The Ceaseless Crusader
Mahatma Gandhi who was actively involved in the freedom struggle to relieve India from its slavery fought for another noble cause alongside, but this was almost hidden in the big picture. Not many know that he was a CEASELESS CRUSADER in the fight for women’s equality. His hopes for women were extremely high when compared with the earlier reformers and his ideas differed radically.
“Woman to him was neither man’s plaything, nor his competitor, struggling to be like him. What she needed most was education, the recognition of her birthright to be free and equal to steer her destiny side by side with man.”
Two sides of a coin:
Mahatma Gandhi, a staunch supporter of women’s equality felt that fundamentally men and women are one. The two have the same soul, live the same life and have the same feelings. Each is a complement of the other. One cannot live without the other. But somehow man has dominated and woman has developed an inferiority complex.
“Ultimately, woman will have to determine what authority she needs.”
The erroneous notion:
India is a country bound by superstitions. But Gandhi questions whether it would take us closer to God (Truth), selfless service and love of all human beings. Not everything is good because it is ancient. Untouchability, child widowhood, child marriage and other such horrible beliefs were a part of our ancient tradition but they offend human dignity.
The Bell Jar Esther and Patriarchy The Bell Jar, which is written by Sylvia Plath, indicates that patriarchal society has many effects on women. Men have power over women in both direct and indirect ways. In this paper, I would like to concern about Esther and patriarchy. Men use their power directly to oppress Esther. Also they use power indirectly to set up social values and sexual stereotyping ...
“Any tradition, however ancient, if inconsistent with morality, is fit to be banished”
Even ancient books say that a woman is never fit for independence. Gandhi saw that this was wrong and voiced against it.
Experiments with truth:
Gandhi’s love for truth took roots from his childhood and he wanted to experiment and verify the truth of every new thought he came across. In those days, it was considered that a wife must always be subjugated to her husband’s will. And Gandhi became a domineering boy- husband. But his wife, Kasturba, stood up for her dignity with courage but this was mistook for stubbornness by Gandhi, in the early years. After realization, he never forgave himself for causing Kasturba to suffer. Gandhi revered women as the nobler sex.
“…it (the female sex) is even today the embodiment of sacrifice, silent suffering, humility, faith and knowledge.”