Mothers and Her Gender: A Pledge to Renew

Writes Animesh Rai

European Sociologist Robert Briffault in his three volume book “The Mothers” claims that in the early phase of human civilisation the institution of family was constituted by only a woman and her children. Human race was characterised by social promiscuity and marriage as an institution did not exist. The matured males were mostly engaged outside for hunting and collecting food. Many times, they had to spend weeks and months far away from their community. It was only when women consented their trust on men for security and socio-economic reasons that man was included into the household. It gave birth to a new institution called the family which was characterised by unity, love and harmony. Mothers have been credited for institutionalising this vital human social institution – the Family.

In modern times the notion of Mother has been used to symbolise other things as well.  Like we talk of the Mother Earth, Bharat Mata – Mother India, worship ‘Cow’ as a Mother, of late the conception has also penetrated and spread into the political structure of West Bengal. The political spells like  “liberating the captive Ama” – Mother in case of Gorkhaland movement in Darjeeling hills and Trinamool’s ear splitting “Ma-Mati-Manush” for Paribortan – The “Mother-Earth-People” for Change, whatever the expressions are meant to represent it does contain the gracious term Mother. Unfortunately, the contemporary political conceptualisation of ‘Mother’ at times tends to shake the political fabric of our nation-state.

Mothers and Her Gender: A Pledge to Renew
Mother representational image

The terminology Mother is constantly being used in the modern society to mean many good things and condone bad equally. The linking of political vices and defaming the pure character of the birth giver has brought a pitiful shame and pain to her, whom Briffault had allusively referred to as the developers and designers of a family. Patriarchs and chauvinist males have already started to attack on the gender of the Mother – the Women, to whom the majority of mankind worships, admires and adores in our nation. The growth of hatred, exploitation, cases of female child molestations to abuses of various kinds on women is increasing in the nation and within the local circles as well. The painful Delhi rape case of December 2013 to the recent ruthless rape of a Gorkha girl in Assam, the saffron Member of the Parliament asking a young girl to unfasten her jeans zip in Uttar Pradesh along with heightening problems of women trafficking are all affirmative of the growing brutalities against women in our country and region.

If the number of such patriarchs and chauvinists are on rise, let us also not forget and underestimate the number and strength of that the worshippers and lovers of Mothers too. The civil society at large has the capacity and power to unify the intensity of guarding our Mothers and protecting our co-gender groups from those limited lousy crooks. These negative forces would be easily dismayed, defeated and disappear in the love spell of a Mother – for her pure and unconditional love is enormous to empower and equip us in defending her and her gender.

Coming to the empirical ground, the sex ratio of Darjeeling district is one of the best in the state and nation. According to the Census of 2011, it is 97 per cent that is 970 females per one thousand males. We may not be at par with the state of Kerala in terms of education, income and other indexes but we are bit higher than them in terms of sex ratio. It is a representation of an equal society and of course, a positive sign indicative of prosperity and harmony. Let us continue to embrace our Mothers and our female counterparts and help them live their life in equality and dignity. Let us continue to rejoice and accept our baby girls for she is natured to nurture– a new family in future and to bless it with the values of human morality. On this Mother’s Day, let us take a pledge to respect and support our Mothers and womanhood at large and thank them for showing the way forward for the society. – Thank You and A Very Happy Mother’s Day!

Animesh Rai ia a Research Student Sikkim University

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