Are women truly self-sufficient 76 years after Independence?

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | August 13, 2023 IST

Independence Day

Bratati Baral

Bhubaneswar, Aug 13: India is going to proudly celebrate its 77th Independence Day on Tuesday. However, do we know the exact meaning of the word ‘Independence’? The meaning is definitely different for every individual. 

Independence is a unit of freedom and liberty, self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Ahead of Independence Day, Prameya English interacted with a few women to know how much they enjoy independence in their day-to-day life.

A woman can never be fully independent, said Ruchismita Panda, a housewife from Bhubaneswar. Though we are highly educated, self-sufficient and living among educated people, still we are not safe. I don’t feel independent when it comes to the safety of women in our society. It’s been decades, we achieved our independence, and still, women face safety issues. 

 Mahatma Gandhi said, “The day a woman can walk freely on the roads at night, that day we can say that India has achieved independence.”I don’t feel it’s possible now or never. A woman never feels comfortable going outside at night without any escort. There are several horrible incidents such as- rape, acid attack, and harassment happening every day. Due to that, some women also feel reluctant to give birth to a girl child. I am also a mother of a daughter and I think those who disrespect women should get stringent punishment."

 "Free thought, expression and action without fear or favour is freedom. Our great nation, with its cultural, philosophical and democratic heritage, enables us to do just this, thinks Arshia Mushraat from Kolkata.

 "Independence, for me, is waking up every day in a country where my freedom of speech, thought and religion is not only protected, but actually cherished. It is, driving down through various lanes of my country knowing that our ancestors have strived hard for this moment, a country where I could be as free as a bird with no net ensnaring me. So, here's to you my beloved country for the ever-beaming light of your existence that rises above all the hate and wraps itself like a shawl around me on a cold December night."

 "Freedom isn’t something we wait for somebody to give us; we earn it and then defend it passionately, added Arshia. 

A teacher from Banki Manjula Subudhi says Independence is about breaking the stereotype and getting respect, especially in the family. However, sometimes a woman cannot get respect in her family nowadays too.  The man, who worships Goddesses at the temple, behaves differently at home. I have seen many cases in my village too. In-laws torture their daughter-in- law, sometimes she has to sacrifice her life too. I have two daughters staying in Bhubaneswar for higher studies. I always worry for them thinking about their safety as every day we read harassment and molestation cases. However, a woman must fight for her safety."

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