Please, read the excerpts from the Kama Sutra and the Arthashastra on gender relations in ancient India and the assigned articles on the treatment of women in modern India and answer the following questions:
1) In what ways are women given essentially equal treatment to men in the excerpts from the Kama Sutra and the Arthashastra? In what ways are they treated unequally? Please provide specific examples and reference the texts.
2) On what bases do men and women choose spouses and lovers? How does the class status of the two individuals play a part in these choices?
3) What were the most important household responsibilities of ancient Indian women? In which social, cultural, and intellectual activities did they engage?
4) In light of the prescriptions of how a married woman should treat her husband, what do you think was the nature of the emotional relationship of husband and wife? How might this differ from marriages in our society? Why did some marriages fail in ancient India?
5) In your assessment, based on the information you gained from the assigned recent news articles, is it fair to say that Indian women enjoy gender equality today? Please, support your argument with specific examples? If your answer is “yes,” which factors may have accounted for this change? If your answer is “no”, what may stand in the way of gender equality in this region?
6) Did you find any information included in the assigned texts about women’s status and rights in modern-day India surprising or shocking? Explain.
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