Rust

First.Apologies.
Next. Thanks.
Third. Beware.
All these for the reading the rather loooong post.

With all the thinking thats currently going into judging the epics regarding the infallibility of the characters[very true] in the epics[not true] and evidences of male domination[very true], Ill just try to muse more deeply on this.

I.
When Manu intially talked about the chaturvarna system, the four varnas, viz.
brahmins [the intellectuals],
kshatriyas [warriors],
vaishyas [traders],
shudras [worker]
they were classified based on their capabilities, and not by their birth.When they were even categorised by birth, they still could change to other class structures by basis of their capabilities.

II.
Why did ppl have different systems of dead disposal system for their dead? Why is it that the Hindu system predominantly uses the cremation[by fire] while the other systems use burial?

The areas dominated by Indians[Hindus] were primarily areas of fertile soils, as is the India peninsula, mostly. And using any land to bury them would only mean that such land would go waste. But with the areas mostly occupied by the non-Hindus were areas with abundance of availability of infertile soil, the need for burial.

III.
Why were women not allowed into practising brahminism?

Mainly pysiologically not suitable. In the early gurukula system practised during those times, where the students had to live with the guru and the gurupatni and learn their vidyas, considering the physical changes that affect them during puberty and the amount of care needed, women were generally advised not to practise them. And practise of such rigorous schedule to learn the vedas by heart, involves quite an amount of physical endurance which was/is not a particular hallmark of women.

Any of the roles played by the individuals are a direct result of their own capabilities. Some of the roles of women were fixed mainly due to their own physical capabilities and hence their non-entry into being warriors.

Its definitely acknowledged fact that india is a male dominated society. I guess theres no need for any discussion here…

Ill always stand by the pieces of literature that have been given to us, through the years. These pieces of literature, are notably the vedas[shruti] and upanishads[smriti], epics, sanskrit and other major pieces of literature that have gone in. Religion in India has been multifaceted which has mostly concentrated on the being rather than believing. And religion is an integral part of an identity of an individual.

But somewhere down the line has India stopped thinking? In my belief yes. And that is where comes up the rigidity of the class structures. Rigidity of the roles of ppl. Rigidity in thought processes.

Im searching for the letter, that Shri Aurobindo wrote to his brother lamenting the same. I will be happy if anyone can direct me to that link. I would love to mirror it in my blog.

Prolly this is the rust that we are talking about. The rusting where nothing was questioned. And accepted without question.

Many things have changed since the ages. But what were there then were a result of the practises prevalent at that time. Take for instance, prostituion, polygamy, polyandry were more socially acceptable practises then. But things arent the same now! But that doesnt mean its crap. Isnt it?

Im not trying to be judgemental here. Im just trying to find out why things are the way they are…

If anyone has the patience, do answer me this.

Why is a married woman expected to move to her husband’s place?
A couple are supposed to start life anew. And since the joint family system was very much part of the family system earlier, that holds place. But what im not able to fathom still is why is it that its the woman that is expected to move out?

I guess not everything starts out as a malice as the intention. Im sure there was something other intention. What?

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5 thoughts on “Rust

  1. But somewhere down the line has India stopped thinking? In my belief yes. And that is where comes up the rigidity of the class structures. Rigidity of the roles of ppl. Rigidity in thought processes. I can’t put it better. I would put the blame on orthodoxy and blind faith. We need to think, a lot more…We can definitely hope for a lot of change, when we change ourselves – the miracle that is called “Human Transformation” that is in fact beyond any religion.

    Why is a married woman expected to move to her husband’s place?Good thought…To answer your question, I wouldn’t “directly” quote this as just another instance of male domination. It is kinda obvious that one of the two has to move out to the other’s home. Why should it be the woman? No answer specifically – but the way the Indian society was structured – women were thought the “home-makers” and you bring a “Griha Lakshmi” home. Men typically had an out-of-home existence and it wouldnt have made a lot of sense then… But it is not always so.. In certain matriarchal societies like the Nair community in Kerala, it is the menfolk who have to move in with their wives.

    At the end of the day, it is shuddering to think of the enormous sacrifices that the average Indian woman made in her life in those days… In every house is a grandmother who can narrate tales of horrors and sufferings, and how grandfathers till quite late in life – did not quite understand the pains in maintaining a household and bringing up a family…and when they do realise, the roles are reversed. I have met some steely old women – who openly prayed for their husbands’ death so that they don’t live beyond their own times and suffer the pain of separation and helplessness- from which they have so long been shielded.

    In fact that reminds of something that I read that I should blog about very soon…

  2. I quite agree to that. But personally, i have seen instances of the male folk being oppressed and since that is few and far between, and now since it would never be publicly acknowledged i wouldnt go into that either.

    Male domination apart, im sometimes terribly unsettled by the law of duality that we chose to base our premises on. If its not ‘a’, its ‘b’.

    Male domination does not necessarily mean female oppression, isnt it?

    I would definitely try to call the society as ‘female oppressive’ society [instead of a male-dominated], where the females are not given the due, in more cases than one, the females are the oppressors themselves. This only can give the seriousness of the problem that we are concentrating on.

    Brickbats/Comments invited.

  3. You have a fantastic point. And that is a very good debate in itself.

    But, I would still prefer to call our society as “male-dominated” and not “female oppressive” for exactly the same reason that you quoted 🙂 We are not explicitly taught to “oppress women” – which would have been so much easier to resist, but we are subconsciously taught by every action – that women are inexplicably second to men – in any act. Even the women start believing after some time that men naturally dominate. The subtleness of this idea makes it all the more difficult to resist.. Hope I made sense..

    It is not biologically true either. It may be true that in the wild that the male dominates before mating. But, they naturally retreat and play second fiddle when the young are raised. Ever seen how a female resists an advancing male with her cubs around ? Amazing insights into human fallacies come even while watching Animal Planet 🙂

    When you say the females are the oppressors themselves , you are talking of “institutionalization” of the same behavioural traits. The cliched MIL-DIL feud, etc etc. are often because of past wounds opened up and the identity crises getting ushered in.. Have you ever heard of a father in law and a son in law fight like the infamous “domestic women” fight ?

    You see, that is why I said earlier in one of my comments in my blog… that it is no use fixing the blame on the maledom, or the femaledom. We are both victims of the same tricks being played on us by our past… And the only way out is men introspecting and women rebelling…

  4. Fantastic comments RL!

    I expected nothing less. Its true that we are conditioned to think so. As you truly said, men are conditioned to play strong and resilient while women are more to be in touch with their feminine side.

    Im sure we are not against the roles women or men play, like the two wheels of a vehicle. Both might be different, one bigger/smaller than the other;but both are needed for it to be perfect.

    But yes, the amount of sacrifices an average indian woman has to make is much more than what an average male has to make. But im still not sure about the rebeling aspect of the same.

    As an afterthought, if the subjugation goes, chivalry and all such things go too? Or is this act of chivalry just a method of female subjugation?

    I will definitely make a separate post of all this.

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