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Posts Tagged ‘responsibility’

With great power comes great responsibility

Posted by Sowmya on March 7, 2013

Ok, so I have lived through a day of people extolling Rahul Gandhi’s so-called virtues since he wants to be like Mahatma Gandhi and detached from power. In fact he goes a step closer to Bheeshma and plans to never marry so that he is not tempted to get his children to power as well. And there are people who actually appreciate this detachment and reluctance to assume the highest office. I beg to differ.

The primary issue is that neither Rahul Gandhi nor most others realize what Spidey told us all – “With great power comes great responsibility.” Till we continue to see the role of PM or any public office as ‘assuming power’, the problem persists. India needs to realize that taking on any public office is a responsibility and a huge one at that. When a person is elected to a public office, he / she is expected to fulfill the duties of that role and maintain the public’s faith in the democratic set-up. We, the people of the country, trust you to achieve certain goals, improve economic and social scenarios and basically just do your job. When we talk of being a PM or becoming a minister, it is always about ‘ruling’ and ‘coming to power’. It is never seen as fulfilling duties, doing the job and being accountable for it.

If I look at Rahul Gandhi in this context, he seems to be a guy not willing to take up responsibility and in fact runs away from anything closely resembling work. Being an elected leader of a country calls for millions of hours of work – of understanding the prevalent problems and making efforts to resolve them. It is a lot more than eating at Dalits’ homes and hopping into a Mumbai local. Running away from duties is no virtue. If people trust you and vote for you, the virtue is in doing the job and doing it right!

We need to change the terms –

From ‘ coming to power’ to ‘taking up responsbility’

From ‘ruling the people’ to ‘representing the people’

From ‘detachment to power’ to ‘abdicating responsibility’




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Women’s lib -Misunderstood, misused???

Posted by Sowmya on January 11, 2011

Probably one of the most mis-used words today is ‘Women’s liberation.’

Let me clarify at the beginning that I am all for equality of the sexes and independence for women. I may in the minority of women who can say that they are financially independent and are looked upon as equal to brothers or husbands and have not been drastically discriminated against by people significant in my life.


I want to take a moment to actually understand how women’s liberation is being viewed at presently. It started out well with equal pay for equal work and financial independence for women and more importantly freedom to make individual choices. Great! But what we should consider is that with freedom comes responsibility. Do we intend taking on the responsibility of making our choices or run for cover at the first sight of trouble. I am seeing women using women’s liberation as a manipulative tool -it is used when a woman wants to make a choice but when it comes to taking responsibility women remind the world that they are the weaker sex. It is presently used by many to harass men or families. Stubbornness, impulsiveness, rashness, ego are all blatantly used in the cloak of women’s liberation.

Women want men to take equal responsibility in the kitchen and household work but how many women are willing to marry a guy and let him be a house husband. We do blame society perceptions but are we, as women, willing to be the bread winner for the family? We want an income, financial independence and the liberty to spend money the way we want but we recoil at the responsibility of being the ‘bread winner.’ We say we are equal but liberally use the freebies of being a woman like a ladies queue or expect men to open doors and give up seats in the bus for us. These may be minor issues but it projects our attitude -we want the good stuff and not the boring ones. Let’s face it – we marry guys who earn more than us and the pressure of running the family is on the men. The woman’s income is supplementary and we always protect our right to quit the job whenever we want. When there is a wedding to be finalized, millions of questions are asked about the man’s earning and his earning potential but if the man does the same and insists on the woman working, it is seen as being mercenary. ‘How can he say that I have to work’ is the common refrain. I agree that women do contribute to the household expense and take joint loans with husbands to build the dream house. But the pressure to financially provide is not on the woman.

Another thought is about bringing up kids. I am not sure but sometimes I am inclined to agree with the age old system of fathers being bread winners and mothers bringing up kids. Don’t hurl those stones as yet. We embrace core competencies in the corporate world but not in the family. We believe that companies should concentrate on what they do best and outsource the rest. A significant percentage of our GDP depends on this theory. Is that not what was actually practiced in families centuries ago. Men were better than manual labour and women better at people skills. From what little I see of the world, I find that the immense responsibility of raising a child is misunderstood. If a woman does not earn money and stays at home to bring up her children she feels and is looked upon as inferior as compared to her peers who work and leave kids at day cares. I am not being judgmental here. But just as we women owe ourselves to fulfill our potential we also owe our children a good upbringing. Their initial formative years are most crucial and I am unable to fathom the pride in women who set records on returning to work after child birth.  I do not want to make any hasty statements on this since I do not have kids as yet and I am unsure if I will be capable of that compromise of quitting my job to take care of my kids in future. But I do know this -my mother is a homemaker. She has as such dedicated her life to my brother and my upbringing and it has definitely benefited me in a significant way. I know every child deserves that. All the air conditioners, cartoons, toys and music cannot compare to a smiling mother waiting at home for her child to return.

My question is only this  -Is it unacceptable for someone to want to take care of their child full time? Why is then housewife such an almost derogatory term? Is it not our responsibility to take care of the person we bring into this world? If we are not willing to do this, then do we have a right to have children at all? Are we then viewing children as either a ‘done’ on a ‘to do’ list or an achievement when we say to someone -“I have two kids and I still work and earn so much….”

Financial independence is not a bad thing but can we not work our way around it to fulfill our fundamental responsibilities to our own kids. I do not believe that a woman who is a man-hater, who vigorously competes with men on everything, who does things which are usually a ‘man thing’, who refuses to acknowledge that her own child is a priority is really liberated. Liberated women would be someone who accepts responsibilities for her actions, who prides herself on her womanhood, who looks to accomplish to the fullest of her potential (not just because it is a ‘man thing’) and who understands that when she demands equal rights she should be prepared for equal responsibilities.

Ok, go ahead and hurl those stones now 🙂

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