Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan at the RSS event (Picture courtesy: News18)
New Delhi: The concluding day of ‘Prerna Shibir’, organised by the Rashtra Swayamsevak Sangh’s women’s wing Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, was dominated by praises of the Indian joint family and critique of “western feminist countries”.
Samiti members told News 18 that they believe a woman has many responsibilities both as a citizen and as a mother or wife. “The idea of a blissful life is not confrontation with men in the family, but it’s all about co-existence. There is no question of opposing, man and woman work together for nation building. We don’t believe in anything that will break the family,” one of them said.
The three-day event was organised here by the organisation to celebrate its 80th anniversary.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan presided over the session, “Rashtra Mahila Vichar Sangoshthi”, which focused on the “Role of family in nation building” (Rashtra ke vikas me parivar ki bhoomika).
Rajasthan Finance Commission chairperson, Jyoti Kiran Shukla, was one of the main speakers. Dr Uma Vaidya, Pro-Vice Chancellor Kalidas Vishwa Vidyalaya, Nagpur and Meena Chandavark, former pro-vice chancellor Mahila Vishwa Vidyalaya, Vijaypur, also spoke at the event.
Shukla questioned “accusations of male dominated society” and eulogized the Indian family system that contributes in the economic growth of the country. “The feminist rate of growth is 2% while the Familist rate of growth is 7%. Household saving rate in India is 11% and US 5% (sic),” she said.
She emphasized the importance of family system, saying, “The feminist countries in Europe, UK and USA ignore the importance of a united family in ascertaining economic development of the country.”
“There is an Indian model of making choices, which has both tangible and intangible elements. In Bharat we talk about sacrifice, but this is not known to West, they don’t know about sacrifice and sneh. Instead their idea of development is about ‘Guns and Butter’,” she said.
Shukla said the West’s model makes a nation choose between two options – guns (invest in defense/military) or butter (invest in production of goods) – or a combination of both while spending its finite resources. “They don’t even have the family element in their growth model,” she said.
Seetha Annadanam, general secretary of the Samiti, told News 18 that there is no male domination in Sangh. “It is an outfit for men and samiti for us, and we do the same work independently.
We give training to women on how to demonstrate the inner power in society. There are other views on woman empowerment as well but that thinking is very limited, they only talk about adhikar, rights and equality but we also talk about kartavya. Women are doing well in profession because they are duty minded,” she said.