If patriarchy had a specific beginning in history, it can also have an end.
The word ‘Patriarchy’ is derived from Greek mythology which literally means “Rule of the father”. Male domination is much more than the concept of patriarchy and it is not even considered as societal wrong or a kind of discrimination. Patriarchy is a universal phenomenon found in every society as such. In India, a distinctive form of patriarchy peculiar to Hinduism and unique to India is Brahmanical patriarchy. Here are ways through which men can join the permanent commission, they are, National Defence Academy (NDA); Combined Defence Services (CDS); Air Force Common Admission Test (ACAT); Indian Navy Entrance Test (INET); TES entry, and NCC special entry. The introduction of women in the army took place in 1992 through the Women Special Entry Scheme under the short service commission. The reason women are deprived of permanent commission is that border regions are having some lacuna-like hygiene.
Public Interest Litigation was filed in 2003 seeking permission to grant women permanent commission. A writ petition was also filed by Major Leena Gaurav on 16 Oct 2006. In the year 2008, the defense ministry passed an order stating that women officers from the Judge Advocate General and Army Education Corps will be granted permanent commission. Further, it was challenged by Major Sandhya Yadav in the Delhi High Court stating that, granted permanent commission is only for certain streams.
Delhi high court gave the judgment in 2010 stating that, women officers in the army and air force in SSC are allowed to get a permanent commission. This order was challenged by the government in the apex court. Even though the Delhi High court has passed fair judgment, it was not implemented by the defense ministry. In the case of Lt Col. Nitisha v Union of India, 1 hon’ble supreme court of India consisting of justice D.Y. Chandrachud and justice M.R. Shah threw light on it and granted a permanent commission of women army officers. The judgment was passed on 25 March 2021. The argument raised was, whether or not granting of the permanent commission of women army officers lead to indirect discrimination? Whether the rules given in the general instruction are violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India? The court held that indirect discrimination is a violation of the Indian Constitution. Justice Chandrachud opined that the need for substantive equality, with reference to indirect discrimination the court, marked parallels from the Canadian Supreme court in the case of Fraser v Canada Attorney General 2 which ordered that there should be two-stage tests to determine indirect discrimination.
The agony of the court was obvious when it quotes the words of former US Supreme court judge, late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “I ask no favour for my
sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.” Furthermore, it added that “The evaluation criteria set by the Army constituted systematic discrimination against the petitioners. This discrimination has caused economic and psychological harm and an affront to their dignity.”
Shortage of officers are witnessed these days in the Indian Army, male officers are getting reappointed but women are not getting appointed because of gender discrimination and these vacancies are supposed to be filled by suitable female candidates and must be entitled to get the pension after retirement as well as the permanent commission.
It has been scientifically proven that women are more capable of dealing with pressure and are mentally tougher even with physical capabilities. Accordingly,
the judgment passed on 25 March 2021 declares that all women in India. The army has the right to be treated equally to their counterparts (male) by
practicing permanent commission in all the ten branches and shattering the gender stereotype of patriarchy unduly. Now it is high time for women to get
ready to meet the demands of physical, intellectual roles and responsibilities of the armed forces. Above all, the armed forces have to accept physiological
rights like child care and maternity off. The legal fights and debates so far have been centered on gender parity rather than an ethical assessment of women’s performance. The hon’ble supreme court decision was based on Articles 14, 15, and 16 of the Constitution of India rather than merit. Moreover, reforms in the military to break the male-dominated areas will be merit-based.
On 26th January 2022 that is, on the occasion of 73rd Republic day the country’s first woman Rafale fighter jet pilot Shivangi Singh was part of the Indian Air Force tableau at the Republic Day Parade. I am of the opinion when women can do and achieve anything and everything why to stress over gender equality. It’s high time for us to adapt and evolve.
Zainab Burmawala, “Patriarchy and permanent commission in Army” <https://lexlife.in/2021/05/13/patriarchy-and-permanent-commission-in-army/> (Last accessed on 15th Jan, 2022)
Legalserviceindia, “A Long Trip Patriarchy To Parity: Permanent Commission For Women In Army”<https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-7296-a-long-trip-from-patriarchy-to-parity-permanent-commission-for-women-in-army.html> (Last accessed on 16th Jan, 2022 )
Theprint, “SC cleared way for permanent commission but women must measure up for their armed forces role”<https://theprint.in/opinion/sc-cleared-way-for-permanent-commission-but-women-must-measure-up-for-their-armed-forces-role/632087/> (Last accessed on 16th Jan, 2022)
Krishnadas Raajagopal, “SC: Army’s evaluation process affects women seeking permanent comission”<https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/armys-evaluation-process-affects-women-seeking-permanent-commission-supreme-court/article34158356.ece> (Last accessed on 16th Jan, 2022)