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Position of Women in India

Position of Women in India

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Published by Hell rockar
Its a very concise and precise description on evolution of status of Women in India
Its a very concise and precise description on evolution of status of Women in India

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Published by: Hell rockar on May 28, 2010
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03/06/2015

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2
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.
1
Manu, the great law-giver, said long ago, 'where women are honouredthere reside the gods'.
2
 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 .
3
 Unfortunately, this position started to deteriorate over a period of time due to commonly heldsuperstitions, the upcoming Varna system
4
and prevalent
 Brahmin
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.
1
 http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Huma/HumaSing.htm, last visited on 23/03/2010.
2
Katherine K. Young, “Women and Hinduism,” Arvind Sharma (ed.), WOMEN IN INDIAN RELIGIONS, 1sted. 2002, p. 6.
3
Ibid.
4
Supra n.2.
SUBMITTED BY REEMA CHAND AND VISHU AGRAWAL
 
3
C HAPTER – 2THE EARLY VEDIC AGE
During the Vedic Age the society was more or less a patrilineal society. But despite a degreeof male dominance, men and women complemented each other and the life during the RigVedic period was seen positively.The birth of daughters was not desired and people prayed for abundance of sons, but oncegirls were born they were not treated with disrespect and were not looked upon withcontempt and disregard. They were treated with respect and kindness. Their education wasnot neglected; some of the women became seers eg. Visvavara, Ghosha and Apala.
5
 Someeven composed Vedic hymns eg. Lopamidra
6
. This is important because it confirms the factthat women were allowed to take part in various rituals.If women could compose hymns then they must have also recited them. Family was the focal point in the Rig Vedic period. There was complementarity between men and women in that period of time. This is represented by the fact that young women met potential suitors atfestivals and gatherings and only later sought the permission of their parents to marry thespouse of their choice. Women were never secluded and were allowed to attend suchgatherings and functions.
7
 They loved to display their skills in dancing and singing to theaccompaniment of lutes and cymbals.
8
Dancing was never looked down upon as a degradingmeans of entertainment at that time. Complementarity is also represented by the term
 Dampati
” which signified the master of the house
9
and the couple
. Women were given inmarriage when they attained puberty. Some kingdoms in ancient India had a tradition of 
 Nagarvadhu
.”
 Women competed to win the coveted title of 
 Nagarvadhu
. Amarpali is themost famous example of 
 Nagarvadhu
.
5
R.C. Majumdar et.al. ,AN ADVANCED HISTORY OF INDIA , 4
th
ed. 1978, 20
th
imp. 2007, p.30.
6
Supra n.2.
7
Ibid.
8
Supra n.6, p. 31.
9
Supra n.6, p.30.
10
Supra n.7, p. 5.
11
Bride of the city.
12
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_India,last accessed on 23/3/2010.
SUBMITTED BY REEMA CHAND AND VISHU AGRAWAL

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