CHAPTER – 1INTRODUCTION
The worth of a civilization can be judged by the place given to women in the society. One of several factors that justify the greatness of India's ancient culture is the honourable placegranted to women.
Manu, the great law-giver, said long ago, 'where women are honouredthere reside the gods'.
It is the common belief that Indian women have constantly had to fight for their identities asseparate individuals. They have had to struggle to break the image of a subservient soul.They have been oppressed if they tried to challenge the widely held opine of a maledominated community. But this is not a right view, the position of a woman in ancient Indiawas almost equivalent to that of a man and she was looked upon as one possessing a lot of power .
Unfortunately, this position started to deteriorate over a period of time due to commonly heldsuperstitions, the upcoming Varna system
opinion, and a host of other reasons. The position of women deteriorated over the ages and women came to belooked upon as things and properties, they had to face several hardships and were expected totreat their husbands as Gods. In medieval India serious practices and evils came to be forcedon women such as sati, jauhar, etc. After that the position of women could never completely be redeemed and although today Indian women have learnt to stand independently of men,make their own choices, enforce their rights, etc. one cannot say that women are treated withthe respect that they were treated with in the early Vedic period.
Katherine K. Young, “Women and Hinduism,” Arvind Sharma (ed.), WOMEN IN INDIAN RELIGIONS, 1sted. 2002, p. 6.
SUBMITTED BY REEMA CHAND AND VISHU AGRAWAL