The Indian Woman’s failure to assert herself

Have you ever noticed that even though the Indian woman has achieved almost everything that is possible for her to achieve and is standing shoulder to shoulder with men in all the spheres of life yet the highest paid individual in all professions is a man. It’s just not enough to have a woman President and a woman Prime Minister or a woman Chief Minister. Women need to rise up to the highest position as professionals where they are competing with men.

Is this because the Indian Woman is not able to effectively ascertain herself. Take the Hindi film’s actresses for one, they sure do earn a lot more than most men in India do but why has it never happened that the highest paid actor (irrespective of gender) happened to be a woman say Aishwarya Rai or Kareena Kapoor or Hema Malini? It’s a similar story in all the walks of life. We have women entrepreneurs but not the richest entrepreneurs, we have women writers but even they are paid lesser than their male counterparts in the same profession. Even the extremely popular and successful Barkha Dutt of NDTV is still left with a couple of notches to climb to the top spot in journalism in India. There has never been a girl winner of the Indian
Idol unlike the American Idol.

Is this coming out of the male dominated nature of the Indian society or it is simply because the women are not able to become the best in their business. I doubt the latter can be a good explanation and even the former cannot be solely the reason as what stops the Indian woman from going on to become number one when she can easily manage to become a number two. The real answer lies somewhere in the middle where both these factors play their part along
with a third one which is very different. It is almost inexplicable as to why most successful women have to be either revolutionary or defiant of existing societal norms.

When to be a successful politician a Mayawati or a Jayalalitha (perhaps not the best examples of good politicians) have to deviate from the norm and stay unmarried it makes me wonder whether it’s the fight to deviate from the usual that takes up the energy of women, likewise when Indra Nooyi the Pepsi CEO sports western business formals with her boy cut hairstyle it gives me an inkling of a feeling that it is the rebel in her, against the more widely accepted norms of dressing in Indian women that makes her don such an outfit.(Not that I have anything against western business formals or any kind of hairstyle). It is this rebellion that women have to put forth is I believe what wastes their energy which never gets wasted for men like this and hence women invariably end up with the silver medal.

Hopefully the time will soon come when the richest Indian business empire will be headed by a woman or may be the highest paid actor will be a Katrina or a Deepika or perhaps Sania Mirza or Saina Nehawal with the highest paid sports persons as brand ambassadors.

Siddharth Deshmukh