Posts Tagged ‘Sita’

‘Ram, a bad husband; Lakshman, a worse brother’

9 November 2012

The Ramayana, reinterpreted by the renowned criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani, in The Hindu:

Ram was a bad husband. I don’t like him at all. Just because some fisherman said something, he sent that poor woman [Sita] to exile.

Lakshman was even worse.

“When Sita was abducted, Ram asked him to go and find her as she was abducted during his watch. Lakshman simply excused himself saying she was his sister-in-law and he never looked at her face, so he wouldn’t be able to identify her.”

Image: courtesy India Forums

Also read: Rama, Krishna, Shiva and political correctness

Ramayana, Mahabharatha, and the women’s bill

Should gods, godesses have caste identities?

In Ayodhya, Dasaratha‘s wives gorged on idlis

If Lord Rama was here, there, everywhere…

CHURUMURI POLL: Lord Rama, man or myth?

Rama, Krishna, Shiva & our political correctness

8 December 2011

Delhi University does not want a certain kind of Ramayana to be heard or read by its students. Well, for altogether different reasons, so do many parents writes the author, speaker, illustrator and mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik, chief belief officer of the Future group, in Star of Mysore:


“Often I am approached by well-meaning people who want stories to be told to their children. So which story must one tell children? ‘Tell the Ramayana.’ So I begin—Once upon a time, there was a king with three wives…. And they interrupt, ‘Skip the three wives part. How can one talk about polygamy to children?’

“And then I come to the part where Ram abandons Sita following gossip in the city. And they interrupt again, ‘Can we end the Ramayana with the coronation part and skip this tragic ending?’

“In fact, many parents feel Ramayana should not be told to children as it is a patriarchal narrative. They feel I should tell the story of Krishna. Which part? ‘The childhood part when he is so sweet and naughty.’ And do we tell the story of how he stole clothes? ‘No, no, that is awkward.’ And the part about Raas-Lila. ‘No, no, that is difficult to explain.’

“So shall I tell the story of Shiva? ‘Yes, except anything about the Lingam and the consumption of Bhang.’ What about story of Durga? ‘Yes, Yes.’ But the moment I describe how Kali drinks blood I see eyebrows rise and gestures begging me to stop. ‘We are vegetarians.’

“Every parent wants to control what their children must hear. Every celebrity wants to control what the media says about them. Is there a difference?”

Read Devdutt Pattanaik’s articles: here

Also read: Dasaratha‘s wives gorged on idlis, dosas

Should gods, goddesses have caste identities?

USHA K.R.: The delightful feminism behind Ganesha‘s birth

Ramayana, Mahabharatha and the Women’s Bill

19 March 2010

Union law minister Veerappa Moily while receiving an award for his five-volume Shri Ramayan Mahanveshanam, yesterday:

“It is instances like Sita‘s fire ordeal which firmed our resolve for the women’s reservation bill.”

“In Sita’s ‘fire ordeal’, Ravan‘s wife, Mandodari, talks to Sita: “Are you not satisfied with the fiery ordeal of life we have tolerated and endured as women till now? Only a man of the epoch can put an end to women’s ordeal.”

Moily did not of course reveal who the “man of the epoch” was on 9 March 2009. Was it him, who moved the bill? Was it P. Chidambaram, who is rumoured to have said the dissenting MPs must be marshalled out?

Or, was it you-know-who?

Meanwhile, the veteran editor T.J.S. George too adds a touch of the mythological to decipher modern-day male chauvinism.



Draupadi had five husbands, each with unsurpassed capabilities. None of them came to her rescue when she was dragged into the royal court for disrobing.

The political Yadavs of our time seem to have taken a self-serving lesson from this episode and resolved that women are unworthy of protection, let alone promotion. Either that or they have forgotten the double curse—pronounced by Gandhari, and then by Viswamitra, Kanva and Narada—that the Yadava race would destroy itself.

Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav and Sharad Yadav have already reduced their parties to tottering relics. Their opposition to the women’s reservation bill and, worse, the hooliganism of their men in the Rajya Sabha betrayed a 19th century mindset.

The hooligans brought such shame to the country that they would be better off under the waters that swallowed up Dwaraka.

But what do we see beyond the fossils of Yadu Kula?

Two realities are clearly visible. The first is the politics of the bill. The Yadavas talking about Muslim women’s quota is a desperate move to regain some of the Muslim support they have lost. Mamata Banerjee”s visceral hatred of Bengal communists made her an odd woman against women.

The Congress also put its internal politics on display. Singularly lukewarm about the bill on Day 1, it suddenly became determined on Day 2. In the Congress nothing happens until partymen know what Soniaji wants and once the signal comes, nothing can stop them from carrying out her wishes.

A parliamentary system is unhealthy when it adheres to the letter of the Westminster model, without heeding the spirit of it.

The other reality that looms large is that the women’s bill, even if it crosses the obstacles in its path and finally becomes law, will have only symbolic value. It will not by itself give women the human rights they have been denied for ages. That will require social reform and no social reformers are anywhere in sight.

If and when 33 per cent seats in legislatures are reserved for women, around 30 per cent of that will likely go to wives, daughters, nieces and girlfriends of male politicians.

Lalu Prasad himself put his unlettered wife in the chief minister’s chair while Mulayam Singh could only find his daughter-in-law to contest a Lok Sabha seat. The Kanimozhis and Supriya Sules will multiply when reservations become law.

And what will happen when they sit as law-makers?

Will it mean an end to the killing of newborn girls in the villages of Tamil Nadu and Haryana?

