives or I would say wives smarter than themselves.

Men say that women are career oriented and that is the main cause behind the fights and ultimately separation of most of the couples. But what's wrong in being career oriented? Are men not career oriented? Why do we expect that only women have the sole responsibility of bringing up the kids and building a home (not house)? If not complete ownership, but at least men can share these responsibilities. Why do women have to give up their career after few years into the marriage? There are many such questions that remain unanswered. Sometimes the answers are too lame to be trusted.

What’s the use of educating girls when their independence is not acceptable to our society? A working woman is always at risk of facing violence the moment she steps out of her house. She is eyed as an easy target to abuse. After marriage she will be asked to give it all up as most husbands cannot afford to have a qualified wife. They need an educated wife as an arm candy to flash in the social gatherings. But when it comes to the individuality of a woman, they are the first ones to crush it down. And if that doesn’t work, then change the arm candy.

All influential ladies of the country celebrated when Indian Parliament accepted the women’s bill. But I have always had certain questions regarding this women's bill, which remain unanswered because people who can answer are available only on (and for) television channels. Otherwise they are unreachable by common people. I hope someone somewhere can answer these for me.

The questions go like this:

·      Is the women's bill going to help women against domestic violence?
·      Is the bill going to give them a chance to get married without dowry?
·      Is the bill going to give courage to their parents to say no to dowry and keep their daughters unmarried if needed without any negative social intervention?
·      Is the bill going to create an environment where children of divorced women will be looked at with respect?
·      Is the bill going to give them speedy legal justice if they want it in case of any violence against them (either sexual or domestic)?
·      Is the bill strong enough to punish the culprits of women?
·      Is the bill sound enough to punish the culprits of women?
·      Will the bill cover up all the loopholes of our legal system, which force a woman to walk through an era of insult and pain and then mostly end up not getting justice?
·      Is the bill going to tell men to treat their wives and other women with respect?
·      Is the bill going to tell men to let their wives excel in a profession of their choice?
·      Is the bill going to tell men that the only task of a woman is not just bear kids, cook food and clean house?
·      Is the bill going to tell men that to be a good life partner means sharing the responsibilities and not dumping them on the other partner?

The questions go on and on without being answered. 

I feel, and that may not be the perfect reasoning, that problem lies in the upbringing of men. Unfortunately, in our country, a boy is still the most precious jewel of the house, no matter how useless and ruthless he may turn out to be. It all starts at home. Our society is so well educated that they feel free to point at the character of a woman if she has been abused or divorced or has decided to raise her voice against injustice. How can we expect such families to teach basic etiquettes to their sons? It is the responsibility of parents to teach their sons that woman is not a commodity. She is a human being and deserves respect. But most families are living in a comfortable shell of their own and do not support the changing role of women in our society.

Whether men feel insecure with the career oriented attitude of their counterparts or is it the ego, I am not too sure about that. But one thing that I am sure about is that they certainly need some training on how to manage smarter life partners. Our government has been doing all possible things to help and support and do all kinds of good things for the progress of women of the country. But I guess time has come that they do something on similar lines for the men of the country as well. They are in need of some serious help too.

Men need to be educated so that they can drop their extra ego and understand that members of the opposite sex are humans too. They too have their dreams, their aspirations, their likes and dislikes. They also need a space of their own. A woman is not a robot who has to work as programmed by mothers, fathers, brothers, husband, mother–in–laws, etc. And if she doesn’t then discard her as a dysfunctional product. This is inhuman.

I hope someone picks up the idea and proposes a model for “Male Literacy Mission”. I have been seeing now but I wish (and I know many women wish the same) to see more and more posters and advertisements, which emphasize the need to make the men of our country a little more literate on the etiquette front.

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