On religion and worship, a facet of Sanatan Dharma (colloquially Hinduism) characteristically stands out, all mother Goddesses are in the Sanctum Sanctorum, all are depicted at the same level as Men Gods. Let us revisit and understand the sanctum sanctum in the temples of Lord Ram and Sita or Lord Krishna and Radha, we notice that both the male and female deities are at the same level. Lord Shiv goes a step further, he says he is incomplete without Lord Parvati. Such is the legacy we all inherit, wherein religion has built our ethos to respect ladies with that adoration and equal respect. Just to highlight the contrary, I haven’t seen a single temple wherein the female consort is outside Sanctum Sanctorum.
Not sure at what point in time have we mutated this legacy but irrespective of when it happened, we dealt a severe body blow to our culture and heritage. I am not a well read person like several of you are. However, I can see a transition of another facet, the Ghungat/padar/burqh. If you observe carefully, you will notice it prominently in Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. As you go south towards Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, you see that size of Ghunghat decreasing. Not sure if you guys concur with me?
Sometimes that makes me wonder, has it changed after the Mughal onslaught? Those barbaric marauders attacked the western border and we see that tradition more on that side. They had least respect for the land, ladies or the people and they pretty much plundered heinously everything. That might have changed our custom and culture.
But again, second citizen treatment for women has its genesis on the nature (of procreation), their intrinsic physical vulnerability and men’s attitude to dominate with coercion. It is an exploitation that we embedded and ritualized.
Just look at our Hindu Temples, men can visit temple anytime but women cannot, while they are menstruating. We consider that less spiritual time. Never understood the logic. Aren’t we all born out of that physiologic process? Why consider it lesser (and probably dirty)?
A lot has to do with women’s own submission. They should support their own equality. They should break those taboos created as aberrations over a period of millennia. Just assert and walk confidently. Men will simply follow.
What is wrong with us? Despite our value system and religious ethos, we such heinous crimes? Of course, this is an outlier and can be counted as rarest of the rare reporting by the open sensationalizing media. However, even if we bar this incidence, crimes against women are much common place in India, compared to western standards though we are a shade better than Muslim world. How can we as a doctor community help this problem?
India outcry after eight-month-old baby raped