Budget 2019 and the Goddess Equation: How 'Badlav' will come, but women must remain as ‘Lakshmi’
If you know that your daughter will bring you wealth and victory, you may treat your daughter well. That, at least, is what our economic planners seem to be hoping.
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Last year, the Economic Survey was pink, conveying its solidarity with women's empowerment. This year, too, there have been mentions of the Me Too movement and other good things about women. Clearly, women's empowerment has become the apple of everyone’s eye. Just that we don’t know what to do with the apple — cut and have it, or treat it as a prized possession.
Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao has been good. But it’s almost time to further the project. Because educating women is not the ultimate aim — you need to educate society to respect women. Since that doesn’t come easily to Indian society, you need to invoke providential powers.
The Economic Survey now proposes to label Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao as 'BADLAV' (Beti Aapki Dhan Lakshmi Aur Vijay Lakshmi).
'Badlav' is supposed to come through women who are Dhan Lakshmi and Vijay Lakshmi. (Photo: Twitter)
“By drawing on the imagery of the forms of Lakshmi that symbolizes wealth (Dhan Lakshmi) and victory (Vijay Lakshmi), the message of treating women as the forms of Lakshmi needs to be emphasized,” the Economic Survey tells us.
Because the survey reminds us that we need role models and there can be no better role model than mythological figures. Yes, the survey takes note of Gargi, Maitreyi, Lopamudra and recounts how men in ancient society were identified with their mothers, Yashoda-Nandan, Kaushalya-Nandan, Gandhari-Putra as well as with their partners, Janaki-Raman, Radha-Krishna, etc.
To harness all this, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao may become 'Beti Aapki Dhan Lakshmi Aur Vijay Lakshmi'.
Lakshmi is, of course, the iconic ‘good girl’ — successful, wealthy and prosperous. If you know that your daughter will bring you wealth and victory, you may treat your daughter well.
But if your daughter does not prefer to grow into a lotus-wielding, owl-driven goddess, and may choose to be frightening Goddess Kali — or even, just an ordinary human being — then how you will treat her is absolutely up to you. There is no guideline for that.
And that's how 'Badlav' is supposed to come — through women who are Dhan Lakshmi and Vijay Lakshmi.