Tarun Sagar’s nudity isn’t the problem, it’s his misogyny

By inviting a religious leader to speak in the Assembly, what message is BJP government in Haryana trying to send?


They have made it clear once again, as they have done time and time again. The general psyche of our country still likes to pursue the male-dominated social order. Otherwise, we could not be indifferent to the chauvinistic jibes of a monk who was invited to advise the elected members of Haryana Assembly a few days back on the morality of politics.

The Jain saint, Tarun Sagar, was invited to the Haryana Assembly by the BJP, in an attempt to “correct” the members of the law-making body as we’re passing through a tumultuous period of Kaliyug.

When a mechanism that rules the people openly declares its anti-women credentials, there’s no scope for real development. The idea of development is not just about GDP growth or start-up revolution, it’s more about people living in a society.

The anti-women jibe of Tarun Sagar marked India‘s patriarchal social system. Though we proudly claim our country is marching towards a superpower status, this mindset reflects an uncivilised society.

The nude monk was keen on talking about ending female foeticide and solving other social issues. While the majority of media outlets were concerned about his audacity to appear nude inside the Legislative Assembly, what I pondered over seriously was the way in which he dealt with some subjects. And, the way the Indian society remained a mere spectator to this act.

The monk’s vision on the duty of the wife is completely regressive. For that reason alone, it should concern the country.

He compared “duty” with husband and “politics” with wife, and said that it’s the duty of every husband to protect his wife. It’s the duty of every wife to accept her husband’s direction. Even after the monk said a wife’s duty was to obey her husband, the BJP has been in silent mode until this moment.

A terrible manifestation of patriarchal mindset that loudly claims husband is superior to wife, the monk’s words were purely nonsensical and totally unacceptable for a society that wishes to become an egalitarian one.

The views of BJP government in Haryana and the dress code diktats from ministers like Mahesh Sharma are contradictory to the original ideas of their mentors. (Photo: PTI)

The saint is a free human being, and has the right to air his opinion on any issue. That doesn’t matter. But the issue which has to be debated here is how could the Haryana government invite this religious leader to address the Assembly? And, what’s the message he has communicated to the masses from the sanctum sanctorum of democracy?

By saying it’s the duty of every husband to protect his wife, the monk declared his vision of “women empowerment”. It reminds us that the doctrine of woman as a weaker sex is still strongly underlined in the minds of our leaders and religious “reformists” alike.

The onus of protecting a woman ultimately falls upon the woman herself. Women don’t need have to be protected by someone. That is, indeed, a feudal and misogynist line of thought.

Saints like Tarun Sagar need a thorough understanding about the ideology of spirituality, development, and materialism that the great leaders of this nation once taught.

Swami Vivekananda, the most celebrated monk India has ever seen once said that the best thermometer to the progress of a nation is its treatment of women. Women enjoyed equal status as men in Vedic India. They were not the ones destined to just to obey the orders of their husbands. There was not much difference in the state of woman and man in Vedic India.

Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, the leader who founded the RSS in 1925, thought that women should be independent in every sense, and they must be trained to protect themselves. But the views of BJP government in Haryana and the dress code diktats from ministers like Mahesh Sharma are contradictory to the original ideas of their mentor.

The idea of women empowerment is absolute independence, nothing more, nothing less. This is the enlightenment that Indian society has to achieve first.http://www.dailyo.in/politics/tarun-sagar-naked-jain-monk-haryana-assembly-sexism-misogyny-mahesh-sharma-rss/story/1/12860.html