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In ancient India women occupied a very important position with in fact a superior position to man Literary evidence suggests that kings and towns were destroyed because a single woman was wronged by the state For example Elango Adigals Sillapathigaram teaches us Madurai the capital of the Pandyas was burnt because Pandyan Nedunchezhiyan mistakenly killed her husband on theft charges Valmikis Ramayana teaches us that Ravana and his entire clan was wiped out because he abducted Sita Veda Vyasas Mahabharatha teaches us that all the Kauravas were killed because they humiliated Draupadi in public To instill such high ideals in humankind Indian ancestors created a plethora of godesses who enjoyed equal status with their husbands The concept of Ardhanareeshwarar where God is depicted as half-man and half-woman is a concrete example to support this argument In many philosophical texts God is referred to a Tat meaning It and that God is beyond gender And one would find a comparable Godess for each God Further we know for a fact that ancient India was permissive women could have multiple husbands widows could remarry divorce was permitted for incompatability or when estranged Contemporary India In contemporary India women occupy a paradoxical status On the one hand there are godesses featuring in the Hindu pantheon and revered by men On the other some wives are burnt because they did not bring enough dowry the horrible institutionalized and illegal practice of expecting the womans parent to provide a large purse to the groom women are victimized by powerful local political figures and their family some women are abducted by rich youths with impunity and there are credible stories of female infanticide in rural India Surely these cases are not the norm Nevertheless it is horrifying to see that they happen Some may argue that these incidences no way compare to the domestic violence rate in the US compared to the status of women in Japan Indian women
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