Dec 14, 2012

Human Emancipation – Speech delivered in Socio Fest – Liberate’12, Loyola College on 14.12.12

Women’s liberation and Justice for laborers is Human Emancipation to me. To understand how and why this is important one needs liberation of mind. Liberating ourselves from all ideologies that has been injected in our minds over all these years is the primary need.
How do we liberate our minds and work towards Human Liberation? Our mind is nothing but a medium that has been tuned for ‘others’ – by others here I mean identity. Identity for what? ‘power’, ‘fame’ and ‘money’. Inorder to gain these and to retain the gained ‘benefits’ our “fore fore ‘fathers’ ” believed in certain social system consisting of hierarchy – an order of caste, class and gender.
This hierarchy was ‘theoritized’  and made as law by putting ‘Man’ as the head of the family / society because they believed that would only aid them to hold on to power and wealth. It is said that the ancient society has been a commune living headed by women in which there was equal distribution of wealth and natural resources. There was no ‘lord’ and ‘slave’. Considering the external factors, men and women arrived at a division of labor for the safety of ‘women’ as she is the primary factor in ‘reproduction’ and her life was so important. But later an unequal distribution of wealth arose. This happened because of change in means of production. After invention of certain ‘tools and technology’ for ‘mass production’ a particular group of society gained power by acquiring / grabbing lands and means of production. They became land lords, owners, capitalists etc etc. They took control of manmade (rather women made) means of production and also natural resources and primarily the reproductive force of mankind – ‘THE WOMEN”.
To ensure mass production and high profits by effective use of the means of production they created a new social division of labor and that is the ‘labor class’ – women were pushed to the secondary level and were defined new social role of ‘House work’ – by which their one and only duty is to reproduce children for tomorrow’s labor need; to effective feed and maintain them to become the most effective labor. In India it was further intensified by the caste order and gender roles defined by ‘Religious scriptures’. That is how women became house wives and men became economic slaves of the great ‘competitive economy’.
Men have to run to make money to build houses, buy car, buy jewels for wives, put children in ‘best of the schools’ and nowadays men have to run for ‘six packs’ as well. Is money not important? Yes it is! But how much is the question? What is the labor hour required to make that desired money? You and me work 8 hours a day and can make 20,000 to 1 L doing a desk job, but at the same time a rickshaw man can hardly make Rs. 150 a day, wy? If brain is superior so is physical labor! But why are they looked upon as slaves and secondary creatures? And if a man runs for money ignoring a family, is a women able to understand that, accept that and if women wants to earn and be a professional is a man able to accept that? But still all of us want to make ‘money’.
Unless we understand this fundamental social division of labor and unequal distribution of wealth, we will not even realize that each one of here is slaves and we got to question this social order.
Ok when we come back to women, many of you might not even know that women did not even have rights to vote, right to education etc., later they revolted, thousands of women labors went on struggle, they did not even have a ‘toilet’ in work place. Women like Alexandra kollantai, Clara Zetkin were key people among the leaders who lead the revolt of working women and we celebrate their victory as working women’s day. Today Women’s day has become a shopping festival and it is reiterated that ‘you are girly, you are feminine, you are women – so shop, shop, shop’. Our girls here should understand that women’s liberation is just about wearing what we like and doing what we want to…. It is about question what is this thing called ‘girly, feminity’ etc., who is defining them, who is benefitting out of it?
Later when women also won their rights and attained some economic growth, Men were influenced to think that women are their enemies, grabbing their opportunities etc., they think that they have sacrificed / broad mindedly let women work. This is ridiculous. Every person born on this earth has right to live and right to earn his / her own livelihood.
What we need is equal opportunities for all and that too without hierarchy.
What we do not need is gender bias, class bias, caste bias, religious bias, creed bias.
“Say No to Unequal distribution of wealth and natural resources”.


  1. While speaking on the topic ‘Reclaiming Language, Space and Body: Women Writing in Odia’ during the Second Literary Festival arranged by Samanvay at IHC, Delhi on November 4, 2012, I stumbled upon some strange reactions from some of my colleagues.Reacting to my speech, one Kannad poetess Mamta G.Sagar commented, from the audience, she was opposing any feminist voice in literature and stated a writer should not be a feminist but rather a humanist.I clarified my position on how anyone could expect a discussion on the topic of ‘body’ wouldn’t reach the arena of feminism? And I also clarified my view that I think it’s a vague statement to say a writer should not be a feminist but a humanist. It sounds as if feminists are not humanists and the authors who believe in patriarchal milieu are the real humanists.
    I want to share my ideas with you and with your readers from

  2. Thanks for your comments and link to the post. I have read your book Sensible Sensuality and feel happy that a sahithya Academy winner is taking interest in disseminating knowledge on women emancipation through such blogs..

    will share it in my FB page.