Thursday, August 4, 2011


India - - In an article written for the Hindustan Times, the author - Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi - explains that in the Seventies, feminists urged women to go out of their homes and work. Domesticity limited their potential, women were told, and they could do much more with their lives than remain restricted to their nurturing and homemaking roles. “What men can do, women can do too, and maybe better” was their anthem.  Now, the idea of women going out to work is commonplace.  Economic independence has been the buzzword for women for years now. However, a growing number of women today are actually choosing not to go out into the workplace. Maybe they’ve tried working and opted out because they couldn’t manage home and office. Maybe they’ve stopped working to bring up their children. Or maybe they want to stay at home.  Today, women can choose - to step out or to stay in.
Dr. Syed Mubin Zehra, social analyst, says “It is a very conscious and individual decision, without any sort of pressure. And thus holds a lot of value and is far more fulfilling.”  The choice to stay at home, however, is governed by a host of factors.
Unnati Kant, an HR professional, decided to quit and stay at home because she felt that her responsibilities towards her home were higher on her priority list. “Work was important but there were other things as well. We wanted to start a family. Bringing up a child, I knew, was a full time job, so I gave up the other one. Also, the decision was purely mine. No one told me to quit. But I didn’t want to compromise on the quality time that I could devote to my child if I stayed at home. 
Besides, the choice to go back to work is always open, right? My qualifications exist and so does the support from family.”

Analysts of this issue say that unlike men, who grow up with the notion that they have to provide for the family, the idea of going out to work was not ‘intrinsic’ to women in general. It was a certain section of feminists who propagated the idea and it became a movement.  Most marriages are based on this unwritten understanding that the man holds the responsibility to generate income to run the house. The woman may choose to earn but if she doesn’t, it is the man’s duty to cater to her needs.  The Vedic scriptures, source and pattern of spirituality, have taught how the members of the Hindu family can live happily.  

Hindu families all over the world are struggling - some failing, most succeeding. Our experience is that those most rooted in their Hinduness cope better and are the better survivors. Hindu households, sheltering one-sixth of the human race, are being threatened. ... Hinduism teaches a constellation of principles which, if followed by husband and wife, make the bold assertion that preserving the marriage and the integrity of the family.  Hinduism teaches them the ideals of dharma, which includes duty, selflessness, virtue and faith. When dharma is the shared ideal of every family member - as opposed to self-fulfillment or social-economic objectives - it is easier to navigate troubled waters, easier to persist in seasons of loss or lack, in times of emotional or mental difficulty.  An important ideal that help a family survive in Hinduism is that father and mother are the children’s first guru, first teacher of things of the spirit.

“What Is Hinduism?” :
Chapter 10: “Family Life and Monastic Life”
“The Spiritual Ideals of Hinduism’s” - “The Hindu View of Family”
Hinduism Today Magazine - Himalaya Academy, India - USA - 2007

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