The first question:
How can India be free when her women are not?
India is suffering from a very ugly and rotten past, and the problem is that Indians go on praising their past as golden. The whole world, except India, believes in evolution; India believes in involution.
It is an absolutely accepted fact of science now that man is evolving, becoming more and more mature, but India still lives under the illusion that the highest has already happened – now we are falling, deteriorating. Modern man, according to Indian ideology, is the worst. The farther back you go in the past, the higher the quality of humanity you will find. This is putting things absolutely upside-down. It is not so, and unless this whole idea is shattered, destroyed, burnt, India cannot be really free.
The very idea is depressing, one loses all zest for living. If it is only that we are going downhill every moment, then how can there be hope and how can there be joy? Then life can only be a boredom, a drag; it cannot be a dance and a celebration.
Hence India lives under a very great burden. That burden creates its spiritual slavery, and out of that burden many more things arise – one thing leads to another. The past of India is full of pseudo religion and pseudo-religious imprisonments for man. It gives you masks, it creates the hypocrite, it does not help you to discover your original face.
One can easily be politically free, but unless one is spiritually free one will not be able to use that political freedom at all for right purposes. It will only create chaos, anarchy; it will be destructive, not creative. So, political freedom has not proved a blessing for India, for the simple reason that the inner soul is still living within walls, chained. But the problem is that the Indian mind respects those chains, worships those chains. It does not think of the prison as a prison but as a temple. The moment you start thinking and believing that your chains are ornaments and very valuable, you start protecting them. Rather than throwing them away you cling to them. India clings to its past, and that clinging is not allowing it to release the splendors of its soul.
The women of India are living in utter slavery; their slavery is doubled. The men are slaves, but the women are the slaves of these slaves. And why are the women living in such slavery? If you go to the roots, again you will find that pseudo religion is the cause.