Women Power

An educated woman can do wonders in the society. Woman power is still un-exploited and under-estimated in our country especially in the villages. Women have always played a pivotal role in the history of Pakistan, and in the independence movement, they fought for the cause shoulder to shoulder with the men and displayed a unique strength and resolve.

But unluckily after the freedom, the role of women was ignored badly. Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, mother of the nation, is the biggest example of this neglection. Fatima Jinnah not only worked with her great brother but also after his death, worked for the country till her death from the platform of Muslim League. In 1964, he also fought the presidential election. She was a strong believer in the women power and their right to participate in the progress and construction of the country.

In our country, women are as intelligent and energetic as men, but they don’t have a proper platform to render their services for the nation. It is very crucial for our future, that we strive more to enable the women. More and more universities, colleges and schools should be setup to educate the women, so that we have a continuous supply of educated women on the national horizon, and this new polished and educated influx of power will definitely play a key role in the prosperity of the nation.

To enable the women its also very crucial that a comprehensive programme on the behalf of government and with the support of NGOs should be launched to provide employment to the ladies. Merit should be kept in perspective for the jobs. There is one another evil of our society that the ladies without any moral or educational value get the jobs just because they have relations to someone with lots of clout.

Even now, there are many ladies present, who took part in the independence movement, but now they are living in very sub-human conditions. It would be a very good idea to resurrect them and to leverage their experience and knowledge.

Its a fact that ladies can make the world a better place and they can do this like men, if not better than them. Its time we should now rise above the gender bias.

5 thoughts on “Women Power”

  1. most of the time, women tend to be more intelligent if compared to men of similar age, background, exposure and education.

