JATINDER AULAKH'S INTERVIEW WITH RUSHIKA GILL
Amritsar based scholar and writer Rushika Gill came forth with her latest research book ‘ Depiction Of Women Characters As Victims Of Oppression And Agents Of Action In Selected Short Story’
She spoke to Jatinder Aulakh about many critical issues related feminism .
Q1. Immeasurable freedom of one gender can imbalance societal norm?
Ans. Yes, I do believe. Freedom is everybody's right irrespective of the fact as to whether a person is male or female. Gender is a social construct i.e. gender is something that has been subjected to varied treatment by the society. No doubt, God has created some people men while others women, still everyone has the right to live as freely as he/she wants. In our society too much independence of masculine gender has rendered feminine gender dependent. It is expected of females to remain confined to the roles of subordinates and if any woman attempts to take the center position, she is despised by the patriarchal set up. Society is an institution which is constructed by people of both the genders and not of one gender, therefore, it is necessary that equal respect and rights should be given to both men and women. Both should follow the principle of ' Live and Let Live'.
Q2. Female is victim of mental, physical and financial violence, but how rural and urban women differently reflect their social needs and condition in society?
Ans. Rural and urban women suffer physical, mental and financial violence; though the degree varies depending upon their living conditions and the circumstances or situations they live in. Women are a victim of domestic violence, in rural as well as in urban areas. In rural areas, women are robbed of their rights to education, hygienic living and work. Rural women are forced to get married at an early age and lead a long productive period till menopause. In urban areas, no doubt the situation of women is quite better, still we cannot say they are better off. If an urban woman enjoys the right to education, sanitation and work that doesn’t mean that she is enjoying a life of complete freedom. At workplaces, females fall a victim to sexual molestation because the male dominated society doesn’t look upon females as professionals but as bodies with which they can entertain themselves. Urban women are also expected to choose a profession that suits the interests of their fathers, husbands and sons. Thus the condition of urban and rural women is more or less the same because they are adjudged and evaluated by the narrow minded thinking of patriarchy.
Q3.Female thinks differently in Western and Indian society. How can we apart feminist tone in Indian and Western Literature?
Ans. The concept of ‘Sisterhood’ has been brought before us by the Western Feminists and according to this concept; all women are sisters i.e. all women are related to one another. Women of the East and West Worlds may differ in their thinking, places, situations, customs and societal expectations but what unites them is their maltreatment at the hands of patriarchal society. In my book, I have depicted this notion through the characters of Gulbaano of Eastern society and Carla of Western society. Both female characters undergo mental and psychological torture and this is the key factor that unites them; although both belong to two different Worlds. Indian feminists have voiced their protest against the superstitions, narrow rituals, old traditions that have enslaved females. Although these topics may not be a subject of concern for Western Feminists, but still they are the ones who initiated the Feminist movement in 1960’s so as to provide a platform to females to Speak, Write and Demand. Whether it is East or West, it is the woman who suffers.
Q4. Where the roots of victimization are, is it created by man?
Ans. I feel that the roots of victimization of women are created by the patriarchal set up of society. It is the narrow minded thinking of men that has created barriers around females and these fences prohibit women to live the lives of their own choices. To some extent, I also feel that females themselves are too responsible for their pathetic existence. Instead of seeking other’s sympathy, women need to do something concrete so as to transform society’s perspective towards them; if not wholly then at least partially. Women need to make men realize that they are their fellow beings and not subordinates.
Q5. What should be the best role of female in society of Modern Age? She wants more liberty instead of sacrifice, so how both genders can apply mutual understanding in relationship?
Ans. Sacrifice or Compromise can never lead to a healthy existence. If sacrifice is a necessity then both genders need to make adjustments in the interests of one another. A healthy society can emerge only if both genders live in mutual understanding and if both men and women respect each other’s rights and freedom. Being a feminist doesn’t imply belittling the existence of men rather feminists concentrate upon giving equal rights to both the genders. The need of the hour is to attack the male chauvinistic thinking and not males. If this narrow thinking is nipped, the situation and condition of women will improve and the World will become a heaven where Adam (men) and Eve (women) will lead a beautiful existence with no Satan (male chauvinistic approach) to misguide them.