Diary of a Feminist: The Future Bodes Well for Women

Stars scribble in our eyes the frosty sagas

The gleaming cantos of unvanquished space   —   Hull Crane

If you believe in stars (even if your belief is like a faint sensation), if you believe that the wanderers of the cosmos influence your destiny on Earth then it’s time to rejoice. The year 1985 Juts been termed by astrologers as opportune for women.

The New Year began on a happy note when I came to know of the findings of a Pakistani astrologer. He says women are going to make re­markable headway in 1985. The progress will be made in the realm of education; knowledge will expand. The chart he has calculated, indi­cates that on March 20, 1985, Mercury will enter the Heaven’s at 9:17 PM and thence of will be the ruling Planet.

Though I am not an astrol­ogy buff and wouldn’t know for certain which heavenly constellation the planets are in at a certain moment, pro­foundly influencing us earthlings, yet I find no harm in be­lieving in things good and beautiful. There are times in your life when you have an im­pelling need for hope, for faith. Just as Vincent van Gogh once said: “I have…. a terrible need…. shall I say the word?…. of religion. Then I go out and paint the stars”.

And I don’t know why of all planets, Mercury is a good omen for women! I only know of the eight planets. Mercury is the closest to Sun — the life-giver. And Mercury is a small planet shining with a pale bluish   light.   And   it   has  no moon. Oh yes. Its orbit is the most eccentric one: its devia­tion is greater than 20% while the norm is 7%! But eccentric or otherwise, three cheers for our fiery little, moonless Mercury!

So we can look forward to the New Year after all. De­spite the setbacks we have to face in this land of ours — a literacy rate of 13%, for wo­men; a spate of discriminat­ory legislation; a drastic cut in the budget for women’s de­velopment in the sixth 5-year plan. And yet we can still dream and hope for a better tomorrow. And every dream that doesn’t come true, gives us a new lease of struggle, a new ounce of strength.

The UN decade for women which comes to an end this year (1976-85) has proven to be a decade of awakening for women around the world. Wo­men are better aware of their rights, better knowledgeable of their potential, better as­sured of their personhood, and better able to cope with the conflict, to fight the pain that has resulted from centuries of subjugation.

A grim past wouldn’t ref­rain us from dreaming the im­possible dream of equal op­portunity in education. Be­cause education is the most ef­fective channel for achieving equality between men and women and ensuring full participation of women in development.

And come to think of it, who came to facilitate our strug­gle? Who came to celebrate our dreams? Not the religious who claim religion to be the saviour of all souls, panacea of all evils. Neither the radi­cals who think science can do the trick. But the astrologers who read portents in the stars and are disavowed by both!

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