  2. The Power of Indian and Pakistani Women
    A Telugu proverb says: “Bringing up a girl is like watering the plant in your neighbor’s garden.” Bitter but true. The condition of women in the countries like India and Pakistan can be best understood in the light of this proverb. The women in these countries, whether they are based in rural or urban areas, face multiple forms of violence, including sexual violence, domestic abuse, burning and disfiguring through acids, beating and threatening, honor killings, custodial abuse and torture, dowry-related violence, rape, female genital mutilation. India and Pakistan are very stiff nations, where people not only take pride in strictly adhering to the religious values but, are ready to sacrifice their loved belongings for the glory and sanctity. Both the nations have accorded a highly venerated social position of women; hence acknowledge the rights and privileges of the women in society, but merely hypothetically. For them, these are just maxims, which are never to be executed. But the modern writers, Anita Desai and Mohsin Hamid describe their female characters even stronger than the male characters, despite the fact that the writers have extremely different opinions and arguments from another.
    The present research paper is divided into two facets. One explores the strong sense of sacrifice of Indian women through the study of Anita Desai’s Clear Light of Day, while another probes the issue of radical Pakistani women through the study of Mohsin Hamid’s debut novel, Moth Smoke. Anita Desai, through her central character Bim of the Clear Light of the Day demonstrates the Sacrifice as the strength of women. Even though the women India have been the token of sacrifice form the very beginning, the writer represents the sense of scarification as their true power. She proves that is only Bim’s forgivable temperament that makes everyone happy at the end of the novel. On the other hand Mohsin Hamid’s Mumtaz of Moth Smoke has her different temperament to revolt. She does not believe to surrender but to stand firm. But the fact remains the same that both the woman characters hold a strong grip on the entire movement of the novels and show us the power and contribution of women to build the society on healthier and stronger foundations.
    Moth Smoke, a masterly novel by Mohsin Hamid portrays a revolutionary nature of Pakistani woman. The novel aggressively talks about what women had been suffering from. In the very opening of the novel, the sight of man to look at the woman is discussed. That docile woman, who always was treated as docility, has now turned to be a sturdy one. The woman of Pakistan which has been always a victim of man’s lecherous eyes, now is able to protect herself by own. In chapter 3, Mumtaz so radically looks at the Ozi (A male character of novel named Aurangzeb), who stared at her lustfully that he doesn’t dare to peep at her more. Ozi says, “Mumtaz is watching me and I look away because she is beautiful and I don’t want to stare.” (Chapter 1, Hamid) She is an embodiment of fearless and bold form of woman that can never be treated merely for her pink cheeks, juicy lips and beautiful breasts.
    Mumtaz, instead of being a paragon of sacrifice and endurance which is always ignored and disallowed from her freedom in the male dominated society, chooses her own way to fight for the freedom. She advocates the equality of man and woman in the society. If man is allowed for every sorts of enjoyment, why woman should be put at the back? So even for her own freedom just like man, she drinks wines, gambles and enjoys extra marital relation. By looking in light of the Islam and other religion, these all are the sins and crimes. As an Islamic woman Mumtaz can be penalized but, she illustrates that even the religion itself can’t punish woman if it doesn’t punish male. The true religion is that only which functions neutrally for man and woman.
    The novel reveals the social scenario of Pakistan. Mumtaz, a mouthpiece of Pakistani women, initially surrenders life to her husband for his happiness and in rewards; she receives no love, no care nor faith. Woman, for man has been just a product of bones and flesh, which he can use while enjoying the sex. The novel, through Mumtaz teaches that freedom can never be begged but always to be demanded. Mumtaz is free and is allowed to smoke and drink but that symbolizes free breathing. Her insane drinking is crime or injurious to her health but that displays her self-determination, which most of the women require. When she feels that her husband biased thoughts are her prison, she suddenly leave him. The Black Burqa doesn’t simply symbolize the cover of her face but it is a disallowance to her spirit, will and freedom of expression. It personifies that she is prohibited to view the world from her own sight. But Mumtaz instead of limiting her world to any rigid black burqa, flies with the costume she love to put on.
    Marriage is bond of love, care and faith, but for many women is sheer a lockup where they are to lose their sovereignty and will be treated animally. Even the worse condition is that when a woman in Pakistan wants the divorce, she is blamed for what she is not. This is how when a caged birds’ wings are sliced, when it tries to fly. And when a woman in Pakistan aspires to be unmarried, she is seduced emotionally by others. The novel scolds the poor handling of the submissive sex and represents the importance of self dependence. Mumtaz doesn’t accept the different standards of society for man and woman. A man moves anywhere in accordance of his wish and desire but a woman can’t. Mumtaz affirms that if there is no boundary for man, there mustn’t be for woman as well. While woman in society should fear for infamy, if man doesn’t? Mumtaz of Moth Smoke is an evident of the scarification of woman in Pakistan. She demonstrates that if I am not born to rule my life, am also not born to be ruined and rapped.
    In India and Pakistan, woman’s actions and movement are limited and controlled by man. Women are responsible for maintaining the family honor and to ensure that they do not dishonor their families, society limits women’s mobility, places restrictions on their behavior and activities, and permits them only limited contact with the opposite sex. In Chapter 5 of the novel, when Mumtaz goes to Heera Mandi to have an interview with the head of the prostitute house, the writer represents that the woman like Mumtaz moves whenever, wherever she wants. The difference between the condition of Mumtaz and Dilaram is vast. Dilaram was compelled for sex and Mumtaz enjoys the sex by her own wish. This difference is also shown in the following Dialogues:
    “How did you come to begin learning?” Mumtaz asks, slowly taking out a mini cassette recorder.
    Dilaram laughs solidly, her body rippling. “It’s quite a funny story really. I was a pretty girl, like this one here.” … “The landlord of our area asked me to come his house. I refused, so he threatened to kill my family. When I went, he raped me.”
    Mumtaz shuts her eyes.
    Dilaram chuckles “I was so skinny. Not like a woman at all.”
    “He paid you?” Mumtaz’s voice is so soft I can barely hear her.
    “Then what happened?”
    “He kept making me come. He let his sons rape me. And sometimes his friends. One of them was from city. He gave me a silver bracelet.”
    “He said it was a gift. Then I became pregnant.” She laughs. “Imagine, my mother was also pregnant at the time.”
    “So what did you do?”
    “The landlord told me the man from the city wanted to take me to Lahore to marry me. I didn’t believe him. But the villagers told me it was the only way to recover my honor, so I went.”
    “Did he marry you?”
    “No. He took me to hakim who ended my pregnancy. Then he told me he had bought me from the landlord for fifty rupees. He said I would have to give him fifty rupees if I wanted to go back to my village.”
    “But you didn’t have the money.”
    Dilaram chuckles “He brought me to Heera Mandi and made me have sex with men until he had his fifty rupees.”…
