Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Mr. Chetan Bhagat, kudos to you... Celebrating the "Working, Career-Oriented Woman"...

Today I came across a blog, sharply criticizing Mr. Chetan Bhagat's take on why men should choose career oriented woman over a home maker.

This particular article, written by Mr. Bhagat in the Times of India, had gathered a huge number of "likes" on Facebook and had many "shares" to it's credit.

This particular author went on to criticize Mr. Bhagat's take on home makers in her blog.

Mr. Chetan Bhagat's article, I am sure, most of my women readers read it and shared it likewise, was a practical take on why men would do better to marry a career oriented woman. For reasons unknown, my fellow blogger totally missed the point.

Mr. Bhagat, I am definitely sure, (and please I am not being paid by Mr. Bhagat or The Times for writing this...) targets men as well as women in his article, people who are  ( I am hoping), educated enough to read an English daily, and also independent financially, otherwise, the article would make no sense...

And therein lies the answer to why this article was extremely important to its readers.

His idea was not to crticise "housewives", who form an extremely important strata in our society, but rather the idea that a working woman could not not be a good home maker... this was the central idea of the article, and in criticism of which, my dear fellow blogger completely missed her perspective.

Whatever critics may say, the most important indicator of women's liberation is her financial independence.

Historically if we see, marriages conducted between powerful families and women of reputable dynasties were given a totally different status, as compared to those who came from poor alliances. In fact Akbar's wife Jodha Bai, or Harka Bai, his chief wife, for most of his reign, came from a very reputable dynasty and was an essential pillar of Akbar's idea of separating religion from governance.

In India, many hundreds of middle class and upper middle class families, even now have this idea, that if a career oriented woman comes into the family as the "bahu", household work would be neglected as she would be busy with her career. This happens in really educated and wealthy households too. Therefore, nowadays, there is a surprising trend. If the guy happens to earn fairly a good salary, his parents look for a home maker, a girl, with convent education, from decent families, having higher end degrees, but willing to be a home maker.

This is one of the most widely spread matrimonial demands of prospective Indian grooms and in-laws.

Most importantly, a woman is first and foremost an individual, and therefore, she has the complete right of choosing whether to be a working, career oriented woman or a home maker.

Now, there is another class of women too... those who have willingly made a choice to be a home maker. I fall in that category, and unfortunately, this blogger, whom I am criticizing  does so too... These are the women, who have higher end degrees, and they very capable of earning a livelihood, often times, a better livelihood than that of their spouses, but they have chosen to be home makers.This choice in no way demeans them or their spouses and they are, I believe, in the minority.

To be in this class, you have to belong to that affluent section of the population, where you know, that your spouse can provide for you and/or your child all the benefits and facilities, that a double income earning family can afford. Then you have the choice of not working and looking after the household. It's as simple and practical as that. Also mind you, this decision to become a home maker, has to be solely the woman's alone, not that of her husband, or her in-laws or her parents. This section of women, trust me, fall into a very "affluent" section of the population, "affluent", because, they have a choice in this regard.

After all, as Mr, Bhagat, pointed out, in an age of expenses, a double income earning family, stands way better than single income earning household. Its so true and immensely practical.

Therefore I am totally for marrying career oriented women and working women, rather than unemployed ones. When I was dating my husband, even I was an extremely busy career woman and therefore I respect them immensely.

But unfortunately, this choice is often denied to many women.

Women are either told to give up their jobs or to temper down their career ambitions because of matrimonial responsibilities.

I have a friend in Pipariya, a small town in Madhya Pradesh, who is independent, earning a healthy income and living alone in Mumbai. Unfortunately, her parents have been unable to find a guy suitable for her, because of the fact that she's earning... this still happens in India, mind you.

I also know of another woman, who lives in USA, here in Overland Park, and earns more than her husband. She's a dear friend of mine and she's the best home maker I have seen.

I do not think being a home maker is demeaning, but I do wholeheartedly support Mr. Bhagat's idea of marrying a working woman rather than an un-employed one and I also support the idea of being a career-oriented woman or a working woman rather than a mere home-maker.

If at any stage of my life, I feel, I have had enough as a home maker, I should have the choice to resume the mantle of a working woman and vice versa. This choice, is crucial in the debate of "Home Makers VS Working Wives" and would be the true indicator of women's liberty and empowerment.

And mind you, no one in the world, has a right to tell a woman to give up on her job or diminish her career ambitions, unless, he/she has provided her with the particular job.

Trust me, having been both a career woman, and an home maker now, I truly believe that a working girl, will bring a perspective to the marriage, which is far better than marrying your average "stay-at-home" girl or having a home maker as a wife.

Unfortunately prospective Indian grooms and their parents have a long way to go to understand this.

And my dear ladies... career oriented ones and home makers, please stop critising the few Indian males, like Mr. Bhagat, who have taken up cudgels of  promoting our rights, you are only harming yourself and us...

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