- I am sure like me, you grew up hearing takes of Krishna’s charming exploits including stealing clothes of bathing women. I don’t recollect there being any shame associated. It was, and is charming. It is playfulness, it is innocent flirting and it is charming as hell. Now imagine what would happen if he were to do so today. He’d still be god, the women would be called cheap for bathing in a way that left them without clothes.
- We heard stories of swayamvars, exquisitely beautiful princesses that were coveted far and wide, we heard of people falling in love. I don’t remember when the stories called the woman cheap for attracting a man. No matter what she wore.
- Have you ever thought about the fact that most Indian languages have no real word for adultery? Even with our moral outrage established for years, the closest we have come to it is describing them as inappropriate relations. There is a reason for that. These morals you are defending have been imported. From the UK to be precise. Amount of clothing on body has never been an issue with Hinduism.
- The ancient Hindu culture took sexuality as a matter of fact. We have several sexual traditions, which suddenly all got rounded into prostitution, because the church had no respectable equivalent for them. So whether it is a devdasi, or a follower of the Yellama cult or a vaishya (prostitute), they are all prostitutes, because Brits didn’t have translators, and we learn ourselves through “authorities on us”.
- We have a lot of ancient tales. Including tales of shame, violence against women and many other sins. I am yet to hear one where the shame was about clothes. The only clothes related shame was the attempted undressing of Draupadi and the shame was not hers, but that of her attackers. I don’t recall anyone accusing Draupadi of being responsible for the attack on her honor.
- Sita lived at Ravan’s place. Her integrity has always been held as sacred. I don’t know anyone who thinks she had an affair with Ravan, or otherwise did anything bad at all. Her being criticized is on record as social bigotry, not something wrong with her.
- There has been assorted nudity related with various choices people have made in various cults, religions like Jainism…. And I’m talking nudity. The ideal Brahmin woman would be bathing from top to toe in a river and entering the kitchen in a pure state. Yeah, saris are transparent when wet – particularly the cotton and silk ones purity demands. And you can still go to ghats near temples to see this.
- This penchant for covering skin is an Islamic influence. It is Islam where exposing skin is prohibited by religion. Check out any religious art to verify. Goddesses have fantastic figures and bare waists.
- Your average fisher woman, tribal, farmer exposes about the same amount of skin as a girl in a short skirt. Your sari exposes more skin (waist) than trousers and jeans. I used to count the tires on the waists of all the aunties…. So this is about intolerance and selective offense, not even exposing of skin. Let us be clear.
- This sexual seggregation and judgemental environment has men so deprived that their only resort to getting some joy on perfectly natural desires is by doing something illegitimate and violent. It is violent to turn a woman into an object for entertainment. It is violent to overrule her wishes. Yet this doesn’t draw as much outcry, because blaming women keeps the option of using them for cheap thrills open.
- Menaka seduced Vishwamitra, but is never cheap. She is magnificent temptation and Vishwamitra lost his focus. He is responsible for his actions. So must Indian men be, no matter what provocation they see around them. If they don’t, the shame must be theirs, not an apsara’s, who only is her enchanting self. You have the power to encourage these values of ours, or stick to imported monotheist, women hating rules that have infected our society.
Founder at Aam Janata
Vidyut has a keen interest in mass psychology and using it as a lens to understand contemporary politics, social inequality and other dynamics of power within the country. She is also into Linux and internet applications and servers and has sees technology as an important area India lacks security in.
Latest posts by Vidyut (see all)
- Open letter to the Chief Justice of India - April 13, 2019
- Nationwide Protest by NREGA workers #NREGASangharshMorcha - March 2, 2019
- Repression of Activists cannot stop the second Kisan Long March - February 16, 2019