Dr. Jernail Singh Anand “Ethics: The bitter half and the bitten half”

Επιμέλεια: Εύα Πετροπούλου Λιανού

Family is broken. Home is broken. There is only Liberty. How to deal with our Freedom? Is the question.

How women are to be treated at home and in the office and in the streets?

Are words like Macho, Mardani, Mard – still relevant

Women constitute half the population of the world. But the world has been masochistic, men ruling and women in subservience. And it has gone on for centuries. Even in previous epochs, we come across women characters in myths. They were neglected, if not entirely maltreated by their menfolk. Perhaps, in those times of physical power, men had the final word. And this has continued through the centuries, and even today, we don’t find much change. Men still hold the reins. Women are considered to remain a poor second, with no voice in many cases, and when she is maltreated, she revolts in different ways.

We are now in a world where we claim freedom for women. At least among the educated sections, she has a host of liberties. But if we can say she is free, it is a highly inflated claim. Still, there are pockets where women are maltread and their views ignored, final decision lying with men. Here and there we come across some exceptions, but the norm is : a society which is ranged against women’.

Why I call ‘ranged against women’?

I believe that men and women are born the same way, and they grow up the same way, and end up in the same manner. The gender differences stand out because of the essential difference between man and woman. They are essential for procreation. Only men and only women cannot indulge in procreation, not even if we think science has taken great strides and fertility clinics can do the job of a husband, inject the embryo to make a woman pregnant. Still, she can be impregnated only with a male’s discharge. So, in the scheme of things, both are equally important for procreation.

The next great issue is who will take care of the new-born, and the growing up kids. It has been women who was solely responsible for this stage of a child. But, now, with the society opening up, we find this rearing up duties being shared by men, because women have to attend offices. Still, the final word with regard to a child’s development rests with the woman. Man is a poor recompense in her absence. Does it give the woman any sense of superiority? She is called the better-half, but the way she is treated, she is certainly the BITTER-HALF, and the BITTEN-HALF too.

I think we are doing injustice to women when we call them better-half. Somehow and somewhere, it goes to imply that she is only ‘the half’ – something that is incomplete, and needs somebody, some other entity, to complete herself. We have never got any word in the dictionary which could suggest how a man should be addressed in this rough talk of halves: should we call him the ‘WORSE HALF’ if woman is the ‘BETTER HALF’? We have never thought of such terms, and very flippantly, we say: men and women are incomplete without each other.

The world of men is clever enough to call women  ‘the shakti’, the real ‘power’ and comparing her with Ma Durga. Of course, the goddesses stand as emblems for the feminine world, but the factual world today says something else. Who looks upon a woman, walking in a street, or in the next chair in the office, as something resembling the goddesses. The masculine mindset looks upon women as objects of temptation. And this is the reality of this world, which uses sweet words for women, that in offices they are not safe. On the road, they are stalked.

And in buses, if they are left alone, anything can happen. At night, no woman can be sure of her safety if she travels alone in a cab, or even in a bus. The dangers of the outside apart, at home also, she is allowed to feel herself? There is a dominating mother, a fighting father, a shouting brother, and a marrid sister whose husband casts an evil eye on her.

If these are the conditions in which women work, and they are realistic, I am not talking of any film where they certify everything is contrived, can we say they are free? Is it a world ripe for a woman? Can a woman who decides to live alone and not marry be allowed her freedom interrupted? We believe that a girl should be married as soon as possible, let her go to her in-laws, even if she is working somewhere and has interest in a some person, she is forced to marry according to the will of the father. I think it is a cruel world, which in the name of love and honour, crush young aspirations.

Yes, marriage is a must for a young woman. Whom to marry? Parents find out a man. Whom the girl has never seen. It is most outrageous part of our marriage system. How can anyone live with an unknown person for life? Yet, our girls live, and they are considered best specimens if they forego their feelings, kill themselves emotionally, and become good mothers, howsoever they are treated or illtreated by their husbands. 

I revolt.

No one should be forced into an alliance if he or she does not like it. And it is essential now, in these times of freedom, to choose whether to marry or not. Because, marriage has failed to protect the kids, they are in daycare centres, or with one parent or the other under court orders. Marriage is a trap now, and liberated young men and women try to avoid it. In advanced countries and cities, marriage as an institution is already dead. People live together in all happiness.

Happiness is must in a relationship. Once things start soaring, what is the fun in staying together? As marriage forces you to live with an unwanted partner, keep fighting all through and end up killing one or the other, and landing behind the bars? Is this life meant for such a deadly sojourn?

I invite social scientists, thinkers and scholars, to spend some time out of the political nuisance, for the youth of the country, who need their considered counsel, what to do with marriage. Live-in is also considered a dangerous proposition in view the fridge incidents seen recently. It is not a vialbe alternative. Family is broken. Home is broken. There is only Liberty. How to deal with our Freedom? Is the question.

It is time to do away with certain words which celebrate man-power. Words like macho, Mardani, Mardon wali baat – all these words point out towards feminine weakness, and are masculist. Unnecessary precedence and preference given to men, for their physical powers. Women have keener brains. Such differentiations smach of gender bias which must go off the dictionary. Our culture shows women in a secondary role, in a supportive role, no doubt, but the women of old cannot be our role-models now. It is a harsh truth and has to be accepted. If you keep looking back, your freedom will keep troubling you.

These are questions which demand urgent attention before more and more families are jeopardized. More and more youngsters lose their balance of mind and jump to drastic conclusions. It is the duty of the Society which is too much worried about Politics, Politicians, and Criminals.

Author: Dr. Jernail Singh Anand is Founder Chairperson of The Ethical Universe, the International Academy of Ethics, a think-tank of Poets, Philosophers, Thinkers, Scientists and Social Scientists.  He is Professor Emeritus with the European Institute of the Roma Studies, Belgrade and Honorary Member of the Serbian Writers Association. Dr. Anand has authored 150 books which include 9 epics which are considered  world classics. He has innovated the theory of Bio-text in critical theory. The Univ. of Neyshabur, Iran has conducted a Research Project on his Poetry comparing it with Iranian Poets, under Dr. Roghayeh Farsi. His works have been translated into 20 world languages. Contact:  [email protected]