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Being second-rate: how women actually live in India

'17.06.2019'

Source: Lenta.ru report

Honor killings, surplus of suitors and alcoholism: what surrounds Indian women.

Фото: Depositphotos

These women are full of femininity and special magic charm, their movements, honed in the magic dances, smooth and graceful. Their bright airy sarees and glitter of gold jewelry attract attention. These are the inhabitants of India appear in Bollywood films, but in fact their life looks very different. What difficulties do Indian women face and how do they have fun - in the material "Tapes.ru».

Creature second grade

“From time immemorial to the present day in India, a woman is considered a creature of the second grade. Indians are sure that if you were not born a man, it means you sinned a lot in your past life, and now you’ll work out your karma, ”says Elena, who married an Indian and has already lived in Mumbai for 10 years.

From ancient times, the girl was considered a burden in the family, and the boy was a blessing, since he could help in the field, earn a living and inherit the economy. The daughter had to marry as successfully as possible, while giving her a decent dowry - dauri. You can get rid of money, but you can get gifts: household appliances, decorations, cars, real estate. Officially, it was banned in the 1961 year, but it is impossible to track payments, so the practice still exists.

The dauri system creates the illusion that men in India are more valuable and enjoy privileges from birth. In the backward regions of the country, the terrible custom of killing girls still remains. Before the advent of ultrasound, this problem was solved as follows: the boy was left, and the newborn, if the family understood that they could not feed it, they were taken to the river or to the jungle. In some places, this tradition has been preserved. The government has banned the Indians of the procedure for determining the sex of the unborn child, as well as selective abortions, but it thrives in underground clinics.

Фото: Depositphotos

It is not surprising that over the past decades the size of the female population has declined so much that an acute shortage of brides began in the country, and in search of a future spouse, the groom often has to go to another region or look for a wife in another country.

Despite this, the future bride is presented with a lot of requirements: appearance, color of skin, talents, education, and material security are estimated. It is expected from the ideal wife that she will devote herself to the housekeeping and parenting.

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If the family is not very rich, then girls are given only primary education, boys are trying to train as much as possible. The more educated he is, the more dowry his family may require from the bride's parents. Wealthy families are trying to educate all children, regardless of gender: either in the best universities in India or outside the country. For a girl with an education you can give a little less dowry than for an uneducated one.

Most of the marriages in the country are still organized, that is, the parents themselves choose grooms and brides for their children. There are also love marriages in megalopolises, but even in these cases one cannot do without long negotiations on a dowry.

After marrying, Indian women usually begin to live in large families, where there is a rather rigid hierarchy. The life of the newly-wed spouse obeys the rules existing in the husband's house.

“In Indian families they are able to weave intrigues very well, since it is rather difficult to please everyone, and I don’t want to spoil relations with my husband’s relatives. The sister-in-law needs to learn how to weave her intrigues in order to win her place in a large family, ”says Elena.

However, if the family is fairly wealthy - and the marriage was concluded for love, then the husband will try to live with his wife separately from their parents. This is usually common in large cities.

Фото: Depositphotos

If the family subsequently decides to divorce, then in most cases it is quite difficult for women to remarry after the divorce. Even worse for women is the situation if the husband is dead. “It is believed that the death of a spouse is a punishment for a woman for her sins,” continues Elena.

Traditionally, widows are forbidden to wear long hair, they are usually shaved off, you can not wear colored saris, bracelets, earrings and rings, and also have sweets - because now they have no reason for joy. Previously, the situation was even worse - for centuries in India there was a cruel tradition of "sati", according to which a woman after her husband's death was obliged to climb the funeral pyre and burn alive with his body to meet the afterlife with him. This tradition was finally eradicated in the 1987 year after the relevant law was passed in the country.

Villagers life

Poverty, overpopulation and the agrarian crisis are driving Indians from villages to big cities. They settle, as a rule, in slums where there is neither water nor light. Forced to work for meager wages. Women who come from the villages usually either go to the maid or do hard physical labor. Many young provincials who have promised golden mountains come to brothels as a result.

Rural women in India are considered downtrodden and unanswered. Getting to the big cities, the villagers, where they still honor old traditions, are shocked to see girls with a cigarette in their hands, in short skirts, sipping alcoholic beverages.

A village in India is still a stronghold of conservatism and the worship of ancient customs. The caste system has officially been abolished in the country itself, but it still exists in the villages. All power in the villages is concentrated in the hands of the elders. Village councils are considered a symbol of inertia and backwardness, they were disbanded in the 2011 year, but they continue to operate in our time.

Particularly serious punishments for misdemeanors are Indian women. Elders can boycott the family of the violator (all her relatives become exiles in their own village), organize “honor killings” or gang rape.

Фото: Depositphotos

“It’s all my fault”

The situation with this type of crime in the country is especially difficult. Local judges are very reluctant to take up cases involving rape. If the case is not very resonant, it is extremely difficult to sue the suspect.

The women who survived the violence rarely go to the police. The guards of order, as a rule, begin to humiliate the victims and mock them, believing that "the woman herself is to blame for everything." It is also known about the rape of victims in the police stations themselves. Thus, in 9 of 10 cases, the victim does not report the abuse committed against the authorities, so the criminals feel absolute impunity.

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In addition, in India there is no law prohibiting domestic violence. Residents of the country daily face obscene comments on the street, condemning the views of older people to whom their clothes may seem "too frank."

In many ways, sexual harassment against women is provoked by Bollywood. Local blockbusters often feature songs with unequivocal sexual overtones that encourage sexual abuse. “It doesn’t matter whether you answer yes or no, you are mine, Kiran,” one of the most popular actors in the country, Shahrukh Khan, sings.

Many Indians can start humming them if they see a pretty girl on the street. As a result, it seems that if a woman rejects courtship, then this is not a reason to back down, but only a hint to strengthen the harassment.

“There have been a lot of Bollywood films lately, with more and more strong and independent women, although the classics of Indian cinema still cling to 'testosterone' comedies and melodramas. But we can still say that today the situation has begun to change: celebrities are increasingly calling for respect for women's rights, and given their strong influence on society, everything can change for the better, "Elena told Lente.ru.

In recent years, women are becoming more and more independent in the country: they openly talk about domestic and sexual violence, contractual marriages. However, emancipation will take many years.

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