Tag Archives: Misogyny

Thoughts on Crime Control – II (Hindu Outlook to Nature and Woman)

The recent public protests and media debates around rising crime in India have been, as expected, quite superficial. They hardly go into the root of the issue – because the protesting layman is only concerned about his safety and not roots of the problem, and the media is not equipped with the understanding of Hindu society, its outlook, its workings, its problems or solutions. So when people cannot talk of the source of problem or solution, easy way is to make noise and divert attention. While media appeared to be honest in the first couple weeks, its true colors came out nonetheless – trying to blame the “retrograde” Hindutva folks for “not being able to digest” woman’s empowerment in the “evolving” world culture, giving publicity to distorted statements of popular leaders etc.

But as we discussed in the previous write up, the problem is not limited to assaults on women, nor is it about empowerment of women. Statistically rise in crime has to do with tendency towards crime and opportunity for the offender, and is hardly related to woman’s empowerment or any other genuinely progressive change. In fact whenever a progressive change was proposed, Bharatiya people accepted it way faster than any other society, given factors like its size, complexity, awakening time etc.

Fact remains that there have been stray publications in the media, mostly sloganeering, saying woman should not be treated “as an object”, woman “deserves her social space, freedom and protection”, woman “is equal to man” and so on. There is however no serious thinking or worthwhile analysis on this topic from media, state or secularists. The job is attempted by those Hindutva folks only – they are the ones trying to see *why it is happening* instead of merely shouting “it should not happen”. This means they are not, unlike the others, standing outside the sphere of the problem to shout slogans but have owned up the problem of the society. And whatever statements they gave out in public, show their attempts as responsible citizens and not their escapism. On the other hand congress and media tried to keep out of the dirt, and kept throwing mud at these people whenever possible – sometimes calling them foolish, sometimes calling them retrograde, sometimes “sexist” and sometimes “outrageous”.

Let us consider two out of the many statements that media chose to rake controversy about, and move on.

  1. Mohanji Bhagavat’s message, calling to restore the native ethos of this nation where woman always held a respectable position. Saying that India that is always in a cultural conflict with native Bharatiya values, he said rise in crime happens in India but not in Bharat where the native ethos are respected. In short, the more westernized India is becoming, the more it is exposing itself to crime. Media pretended to not understand this, and interpreted this with all negative connotations possible. Media also pretended to not understand the simplest statement that marriage is a social contract and ran a negative campaign for days – do such people deserve to run media?
  2. One BJP MP said “badoun ke saath tho samajh mein aata hai, lekin nabalik bacchoun ke saath… phaansi deni chahiye”. Any sane individual can understand this – that rape on an adult woman is at least imaginable, but people who attempt abuse of children is incomprehensible and needs severest possible action. Now this gets interpreted as he is saying it is “understandable” that adult women are raped, and then articles get published saying he calls it “understandable”, people interpret as condoning, worse promoting such crime. Does the translator deserve the benefit of doubt that he did not understand what the MP said? If yes, does he deserve a place in national media?

Worst part is, it has become a sort of crime to advice caution on the part of victim – an indication of how directionless and jingoistic our media is. Any measures suggested for women to protect themselves are met with an allegation of misogyny. Well, there are thefts on rise in many places and police issued public welfare notices indicating the precautions people should take to avoid theft. When an old man is robbed in broad daylight, people could not help but ask how he could carry cash alone without protection. Bank folks do not carry cash to ATM without protection. But it is an “insult to womanhood” to ask for proper caution to ensure safety!

So as always, how much ever maligned, it is the same Hindutva folks who search for solutions – with whatever success does not matter. At least, they are not like those who actively participate in creating the problem (as was discussed in the previous part).

While media tried actively to read ill-treatment of woman as a part of Hindutva, a few guys went way too far – calling for an undoing of the macho-masculinity of Hindutva movement! Of course, the same newspaper had to tender an apology and publish a countering article. But in reality, where is machoism and anti-feminine masculinity presented in India? The most of it comes from bollywood-gym culture where the macho figures are publicized along with flocking semi-nude heroines. But this is only an aside.

