Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Women in Hinduism – Refutation of the Islamic propaganda

Call it irony or the inability to project a good picture of what their own religion say about women, the net these days is filled with false propaganda from the Islamists writing all types of crap against how women is treated in Hinduism. There are numerous websites in which excited morons mirror the same pages.

I usually don’t argue much with those guys. It’s a terrible waste of time… to put it in Onkar’s words “A muslim comes and tells you to cut your penis, and the Hindus want to have an intellectual argument with him”.

Anyhow, it is necessary that no doubts exist on these subjects in the minds of Hindus. Hence, keeping the not-so-fully-knowledgeable-Hindus in mind, I wrote this refutation, taking one such page as sample. I did not go into sentence by sentence refutation, but only concentrated on understanding the misleading means adopted in such articles.

Here a guy is quoting a lot of things, claiming to be from Vedas.

All this is plagiarised from here...

Is there any truth in it? Or a case of out of context quoting?

My Answer:
What a joke… such person talks about the condition of women according to Hinduism!!! The article follows all the typical misleading tactics used by such type of morons. Some of them are:

1. Bank on the ignorance of the reader: What these idiots usually do is write whatever crap they want to write and then put then put a “sacred Hindu scripture” in the bracket, so that the reader feels “just like Quran is the sacred and unquestionable authority for me, this must be the same for the Hindus… chi chi what they speak of”.

They typical straw men cases… take up a book and then make it the holy scripture of Hindus. The same is done there with Manu Smriti. How many Hindus even ever saw a copy of Manu Smriti?? – will not be even 0.1% of Hindus.

And even from a religious stand point, Smritis/Dharma Shastras are actually more social recordings than ‘scriptures’. Anyone can write a Dharma Shastra. I too can write a Dharma Shastra by my name, mentioning my opinions about how society should be… what should be the duty of husband, wife etc etc. The point is how accepted it is?

Also, even from an orthodox standpoint, Parasara Smriti, not Manu Smriti is the Smriti presently for Hindus.

The same with the case of many other “scriptures”. The author also extensively quotes “Panchatantra” as a Hindu “scripture”, while any idiot knows that it is a stories book.

Hence, half the quotes given there as “this is what the “holy” books of Hindus speak” have no social acceptance, nor religious. Take a book and attribute it to Hindus- how convenient!

2. Circular references: This typical trait of Marxist historians, discussed in detail by Arun Shourie in his “Eminent Historians” (which in my view is a must read book for any person with serious interest in history).

I used to observe with grin that the pen-names of all the authors in the Dalististhan were typically of the type “Sita XYZ”, “ABC Sharma” etc… names which I never actually have seen people having. I used to get puzzled at that time, but later realized the psychology of it after seeing some muslim trolls on orkut.

Someone reads extracts of it and says “hey look, it is written by some Sita_____, coming directly from a Hindu himself, hence it must be true”. Then some other such writer quotes this author and make their article look more scholarly.

Four people sit together and write anti-Hindu stuff. I quote the other three, and they quote mine… and all of them appear full with references.

The same is seen in this case. Seeing the squalre bracketed references in that article, it is obvious that the author is more interested in showing that he has done “thorough” research. If you are acquainted with real research papers, then you will realize that they don’t quote a guy ever two words. It is only in this type of cases where they want to “show” something, they do that excessive quoting. The calculation there is rarely does one care to carefully look into the books given in the references, dosent matter even if they are “Women in Delhi Sultanate” or “`India as described by the Arab Travellers”.

But to make it sound more “balanced”, quote from some that good, well accepted books stuff like “Rama killed Tataka” (who is a Rakshasi), and then add his own, “by doing so, he did not show any respect to women”. For a person who only sees the references will feel, “Oh god even such accepted book is part of the references”, while people do not note that he has only quoted harmless and useless matter from that book.

3. Put the heading you want and give a different reference: See for example the following

Once again we hear that Sati is sanctioned by the Vedas:
" enjoined by the Vedas,"[Br.P. 80.75] [Sheth 103]
and is
"greatly reputed in all the worlds"[Br.P. 80.75] [Sheth 103]

The heading there goes as “sanctioned by Vedas”, and then as if he is giving the references from the Vedas… but lo… he does not quote any Vedas… rather he quotes another person saying it is there in Vedas.

One usually sees the heading and then does not go into the details- so one finds, “oh Vedas too say it”, while in reality the author has not quoted the Vedas there.

The same is seen in this case also: Talking about women and Visashnavism he says:

"Chaitanya thought it to be a sin to talk, think or even dream of women and that even the sight of a wooden statue of a woman can distract the mind and be responsible for immorality. He advised people to avoid being alone even with their own mother , sister or daughter."[Nand 124-127]

He then puts italics and indentation to it, as in the cases where he has given references to other “holy books”, hence creating the feeling that “ok this too must be from some “holy” book. But if one cares to go to the bottom and check it, then the [Nand..] is “`Women in Delhi Sultanate’” book.

I am sure 99% of people will not verify it. Seeing the formatting, they will assume that this too is from a “Hindu holy book”.