Will it stop crimes against women which increased by 30-40 per cent in recent years as against 16 per cent increase in general crime?

Will it bring down dowry killings which doubled in the last decade?

Will it make a difference to one-third of married women in India being children below 18?

In one sense India has already led the way in women’s empowerment. Women occupy top positions in corporate houses, financial institutions and in the arts. They have reached these positions through merit, not the favour of reservations. This will continue, making India an exemplar of women’s advancement.

But it will be foolish to close our eyes to the social debris that has collected over the centuries.

The tendency to treat women as beasts of burden is all too prevalent. Inside a family, discrimination is carried to the extent of feeding sons properly while daughters are kept on starvation diet. This has led to half the married women in India being anaemic.

The largest number of illiterate women is also in India—200 million. It’s all very well for Sushma Swaraj and Brinda Karat to forget ideologies and perform a celebratory embrace. But what about India’s social reality? Yaduvamsha still has a grip on that reality.

Also read: Goodbye democracy, say hello to Quotocracy

CHURUMURI POLL: Sonia Gandhi, smarter than Indira?

‘Women’s bill will only increase State’s power’

CHURUMURI POLL: Impact of women’s bill?

Is this all that pooje and archane could achieve?

30 January 2009

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Will somebody please explain just what is happening to B.S. Yediyurappa and his BJP government?

The CM mentions there won’t be power cuts and just after few hours the power minister contradicts him saying there would be massive power cuts all over the State. Apparently somebody is talking and doing things exactly opposite to what the CM wants to say or do.


The CM is known to be very meticulous in what he says or does. Yet, he misses the flag-hoisting ceremony on Republic Day and sneaks in last and sits next to the Governor, when the Governor was already half-way through his speech.

For practically any other item of the day, the CM makes sure there is no rahu kala, guli kala, yama gandakala so on and so forth. He makes sure there are at least half-a-dozen swamijis of various mutts to go with him for other functions.

Yet, on the 60th Anniversary of the Republic, is there nobody to tell him the exact kala or time when he should be present when his Governor is doing the flag hoisting?


There’s a public bashing of girls in a pub in the largest port-city of the State during daytime.

Goons of  Sri Rama Sena bash up girls; their leaders go on the air, give interviews saying they are the custodians of Indian or Hindu culture. Yet, there is no word from the CM or the ever-amiable Shivraj Patil-like home minister, V.S. Acharya.

This is more than a law-and-order issue when innocent women are thrashed about and the home minister says the press is blowing up the whole situation. Sri Rama Sena is supposed to see women as embodiment of Sita, yet they beat up women and show no sign of remorse.

The hoodlums more looked like members of a modern Vanara Sene out to do monkey business.

Instead of acting quickly and show it means business, action starts after a series of denials as if the administration is in a state of deep collective slumber.

Is it a stable Government when it fails to act, protect its citizens, and then blames it on “pub culture”?

The CM and his team, particularly the Home Minister goofed up sometime back when they failed to act when churches were ransacked all over Mangalore.

Again, were they looking for rahu kala to pass before taking any action?


Is it merely a coincidence that a CM who was tripping administratively and politically, has started doing so literally?

Recently, his belt got caught with the ropes of a chariot-pulling ceremony in a Nanjanagud temple and he had to be saved in the nick of the time by Shobha Karandlaje and others.

While addressing the national press along with his party’s national president Rajnath Singh, he tried to sit on a non-existent chair which had just been pulled back by one of his security guards! He got up red-faced with a bruised bottom to meet the press again.


Has all the pooja done to his chair and office for days and months when he took office, and the daily archane plan across the State which was announced and hastily withdrawn, gone to waste that “instability” stares on his face and feet every second day?

Why is Karnataka saddled with a stumbling CM and a mumbling home minister when it calls for action at the highest level?

Does administration begin and end with planning and executing only Operation‘Kamala and Operation Vimala?

Senior citizens are hacked in their homes during daytime, on an average twice or thrice a week in Bangalore. Yet, the bungling duo has hardly said anything to allay the fears of senior citizens.

Has the administration failed totally?

Are they busy playing ‘defection’ games and only spending their time for parliamentary election when more such games have to be devised and perfected to come and stay in power?

CHURUMURI POLL: Can Hindus not be terrorists?

20 November 2008

BJP president Rajnath Singh and the party’s prime minister hopeful L.K. Advani have declared that the Anti-Terrorism Squad of the Maharashtra police should let off the Malegaon blast accused—“Sadhvi” Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt. Col. Shrikant Purohit, et al—because “they are Hindus and Hindus cannot be terrorists,” a point also underlined by the sane sages of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

V.K. Malhotra, the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for Delhi, too says Hindus cannot be terrorists “because it is neither in their genes, nor in their character.


Dipankar Gupta, who teaches sociology at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, writes in Mail Today:

“Why should the law accept such mock syllogism? If the same BJP could POTA to catch Muslim terrorists, why is it changing the rules now?

“In the wake of these arrests BJP’s ideological construct comes through clearly. It is fundamentally repugnant to the idea that citizenship extend equally to minorities. BJP would be happiest if there were a differentiated law.

“If in the times of Manu punishment depend on the caste of the alleged offender, for the BJP it should be decided on the basis of religion. It was faith that convinced BJP that Sita‘s rasoi was indeed located in the precincts of the Babri masjid; it is faith again that tells them that Hindus cannot be terrorists. In both instances faith clearly trumps the law.”

Also read: God save Hinduism from the lunatic fringe

CHURUMURI POLL: Proof of Hindu terror?

CHURUMURI POLL: Ban VHP and Bajrang Dal?

Rotten apples in the name of the good lord