The Theory

Broadly there are two planes or consciousness frames – bhoga (enjoying) and jnAna (knowing). As a man evolves into the higher reaches of consciousness, from gross to subtle, he also gradually evolves from the bhoga to the jnAna. This evolution also involves a lot of parallel changes – from personal to impersonal awareness, from individual to selfless pursuits etc. So to say, as a man moves up in the Maslow pyramid, he becomes less outwardly enjoyment-centric and becomes knowledge-centric (or inwardly enjoyment-centric). So synthesis of knowledge happens from evolved men, as knowledge is their object of enjoyment. In a society that understands and encourages this kind of evolution, there is development of the technical and philosophical nature of subjects. In a society that loses this vision, there is a consumption of the results of knowledge but lack of knowledge synthesis.

When the outlook changes from enjoyment to knowledge, man looks at nature as a teacher rather than as a repository of pleasure. He sees the experiences of nature, both pain and pleasure as means to the synthesis of knowledge, and thus nature as a teacher and a provider who confers knowledge and provides the means and experiences for the knowledge. Thus he evolves respect for nature, as the impersonal and eternal teacher and mother. When this kind of vision underlies the founding principles of a society, it would learn to worship nature than abuse it. Whether it is the general Hindu approach of worshiping natural phenomena or treating nature, earth as mother, the respect towards nature is pervasive.

In a society that is evolved and civilized, the flow of thought descends from jnana to bhoga, involving the necessary outlook. A man in jnana bhumi tries to fix his mind on jnana. A man in bhoga bhumi still has his mind on bhoga and not jnana. But with the above aesthetic backdrop, even the layman in bhoga bhumi derives bhoga not with the sense that he is enjoying nature but with the sense that mother nature is giving him sources of enjoyment – a subtle but very important difference (for people who think Veda is for the priest and layman is off of it, this stands a big counter example as of how the Hindu layman’s view of life and nature takes the same backdrop as that of a scholar). This makes all the difference between treating nature as a conquered object and as a providing mother. It is not limited to some esoteric reverence – but affects the way nature is conserved or disturbed. While the word “conservative” is made synonymous to “retrograde” and “closed” in popular discourse today, fact remains that with permanent things like nature being conservative is the only way mankind can survive long. Extinction of several species, loss of ecological balance etc are major concerns today, though it is much less advertised at common man level.

The Hindu view of women derives from the same view of nature. This is the reason Hindu outlook places woman in a much better position than any other society/outlook. Woman is nature herself, and one who respects nature would also respect woman. This thought is sinking very slowly into western thought, but is pervasive in Hindu thought. Since primitive times, woman’s contribution to Hindu knowledge is not random but fundamental. Right from the reflective observation of natural phenomena and cycles to profound spiritual concepts like feminine notion of bhakti.

That feminist movement is not as rampant in India as it was in west, is not because of Indian resistance but because India never put woman in that miserable state as west did in the past. People who quote examples like sati or niyoga or child marriage fail to see how the practices came in time and went in time – demanded by the situation but not eternal features of Hinduism.

Current Situation  

So when the “Hindutva” leaders ask for restoration of woman’s position, they know exactly what they are saying – that the secondary treatment or disrespect of woman is a consequence of utilitarian worldview India is absorbing, which is in total contrast to the way Hindu society always treated women. Of course, there are aberrations during external aggressions – again what we see there is a sense of possession and protection of something precious than a “secondary” treatment which is more definable on ego grounds.

Today the challenge is not with empowerment of woman but of her self-discovery. Hindu society never defined womanhood with respect to a man, and recognized her uniqueness – something that is lost in the modern parlance. No amount of “equality” argument is going to allow that self-discovery, as long as that equality is defined as equality with respect to man. What is required is the freedom for woman to identify herself in her own image – something that is totally lost in the west and hence being lost in India.

Woman is always treated as the center of family, and as Sister Nivedita puts it, she is “The Web of Indian Life” (title of her book itself) – the one that holds the society safe and intact. The deterioration of woman’s position in society is hence directly related to (1) rise of utilitarian view of life (2) deterioration of family and society and rise in individualism. Identification of male-female relation within the fold of family is not equal to limiting woman to family role, but realizing her uniqueness. As mentioned earlier, when Hindu society was healthy and both these aspects were in balance woman’s role in the society was not limited to household. A society that is healthy and civilized, is not merely sustained but held intact by empowered and capable woman. The development of refined aspects of civilization can come only by the identification of feminine principle as unique in itself.

