Agriculture Op-ed

THE PERFECT INDIAN GIRL

How can one define a woman?
She is more than just the word “Beautiful”.

Scientifically, she may be called a female human that is of the species Homo sapiens, same as the men. But is it indubitable in the present world? To what extent?

A perfect Indian Girl
Gender Equality ; Image credit : media.licdn.com

Historically, men were expected to go out and hunt for food, while women were expected to stay home and be the ones responsible for the household and for the bringing up of their children. In the early 19th century, women in India started fighting for their equality, to ban child marriages, to abolish sati, to have the same educational opportunities as men and to be judged by their knowledge and education and not by their sex. . This led to the rise of many national women leaders like Sucheta kripalini, Aruna Asaf Ali, Manasi Pradhan, Sunitha Krishnan, etc. who defended equal political, economic and social rights for women in India.

The status of women in India has been subjected to many great changes over the past few decades. The border between male and female life styles, jobs and responsibilities has become increasingly blurred. In modern India, women have held high offices including that of the President, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Chief Ministers and Governors. We also have very successful women CEOs in the business sector like Biocon’s Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and SBI’s Arundhati Bhattacharya and triumphant sports personalities like PV Sindhu and Mary Kom who have won medals for the country are few to be mentioned. At present women in every house are working today to support the family financially.

But now if a question lingers in your mind as to why we don’t have equal number of female presidents to male presidents?

 

Or why do people prefer boy child over a girl child?

Or why boys have all the freedom in the world to wear whatever they want but girls should be choosy about their clothing?

All these queries come down to the ultimate reason – The Attitude of the People.

The state of our India is still in a transition phase between traditional and modern culture. We are all bound to our ancestral beliefs and social customs. This is also the main reason for violent victimization of women through rape, acid throwing, dowry killings, etc.

There still exist a considerable amount of people in rural India who believe that a woman’s place is exclusively in the kitchen. They feel that a woman getting educated and working outside the home is against their custom and traditional values.

On the contrary, an educated and working woman can understand her duties a lot better like the Chavi Rajawat, an IIM educated sarpanch of Soda village in Rajasthan. Working women will be capable of teaching her children to be refined and respectful in the society. In addition, a working woman provides financial aid to satisfy the essential needs of her family.

But, there may be times when educated and working women become indifferent and are not capable of giving tenderness to their family because they are too preoccupied with their professional work. Work stresses may compel them to lose their patience and fail to manage petty things at home. They may become demanding and despotic and do not know how to make a happy home.

STRESSED MOM
           Work Life Balance

A small incident from the life of Mrs. Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi Co,

Mrs Indra Nooyi returned home after she was appointed as the president of the M N C Pepsi Co. she wanted to share that good news with her family. She got home at about 10 p.m., got in through the front door, and her mother was waiting at the top of the stairs.
Then she said, “Mom, I’ve got great news for you.”

Her mom countered her saying, “let the news wait.” Can you go out and get some milk?”

She looked in the garage and it looked like her husband was home. So she asked, “what time did he get home?”

Her mom replied “8 o’clock.”

She asked angrily, “Why didn’t you ask him to buy the milk?”

Her mom said “He’s tired.” She insisted her to just get the milk. We need it for the morning. So like a dutiful daughter, she went out and got the milk and came back.

She banged it on the kitchen table and said, “I had great news for you. I’ve just been told that I’m going to be president on the Board of Directors. And all that you want me to do is go out and get the milk, what kind of a mom are you?”

And her mom remarked, “let me explain something to you. You might be President of Pepsi Co. You might be in the Board of directors. But when you enter this house, you’re the wife, you’re the daughter, you’re the daughter-in-law, you’re the mother. You’re all of that. Nobody else can take that place. So leave that damned crown in the garage. And don’t bring it into the house.”

If this could happen to the most competent first woman CEO of Pepsi Co company who broke the glass ceiling, then what about the other woman out there?

the perfect Indian Girl
                 Indra Nooyi

When asked about her opinion about whether women can have it all? Indra Nooyi remarked:
“I don’t think women can have it all. I just don’t think so. We pretend we “have it all.” We pretend we can have it all. Every day you have to make a decision about whether you are going to be a wife or a mother or a professional”. She added “if one asks her daughters, she’s not sure if they would say that she’s been a good mom. Women have to use all kinds of coping mechanisms”.

According to me, One of the best option for a woman to lead a balanced professional and family life and have the best of both the worlds is to choose agriculture, horticulture, dairy, poultry, etc as her occupation. She can monitor her work staying close to home and she has time to spend on home making. This helps her to spend time with nature that relaxes and energizes her mind rather than the hectic virtual life in the office cubicles. Also she can be productive, economically independent and above all be in home when the kids arrive from school and husband from his work.

the perfect Indian Girl
                              Out of office cubicles

Therefore, the Perfect Indian Girl ought to be “Broad minded in thinking, and conventional at heart. A professional at work, but a caring mother, an admirable wife and a lovely home maker at home but if she has to wear so many different hats, is this not very straining on her? and can she do justice to all the roles?”

– Sonali Jasti
(Sonali Jasti is a Horticulture student. She is interested in exploring latest developments in agriculture and aspires to become an entrepreneur and take upon family resorts and agriculture. sonali.jasti@yahoo.com)