JWB @ Haat: The Weekly Bazaar
- IWB Post
- March 10, 2015
Men claim her by shouting different rates in the auction. Much like people who purchase cattle from open markets, the eyes of greedy buyers pierce her body shamelessly. Her husband, stands at the edge of the Panchayat, enjoying the entire scene. The situation is totally similar to a weekly bazaar with one difference, unlike the haats where vegetables are sold; here it is women who go under the hammer.
On the occasion of the International women’s day and its 3rd anniversary, The Simply Jaipur Magazine organized the special screening of the movie Haat: The Weekly Bazaar at the World Trade Park. The audience were engrossed in the movie, directed by Seema Kapoor that depicts the ill effects of the Natha Pratha. In Rajasthan, the Natha Pratha is a system where a married woman can leave her husband and go to another man as long as that other person pays compensation to her husband, which is actually is deemed as the price of the lady. If the money is not paid, then the woman is punished by the Panchayat who blackens her face, cuts her hair and parades her in front of the entire village after being stripped naked.
And if a man wants to abandon his wife for another woman, then what do you think is the punishment? Well, NOTHING! He is not answerable to anyone and also doesn’t fall under this disgusting law just because he is a man. The film is about the struggle of a free spirited woman called Sangya, portrayed brilliantly by Divya Dutta. The event had also Dr. Jyoti Kiran, Apra Kucchal, Dr. Lad Kumari Jain and Jyotika Diggi as chief guests.
Chat with Dr. Jyoti Kiran
JWB caught up with author, politician and academic Dr. Jyoti Kiran and spoke to her about International Women’s Day and the current state of women in our country. Dr. Kiran, who has many achievements under her belt including that of being an advisor to the national Commission of Women and is also aware with the situation in the grassroots level, shared her ideas and beliefs in a candid chat with us. Following are the excerpts from the interview:
JWB: What do you think the importance of the International Women’s Day in the modern society is?
Dr. Kiran: I feel that unlike a man, there is a very big difference between the ways a woman is judged by the society for her actions. She has to go through a lot of trials and tribulations along with answering many questions about her character and background before she is accepted as an achiever. It is much easier to be a man in India than a woman.
JWB: According to your opinion, is there a different interpretation of feminism in India?
Dr. Kiran: Our society is more a familist society than a feminist one. Families play a very important role in the life of a woman and have the potential to be a great support in all her endeavours. Similarly, when a woman doesn’t get support from her family and faces hostility, it disrupts her journey. Along with empowering women, the families to which they belong also have to be educated at the same time.
JWB: How close is an Indian woman towards achieving success?
Dr. Kiran: It depends on what your definition of success is! There are women who work extremely hard but are never considered successful. Let’s take up the case of housewives. I believe that if the contribution that housewives make in the family is valued in terms of money and regarded as there income, then India’s GDP will increase significantly. There are countless women in the remotest corners of rural areas who have to battle every day to move closer to their dreams.
JWB: What do you think is the reason of the rising cases of violence against women in recent times?
Dr. Kiran: There is a perversion that is present in the psyche of some of the men in our society which acts as a catalyst against such crimes. I feel that as much as empowering women, there is a dire need to educate the males also because ignorance is a very significant cause behind crimes against female citizens.
JWB: Lastly, would you like to speak about the role of men in your life?
Dr. Kiran: (Laughs) I have been very lucky that the three most important persons in my life, my father, brother and husband have always been very supportive throughout my journey. My husband is a cancer survivor, so you see that although there have been hardships but as I said earlier that it is through a healthy partnership between men and women, it is possible to achieve gender equality.
– Deep Mukherjee