The position of women in Indian society is very different than our society. The status and roles are sometimes an insult to the human race. Not to mention, most city women cannot even talk to the women of villages. Also, the woman, as a wife, has a lot of expectations and responsibilities in the household as well. The status of women in Indian culture is very small. Some men actually thought it was a punishment from the first life, if you where a woman in this life.
The way you were treated often depended on your class. If you were a foreigner, you were not even an untouchable. In the story, “The Witch”, by Tarachanliar Bardyopadnayay, an unknown woman finds herself in an Indian village. She had beautiful yellow irises, and the way she squinted her eyes, most people thought she was a witch. They try to accuse her of the mishaps they have, like when a baby died, she was blamed for sucking out his life’s blood, she later went in to the woods and puked until she saw blood in it.
After this experience, she is convinced that she is a witch, and she begins t hate her eyes, in which she used to love. In the end of the story, she gets caught in a sandstorm, and is blown to a brush of thorn trees, where she was picked and eaten by vultures. Also, some untouchables were treated like this. Most women in India become Buddhist Nuns to escape the tortures of a “normal” life. The perfect story to display the differences between city and village women is “The Weed” by Paitam. “For city women, [reading and writing] is no sin.
It is for village women. ” (Paitam 23) In this story it is easy to see that if you lived in a village, then the only ones who could read and write were the men and priests. Also in this story, men took advantage of the fact that women couldn’t read they would often give them a cookie that had a “weed” inside that made the woman crazy for him. The education that women received in the city was very small, but they have improved it a little bit in that women can do a little more in the city.
A woman’s responsibility and expectations were also very harsh. Once they were married, they had to prove themselves to their mother-in-law; often it resulted in an early death. She had to clean and cook and care for her husband’s family. If your husband died before you, you were lucky if you got out of the village with your life, because the villagers would think you killed him, and therefore you would not be like by your in-laws. Or anyone else.
Most women committed suicide after their husband’s death, usually in honor of him. The widow would usually jump into the fire in hope that her in-laws would have respect for her. This was banned in the late 30’s, but in rare cases, women continue this act. Indian culture is something to work at. Hopefully in time the status, responsibilities, education, and other things that make women inferior, will change, and for the better. May be women won’t be stoned to death just because their veil accidentally fell off.