THE inhuman gang-rape of a young girl in Delhi, leading to her death in a hospital abroad and the recent rape of a five year old girl, has once again set off an intense emotional turmoil in the Parliament, in the media, and among the country’s intelligentsia. No such events happened before Independence. However, the moral degradation brought about in the society during the past 50 years has had no equal in 500 years of slavery. Actually, women all over the world are being subjected to such atrocities, because the extreme moral laxity prevailing in western countries has helped the spread of unbridled sexuality in the human society at large. The Gita had called sexual passion the biggest enemy of mankind, which cannot be restrained just by making laws. What is needed is the establishment of a sense of respect for womanhood in the society.
Hindu Dharma says Yatra naryastu pujyante, remante tatra devatah, “the gods are pleased to dwell where women are worshipped”. In no other scripture has such a thing been written. This is because women were greatly respected in this country in Vedic times. There were many learned ladies like Lopamudra and Gargi, who used to engage learned men in religious debates. Women were called Griha-Lakshmi, and enjoyed all rights. The husband, the mother-in-law, the father-in-law, they all respected her. The Vedas had taught women to rule the household with love and sewa.
During the Puranic period there were many great Hindu women like Sita, Kunti, Gandhari and so on. When foreigners invaded the country, many women like Mira, the Rani of Jhansi, Ahilyabai etc. instilled patriotism and a sense of devotion in the Hindu society.
When the Mughals subjugated and enslaved India taking advantage of internecine strife, Muslims used to abduct Hindu women. So for their protection they had to be kept in purdah and were not allowed to go out to get education. This led to their fall from status, but this was not a part of Hindu Dharma.
Mughal rule was followed by British rule. In this period women achieved freedom. They began to go out for education. When Gandhiji launched the freedom movement many women like Sarojini Naidu, Indira Gandhi etc. joined it, and after the attainment of Independence Indira Gandhi was happily made prime minister. This was not possible in America and Europe. Women there did not have even the right to vote, for which they had to struggle for long years.
In other religions only men are worshipped as deities, not women. But in Hindu Dharma a woman is also worshipped as a Devi, a goddess. Knowledge, Wealth and Power are all emanations of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali. On big festivals like Diwali only Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped. The name of the city of Mumbai comes from Mumba Devi, and Kolkata comes from Kali. Ganga, Yamuna, Narmada are holy rivers for Hindus. The word ‘Devi’ is used as a suffix for a woman’s name, as for example Sarladevi. All this has helped to create a sense of respect for womanhood in the Hindu mind and heart. During Navaratri a girl of nine years is worshipped. On the occasion of Rakshabandhan all women are considered sisters and given a pledge of protection.
Whatever bad qualities that now affect the Hindu society, like high-low considerations, untouchability, malice, hatred and so on, are the result of a thousand years of slavery. Unfortunately those who came to power after Independence were against Hindu Dharma; in the name of secularism they stopped its teaching in schools, even stopped Hindu prayers. In the media and in speeches Hindu Dharma began to be denigrated everywhere. As a result the young generation now looks down upon it. This in turn has led to excessive atrocities on women and evil conduct in this holy land. Ten year old girls are gang-raped, a father rapes his own daughter, women are sold and forced into prostitution, and in the event of such a woman becoming pregnant, either abortion is forced upon her or the new-born is killed. All over the world women are subjected to injustice and atrocity, and there is no one to save them. The Hindu woman, the noblest of the world’s women, is now a fallen woman. Hindu Dharma alone can save women all over the world.
These evils cannot be eradicated by law. Rather, the more the laws, the more the atrocities perpetrated on women. Only the moral and family values of Hindu Dharma can save the situation. Today the daughters of those families where some moral values still prevail can be seen getting a good education and reaching high positions.
Unfortunately, the noble love, trust, and high character of Hindu marital life are being destroyed by the malignant influence of the western civilisation and media. Consequently, domestic discord has grown and divorces are fast increasing.
In the western civilization sex has been given full freedom. As a result, according to press reports 12 year-old girls have become mothers. In order to prevent this from happening in Bharat we need to make our children study our scriptures like the Gita and Ramayana.
When India became independent after a thousand years of slavery, it was due to enduring Sanskars of Hindu Dharma that within just 50 years Hindu industrialists like Mukesh Ambani, Narayan Murthy, Birla could amaze the world with India’s industrial progress. They now go abroad to buy over foreign corporations.
Hundreds of Hindu women in America have reached high positions. In India too they are forging ahead on the path of progress. Industries in India have a very bright future. If Hindu women preserve the Hindu culture and Dharma that empower them and keep away from shallow thinking, they have a very bright future.