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Feminism in ancient India – Chapter – 02

India: country of mystery and misery (chapter – 02)

I will start the point of feminism with these lines of Manusmriti Chapter 3, verse number 56.

यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवताः ।
यत्रैतास्तु न पूज्यन्ते सर्वास्तत्राफलाः क्रियाः ।।

Literal meaning of this verse is

Where women are honored, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honored, no sacred rite yields rewards.

This verse is complete in itself. It does not require any further explanation. But, what important thing is it was followed by the ancient Indian society. After 50 or 100 years later, when our next generations will read our history, 21st century will be full of rapes and domestic violation with women. Take any book of Indian history today and try to find a case of rape, domestic violation or women abusing. Can you find it? No, you can not. Because in the Vedic era woman was not only the symbol of Goddess Durga and Goddess Laxmi but she was treated like them too.

I never read anywhere in history book where a woman has to fight for her right and still they have equal importance as a man in the society. Queen can able to take over the empire if she was better than any male of the family. These things prove that maybe there was not the concept of feminism but people was believing in feminism in the Vedic era. Nowadays, things are different. We talk about feminism but everyday women have to fight for justice and rights.

Feminism and Satipratha: How to justify?

Please, don’t argue about Satipratha. Satipratha was by choice in the Vedic era. But, then we Indian made it custom and Raja Rammohan Ray fought against it. If you don’t believe on this then let me give you an example of three wives of King Dashrath-father of Shri Ram- and one more example of Kunta who chose not to burn herself in the pyre of King Pandu but Madri chose to do that. It was a choice of herself.

During those days, there was a belief that if a woman burns herself in the pyre of her husband he will get salvation for the equal number of year as it is fur on her body. So, mark this in your mind that Satipratha was the choice in the Vedic era and it became dirty custom later.

Niyog v/s Surrogate mother

Niyog was a method to get a child when a man was not able to do that because of any reason. Reason can be any which can not be cured like the death of a man or there is a medical problem with reproduction system of a man. In this case, husband of the woman allows her to have intercourse with the permission of elder family members. But, only once.

The thing is, nowadays we have to keep everything private when it is about Niyog or surrogate mother but in the Vedic era if the thing is fine according to sacred text then you don’t need to hide id. Everyone know how Pandu, Dhritrastra, and five Pandavas plus Karna was born.

Love marriage

Do you have any example of honor killing from Indian history? In ancient India, a woman has right to chose his partners so they have now too but honor killing is also “routine” in our society. It is not in whole India and everywhere but some regional parts and especially it is related to cast. But still, it is not acceptable. Our history is cleaner than out present.

In fact, in Swayamvar if the candidate fulfills the condition, the bride have right to decline for marriage. Draupadi did same for Karna.

Conclusion

The conclusion of the point is in present time we have to talk about feminism because somewhere it is not fine. We talk about gender equality because it is not equal right now but In the Vedic era, the girl child was never killed inside the womb. We talk about feminism, We have to prove we are feminist. These means are fixing something. And it means something is messed up. In the Vedic era, they did not talk about it because this was fine. really fine.

About Vipul Hadiya

Vipul Hadiya is full time Prestashop and Wordpress Developer. Active at both job and freelancing on Upwork.com (formerly oDesk). He has interest to share Prestahsop tutorials for beginners.

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