Who is the one to decide that the real life jounrney of a brash young lady from a dingy South Calcutta lane to be one of the most popular and dynamic leader of a very complicated state in India is not a success story- a story of progress- clad through out in her taant sari and hawai chappals?
Who decides if the girl in Purulia who protests against child marriage and under age marital abuses clad in her simple salwar suits has not light years ahead of the girls posing in their backless cholis. I am not disputing their modernity, but who told that women liberation was all about dressing up? Will the brand of lipstick decide how far we have moved?
I am sure many people are conversant with the works of Ashapurna Debi, in Bengali and in translation. She had once very simply portrayed the tribulations and three generations of women empowerment in Bengal through her trilogy of books- 1. Prothom Protisruti 2. Subornolota 3. Bokul Kotha. None of her heroines wore fashionable clothes…but did that make them or the millions of women from post partition refugee families who went out to seek work and defined the economic independence of women in Bengal and India any less progressive? ( Ashapurna Debi was just my reference point here. The same goes with Ismat Chugtai or Mallika Sengupta.)
Who told that those two young ladies from that photograph had not moved ahead of their times while posing in front of the camera? Or do we just judge a woman by the way she looks- till today? The backless choli hurts and we know why. We still want woman to conform to her very sacred and shy image that goes with our sugar and spice everything nice mindset. So we prefer them nicely covered. In case they are not, the Delhi CM goes out and issues a statement about women not ‘venturing’ out in the night- even if her professional commitments demand so.
In the end- the thought that clouds my mind is that whether I will be termed a hardcore feminist after writing this one, after all we are tagged one in case we think anything on our own and about our conscience. Thing about it guys!