Sunday, January 6, 2013

More regressive gyaan from Mohan Bhagwat….

Those of you who support the BJP and are hence forced to support its ideological masters, the RSS have more reason to feel let down. The chief of RSS obviously hadn’t had his fill after his recent ridiculous claim that rapes took place not in “Bharat” but in “India”. He has now made another preposterous statement – this time of of there being some sort of a “social contract” between husband and wife – which obviously puts the women at a disadvantageous position.

As reported in In a speech in Indore, Bhagwat said: "There is a theory of social contract in the universe. A husband and a wife are bound by a contract which says - you (woman) look after the household chores and satisfy me, I (man) will take care of your needs and will protect you". Wow. The wife takes care of the household chores (take that Chanda Kochar,  Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Vineeta Bali and all you professional women who are breaking this contract!) and “satisfies the husband” (wonder how!). The husband takes care of work and “protects the wife”. Such 17th century gobbledygook spoken by a “prominent” public leader like Bhagwat contributes further towards the pathetic way in which men treat women in India. If we had even slightly more progressive leaders than these, we would have been a much better country.

All this is a manifestation of our vaunted “Bharatiya sanskriti”, a self-serving cultural cocktail stirred up by the chauvinistic Hindu male to preserve his superiority over women. The statement made by a Madhya Pradesh BJP minister just a couple of days back – which he refused to retract – is also a manifestation of this same sanskriti. Apparently, if you believe this minister, women must live within “maryada”; otherwise there are “ravanas” outside who will grab her and make merry. Mohan Bhagwat said nothing new. He has only defined this maryada. The wife’s maryada is inside the house. The husband takes care of the wild world outside and protects the wife.

But then what should we expect from an organization that is steeped in 17th century ideology from tip to toe. Its views on religion are time-warped as well. It considers itself to be a national party representing all Indians, but it has no leaders from the Christian and Muslim fraternity. Nor many from the Sikhs. Nor from the under-privileged castes. Its ideology is designed only to further the interests of the Brahmins. As Aakar Patel beautifully explains in his blog (, all of BJP’s top leaders including Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley,Vajpayee, MM Joshi, Ananth Kumar are Brahmins (only Advani isn’t and that may have been a factor in why Vajpayee was made PM, not Advani). Its founders – Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, its biggest thinker Golwalkar and the author of Hindutva, Savarkar were all Brahmins. It gets it Brahmin coding from the RSS which has only had Brahmins as its head (sarsanghchalak) since the beginning in 1925 with the exception of one, Rajendra Singh (Rajju Bhaiya). All its wings and sister outfits – Bajrang Dal, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, ABVP and Durga Vahini are headed by Brahmins.

Not surprising really considering, as a knowledgeable person once told me, that the RSS was first set up to preserve the interests of the Brahmins and counter Ambedkar’s dalit movement. RSS members donned the khakhi chaddi and wielded the stick so that they could counter the aggressive dalits. And the RSS is headquartered in Nagpur (Maharashtra) since Ambedkar’s movement started in Maharashtra. Unfortunately, the RSS hasn’t evolved from that day. Unfortunately, the BJP which represents the RSS’s view has also not evolved.

There are more reports in the papers today. This time, Ashok Singhal, the President of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad – another outfit of the “sangh parivar” – said that the reason for the rapes is the western culture. Apparently, “we have lost all values in the cities”. And as further evidence of his aboriginal thinking “Virginity was preserved (before the British era), but purity has been totally disturbed by these models (Live-in relationships)” Purity my foot.

So we have this quaint situation where the BJP’s top brass (Advani, Swaraj, Jaitley) comes out in vociferous support of women’s rights, and tries to take political advantage of the protests in Delhi, but their cultural ideologues keep issuing their 17th century viewpoints. BJP leaders behave like they are true reformers: modern, progressive and all that. But in their own backyard, the bigots lurk. Not to forget the future messiah of the BJP (and the country), the great Narendra Modi – who thinks of women as multi-crore assets (remember his Rs 50 crore girl friend comment on Sunanda Tharoor?).

Look at what kinds of friends the BJP keeps. It has the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, which is even more radical in thoughts than the BJP. They even find celebrating Valentine’s day an attack on bharatiya sanskriti. Their other hobbies include attacking young boys and girls who hold hands at Bandra Bandstand, destroying cricket pitches when the Pakistanis come to play, and disrupting art exhibitions by the likes of MF Hussains. Then the Akalis, ruling a state where women’s rights are the last thing on anyone’s mind.

Bhagwat also said: “Besides new legislations, Indian ethos and attitude towards women should be revisited in the context of ancient Indian values,". The man is clear. Ancient Indian values is what he is after.

The real truth is that the RSS and BJP have 17th century thinking. They represent the most ancient, most orthodox social values. Sushma Swaraj even objected to the usage of the name “Radha” in one of 2012’s biggest songs (from Student of the Year), accusing liberals of always tarnishing the names of Radha, Kaushalya and Sita. The BJP is socially as out of time as the Republicans in the US are. It had better change course soon….

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