    “Then did he let you go?”
    “No. He told me the villagers would not accept me back because I had lost my honor. I believed him.” (Hamid, 50)
    The difference between both women character is majorly due to the way they approached to the society. The novelist represents Dilaram as a spokesperson to speak out the way women suffers in Pakistan and so Mumtaz stands for another side. Chapter 10 is the core part of the novel that talks about the endurance and sacrifice of Pakistani women. The Sexual issues is a particular topic ,women due to her shyness or restriction , don’t speak openly. But Mumtaz feels nothing wrong to discuss it openly and so discusses it with her husband’s friend. She tells Daru about her sexual relation with Ozi:
    I had always been a condom person, but since I was regular and we had both tested negative, Ozi and I switched to the rhythm method, which can be almost as reliable as the pills. (Hamid, 119)
    On the other hand the portrayal of Anita Desai in her Clear Light of Day reflects the social facts of Indian society and Indian culture in a true sense. In India woman is respected as an incarnation of Shakti (Goddess). In Indian Literature, from Ramayana (e.g Sita, Urmila, Kaushalya, Shubhdra and Mandodari) Mahabharata ( Draupadi) to the contemporary literature portrayal of women’s condition is almost the same when women sacrifice her love, wish, respect, dignity and dreams for her men. Indian Literary female characters have been portrayed in such a way that their role is only to sacrifice and suffer, which again shows the mentality of male dominated society of India.
    When a Pakistani girl revolts against the society and shows her Angry form, here is an Indian woman who wins the heart of all and shows her power. She tells that sacrifice and suffering is not necessarily associated with each-other. There are certain types of sacrifice which have a least to do with Suffering. Though, the character of Bimla has many characteristics of typical Indian woman, the entire concept of sacrifice is portrayed differently. Bimla is the nurse for her mentally retarded brother Baba and also she has nurtured her family and taken care of her little ones after the death of her parents. Her brother, Raja, is eldest among the four children of Das family, and should take care of them, but because of his irresponsibility, he left alone his family in Delhi and left the place for Hyderabad. Tara, the youngest daughter of the family, married with Bakul and left the place. Aunt Mira, who was taking care of Baba, dies due to her animal drinking habit. So, Bim has to take care of Baba, who is totally dependent over other and a parasite, and proves herself stronger than ant of her brothers-sisters. Bim sacrifices her whole life for her family but yet she never makes her family, an obstacle to her personal development. She does not marry because only it would be a barrier for her responsibilities but also so that any man can’t be a controller her own life. The maidenhood isn’t a symbol of emptiness but an evidence the self dependence of woman.
    Sometimes she herself express that her wish to care her brother. She, once tells Tara, “After you married, and Raja went to Hyderabad, and Mira-masi died, I still had Baba”(Desai, 37). This shows her devotion towards her family. Raja, the eldest brother, has left her alone with Baba, because he knew that the responsibility of Baba is a burden for his own progress and he also knew that Bim would not left Baba alone, as she is an Indian woman, inculcated the virtue of sacrifice. Bim is a very bright and enough competent, as she is the lecturer of a college in Delhi. She was a dynamic student of her school of her time. If Mumtaz can go to an extent of extra marital relation for sex, Bim completely finds sex unimportant. We talk about her marriage then Dr. Biswas, who is a doctor by profession and a wealthy person wanted to marry her. But due to her family responsibility, she refuses such a giant proposal of marriage, and sacrificed her marriage dreams. As Dr. Biswas also says when she refuses his marriage proposal that:
    Now I understand why you do not wish to marry. You have dedicated your life to other – to your sick brother and your aged aunt and your little brother who will be dependent on you all his life. You have sacrificed your life for them.” (Desai, 97 )
    One of the facts of Bim is unwillingness for marriage can be understood in the light of condition of Meera aunty and Tara (Bim younger Sister), When Meera’s husband dies, she is blamed to be inauspicious for her husband and that caused her husband death. Even her condition is worsened by the dogmatic society, where widow marriage is not only prohibited but also considered to be crime. Those widows like Meera would be treated as a whore if she marries another time. Is it not more advisable and self respecting to remain virgin in such a gloomy state of women? Even Bim confirms her wisdom when Tara has to devote her entire life to her husband, so that her husband can believe her to be a wise and honest lady! Bakul also confesses that he married her because he thought that she would donate her whole life and she will obey him, she will sacrifice her life to him and Tara actually does the same and contents his expectations. So, it reveals the typical mentality of male dominance of Indian society and who know that Dr.Biswas, after marriage would have wanted the same thing to Bim.
    At the end, Bim forgives each mistake of Raja and exonerates him, which glorifies not only the character of Bim but also the entire psyche of Indian women. We Indians have always bowed down before woman power – our Goddesses are proof enough, if proof is needed. Goddess Durga personifies strength and determination. When all the Gods put together failed to find out ways and means to conquer the evil forces, they prayed to her. Similarly Tara also prays Bim to forgive early evils of her brother and as the supreme sacrifice on the part of Bim, she forgives him and purifies everything. Bim forgets everything even though they all proved mosquitoes for her.
    They had come like mosquitoes – Tara and Bakul, and behind them the Misras, and somewhere in the distance Raja and Benazir – only to torment her and, mosquito-like sip her blood. (Desai, 153)
    Bim and Mumtaz both have the courage and the determination to shatter their difficulties and create a mark for them. Each one of them, a trailblazer in her own right, has nurtured families and met deadlines with an enviable spirit. Each one of them has a unique story to share – a success story that is, least said, inspiring. These woman characters can inspire to Indian and Pakistani women to reach out and achieved dignity in society. Mumtaz and Bim both suggest that woman’s path for equality, justice and especially for freedom is full of roadblocks, but just like them the women can leave the secured domain of their home and move in the battlefield of life, fully armored with their confidence, faith and talent.

  3. 🙂 Thank you. Oh, and your melodious name rang a bell in my memory corridors of the brain. My elder brother used to have a friend with your name. I remember that Fahd was a brainiac kid, a topper. another reason i remembered was because that Fahd’s family were moving somewhere else so they gave us their children’s swing, the double seated one, which was a pleasure to have for me at that age. agh! sorry for rambling.
    I find your posts very informative.

  4. @ Abeer Fatima: Thanks for the comment. My name rings a bell? I am so happy that my name is so melodious :). No I have never been lived in Malir Cantt, though my relatives do live there for many many years.

    Its also good to see you contributing again to Chowrangi.

    best regards.

  5. True. Maybe it all boils down to the ego hurdle for most men.
    By the way, Fahd, I hope u won’t my asking, but just curious… did u ever live in Malir Cantt long time back? Just that the name rings a bell.


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