Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Much ado about six inches stick of muscle!

So why are we as a nation, so hung on a six inches stick of muscle?

When Reena Mehra, fresh out of college picked up a black stone polished symbolic icon called a lingum sitting on what she imagined to be a shallow tub with a drain out built in it and began to use it as an ash tray, her aunt in Delhi was horrified.  She shrieked,

“Reena! What are you doing girl? This is the holiest symbol in our lives – the Shiva Lingum!

Now, how can you blame Reena for her lack of knowledge? And how can you blame her aunt for her blind faith in anything that resembles a phallus?

Brought up on a diet of worshipping the shiva lingum, it was is not only a symbol of the “highest knowledge” which means salvation from the cycle of birth and death, it was a symbol of the union of purusha and prakrati, the feminine and the masculine energies, one an active force, the other a passive yet creative force. It is symbolic of the union of man and woman, for without this union, the world would cease to exist. It was her God. Such blasphemous acts as reported earlier on, of using a God as an ash tray, were unthinkable for her.

But Reena, poor soul, brought up in quite a different manner, could hardly feel with her aunt. She was a fruit basket she thought. Imagine using a stone for a God! In any case, what was God anyway?

The recent furor in Delhi, India,over the rape of a young girl by six men in a public bus, has caused as usual uproar of voices from different quarters. Politicians are using the incident to play up on the public mind, media is filling up its space with minute by minute report of the girl’s health and the Delhi Police chase to capture the culprits, etc etc. It is perhaps the worst time for the Delhi Police for the winter has now sat over the Delhi sky too, and while they would have had their time out with the “bottle” after collecting the “hapta”(bribe) for every other petty crime, they now have to chase the culprits, and in this they will not be paid, their hapta, or so we hope.

In all this you don’t hear a single loud resounding voice speaking on patriarchy, which is so deeply rooted in our society and cunningly woven into the fabric of our religion. The smart strategy was so well conceived that we cannot rise and rebel in the full, because we are preconditioned in one way or the other to let it pass; albeit after some hue and cry from all quarters. Up until today, India has not hung a single rapist, despite the fact, that where rapes happen almost every day, or week, and are reported, is the capital of the country.

Whether you think of Manu’s laws, or the state of Draupadi in the Mahabharata, one seems to wonder at how deep the roots of patriarchy must go, that text could be written to say that Draupadi, the wife of all the five pandava brothers, could be sold for the price of winning a game of chess by her own husband! It goes to show, that even if the Mahabharata was created by many authors over many years and lifetimes maybe, nobody seemed to object to women being always looked upon as commodities. If for five thousand years a text is read, re-read and read again, and the role of the pandavas are not questioned, if life after life, one reads about the unspeakable audacity of Rama demanding that his wife Sita, who was stolen by Ravana, prove her “purity”, which in other words means that she had not slept with him, and generation after generation is made to read such text and imbibe them at early childhood, what can you expect out of a nation full of phallic worshipers?

There is a serious problem here, in the way, we are handling our women and unless that undergoes change and is uprooted from its roots, we as women in India can never be free of abuse.

But then, who is going to bell the cat? Won’t our worship of a six inches stick of muscle come in the way?

Think while you enjoy: One Billion Rising Sri Lanka | Campaign Song (Tamil) | Rise Women, Rise Up!

Read more:

Nilanjana Ray like Justice Balakrishnan can’t see sense in hanging the culprits. They say it would not solve the bigger problem that rapes happen in India every day:


Panchali said...

When I was growing up, the expression "it's a man's world" masqueraded as common sense. Not only did males have more basic rights and privileges, but most of them thoughtlessly exuded an attitude that equated "female" qualities (nurturing, love, empathy) with weakness.

We still live in the world this mindset has created. The changes over the last 50 years have been largely on the surface; that is, women have more access to society's institutions -- politics, defence, the corporate boardroom etc -- but, for the most part, the institutions themselves haven't really undergone any revolutionary transformation. The focus remains power and dominance. And in this realm, men rule !! Wonderful article, Julia. Thank God I read your message in facebook :))

Anonymous said...


And yet, Shakti is venerated over Shiv. She is the more powerful, she is the fusion of the forces of creation and destruction. In her, the two forces merge and become the energy that sustains life on earth.

But that, I think, is only to be remembered once a year. For the rest of the year, we do our best to look away from the spectacle of a Sita stripped of her dignity and ousted from her home. Our bile doesn't rise at the thought of another woman (Kunti) lightly advising her sons to equally share whatever 'thing' they had won.

So tell me Julia, who will change the lot of women in India? The men?


Julia Dutta said...

Hi Panchali,

Thanks for your comment. Always good to read. We can change if we will to change, but it is always easier to remain in the dark, not risk and be 'protected' even if it be with the male world. I am not looking for a world without men, God forbid! But really we as women, mothers, sisters, have to try to make the change and promote it in our sons. Thanks for your comment

Julia Dutta said...

Yes, Dags! You are so right. I am so happy to find you in Google too. It will be easier to visit your fantastic blog now!