A Review by Gajindar Singh
Author: Principal Prabhjot Kaur
Publisher: Sukrit Trust, 3454, Phase 2, Dugri, Ludhiana- 141 013
Price: Rs 40/- (Paperback); 80/-(Hardbound)
Principal Prabhjot Kaur has life long experience of gurmat philosophy and has virtually lived it. She is in her elements in explaining the complex position of womanhood and the various problems it has been encountering in India and elsewhere, ever since human society evolved in history. Women are the most exploited and ill-treated half of mankind. They have been suppressed by the male-dominated society in every field and kept chained to an inferior stature, to satisfy the male ego. The writer is conscious of the difficulties of women, abused and ignored for so long and desiring to get liberated by challenging male exclusiveness in tasks outside the framework of domesticity.
Principal Prabhjot Kaur acknowledges that a woman has a dual responsibility of rearing children and managing the household while actively participating in the professional and business world where she has not only equalled up to the male output but proved in many cases to be better in managing her functions and duties. Hence, the need for her to imbibe the Batieh Sulakshans; an onerous task. Ancient texts describe thirty two qualities and skills of a perfect woman, explained by the author in detail. Such a woman is successful in the world and universally accepted in the material and spiritual spheres.
The writer has pointed out the reaction of the suppressed female by her desperate aggressive postures to get liberation from the close control of the male chauvinist. Here she counsels moderation and patience to women so that their ‘lib’ efforts do not incite men to justify their stranglehold on the restrictions imposed by the society. Most of the essays were drafted for seminars and have the quality of easy flow to be entertaining to the reader. There are appropriate quotations of gurbani that sustain and enhance the argument. At the end of the book, quotations on the subject in Sri Guru Grant Sahib have been provided along with the translation in English for easy access to the reader and the scholar.
The case puts the entire onus on building up good qualities to succeed on the woman. It is anticipated that her eminent behaviour of the thirty two qualities, Batieh sulakhshans, will definitely grant her success against male domination. Majority of the cases of female abuse are connected to the unreasonable treatment by spoilt and ignorant men to show women down, despite the latter’s best efforts to serve the family. Gurbani is referring to the response of the Akal Purakh to human endeavour where total humanity, men and women, are equally held as entreating ‘female’ and the All Virtuous God is the only ‘male’. Then it becomes an easy task to evolve virtues to match the excellence of godly qualities and merge into a happy union. It is an exercise in a perfect and ideal society. However, it is accepted in the very beginning of the book that human male has transgressed and been dominant from the very beginning and is not willing to let go his over-riding position so easily. We are concerned with an imperfect situation where straight solutions will not work. How far can a perfect woman face an imperfect male and succeed? That is the crux of the matter. It is, therefore, explainable why the modern woman, bereft of the security and traditions of a classical household, becomes aggressive for her rights in the new situation of a nuclear family situation. Her daring exhibitionism, unconventional attitude and revolt against traditions are only an indication of her resolve not to tolerate the unjust behaviour of the overriding male. For it, she cannot be blamed.
The author has clearly delineated the need for reforming the male attitude towards family and positive response to the awakened female expectations when the concept of Batieh Sulakhni will successfully and adequately operate. The concept of Batieh Sulakhni is equally applicable to men as much as women.
The book is well printed and produced by the publishers and very reasonably priced to enable more people to read and benefit from its message.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2011, All