I am often asked by friends and family of why my writings are specifically focused on certain subjects. I have, most of the times framed my write ups on womanhood along with some criticism of our technologically smart unhappy lives.
There is no direct relation between the two write ups, though I have closely touched upon these subjects simultaneously.
The earlier writeup, “great-things-have-small-beginnings” focused upon how we must appreciate the small things that we already have in our possession to realize the bigger dream that we all aspire to fulfill.
On the other hand, “struggles-of-a-everyday-woman” focused on the importance of financial independence of women for their true freedom, for the sake of womanhood.
I do not specialize in the subjects, yet there is something that is common to both the write ups and thus deserves our attention, this piece will focus upon the same.
Our world has become so small, we have been able to communicate better and we know we have come closer to our friends and family and the global netizens. It is interesting to see how women from distant lands, from Islamic countries portray their freedom, their wishes to the world through the internet. We belong to an online community now, technology has driven us closer.
When it comes to women and technology, the relationship thus formed has had its ups and downs. I speak of how women staying in the households, have come out and communicated with the world outside, virtually. It is indeed very heart warming to see women like Ritu Kaushik, the owner of Ritupal Collections from Haryana, who sells her handbags through online platforms, Amazon and Flipkart. We as women have put forth our fears, opinions, our worries, desires, our expressions on the social media.
However there is one thing which irks me the most, which is, in order to make a statement we sometimes tend to go far beyond what is required and thus suffer.
Every activity, event no matter how small or big that is, is marked as a status statement. Putting everything on social media platform such as Facebook, or Instagram has its own consequences. Although this act is common to all, but I specifically speak of women, as they are more vulnerable to the phenomenon.Think and ponder over how we share our current locations very easily, or how clicking some bold selfies for the same, we put ourselves to huge risks. I am reminded of the Birdbox challenge here.
Another thing which I think over and over again, is replication of something or someone to mark a statement. The grand Indian wedding is one such example, I am myself fond of scrolling though such pictures if I see these on my timeline. No matter how much you want to work at that time, there are some pictures which catch our attention instantly. Instagram will give, you various reasons to scroll over and over again; food, fashion, celebrities everything becomes part of it.
Our day, most of the times thus, is spent on contemplating about things which we don’t have, envying others, replicating their lives constantly reminding ourselves how unsatisfied we are, with what we already have and not acknowledging our own ways of life, we our pre-existing cultures.
And here I talk about how smartphones have crossed boundaries penetrating in the rural areas showing to the people their vibrant lives . A woman residing in the rural or a rur-ban area would know the current trends of fashion more than she knows about the development in women’s education, jobs and other such important issues in her village or city which directly or indirectly influences her life. While putting on a matte lipstick is itself a statement of modernity to some, to me our modernities should be holistic. If I walk out wearing denims for example I should be able to carry my denims with absolute control over my fundamental rights. Awareness; political, social, cultural etc etc. is what I believe can comprehend the lives of women better.
I do not mean to say that women were ignorant in the past , or women who belong to the rural areas are not modern enough. We have examples of brilliant women in the past who slayed their traditional Ghagraas with total authority. Jahanara Begum and Roshanara Begum, the daughters of Shah Jahan are one such example. Two of them, sided with different political parties, with Dara Shukoh and another with Aurangzeb, constantly engaging in the politics of succession. Jahanara Begum also has designed the markets of Chandni Chowk and Roshanara begum on other hand designed her own fort, the Roshanara Bagh.
There are other examples in history, of women devotees (Bhaktas) like Meera, who defied the norms of a Rajputana household to enter into her own world of self styled devotion.
What I mean to say is that as women, our collective efforts should be to defy the existing prejudices and stereotypes against our gender through effective use of technology. Whatever a women puts on, whether it is a pale white saree or a multicoloured Lehenga, or a pleated skirt, she should be able to acknowledge the idea of a free choice and not mark herself or others as backward or modern based on the existing social stereotypes.
In a way our modernities should reflect our consciousness for a more informed, independent, liberated womanhood.
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