In India, whenever we make a legislation to reverse the pressure of social inequalities, we get a backlash. When widows were given a share of demised husband’s property, many widows had died (mysteriously killed). Because the other members of the household like the husband’s brothers regretted giving a share of their wealth to the widow of their brother. “Killing them off” seemed liked the option which they exercised to eliminate widows in the completion for family property.
Giving property to divorced women has had to effect of strict social rules by “khap panchayats” for its women—like banning mobile phones for women. A positive step forward is seen as a threat to patriarchal power structure. Women’s emancipation is a threat to male dominance of patriarchy. In some states the rise of lower class like “dalits” is regretted by the upper castes, and this could be the reason for the sharp increase in the incidence of rape. In the feudal India (hundred years ago), “dalit” women were frequently violated upon and kept in a lower level where they cannot rebel.But it was over long time ago; they can no longer be suppressed in free India.
In the state of Tamil Nadu, last week, leaders of caste groups were promoting ban on inter-caste marriages. They want to preserve their caste identities; this was to protect their own women by keeping them within their own groups. The ‘social psyche’ of the people since the violent ‘gang rape of December 16, 2012 in New Delhi has made people very wary. They want protection of “their women”. But all women need protection and support –not just women of their caste. Narrow mined leadership has reverted to caste consciousness.
Modernism has arrived and we have to keep pace with changing world. However the power relations may be people will have to learn new ways of life. Whether there are repercussions on social structure or not (backlash or not) people are living in present era. They will change their mindsets. World cannot change for them,they have to change to keep up with the world.