Social evils are prevalent in almost all the backward countries. Surprising enough that India, a country proud of her ancient culture is no exception to it. Conservatism and fundamentalism apart there are certain customs that smear the face of this ancient land that is trying to build a modern image in the world. Go to any part of the country you will find something going on you'll be ashamed of. Even some good customs have taken a woeful course.
There Was a time girls having taste in dance and music offered themselves to the cult of devadasis in prestigeoiis temples throughout the country. They were virgins and dedicated their lives to the deity in the temple. They were respected by the whole society.
Muslim invasions are responsible for the demolition of a large number of temples in the North and North West. With them the very institution of devadasis disappeared.But it still persists in a few districts of Maharashtra and Kamataka. Ire rate between the age of 7 and 14 are offered to be bride of goddess Yellamma a Saundathi temple in Belgaum district.
According to a rough estimate abort 5000 are still offered on full moon day during the month of Magh every year. Gradually a vicious belief has come up that the devadasis are maids to please Parashuram who lives in all men. A devadasi dare not displease Parashuram. What an obnoxious design to exploit the girls sexually. Most of these poor girls join the red light area (prostitute market in Mumbai and its suburbs.
Bonded labor is another social stigma on our face. The poor in rural areas (both men and women) are lured by contractors' men to have a job. They are given a few hundred rupees and sign a document making them bonded labor. They are taken to distant places to work in construction: rework or kilns. The women and small boys and girls are sexually assaulted too.
Many of the boys are sold again and again. They hardly know where they belong to. Although Bandhua Mazdoor Mukti SanghofSwami Agnivesi got a very large number of these slave laborers free many are still there the net.
The prey of the custom of devadasis and bonded laborers are general illiterate scheduled caste or scheduled tribe people from rural areas. But those girls who suffer because of the evil custom of dowry belong to all sections of the society both in rural and urban areas in almost all the state; the evil that started from the North has engulfed the whole of South too.
Today the more educated a boy is the bigger the demand of dowry too. Thousands of girls who are harassed for not bringing sufficient dowry either commit suicide or are burnt alive by the in-laws or the husbands themselves.
Caste system might have served the purpose of maintaining certain - discipline in the society when it was based on profession and not on birth. Today its proliferation into more than 5000 castes from four and that toe based on birth has become the gravest evil. It is responsible for the stratification in the society the upper castes are harassing the lower castes. It took the lower castes more than a millennium to assert themselves.
Today they are up in arms against the so called upper castes—3000 against 2000. What a game? Caste consciousness has gained over national consciousness. It seems the social evil that was taken for granted in the past may bring a storm that will rip open the very basis of unity.
Reservations for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes may not be able to check the reaction in the minds of the lower castes against the upper ones who still consider the former as pariah. The disparity can be removed only by giving all equal status. The so called upper castes are not giving it even today—of course at the cost of their own safety in the times to come.
Woman is wary of the design of the ojha if you go to a tribal village. He may declare you a witch and the villagers may kill you in their own cruel design. A large number of tribal women suffer from this agony every year. Don't educate the tribal's and the scheduled castes and this is what you get.
Male Chauvinism and child marriages are the two social diseases that are 110 less harmful than AIDS itself. AIDS attacks a person who has .committed a folly or has been wrongly injected. Children are married at an they are not conscious of what is going on with them.
Thousands of children become a prey to this evil on the day of Akshaya Tritiya in many areas of Rajasthan. Many children become widow before becoming girls. Their whole life becomes a hell. Male Chauvinism too is no less a social evil. Males have been dominating females throughout the world. It does not mean it is not an evil. In India—specially in the rural areas—women are worse even than the domestic animals. It is a social evil for it doesn't allow the development of an egalitarian society that is the basis of a democracy.
Moreover if a woman is ' Ardhangani' (half part) it is rather queer half part exploiting the other half. How can the health of the nation be maintained that way?