Sanjay Srivastava is professor of Sociology at the Institute of Economic Growth in New Delhi. In his article in The Hindu, he suggests that somehow Swami Vivekananda’s photograph and his pose with folded hands somehow is responsible for installing “masculinity” in the country in the name of Nationalism. (Taking the aggression out of masculinity)
Well, if I take that utterly ridiculous gobbledygook as some “creative psychological truth”, then Nanak’s upturned hand trying to bless everyone does the same thing. Here, a man is being portrayed as God who can somehow give you – a woman – something that you can never have. The very idea that Jesus and not Mary is the “ONLY Savior” of mankind – men and women – is as offensive to the balance and goodness in the world. After all, for a woman it should be extremely repulsive to even imagine that a guy – one who couldn’t do a damp squib for himself as he was dragged through the streets and put on a cross to die – can somehow save her! Is that what the liberated woman of today has come to?
If we have to use this post crime time introspection to come up with creative nonsense, then why stop at Swami Vivekananda? Let us go all the way and take every man – living or dead, divine or devil, loving or hateful – down.
As one goes through the press, it seems that this crime is being systematically used to do two things:
- Heap abuse and disruptive nonsense at everything “Hindu”. Afterall, the rapist was a Hindu (just the name is enough, right?), so now every scripture and every character and every ritual is fair game for these rather creative “analysts”
- Instill hatred towards every Man and Masculine.
Srivastava also goes in to denounce Karwa Chauth as another symbol of man subjugating woman. This is what I would like to say about Karwa Chauth and this guy’s nonsense:
From where we stand today, the guy who came up with the stone-axe was a fool. A stone axe after all?? My 8 year old kid can make something better than that! But that is from today’s perspective when we live in the world of satellite-guided missiles. But, if you looked at the guy who came up with the Stone Axe idea and made it for the first time and used it effectively to make food, he was no ordinary person. He was equivalent of 1000 Steve Jobs put together for the simplicity and the effectiveness of his invention in helping mankind survive!
In a similar vein, when the country was under invasion and men were to protect the kingdom’s security, but above all the safety and honor of women, it was quite interesting that the power of impacting a man’s destiny – his survival or demise – was put in the hands of a woman! A woman was considered powerful enough – Spiritually – that her steadfastness from a day’s fast was enough to provide her with the Spiritual wherewithal to save her man – who was at that time (to the utter horror of the feminists) responsible for her honor, which incidentally was the first casualty when the Islamic invaders defeated an Indian king! To impact another person’s life is no easy responsibility, and man was never considered “Spiritually sensitive” enough to return that favor to woman.
Whether you agree with this take of mine or not, but this is one CREDIBLE and LOGICAL take on Karwa Chauth. In today’s world of aggressive feminism – which is feminism masquerading as masculinity really – this may be considered bad. But well, George Bush also had a similar strategy of engagement – “Either you are with us, or are our enemy”. It is immaterial that where you stand today you are as depraved as the forces you are fighting. At least in your display of aggression.
After all the call for castration and capital punishment is the same mindset that subjugates the woman. A woman a day before the protests wouldn’t have said that. Today she can and does. Why? Because she feels that “power is with her” – thanks to the widespread protests.
But if the ONLY difference between the woman who didn’t shout “castrate” and quietly took the crime (which is sad and slavish and therefore not right) and the one who shouts “Castrates” and “Hang in Public” and garnishes it with middle finger and expletives – is the Power, then, pray, how is the Rapist any different?
The same guys when in front of their boss – the bus company owner – would have been quiet and squeamish . They will be so surely in front of an aggressive Policeman who is getting ready to give that Ram Singh a “third degree treatment”. That policeman, however repulsive in any other situation doing the same thing (depends on who you are and which side of the fence you are on) is nothing more than an extension of the expletive-shouting-middle-finger-showing aggressive women protesters. Really look at it – aren’t they?
Bulle Shah has a very powerful phrase in one of his poems:
Bulle Shah pata tad lag si, jado chidi fasi hath baazan de.
He is talking of the indicator of one’s humanity. The real test of one comes when he is with all the power – just like a Hawk has over a sparrow when she is in its claws struggling. If that happens and you smash the sparrow like the Hawk, how are you and the rapist any different? At the most fundamental level, are we not missing the point completely?
Masculinity and Femininity
The women have denounced the Masculine and yet clamoured for Equality with it.
This is the saddest comment on the Feminist mentality. You want to be EXACTLY like the thing you hate. You have brought down the entire concept to show how depraved it is and you turn around and say, “That! I want to be JUST LIKE THAT!”.
Eastern Spiritual cultures NEVER talked of “Equality”. They ALWAYS talked of Equilibrium. They always said that Yin and Yang – Nar and Nari … BOTH, are necessarily for this existence. Both, need to be in harmony. They are NOT the same, they cannot replace each other.. they shouldn’t overlap each other’s foundational qualities either. They are both in their own right the supreme forms of what they represent.
The situation today is not brought about because how useless the “Masculine” is. Or how irrelevant it is. But because there is an imbalance.
When even the Feminine has abandoned its own character, who will create the balance?
By Femininity, I am not saying that women shouldn’t be aggressive. They should when it is needed, but they have – because they are Spiritually more sensitive naturally – more power to change the mankind from a mere game of survival to a civilization.
Masculinity is important, because it ensures survival. Once you are assured of your survival, your finer, subtle and artistic nature as a society should kick in. Otherwise, the society will keep inventing useless ways to play “Survival” in various ways! Which is PRECISELY what the modern mankind IS doing!
We are no longer producing a Leonardo da Vinci or a Van Gough or a Tulsidas or a Kalidas – but we have all types of survival stars today.
That is where the utter nonsense of Srivastava’s premise can be viewed from – how to take the aggression out of masculinity. The guy wants to take aggression out of masculinity and SHOVE that into the feminine. From where I see it, that is Rape at a subtle level.
He wants the feminine to be aggressive. Is that any different from masculinity?
Just because we have a woman shouting murder threats – when she has the power to do so – does that make her better?
Instead of letting such “analyst” quacks run down an entire society or culture by their gobbledygook, let us put them to some good questioning. Because we need to get it right this time.
PS: As for Karwa Chauth, I propose that this festival and ritual SHOULD survive and be celebrated but not as just the wife fasting for her husband, but BOTH, fasting for each other praying for happiness and longevity. Honestly, in my life I haven’t found a more ridiculous (and uplifting) festival as Thanksgiving. The very guys – Pilgrims from Europe – who were saved by the Native Americans and they said thanks to them as the winter was over, were the ones to later slaughter their hosts to extinction! But today that is celebrated as a way of thanking everyone around you. Today, it is not the original depravity of the holiday that is key to celebration but to what it has evolved as now. It is a time to say thanks to everyone and everything. Indeed, a most beautiful sentiment!
Thriving and intelligent cultures re-invent themselves given the times. Karwa Chauth has to evolve too. Now, more than man, it is the woman’s survival which at stake here! And, the Feminine has to find its expression all over again. Both, in men and women. We have strayed FAR too much from the equilibrium.