Kudiye by Gurdas Maan, Advocate For Women’s Rights.
Second article in our series on Gurdas Maan, The Living Legend & Social Reformer we have selected Kudiye a song by Gurdas Maan as an Advocate For Women’s Rights.
It is the sign of a genius to convey a very difficult message in a few simple words. As we have heard in the previous article Gurdas Maan is a prolific writer, a cultural icon, a feather in the cap of the Punjabi nation. Not only does he stand up against the hypocrisy of politics and religion, but he stands up firmly against the oppression of women. Gurdas, with so much love and respect, begins to show women in their true light. He handles this very emotive subject with delicate and beautiful imagery and shows that women are worthy of the highest respect, it reminds me of the words of the English playwright William Golding.
“I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men. They are far superior and always have been. Whatever you give woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she will give you a baby. If you give her a house, she will make you a home. If you give her groceries, she will give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she will give you her heart. She multiples and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!”
Steven Biko, wrote –
To educate a man is to educate and individual, to educate a woman is to educate a nation.
Unfortunately, in the Punjabi and South Asian cultures in general, women are not given the esteem position that they deserve. In fact, they are often treated as second-class citizens, and sometimes even worse. There is a deep hypocrisy in the psyche. Goddesses are worshiped, baby girls are killed. The United Nations reported that India is the deadliest place in the world for female children. Over 700,000 female children being killed each year. This is genocide at epic proportions. 8 million in the past decade have been estimated. The region of Punjab and Haryana being the two states with the worst ratios of male to females. That is the death of more Punjabi souls than Jallianwala Bagh, the partition 1947 and 1984. But were is the public outrage, where are the mass protests, the letters to government as there is with other lesser grievances. This silence is deafening.
Daughters/sisters are treated with highest respect and protected, daughter in laws are subordinate to the rest of the family. Domestic violence is an everyday event. How some women are treated is akin to modern day slavery but the girl is ingrained to believe that this is all normal and how things are. The brutality of the rape culture has even been highlighted in western media over the past few years.
It is an embarrassment that a nation of heroes, saint – soldiers, fakirs allows this to happen on a daily basis. The crimes against women in our culture is an outrage and dispels all myths we may have about being civilised and wise. As a group of people, we really need to address these issues and fast.
For a nation that supposedly worships and respect women, how is this allowed to continue?
The nurturing creative energy of the female spirit is essential for life, yet this power is being abused and the vast majority remain silent. It is this inequality that Gurdas addresses in this song. Gurdas suggests that a deeper purer love is due.
Guru Amar Das Ji offers the ideal how the relationship between man and woman should be.
“They are not said to be husband and wife who merely sit together.
Rather they alone are husband and wife who have one soul in two bodies.”
In the song “Kudiye” deep emotions are stirred. Gurdas demonstrates a profound love and respect for women. He speaks about how women have been wronged not just at home, but in literature, in mythology. How do we address these wrongs? Unless this type of negative thinking changes, the cycle will keep repeating itself. Often it is the abused that then grows up to become the abuser.
Gurdas Maan has approached this subject with deep compassion and sensitivity. He appeals to our hearts. He softly, gently, with so much compassion talks through the challenges a woman has to face in her life. He says he would offer willing his share of his life for this innocent feminine spirit.
Unfortunately, despite many years of struggle women have no real foundation or freedom in our culture. Despite the importance we place on the women in our lives, they are still seen as guests in their parent’s house, that will one day leave to their real home. Yet, in their real home, their in laws, they are seen as foreigners and often treated with much contempt. The feminine spirit endures so much and keeps giving and Gurdas, rightfully so, doesn’t know how to give the due respect to these women.
In the great mythological epics of India, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the injustice against women is rife and often justified by some weird pseudo scientific logic. Sita, who was known to be pure, was banished and exiled from her kingdom by Ram on the words of a “dobi” (washer man). Sita despite staying true to Ram during her imprisonment by Ravan, was treated like a sinner and was made to pay the price of a layman’s doubts. Draupati, was gambled away by her own people. This began the epic battle, the Mahabharata, between good and evil, which eventually good won, but it was Draupati who gave the greatest sacrifice. She lost her self-respect, her honour, and her dignity by the very men who were meant to be protecting her. Again, Gurdas offers his kismet to these women who have been wronged and humiliated by the false laws of an unjust society.
Even in the great love stories of Punjab, it is the women who have been dealt a losing hand. In the classic tale Mirza Sahiban, Sahiban was caught up in the middle of the ultimate dilema. Her lover on one side, her seven brothers on the other. In the end tragedy strikes and Mirza is killed by Sahiban’s brothers. As history is recorded by men, the blame for this tragedy is laid fully onto the shoulders of Sahiban despite the fact she was helpless in a male oriented society. How do we correct this wrong that has been committed by thousands of poets since?
Sadly, this is a sad reflection of our society. How will we ever live up to the potential we have been given on a global platform, if the invisible shackles that hang around the necks of our women remain? It is absolutely crystal clear that it is time to honour the life and spirit in woman and unleash the most loving creative force known to man, the woman!
Album : Heer
Idea & Concept by Punjab2000.com
Article by Ranjeev Singh Sidhu
Author and Spiritual Scientist
Artwork by @ArtfulSkecha & Kully Rehal @RehalKully
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