Today the Bharatiya society has to suit itself, and identify ways to prevent this degradation. It is not contrary to, but a part of the overall revival of the civilization under constant attack. The present lack of self-confidence and superimposition of individualistic definition and a loss of macro perspective need to be overcome.

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Misogyny, Misandry, Deceptive Media and RSS

At the outset, let me share 2 observations from the twitter with regards to the slanderous campaign against RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

  1. A misandry rant against RSS chief Sri Mohan Bhagwat in a reply to Tavleen Singh’s tweet.1pressbrief_misandry_rant
  2. Tavleen Singh responds to a tweet asking her view on Mohan Bhagwat after the smoke screen cleared. She says “@netsimha I think Mohan Bhagwat, Asaram Bapu and the Jamaat-e-Islami made comments that reflect the real reason why women are raped daily in Bharat and India.”2tavleen_singh_response

Now read this hidden and buried resolution “Need to maintain the dignity of Women” passed by RSS in 2008 by its apex body ABPS (Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha), that the Main Stream Media (MSM) would not want or care to publish:

(Full text of the resolution can be found here)The ABPS sees it as regretful that women are being increasingly subjected to indecent behavior, eve-teasing, sexual exploitation, abuse and other despicable crimes. It is deeply distressing that in addition to female foeticide, dowry violence etc. they are subjected to sexual abuse at work places, public places and even homes too.

The ABPS profoundly feels the need for a radical transformation in the mindset of society to bring in a meaningful change in this de-culturising situation. Just to rely upon the laws promulgated by the Government will be self-deceptive. The society must honestly realize that it is created by the institution of family and woman is the pivot of the familyhence a developed society cannot be envisaged without an enlightened, awakened and empowered womanIt is a pressing necessity that families, education system, media and society must change their attitude to ensure a respectful behavior towards woman. The ABPS appeals to the saints and social leaders also to take a leading role in this respect.

Now the shameless deception:

First on Jan 3rd, the MSM twisted the recent speech of Sri Mohan Bhagwat in Silichar where he was responding to a query on the rise of rapes and atrocities against women in India. The YouTube video (7:45 min) conveys the message that Sri Mohan Bhagwat was clearly implying Bharat as values and expressed concern that we as a nation have forgotten human values. Unfortunately it was easy to extract and misinterpret the India vs. Bharat quote by the rabid media people possessed with scavenging instinct. There was a verbal assault on RSS chief and the key point made by Sri Mohan Bhagwat “Besides new legislations Indian ethos and attitude towards women should be revisited” got lost in the shrill accusations. Interestingly, the social media (Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook) came to the rescue and facilitated the truth. Kiran Bedi viewed the original video and tweeted in support of Sri Mohan Bhagwat’s views and commented on the media to rectify its views.3KiranBedi_comment

On January 6th 2013 the venal media was at it again. It unleashed a viral false-propaganda based on a doctored video recording from the “so called” credible news supplier source ANI (Asia News International). In its typical style NDTV picked this up and further twisted the news saying that ‘Women meant to do household chores’: another shocker from RSS chief. The English media attacked RSS chief quoting him in total falsehood that women are bound to look after their husbands by contract, and if they didn’t fulfill their duties, their husbands should leave them. Anti-Hindu, Limo-liberals became ecstatic and were all over the TV shows. They all did a great disservice to the nation by shoving the falsehood and pure lie into the minds of the millions.

See the confession by the ANI News Editor on twitter to the comment by the columnist Kanchan Gupta.4ANI_Smitaprakash_confession

If it were the good old pre-internet days like in 90s, the well-wishers and supports of RSS including a good number in RSS would have lost this psychological war of minds and perceptions.  Fortunately we are in 2013; the leftist-socialistic-hegemony, control and gate-keeping of news by few dark-souls are no more the case. Social media has spread wide into the landscape of India (rural and urban) empowering millions of ordinary people including patriots, nationalists, activists and RSS Swayamsevaks. The consumer of news has now become the producer of news and digital content. An avalanche of outrage on twitter and elsewhere on the internet built up pretty fast, thanks to the relentless effort and campaign by patriots across the middle India on Social Media.(You can read a few here SamavadaNewslaundry and Rediscovery of India). This made the main stream media to stop its slanderous tirade and were forced to bend. The media was literally caught with its hands in the cookie-jar. Its addicted habit of spit and run did not work this time. Shameless deception got fully exposed and they were forced to lick their wounds.5Sagarika_sorry_bhagwatji_CB

I would give the benefit of doubt to all those misinformed and ill-informed about RSS and its outlook towards women. Hope one would rectify their skewed perception; and the ignorance and prejudice demonstrated by equating Sri Mohan Bhagwat to Jamaat-e-Islami would go away.

