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Published by V.K. Maheshwari

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Published by: V.K. Maheshwari on Mar 20, 2011
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Swami Vivekanand-Education of women
There is no chance of the welfare of the world unless the condition of women isimproved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on one wing.” 
 - Swami Vivekananda
Free India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru wrote:
“Rooted in the past, full of pridein India’s prestige, Vivekananda was yet modern in his approach to
problems, and wasa kind of bridge between the past of India and her present … he came as a tonic to thedepressed and demoralized Hindu mind and gave it self-reliance and some roots in the past.”
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose wrote:
“Swamiji harmonized the East and the West,religion and science, past and present. And that is why he is great. Our countrymenhave gained unprecedented self-respect, self-reliance and self-assertion from histeachings.”
Swami Vivekananda (1863 – 1902), a great thinker and reformer of India, embraceseducation, which for him signifies ‘man-making’, as the very mission of his life. In thispaper, which purports to expound and analyze Vivekananda’s views on women , anendeavor has been made to focus on the basic theme of his philosophy.Swami Vivekananda came as a dynamic force in the rise of a New India. His words andworkscontinue to be a force even after half a century of his passing away and willcontinue to be same till the end of time, for all seekers of TruthVivekanand strongly believes that “All nations have attained greatness by paying proper respect to women. That country and that nation which do not respect women Real Shaktihave never become great, nor will ever be in future. There is a huge difference in theattitude of indian men and their western counterparts .Indian men believes that thewomen are born to please them. The real Shakti-worshipper is he who knows that God isthe omnipresent force in the universe, and sees in women the manifestation of that
Dr V.K.Maheshwari . Ph.D Dr Veena Shastri. Ph.DFormer Principal Former PrincipalK.L.D.A.V.College ROORKEE Sati Kund College . HARIDWAR INDIA INDIA
force.In America men look upon their women in this light and treat their women as wellas can be desired, and hence they are so prosperous, so learned, so free and so energetic.So what happened to the theories that said that Indian men are family oriented and have adeep set of values embedded in them in them since childhood?.Actually it has a lot to dowith their upbringing. In India, little boys are told that they are stronger than girls. Thatsparks off a dominating streak in them that stays with them throughout their lives andmanifests various ways, be it teasing a women on the road or treating the wife like a sextoy. It is the value learnt at home that affect through subtle messages parents oftenindicate that the girl will be going to another household, while the boy will earn andwould inherit the family’s wealth. Naturally they grow up believing that they are superior to women and may mistreat their partners later. Why can’t we just tell little boys to bemore sensitive towords girls rather than feeding their brains about such lame notion.There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women isimproved. Swami Vivekananda ,rightly observed that the condition of women in Mughal-ruled and British-ruled India was deplorable. Swamiji said, “It is very difficult tounderstand why in this country so much difference is made between men and women,whereas the Vedanta declares that one and the same conscious self is present in allbeings. You always criticize the women, but what have you done for their enlistment?”Swami Vivekananda glorified Indian women of the past for their great achievements asleaders in various walks of life. He proudly states that “Women in statesmanship,managing territories, governing countries, even making war, have proved themselvesequal to men, if not superior. In India I have no doubt of that. Whenever they have hadthe opportunity, they have proved that they have as much ability as men, with thisadvantage – that they seldom degenerate. They keep to the moral standard, which isinnate in their nature. And thus as governors and rulers of their state, they prove-at leastin India far superior to men. John Stuart Mill mentions this fact.”Vivekanand strongly reasoned the cause of such degradation of Indian women The principal reason why our race has so degenerated is that we had no respectfor these living images of Shakti. Manu says,” Where women are respected, therethe Gods delight, and where they are not, there all work and efforts come tonaught.'’ There is no hope of rise for that family or country where they live in
sadness. The Swami was particularly worried about the degradation of women inIndia.He was emphatic that women must be educated, for he believed that it is thewomenwho mould the next generation, and hence, the destiny of the country? In Vivekananda’seducational scheme for India, the uplift of women and the masses received the highestpriority,It is very difficult to understand why in this country so much difference is madebetween men and women, whereas the Vedanta declares that one and the sameSelf is present in all beings. Writing down Smritis etc., and binding them by hardrules, the men have turned the women into mere manufacturing machines.Vivekananda repeatedly told that India’s downfall was largely due to her negligence of women. The great images of Brahmavadinis like Maitreyi andGargi of the Upanishad age, and women missionaries like Sanghamitra carryingBuddha’s message to Syria and Macedonia, all were laying buried deep due tomillennium of foreign domination. The mid-nineteenth century India sawwomen, the great mother – power shackled and degenerated to mere “childproducing machines” as Vivekananda saw it.In the period of degradation, when the priests made the other castes incompetent tostudy the Vedas, they deprived the women also of all their rights. You will find inthe Vedic and Upanishadic age Maitreyi, Gargi and other ladies of revered memoryhave taken the place of Rishis.In an assembly of a thousand Brahmanas who wereall erudite in the Vedas, Gargi boldly challenged Yajnavalkya in a discussion aboutBrahman,Swami Vivekananda was of the firm opinion that women should be put in positionsof power to solve their own problems in their own way. The welfare of the world isdependent on the improvement of the condition of the women.
The idea of perfect womanhood is perfect independence

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