First and foremost I would like to put a disclaimer that I am old and some of my views sound outdated but before you throw them out of the window I would like to make my point. It’s Women’s Day! At office we welcomed all the ladies with chocolates and roses. On such a day one can’t help but ponder on the significance of the Indian woman and how far she has come in the last 100 years.
There have always been examples of exceptional women over the centuries. Today, I would say most women are exceptional, playing multiple roles of wives, mothers, daughters, professionals and much more. It’s impressive how they are able to juggle and handle so much. Especially in a society where men sadly have not made as significant a stride as women have. In our country men by and large remain patriarchal and narrow minded. Not all of them, but largely yes, it is the bare truth. Should it change? Of course! it needs to change if men have to keep up with women. The tables have indeed turned with the first batch of girls being accepted to The National Defence Academy this year. Indian women have proved that there is no peak which they cannot scale.
Having said that, till things really change across the board, our society comprises of all genders and age groups. From here germinate my thoughts. I just finished watching Gehraiyaan on Amazon Prime and deeply wondered if there was any place for the intimate scenes or skin show. Of course one angle is TRP ratings and grabbing the attention of the audience. But this was a movie I could not even watch with my better half. Call it Lakshman Rekha or whatever you find fitting, but there should be a line of decency maintained between genders, age groups, generations and relationships.
In the name of feminism and emancipation I want to ask you, the fairer sex – is dressing skimpily, using foul language, baring your body, necessary to make a statement that you’re finally free? Free from the bondages of patriarchy? That you’ve arrived and are now independent and equal in all aspects to men? To my old fashioned mind Madhubala dressed in a saree with sleeves way below her elbows oozed enough sexiness, oomph and beauty to set my thoughts ablaze.
A lot of entertainment, fashion and social media surrounding women today fringes on being daring which seems to have become synonyms with being forward, cool and hep! Is SWAG only possessed by a scantily clad woman? Even entertainment at marriages, aka item numbers, performed by friends and family including the bride, border on being bold. For someone who has seen brides evolve from covering their face to modern day dancing brides…….I am unable to wrap my brain around it.
This Women’s Day I want to convey to all womenfolk, that you have already proved yourself to be beyond doubt way mature and superior to us men. That is why the baton of decency and drawing the lines lies in your hands. You need to define these limits of decency even in these modern times. After all a family needs to be able to sit together through fashion, social media, movies and serials without any awkwardness. As always the ball is in your court… let the next move be really well planned. Your energies are needed in many more relevant areas where the horizons need to be broadened to bring all women up to speed and tame the men.
Opinions in this piece belong to the author: Ramesh Kumar Shah
Ramesh Kumar Shah is the founder of the RK Group, founder of RK Trust (rktrust.in) and co-founder of Harvard Business School Angels of India. Apart from being a businessman, he is keenly involved in making as much of a difference in people’s lives as he can, most recently through the Let’s Mask India initiative, that provides a free mask to all the residents of Bangalore.