Continued from: Universal Social Order
Girls were given apt education and fair opportunity to grow up in a free environment, with dignity. At the time of marriage, they were given full rights to choose for themselves their life partners. The most significant role the parents played was in making the girl capable – sensible and competent – to be able to make a just, mature and rational decision, not only for this but also in every step of her life. Women enjoyed the highest honour in society. But then, every path from the summit leads only downwards.
With varied stratifications and opportunistic evolutions, the distinction of the stronger sex and the weaker sex comes into play, and the position of the women is relegated. The deep fall from ‘swayamvar’ to ‘kanyadan’ was indeed a demeaning fall in the status and position of women in society. From being vested with the right to choose her own husband from among worthy candidates, to being used as a liable commodity possessed by parents to be given away to eligible match at a certain particular time, before the expiry of the disposable limit, that even complimented with a fortune of dowry – her cost, woman has been pushed from height, and has since been going from low to low.
Of late, now, there is a sign of resurgence. An ear was given to women’s issues everywhere. National plans went a long way, from the welfare of women to their development, from emancipation to the empowerment of women, not to forget, that at points of overdose, it even took to the extent of blowing feminism. The idea of marrying off the girls has given way to a more liberal attitude towards them. The feminine grace is awakening from the shackles of gender bias and prejudices that were making the rounds. Women are given greater living space in modern society, and they share an equal platform along with men, to assert their own position in their full capacity. Marriage has become an easier affair. Girls are no longer given away. Rather her consent is very much sought while selecting a decent match for her. Even equally she invites herself to the rights and responsibilities of choosing for herself a suitable boy.