For the past few years, it has become a pattern among the left liberals to tarnish India’s image at a global level. Leading this cabal Bollywood artists- people like Swara Bhaskar and Sonam Kapoor with the truckloads of misinformation that such elements have been spreading at a war footing.
In one such latest attempt to tarnish India’s image at a global level, Bollywood actor, Sonam Kapoor has tweeted, “For me, female empowerment is very important, especially because I’m from a side of the world where women have always been second-class citizens,” while releasing a snap of her latest photoshoot and interview with Harpers Bazaar Arabia.
— Sonam K Ahuja (@sonamakapoor) March 2, 2020
Now, you cannot find a better example of deracination than Sonam’s remarks. At the outset, her comments reek of lack of information and correct perspective of history.
Ironically, she has tagged the Arabian edition of Harpers Bazaar. The magazine is in wide circulation in Middle East and northern Africa. The magazine has highest subscriber base in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Imagine this, Sonam Kapoor has told people of Qatar and Saudi Arabia- the country which started issuing driving licenses to women only in the year 2018, that she comes from a part of the world that treats women as second class citizens.
The sheer lack of knowledge about history and the issue of maltreatment is writ large all over Sonam’s bizarre comments. Interestingly, she did not have anything to say about the issue of feminism with regard to Middle East in general and Saudi Arabia in particular- countries which are the biggest violators of women rights in the world.
Now, coming to Kapoor’s remarks there can be only two reasons why she made such shocking comments- either she doesn’t know anything about India’s history and follows the herd mentality that categories elitists in the country, or she just wants to grab attention in the international media by tarnishing the image of her own country. Otherwise, why would she make such remarks about a country where even mythology gives equal respect to women deities as their male counterparts, where men are considered non-entities and incomplete without women.
India’s fine sense of women empowerment is rooted strongly in its history and cultural ethos. While Sonam Kapoor feels that women have been treated like second-class citizens, she probably doesn’t know that India is the country where women enjoyed the right to education much before the Western civilisations. Gargi and Sulbha were highly learned in Vedas in ancient India.
India is the country where Maa Sita’s name is taken before Bhagwan Ram and Radha’s name is taken before Bhagwan Krishna. Our sense of women empowerment is rooted in our civilisational values, something that make India an unparalleled civilisation in this respect.
And not just civilisational or ancient values, even when India became a Democratic Republic Indian, women were recognised as equal citizens straightaway. Women attained the right to elect and to be elected to the legislature as soon as India became a Democratic Republic- unlike the European countries or the United States where they had to fight for equal voting rights and right to representation in legislatures.
It is true that Indian women were subjected to harassment and degradation in status during the Medieval Era in the context of Islamic conquest in the country. But even at that time we have several examples of women fighters who took on the Invaders. Rampyari Gurjar led 40,000 brave women, for instance, had successfully taken on Taimur’s Army consisting of lakhs of troops.
Velu Nachiyar and thousands of other women like her too had taken to arms during the British rule showing that equal participation in social and national causes was never a matter of luxury for women in India.
But then this is not for the first time that such bizarre comments have been made. Bollywood actor, Vidya Balan who had in 2017 said, “The country never belonged to women. We were second class citizens. You could belong to any race, caste, class and religion, but men decided, and they were in control………”
It is this same mentality that has now found voice in Sonam Kapoor’s absurd statement. India does tackle the issue of crimes against women, but if one claims that Indian women were always treated as second class citizens in India’s history, then it is historic amnesia of the worst kind.
India never institutionalised any kind of discrimination against women. Sonam Kapoor has once again shown how elitist sections of the society are guided by herd mentality rather than reliance on empirical evidences and true historical facts when it comes to their discourse about the issue of women empowerment in India.