Women's rights and Hindu Talibanisation?
Indian girls can do a lot of things. They can, and do, fly aeroplanes. They can, and do, join the defence forces and help protect the country from its enemies. They can, and have, climbed Mount Everest. They can go on to become CEOs of international brands, like Indra Nooyi. Some can even become CEOs of the country like Indira and Sonia Gandhi. They can do all these things, and more.
Often there are many writers who complain of Hindutva organizations and their attacks on Sikhi on these pages. And with the use of alchohol being as destructive as the use of tobacco to a person's health, as well as destructive to any human society (health costs, ect.) the following story which looks at the base reasons why extremist fundamentalists of any religion whether Muslim, Hindu or any other would want to deny women equality was , I thought, spot on.
Guru Nanak was among the first men of religion to speak out for women having equal rights and while the Prophet of Islam was well aware of the violence, stupidity , evil and many sins of his Arabic brothers who so loved alchoholic drink he promised them rivers of the stuff to drink in their afterlife, but here is some of what Guru Nanak would write concerning alcoholic drinking:
- By drinking wine, one gets much misery.
- By getting drunk, one cannot distinguish between friend and foe.
- Being intoxicated with liquor, one commits many a sin.
- The drinking of wine leads one to wicked deeds.
- Avoid it with all your determination. Better to be intoxicated with the nectar of God's remembrance.
- O Nanak, the True Guru comes and meets the mortal; by His Grace, one obtains the True Wine--the Ambrosial Bani of the True Naam.
And thanks to the guidance of Guru Gobind Singh, Sikhs have largely avoided the scourge of the elixer of the Aztecs and other South American 'Indian' tribes, with which Columbus and Jean Nicot de Villemain doomed so many millions.
So please bear with the following news story, which concerns women entering a Pub where both drinking and smoking goes on and read the story through to the end.
Recently I was shocked to read that a Sikh father and his son hunted down and killed his own daughter because she had married someone who he did not approve of. The headline of the story read HONOR KILLING. Would Guru Nanak or any Guru approve of something called an honor killing? Would any of the Gurus have condoned such behavior? Maharaja Ranjit Singh even married one or more Muslim wives (strictly forbidden at the time) and because he was willing to be lashed for the transgression, the Granthi of the Akal Takhat pardoned him.
If anyone's son in India married someone who their parents did not approve - would any father kill his son and call it an honor killing-so apparently their is some 'in equality' in the 'thinking' going on in the male mind. The world has heard of Pakistani fathers doing these so called honor killings for some time, but a Sikh doing this to his own daughter was a surprise to me. I do remember the tale of a Canadian Sikh mother and her father who hired some Sikhs in Punjab to kill her daughter because she had married 'outside her caste' (with castism long condemned in Sikhi?).
By the way in the story below it wasn't reported if the Girls were drinking any alchoholic drinks.
2 Feb 2009, 0000 hrs IST, a story by Jug Suraiya , as reported in the Times of India
Girls can't pub, saala
But Indian girls can't drink in pubs. And that's official, according to the Sri Ram Sene (SRS) and its saffron Siamese twin, the Rashtriya Hindu Sena (RHS), both hardcore outfits of the sangh parivar.
The reason that Indian girls can't drink in pubs - or indeed anywhere else, if what they are presuming to drink is even mildly alcoholic in nature - is that such an activity is so subversive of 'Indian culture' that this entity, which has been around for some millennia ever since the Indus Valley civilisation, will immediately curl up its toes and die at the outrage perpetrated against it. 'Indian culture' - as defined by the SRS, the RHS, the Bajrang Dal, the Shiv Sena and other saffronites - is also ill-equipped to withstand such onslaughts as young people sending each other Valentine cards. Or couples holding hands in parks. Or girls wearing 'un-Indian' clothes, like jeans or skirts.
All these things are inimical to Indian culture and the SRS, or one of its sibling organisations, will beat up anyone who dares to transgress these and similar diktats, as happened in the case of the patrons of the Mangalore pub. Beating up people, particularly women, is apparently not at odds with Indian culture, as espoused by hooligans posing as 'Hindu' activists.
Indian culture - if so amorphous and all-encompassing a way of life can be given a single tag - has often been called 'tolerationism': tolerance of difference has always been the essence of what we call Indianness.
'Hindu Talibanisation' of India
So what's going wrong? Why is there this virulent allergy of intolerance spreading like a violent rash across the country? Why is there an incipient 'Hindu Talibanisation' of India?
Both the Muslim Taliban and the so-called Hindu Taliban which is coming into being, both radical Islamists and what might be called radical Hinduists, share one thing in common: their deep-rooted fear and antipathy to anything that smacks of the empowerment of women.
Women going to schools, women getting jobs and becoming economically independent, women joining politics and become politically independent, women going to pubs and showing that they are - or at least, want to be - socially independent. All of that is pure anathema for the Taliban, whether Muslim or Hindu.
This almost psychotic oppression of women (in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan the surgical wards in the gender-segregated women's hospitals had no anaesthesia, this being reserved for men-only hospitals; women were meant to undergo pain) is in fact as profoundly un-Islamic as it is un-Hindu: the first disciples of the Prophet were women, and Shakti has more than adequate representation in the Hindu pantheon.
The violent anti-feminism of the Taliban, of whichever creed, is a visceral response to the real or perceived threat of women's economic and social emancipation. In such a world view, freedom is a zero-sum game: the more freedom that women can wrest for themselves, the less there will be for men. In yesterday's Kabul or today's Mangalore, to the Talibanised mind, a liberated woman - educated, employed, daring to have an independent social life - poses the threat of symbolic emasculation, a challenge to the supposed biological supremacy of the male. Talibanisation, of whatever stripe, is the social and political disguise adopted by a deep and unresolved fear of psychological castration.
That's the real reason that girls can't pub. Because the bollocks they'd have to acquire to do that, would be us men's, saala.
Restoring a Woman's honor, the millitant's way
'Mother of believers' this really unique way to recruit women as 'equals' is a story as reported by the Associated Press.
A Muslim woman in Iraq- Jassim, whose nickname Umm al-Mumineen translates as "the mother of believers", said it took her two weeks to recruit a teacher who had problems with her husband and his family. She tells us how she recruited the teacher, “I met Amal and we stayed together for more than two weeks. I talked to her until I convinced her she was in a bad situation - as she had been treated badly by her husband and brothers. "She was mentally exhausted. I then took her to see my contacts,(who would prepare her to be a human bomb) then received her back from them at the same delivery place. This is where she then blew herself up".
In an interview with the Associated Press news agency, Jassim said she helped to plan rapes of young women in Diyala and then stepped in to persuade the victims to become suicide bombers as their only escape from the shame.
Jassim, who is a mother of six, said Ansar al-Sunnah provided her a house in Diyala, where she operated a shop selling the traditional robes for women called abayas. She said that Ansar al-Sunnah once threatened to bomb her house if she did not co-operate.
A Glass ceiling in Sikhi?
We all know that there are many Sikh women warriors in history, but this has left me wondering have their been any women Panj Pyares yet or any Female Granthi's at the Takhats?