India is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country (with over 1.2 billion people) and the most populous democracy in the world.
India was an underdeveloped country but with a huge potential. That is why the British Empire imposed its power there during the 16th century. They brought their culture and values into the country. It was an authoritarian system. However, thanks to it, India started increasing its development.
Nowadays, there are contrasts in this country and inequalities still persist.
On the one hand, there are cities like Hyderabad. It is the capital of Telangana, an Indian State. Many people live in this ultra-developed country. People who left India like five years ago and then came back, spoke about a huge difference between the India they left and the India that they came back to because this country is in perpetual development, mostly since a few years.
Unfortunately, on the other hand there are poor areas where the development is not yet there. For example, the Dharavi slum is a locality in Mumbai, it is the largest slum in the world. People who live there are estimated to one million. It is unhealthy, there is one toilet for 17000 persons, there are more and more inhabitants which means shortage of land per person. However, there is a plan of redevelopment for the Dharavi area to build houses, schools, roads...
India is a country of believers, they have Gods, faith and traditions. Hinduism is considered as the oldest religion in the world. They have traditions and a really developed culture which everyone follows. This culture has a real impact on the population. Sometimes it’s a good thing for the population but some others times it leads to inequalities that everybody submits to and accepts.
My article Indian father accused of killing baby 'for being a girl' comes from CNN website. It was written by Sara Sidner and upload in June 14, 2012.
In India, when women have a baby girl they have to pay the dowry to the groom’s family when she marries. When Indian families are poor it’s impossible for them to keep baby girls so babies are killed or abandoned. It’s most complicated in India because finding the sex of the baby before the birth is illegal. Women can have abortetion but it’s mentally traumatic.
Families want boys because, when they grow older, boys look after family business, they keep the family’s name and they look after their parents and pay for them when they are old. Boys are more attractive.
Because of this dowry, in Indian classrooms there are twice as many boys as girls. This is a real concern because when the children grow up, many Indian men live without partners. The Dowry system can’t help the country to develop and leads to bad consequences. This system is an unequal system.
2. Inequalities between men and women
Women are not allowed to wear clothes they like without being blamed for it.
They are encouraged to end their studies quickl to get married, sometimes to someone they don’t even know.
There are inequalities in education. If a girl wants to became a journalist, people will say it’s not an ideal option for girls in India. Study options are “controlled” by people in India. A girl will choose another option than Journalism because she doesn’t want to be blamed.
Indian parents save and accumulate money for a son's higher education and a daughter's lavish wedding. They prefer a son well educated than a girl.
But what if a girl doesn’t find a husband or if her husband dies? The girl will have less diplomas and a lesser education.
Women are not allowed to go for a walk without being with their father or husband whereas men can go everywhere alone for example studying aboard.
All of that is in the name of the “culture” or “tradition”, people say.
3. Caste system
In India, inequalities still persist because of the caste system. It defining if you will be privileged or poor and it defining roles and position in society for everyone. The four castes are composed of Brahams, Kshatriyas, Vashyas and Shudras, they are protected and granted to have a better life than outcastes. They are lawyers or professors… Outcastes are named Untouchables or Dalits and from birth they are considered as inferior in society. They are poor and live unhealthy because it’s their « destiny ». It represents 20% of the Indian population like 170 million people. But India had a willingness to change and this system was abolished in 1950 to make India a country equal by its citizens. Castes still exist, it’s impossible to eradicate it yet but changing in mind make people aware that this system is unfair. It was a discrimination system which didn’t help to developed the country.
India has the willingness to change. There is an article of law which is a prohibition against this kind of inequalities and against the dowry. The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 article 3 specifies that the penalty for giving or taking dowry does not apply to presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bride or bridegroom, when no demand for them have been made.
Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code required the bridegroom and his family to be automatically arrested if a wife complains of dowry harassment.
Banu’s husband is under arrest because the police has to punish this system.
People want things to change so they have started manifestations and resistance against the female infanticide.
India was a long time under the influence of the British Empire but after that, with Gandhi and his manifestation of non-violence and peace., India became independent and got its own government. Some inequalities still persist that the government can’t eradicate yet but it’s a country into the way to change. Nowadays, India is becoming more and more powerful.
Banu now lives with her parents in a tiny two-room home. She will spend her entire life living with the fact that she never got the chance to bring up her first child because the baby was born a girl.
The fact that there are inequalities between men and women, and women discrimination is juxtaposed with the fact that the Indian president and the speaker of the House are women. The most powerful politician is a woman, Sonia Gandhi.
We see that India had the willingness to change and people are getting more and more aware of what injustices are. Women will probably access to new opportunities.