Being a Modern Indian Women: Battling Stereotypes

She is multitasking and may not know how to cook, she doesn’t have the patience to deal with nagging in-laws, doesn’t want children within a year of marriage and her focus is on building a successful career. Meet the modern women who’s fighting the ‘matrimonial ad’ battle with her parents every day and shattering the stereotype of what is expected of a conventional Indian wife.

Forget about the days when Indian girls used to stay in the house, do households and wait for parents to decide the right time to marry and find the right man for her with whom she would spend the rest of her life. Things have changed now.

Charu Sharma who is an Indian based entrepreneur, explorer and author says “I was born in Jaipur, raised in Mumbai and college educated in the U.S. I am 22 years old, and in the last few years, I have travelled in 44 countries across all seven continents, founded startups, written books, given TEDx talks, received national awards, featured on magazine covers and been named a Power Woman alongside Oprah Winfrey and Sonia Gandhi. I feel invincible climbing tall mountains on a whim, swimming in subzero temperatures in Antarctica, dancing with strangers on the streets of Argentina and winning chugging contests in Australia.”

Modern Indian girl wants to break all the norms, come out of the bonds, travel the world, decide her own career and make her own decisions.

Growing up in India being a girl is not easy at all. Life is full of challenges. She has to fight not just with outsiders but also with her own family in many cases and for many reasons. Fighting with stereotypes and old traditions on a day to day basis itself is a big challenge and Eve teasing, harassment on roads and exploitation, all adds up to the myriad of challenges.

Drashin, CNN iReport producer says  “As an Indian woman, I have learned that there are things in life worth fighting for. I have faced harassment in all sorts of ways; I’ve been groped, been exposed to in public, stalked and attacked twice when walking on the street. But despite all these experiences, I refuse to give in. I feel my life is worth fighting for. There are two sides of India I witness everyday: One, the deeply chauvinist, unsafe India that is portrayed in the news. Two, the beautiful India that I relate to when I think of growing up, my family and friends here and the lovely memories I have of living here.”

Despite this hats off to the modern Indian girl who do not just face the vicious circles of old traditions with courage but also emerge successfully. She is showing the world what she can do. Today, she is working in multinational corporations, travelling around the world alone, working at the top positions whether it is in Science, Engineering, politics, army or any other field. She is very well capable of doing everything that a man can do and even better in many cases.

“What makes us, millions of Indian girls, so special, is that we’ve come a long way. And we’re still surprising ourselves; finding new strengths, overcoming our weaknesses and trudging forward no matter what. In reality, we are just so many young women struggling to break free of these labels, fight and change things for the better.”  Drashin said.

The truth is there isn’t a day that you don’t wake up without those fears in your heart. Yet, there isn’t a day you don’t wake up and embrace how beautiful it is to feel alive.

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