Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bal Gangadhar Tilak Views on Women Empowerment and Girl Education

Bal Gangadhar Tilak played an important role in imparting more vigor and energy in the freedom struggle through his innovative methods such as usage of Hindu festivals to mobilize masses, articles published in Kesari and Maharatta etc. However, he was also involved in a debate with the moderates on the question of child marriage, female education and widow remarriage and her status. The following are his views on these matters.
On Child Marriage -­ Bal Gangadhar Tilak's patriarchal mind refused to accept the reformers argument that early motherhood ruined the health of both the mother and the child and the existence of large number of child widows was a direct result of child marriage. Bal Gangadhar Tilak argued that raising the marriageable age of girls was hardly an issue concerning women, it was more to do with young boys who had to discontinue education to take up the responsibility at an early age. This had made men physically weak which resulted in the lack of the spirit of enterprise. This denied the society its possible strong leadership and the national regeneration was possible if the young men were to devote time and energy towards the nation building. He opposed the Age of Consent Bill which sought to increase the marriageable age of girls from 10 to 12 years.It was partly out of the feeling that such reform measures should not be externally imposed on India by foreigners but be a result of our own ideological churning
Bal Gangadhar Tilak Views on Women Empowerment and Education
Bal Gangadhar Tilak Views on Women Empowerment and Girl Education

On Female Education – He was opposed to the idea of English education to girls for he felt that it made them lose touch with Indian ethos and values. Bal Gangadhar Tilak and other anti-­reformers argued that teaching Hindu women to read would ruin their precious traditional virtues and would make them immoral and insubordinate. Bal Gangadhar Tilak considered that women should not be taxed with subjects which are beyond their powers to understand, 65 as women well versed in English would have nothing substantial to offer the society, because English did not offer any tangible knowledge. However, Bal Gangadhar Tilak's argument against the English education for boys was all together different. English education was unsuitable to India because it failed to provide moral and religious instruction along with western
science.

On the Status of Widows – Bal Gangadhar Tilak opposed the efforts of social reformers who called for widow remarriage. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was of the view that enforced widowhood is in a way, nature's, own way of balancing the disparity in numbers of women and men. Every widow married takes away a husband from a maid, hence the more number of widows we re­marry we render it more difficult for maids to find husbands

Thus Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s views on the questions of women empowerment and emancipation were more in tune with the orthodox section.

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