Speaking at a book release event sponsored by the Rashtra Sevika Samiti, a women’s wing of the Sangh Parivar, in Nagpur, Bhagwat ji said women are regarded as ‘jagat janani’ (mother of the universe), but at home they are treated as “slaves”. Empowerment of women should begin at home and they should be given their rightful place in the society, he said.
Bhagwat ji began his speech by pointing out that the systemic changes are happening slowly but what’s more needed is a rapid societal change in the way women are perceived and treated. “Changes are taking place over time. But there is a need to increase the pace. There has been a frequent dispute over 30 per cent reservation for women in local self-government bodies, but gradually everything is happening in the favour of women,” he added.
In announcing the release of the book ‘Akhil Bharatiya Mahila Charitra Kosh First Volume – Ancient India,’ he remarked “men don’t need to attempt to uplift women because they are more capable than men, and that’s why they don’t need any guidance. It is beyond the reach of men to guide them. So, let them choose their path”.
“We kept them confined for so long. Now let them be enlightened and empowered,” Bhagwat ji urged men to change their parochial mentality towards women.
As a general statement he believed that the condition of Indian women was difficult “Everybody has a different situation and background as well as different problems and solutions for these problems,” he said.
“On one hand, we consider women equal to men, but on the other hand we treat them as slaves. Give her an equal place in society by giving up this mentality,” he remarked.
On the evergreen question of which sex is the stronger one he asserted that there is no debate in India regarding the superior of men or women. They each resembled a chariot’s two wheels.
He further said that those who criticise value systems, the institution of marriage, freedom of women and family are today researching the Indian family system. “What we have been saying for thousands of years (about virtues of the Indian family system), they are talking about now,” the RSS chief said, adding that it is the time to reflect on whether or not women are being given their due respect and power at home.
Speaking from wider and national perspective the sarsanghchalak insisted on equal participation on nation building, “If we want to build a vishwa guru Bharat then just men’s participation was not enough. Equal participation of women was also required and for this a systematic change should come in the 50 per cent population (consisting of women) in the country,”.