For a RSS worker be it from India or from Bharat, there is no doubt on what RSS stands for and its noble mission of serving the nation. A RSS worker with total conviction says “Apne par vishwas, Apnopar Vishwas, Apne Karya par vishwas” (I trust myself, I trust my fellow workers, I trust my noble mission and work).

It is up to the well-meaning people including those who need not necessarily subscribe to the views of RSS, to see through the smoke screens, facades and pursue the truth. Who a misogynist is, who is a in misandry and who is deceptive, I shall leave it to the reader’s judgment.

indiminds

Need to maintain dignity of Women: RSS resolution

Main Stream Media as usual never cared to publish this resolution “Need to maintain the dignity of Women” passed by RSS in 2008 by its apex body ABPS (Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha).

Pratinidihi Sabha

 

Source: RSS archive (select year and resolution from the list

The Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha wishes to emphasize that Bharatiya values envision man and woman as fundamentally complementary to each other, who, with a mutually understanding relationship, engage themselves in their respective roles to build a harmonious family and contribute in all walks of national life. Bharat’s history and literature is full of instances illustrating woman’s glory and greatness. In ‘Rigveda’, the oldest treatise in human history, more than 30 women are mentioned as seers who have contributed ‘Mantras’ to it, and its body text amply illustrates the splendid contribution of woman in all walks of life. It has continued since then. It is a fact that nature has ordained certain difference between man and woman. But Bharatiya tradition has never approved of any discrimination against woman, always giving her a place of respect and honor in every sphere of life. Hence it must be ensured that there is no discriminatory behavior against them and their participation in the decision-making process is always upheld.

Luxurious lifestyle has led to gradual degeneration in our social life. Foreign invaders selectively targeted our beliefs and symbols of devotion, and our universally acclaimed values of life started disintegrating. The glamour of materialism made us blind followers of the West, where promiscuity is what we got in the name of woman’s emancipation. The storm of globalization and liberalization led to a craze of turning woman into an object of enjoyment rather than an epitome of respect. The ABPS expresses its concern over the scornful attempts to destroy the dignity and honour of our womenfolk thereby destroying our family system by way of the depiction of vulgar and obscene pictures and visuals of woman in advertisements, magazines and periodicals, news channels, television serials and movies.

The ABPS sees it as regretful that women are being increasingly subjected to indecent behavior  eve-teasing, sexual exploitation, abuse and other despicable crimes. It is deeply distressing that in addition to female foeticide, dowry violence etc; they are subjected to sexual abuse at work places, public places and even homes too. The ABPS demands that the Government must ensure effective implementation of the laws intended for the safety, security and empowerment of woman; as well as those meant for the protection of woman from domestic violence; abuse-exploitation at public places and work places. A strict law, along with an effective code of conduct that would uphold the dignity of womenfolk, should be enacted to regulate the advertisements and programs of print and electronic media.

The ABPS profoundly feels the need for a radical transformation in the mindset of society to bring in a meaningful change in this de-culturising situation. Just to rely upon the laws promulgated by the Government will be self-deceptive. The society must honestly realize that it is created by the institution of family and woman is the pivot of the family; hence a developed society cannot be envisaged without an enlightened, awakened and empowered woman. It is a pressing necessity that families, education system, media and society must change their attitude to ensure a respectful behavior towards woman. The ABPS appeals to the saints and social leaders also to take a leading role in this respect.

End of Resolution.

Shri Guruji & Matrushakti

Shri Guruji aur Matrushakti

Shri Guruji Golwalkar, the 2nd Sarsanghchalak of RSS spoke and wroite on a wide range of topicsconcerning the nation. His views on Bharatiya women were documented by Kum.Nivedita Bhide in the book Shri Guruji & Matrushakti . It is a must read for every citizen of our country. Book Link