‘I’m a free lady and proud to be
So rattling you and your misogyny
I’ve come this far not turning again
And I stand sturdy regardless of your assault’.
These are phrases to a track I wrote 4 years in the past referred to as Misogyny. It was in response to a gang-rape of a younger lady in Mumbai. And I’m ashamed to say I don’t recall the specifics of the incident, since this has develop into so commonplace in our lives. Now we have develop into terribly apathetic and our reminiscence and outrage are brief lived.
Now with this ugly rape, torture and subsequent dying of a younger dalit lady from Hathras, UP, by 4 higher caste males, our hearth has been ignited once more. The sufferer from Hathras is now the 19-year-old dalit Nirbhaya.
Hathras has now develop into floor zero, teeming with TV crews and reporters in search of exclusives, politicians in search of votes and police authorities for individuals to arrest. Regardless of the cause, it’s vital that this horrific tragedy stays within the media glare and other people demand justice. Nevertheless, we needs to be outraged not simply by selective incidents of rape and torture. We needs to be seething with anger on the wicked state our society has reached with regard to crimes in opposition to ladies.
Caste atrocities, the largest curse of our society, are partly chargeable for crimes in opposition to dalit ladies in lots of states. Nevertheless, our mistreatment and violence in opposition to ladies typically, throughout all sections of society, has reached such abysmal ranges that there are actually no phrases harsh sufficient to explain this present misogynistic milieu. In Hathras, as an alternative of giving consolation and assurance to the household of the sufferer, they’ve been ostracised and threatened for talking up.
Now we have to look inside to analyse how and why we now have regressed to such a stage. I don’t suppose we will place the blame solely on our socio-religious practices, as some would allege. It’s heartening to notice that in our scriptures and Vedic-era Hindu texts, ladies are honored and worshipped and seen as a supply of nice energy.
Hymns reminiscent of Devi Suktam within the tenth canto of the Rig Veda, declare female power because the essence of the Universe. It’s the Mom everlasting who’s meditated upon. Devi is proclaiming herself because the supply of all creation as is clear within the third Hymn of the Suktam; ‘I lord over the entire universe, I’m Supreme erudition, I’m the primary venerable deity in all sacrificial rites. I supply prosperity, I’m current in all beings in numerous types. All Gods and Devotees venerate me in every single place’.
Devi right here is believed to personify Adi parashakti, the supreme female power. Lakshmi, Saraswati, Parvati are all manifestations of Her.
The Devi Bhagwata Mahapurana means that Adi Parashakti is the creator, preserver and destroyer of the entire universe. She is the creator of the Trimurti, The Hindu Male Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Listed here are choose verses from different Vedas that extoll the virtues of female power and advocate absolute respect for ladies.
The Atharva veda (12.1.25) says;
Oh Motherland! Give us that aura which is current in women.
Make sure that these ladies by no means weep out of sorrow. Hold them free from all illness and provides them ornaments and jewels to put on.
Atharva Veda with respect to ladies in political life;
Girls ought to participate within the legislative chambers and put their views on forefront.
Rig Veda 10.85.7 and Atharva Veda 14.1.6 (verse concerning daughters)
Mother and father ought to reward their daughter intellectuality and energy of information when she leaves for husband’s house. They need to give her a dowry of information.
(Ref: Girls in Vedas by Sanjeev Newar and Mera Dharma, by Priyavrat Vedavachaspati, Gurukul Kangri College.)
Amongst all of the world religions, Hinduism can boast of probably the most outstanding presence of the Divine Female. Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth, Saraswati – the goddess of Information and the Arts, Kali – the Devi of dying and time but additionally a mom determine symbolic of motherly love and the nourishing and accepting, Ganga Ma, are only a few of the goddesses. Among the similar individuals who commit these heinous crimes carry out Lakshmi pooja, Durga Pooja, worship the Gau Mata (mom cow), and bathe within the Mom Ganges to purify themselves. The hypocrisy of all of it!
Even probably the most vilified determine in Indian mythology – Ravan – had extra self-restraint than these barbaric criminals. Sure, he was despicable in the best way he tricked and kidnapped Sita – spouse of Ram – and stored her imprisoned within the Ashoka Vatika in his palace in Lanka. Nevertheless, he didn’t rape and molest her whereas she was captive. The legend goes that he kept away from having sexual relations together with her by drive, as he needed her to willingly come to him, and, in fact, Sita by no means consented to develop into his queen.
I imagine that it’s a mixture of two issues that has introduced us to this present state. Firstly, it’s the category of elected leaders who’ve taken it upon themselves to be the self-proclaimed gatekeepers of our tradition and heritage. Those that imagine that girls shouldn’t be outspoken, ought to costume modestly, which implies no western put on, and know their place in society. And in the event that they don’t, then they invite this destiny upon themselves. This can be a world development, not restricted to India. It’s an angle that cuts throughout religions and nationalities. It’s by no means the person’s fault. It’s all the time the liberal lady who has the audacity to talk up in a person’s world. It’s this puritanical angle of a few of our leaders that has made these intercourse offenders really feel emboldened and justified of their actions. Coupled with that is the simple and free entry to express content material and addictive porn to individuals in rural and concrete areas, and an overload of violence throughout all media. Sarcastically, it’s the juxtaposition of this conservative mindset with express content material that has exacerbated sexual crimes in opposition to ladies.
I’m in opposition to censorship and limiting entry to content material. Nevertheless, the time has come to place some controls in place. This alone gained’t assist. Boys have to be educated at a younger age to respect ladies of their household and out of doors, no matter color caste, faith. That is what’s prescribed within the holy books of all faiths. It’s the duty of our leaders and each male in India to instill respect and to spotlight the deification of ladies in our Vedic tradition. All this should occur on a battle footing if our nation has to prosper and be recognised as a serious energy and never be branded the rape capital of the world. We should implement a zero-tolerance coverage to violence in opposition to ladies. Indian ladies must invoke the goddess Kali to avenge us. It’s time to rise and restore our standing as Devis and produce a couple of new daybreak the place a girl can chant the traces spoken by a girl within the Rig Veda (10.159): ‘My future is as superb because the rising solar. I’m the flag of my house and society. I’m additionally their head….’
Anushka Jagtiani is a former TV journalist, MSc in Comparative Politics from the London College of Economics, music composer and eager scholar of Vedanta
The opinions expressed on this article are these of the writer’s and don’t purport to replicate the opinions or views of THE WEEK.