4. Giving half the reality: While talking about the women in Buddhism and Jainism, the author quotes:

"Buddha is said to have induced his disciples not to look at a woman or even talk to her"[Sacred Books of the East,XI p.91 cited in N.N.Bhatt p.44]

Firstly, as I said in points 2 and 3, he did not quote any relevant book there. He quoted another person that’s all… not any Buddhist scripture, but maintained a formatting of italics and indentation to mean it is indeed a “holy scripture”.
If that is one part, the other part is that even that reference is half. If Buddha asked his male disciples not to look at women, he also gave the same advice to female disciples, not to look at men. He only talked from the stand point of a monk abstaining from all kinds of sexual thoughts and their possible sources. It does not mean any bad thing towards women. But careful half-quoting gives an altogether different meaning.

5. Coming to the so-called-vedic references. Apart from the cases of heading of “vedic refrerence” and then quoting a different book (as elaborated in point-3), there are not more than 2-3 of places where actually some veda reference is claimed, so it is comparatively easy to prove them false.

Take the verse where the author gives “vedic proof” from existence of Sati in Vedas and gives the reference of Rig Veda X.18.7. This is that Rig Veda X.18.7 from sacred scriptures:

Let these unwidowed dames with noble husbands adorn themselves with fragrant balm and unguent.
Decked with fair jewels, tearless, free from sorrow, first let the dames go up to where he lieth (##)

It only talks about “unwidowed” and not about “widows” so where does the case of sait arise??

Or the Taittriya Samhita which he gives as a proof for the “Vedic reference” of female infanticide. Here is the Taittriya Samhita VI.5.10.3, which he claimed to be the proof for female infanticide:

Offspring and cattle are born through the cups, goats and sheep through the Upançu and Antaryama, men through the Çukra and Manthin, whole-hooved animals through the season-cups, kine through the Aditya cup. The Aditya cup is drawn with the largest number of Rcs; therefore kine axe the most numerous of cattle; in that he thrice draws apart with his hand the Upançu (cup), therefore the female goat gives birth to two or three, but sheep are more numerous.

The Agrayana is the father, the tub is the son; if the Agrayana is exhausted, he should draw from the tub; that is as when a father [1] in destitution has recourse to his son. If the tub is exhausted, he should draw from the Agrayana; that is as when a son in destitution has recourse to his father. The Agrayana is the self of the sacrifice; if the cup or the tub should be exhausted, he should draw from the Agrayana; verily from the self he develops the sacrifice. The Agrayana is drawn (with a verse) in which there is no discriminating mark; he draws with a pot, he offers with (the vessel) for Vayu; therefore [2] (a man) is a slayer of a Brahman (through slaying) an embryo which has not been discriminated. They go to the final bath; they deposit the pots, but lift up (the vessels) for Vayu; therefore they deposit a daughter on birth, a son they lift up. In that be utters the Puroruc, it is as when one brings (something) to a superior; in that he draws the cup, it is as when having brought (something) to a superior one proclaims (it); in that he puts it down, it is as when having deposited something with a superior one goes away. Whatever of the sacrifice is accompanied by a Saman or Yajus, is loose; whatever by a Rc is firm; they are drawn with a support in front to the accompaniment of a Yajus, (they are drawn) with a support behind to the accompaniment of a Rc, for the support of the sacrifice.

Basically it is a verse talking about Soma Sacrifice (ie., fire ritual) and the renewed taking of Agrayana cup. Nothing about “killing a female child”.

Also, one should remember that Sanskrit in general and Vedas in particular are very symbolic in nature. Hence, they should never be intreperted literally. For example, the words for Earth, Mother, Horse, Cow etc are same. If one wishfully intreprets things according to what he wants without seeing it in the full context.

Do I need to prove more on how “true” are these “Vedic references”

6. Hiding of the necessary facts or twisting them: For example, Hindu society is not a “book” based religion. Hence, books in the lives of Hindus have no more value than “scholar opinions in an encyclopedia”. If we don’t like a book, we simple write a new book. The “references” given there are baseless… but even if for arguments sake they are true, they are of no value to the Hindus.

Or the cases where the author talks of hundreds of women jumping into fire. It is true that there exist such instances. However, its more important when such things happened… they happened when a king lost to Islamic invaders and the royal women to guard their honour against the invading barbarics and avoid being taken by them as slaves choose to die instead (refer: Muslim Slave System in Medieval India)

Also, it depends on how you interpret things. For example, talking about the “lowly” treatment of women, it is very common to see these days people quoting that some book saying “a woman in her childhood is protected by father; in her youth, she is protected by husband; in her oldage she is protected by son”.

Many people interpret it as a symbol of the “low” treatment of women. But I fail to understand how it is so. It does not talk about suppressing womens liberty. It only talks protecting a woman. That does not necessarily mean that she cannot protect herself; it can also mean that, it is always some man’s responsibility to protect the women, whether father, husband or son. It is their responsibility to ensure that woman is always looked after.

Does one need more proof to say it is a crap?


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