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Showing posts from January, 2013

A Patriarchal Mythology

I have always cordially hated the Ramayana, even as a child. My C. Rajagopalachari copy of the Mahabharata is in tatters from frequent reading whereas the Ramayana lies pristine. In light of the recent gangrape in Delhi, and even more, the spate of violence against women which seems to be spiraling upwards, I am increasingly convinced that the Ramayana was a text written to enforce the patriarchy. Rama, the ‘Maryada Purushottam’ whom all men must strive to emulate is either misogynistic, a disrespecter of women or a spineless coward. Beginning with blind obedience of a father’s unjust command, to humiliating Shoorpanakha whose only crime was that she desired him, to killing Vali by foul means because Sugreeva coveted Vali’s wife, to making Sita go through an Agni Pariksha because she had the misfortune of being captured – where was his agni pariksha for having remained sans spouse in the forest, may I ask? – to his final rejection of Sita because of what an uneducated man said, rather…