Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tu kaun hai, tera naam kya, Seeta bhi yehaan badnaam hui...

Comment on Rediff
Sharam kee baath
by Kroora Shigamani on Jan 03, 2008 02:28 PM Hide replies

Agar ek naari aadhi raath mein hotel ke bahar Jashn aur jalwa manakar ghoomein tho koyi bee bharatiya purrush ko nasha chad jaatha hy. Yeh tho bahut sharam kee baath hy kee apne sabhyatha, samskruthi aur parampara ka apmaan ho raha hy bharatiya sthree kee vajeh se

Disturbed as I was with the event on New year's Eve, I was unsure whether I should dedicate a post to it. Thanks to Mr. Kroora and Rediff, that, as I have already highlighted, regularly spurns out the best of our Indian muck - for inspiring me to write.

Those of you who still haven't seen through the sham: This is the story...

Millenia back, man correlated his humping with the perplexing appearance of a small person, in the form of an infant, from the womb of the object of his temporary affections. Once the epiphany dawned, so did the cognizance of another distressing fact: since the coupling was free (and i assume, ferocious) between changing partners, the proof of fatherhood could never be established - except for a chance resemblance. This distressed the man since the establishment of control on a future generation gave him the sudden window to perpetuation and eventually - eternity. Lineages could be built; kingdoms could be established; histories could be written.

The first step in the systematic assertion of the father was the establishment of the virtue of the female as sacred and inviolable. The emergence of this strain of thought was best captured in the birth of Semitic religions: where the focus shifted from the Mother Goddess of fertility to an old frothing patriarch whose idea of love was to throw the souls of those who displeased him into an eternal agony and whose idea of a perfect life for his sons was their constant obsequious and humble reverence towards him. Lucifer, the proud, was created as a symbol of the evil of opposition to this diktat.

But perhaps the piece-de-resistance was the idea that females were the root to all the sufferings of the world today: and hence the story of Genesis and Eve and the apple.

With the expulsion of Eve in the story, a new morality was born. A morality where the only role subscribed to a woman was the bearer of the sons who would till the land, mind the sheep and conquer the lands for their father.

Since the shell of rationale - sacrosanctness of female virtue - holding the entire structure was thinner than a butterfly's wing, the new order had to preempt cracks that might lay bare the absurdity of it all. For this the weapon they employed was the basest known to man - violence. Morality was unquestionable and the price of transgression was horrible death - stoning, torture, burning at the stakes.

The other weapon was the denial of knowledge, and hence the faculty to reason, to women. Women were told that the greatest joy they can have, and the only function they can serve, is motherhood. That and the joy of getting up before dawn, cleaning the entire house, preparing meals three times a day, being the bouncing board for her husband's anger, wit and, of course, lust. The cult of pati parmeshwara started; the evidence of women's subjugation to her man was irrefutably established through the Genesis story; women were controlled and shepherded behind zenanas to save them from their own treachery and opening legs where they shouldn't.

It is interesting to note that to give the facade a credible bolster, the very idea of sex was propagated as intrinsically disgusting and sinful and had to be borne only for the function it served - producing children. In fact, in the case of Mother Mary, the ridiculous idea of her virginity despite conception was generated to maintain the veneer of purity, as described by the keepers of faith. So great was our Mother that she did not spread her legs apart even for Joseph!

Compare this to wild "promiscuity" of the early Gods of Greek, Roman and Hindu mythology: which would you be rather, my man? The wild God who had good, fulsome and perfectly consensual sex or the hubby who doesn't get it even for the noble cause of a divine birth?

But while this dogma was strictly imposed on the females, the channel of prostitution provided a secret vent for the men. In fact, the very keepers of virtue - the priests, monks, nuns and holy men - is replete with sexual excesses that would put Sade to shame - bestiality and week-long orgies in the seminaries in the Dark Ages, pedophilia in Islamic madrasas in 16th century and raping sadhus and seers.

Like the pauper bearded Taliban - denied of opportunity of knowledge, resources and, ultimately, choice - the females in our society have become the very keepers of morality that exploits and subjugates them: this is the biggest irony of it all.

(The history has been based on numerous readings and inspired by the Russell school of thought.)

The idea that morality is inherently good has brought us to the point - in fact, we have been hovering here since millenia - that, as Mr. Shigamani points out - the threat to paramparaa comes from the two ladies walking up to their cars in "revealing" clothes (where does the revelation end?: in Taliban kingdoms, men have been known to shag at the exposed ankles of women!) and not the 70-80 gentlemen who pawed, groped and ripped them apart for 15 minutes.

Mr. Shigamani might seem to have taken this to extreme, but it's actually a mere extrapolation of the reasoning that holds our "moral fibre" together. If anything, his ability to construe a reasoning to an end is intact.

For me, it's not very far from the strident jingoism we hear:

"East or West, India is the Best!"

"Chak De India!"

"Sabse aage hain Hindustani!"

and, of course, "The Great Indian Culture!"

(Have you noticed that most these cliches come from people who have never travelled a lot? And, by travel, I mean travel. The pseudo-Indianness of creating a cocoon of like brown faces, never venturing beyond the comfort zones of your ethnic (even, Indian, is a very vast term) identity is - mere displacement).

They reflect a smug confidence in the fact that whatever we do, wherever we are and the principles that guide us are inherently and unquestionably best.

The incident was not a reflection on the evils of(as the elders would spit it out) modernity - that is a separate post in itself- but a manifestation of the festering feudal mindset that refuses to embrace the modernity that advocates a baseline equality, respect for the dignity and space of the other and, the end of chauvinism.

Not many of us want to question, leave alone unlearn what we learnt as a kid.

If you can make the journey, fine. Otherwise, it does not matter - there are many like you there out with the danda to shut the blasphemous mouths of the few us standing our ground and opposing the juggernaut of your moral rath.


Alam said...

Good one gullu
you should consider taking up writing as a career.

minor point ... The "Sabhyata" that Kroora was talking about does not usually consider "Immaculate Conception" as part of the indigenous "Samskruti" ... even though epics like mahabharata are replete with instances of some or the other kauravs and pandavs being sons of various gods/rishis (As opposed to the husbands of their mothers) ... but asexual conception does not appear to be claimed by these books (though in the TV mahabharatha the sage needed just a smile and special-effect-light-spirals for the baby to land up in his mom's lap)

I think, in India, the "burden-of-virtue" has been attained by deification of feminine identity ... the holy mother ... Devi Mata.. Adarsh Nari .. Sati ...
Women is worshiped in its unadulterated, cow-like virtuous form ... if she deviates towards normal reality then she is deemed to have overstepped limits of "Maryada" and insulted the venerated "Pracheen Samskruti" ... and hence can be groped ... beaten ... raped and killed ...

Arguments of Richard Dawkins and Russel do not exactly map one-to-one with our conditions ... they do not explain our society very well.

pankaj said...

wow. amazing post. i agree with every word..with my guts!!! u inspire me to blog man!

CresceNet said...

Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é . Um abraço.

subbu said...

awesome dude...for once, i am at a loss for words (which, as you know, is no mean feat)...between your piece and Nishant Kashyap's blog on the same subject, you guys have captured the essence of the anger and the frustration felt by indians everywhere at this bestiality...

nitawriter said...

Good article. You are right ofcourse, the patriarchal and feudal attitudes deeply ingrained in society definitely hide and gloss over any misdeeds of the ruling classes. Which perpetuates the misdeeds.