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There was recently an article published at dailyo.in titled “The missing Hindus in South Asia and a conspiracy of silence” by Saswati Sarkar. She laments that Indian media is quick to cover all kinds of international events, be it Arab Spring or Gaza conflict or beautification of saints at the Vatican. But it is surprisingly silent to the genocide of Hindus at the global level and more closely in their vicinity,ie, neighboring countries. Seh says that there a ‘conspiracy of silence’ in our media regarding decimation and missing of Hindus in south Asia region.
According to Sarkar, our neighbors such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Myanmar have done a commendable job in eradicating the very essence of Hinduism in their respective countries. She adds that starting off with the scandalous episodes we have Pakistan on our list at the top. When it comes to India, Pakistan is the mother of all conspiracies.
Pakistan: A closer look
The population of Hindus has declined at an exponential rate in about last 50 years. As mentioned by Saswati Sarkar: “ In 1947, Hindus constituted about 15 percent of the population of West Pakistan (current Pakistan); by 1998, it is about 1.6 percent “ Thanks to all the social and legal discrimination which exists there. Some of them are as follows
- Only Muslims are allowed to stand for presidential/prime ministerial candidate.
- Targeting Hindus via court harsh punishments such as death sentences through Blasphemy laws.
- Not giving any family-related laws to non-Muslims.
- Promoting hatred against minorities in through academics (via schools and Madrasas).
- Forcing women and girls to change religions.
- Even temples have not been spared .Stone idols were smashed off. One of the most sacred places such as Hinglaj Mata temple was also targeted. As a result, many Hindus are now taking refuge abroad with no hope left behind.
Bangladesh: A closer look
Coming off to the next episode we focus towards Bangladesh. Continuing the legacy of killing Hindus it has performed indeed well.
- Simply in the name of Hindu women are raped here.
- Girls are sold.
- People have been forced to leave the nation (especially Bengali’s Hindus).
- Spiritual festivals such as Durga Puja are targeted and people are decimated.
- ‘Enemies’ this is the term used there to refer Hindus community.
Bhutan and Malaysia: A closer look
Coming next on the list we infer countries are Bhutan and Malaysia .They make look small but they are no behind.
- Nearly 100,000 Hindus have been expelled alone from Bhutan.
Policies such as Bhumiputra have affected a major chunk of Hindus in Malaysia.
Hats off to our government and Media for playing a major part in adding to their misery. Right under their nose all these decimations were taking place and they remained as mute spectators. We didn’t even bother to give help to the officially declared Refugees. Neither did we care about raising these issues in United Nations. Thanks to our present Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and some leaders such as Shivraj Singh Chauhan who showed special concern towards these needy people.
- Fast track process of Indian citizenship.
- Private jobs will now be offered to these refugees.
- Unlike us (home to the largest democracy) leaders from the US such as Tulsi Gabbard and Aaron Schock have stepped up in eradicating these atrocities on minorities.
- Protests have been organised in Washington DC for a help of those people in the name of humanity.
Sarkar laments that it is a matter of shame for us for turning a blind eye to those brothers and sisters of ours. Even on our own soil Kashmiris Pandits have been killed in large figures and were forced to eat beef.
Related article : Plight of Kashmiri Pandits
Role of media
Sarkar then takes in the Media. Uncovering our media, they were expected to do something regarding all these horror acts. Some of which are mentioned as follows-
- Leaders such as Zafar Ali Khan put forward his notion that no Sikhs shall live in Pakistan.
- Adding to the fact 7 million Sikhs and Hindus were eradicated from Pakistan.
- Nearly 10,000 to 20,000 were killed in Sheikhpura district and 7000 Hindus were killed in Rawalpindi district.
- Tortures were commonly practised such as-
- Cutting off Nipples
- Ripping of wombs of pregnant women and destroying their foetus.
- Inserting of rods in private parts of women.
- Children were even burnt alive and were often thrown to swords.
India Today did cover the misery of Rinkle Kumari in 2012. It did receive some coverage. Such is the irony that small media groups and sites with much fewer resources compared to rich Indian media have collected and published more facts. And our own media is standing numbly in front of them with nothing in their hand. When it came to a killing of a Muslim in Pune or be it Gujarat riots coverage or any martial persecution or be it Slapping of the civil servant by any political leader or the conversation of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism. These are well covered and are projected by our media but when it comes to the killing of Hindus by a Muslim or raping of a girl by a Muslim or be it brutal torturing of Lt Col Purohit or burning of Hindus homes by Muslims mobs or Torturing of national level Indian shooter Tara Sahedo our media becomes silent. In Tripura NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura) has banned Hindu festivals and has used rape as a tool to force Hindus to listen to their atrocities.
As mentioned by the writer herself “It is telling that my references for the terror allegedly fomented by the church in India’s North East have been BBC, and not Indian media reports.” even I got a major help by non-Indian media sources rather than our own media giants. It is therefore high time that our government along with our media should introspect so that this brutal killing of minorities (mainly Hindus) be stopped in regions such as South Asia.
Prepared by Pritam
Pritam is a 3rd year engineering student in B.P. Poddar institute of management and technology, Kolkata. A simple person who tries to innovate and improvise himself. Twitter handle @pritam_gogreen
"In India, to be born as a man is a crime, to question a woman is an atrocious crime, and this all because of those women who keep suppressing men in the name of feminism."
Feminism, a worldwide movement that started to establish, define and defend equal rights for women in all sections- economically, politically, and socially. India, being a patriarchal society gives a gender advantage to the men in the society thus, Indian feminists sought to fight against the culture-specific issue for women in India. Feminism itself is nothing but a simple movement that pursues equal rights for women (including transwomen) and against misogyny both external and internal. It states nowhere that women should get more wages than men, that women deserve more respect than men, that's pseudo-feminism.
Pseudo feminists state that women deserve more respect and rights, any other gender deserves no respect. They feel that women should be the ones ruling the world and at higher positions. When feminism takes a turn for extremities it becomes pseudo-feminism and people who label themselves as feminists will bash anyone who speaks against even the wrongdoings of a woman. They'll bash women who're wife and sisters for not speaking up and support any women criticizing political leaders even if it's completely irrational. This is where hypocrisy and pseudo-feminism merge with each other.
They take advantage of the rights given to women to protect themselves to threaten other genders. The rights given to women are supposed to make them feel reassured that they can reach out to the judiciary if their rights are being hampered not to threaten to make the victim sound like the culprit.
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Indian Feminist Movement has made significant progress however, even in the modern world women are still unsafe and are discriminated against when it comes to getting a job, land ownership, and access to education. While filling the official papers it is still asked "Wife of /Daughter of:….."
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family. Such injustices make feminism such an important movement, gender equality is worth fighting for to create a safe environment for women. Feminists over the years have been criticized for focusing on the rights of privileged women and not giving equal representation to poorer and lower caste women, which has led to separate caste-specific feminist organizations and movements.
Some notable milestones in the Feminist Movement
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy campaigned against Sati Pratha (practice in which a widow sacrificed herself by sitting atop her deceased husband's funeral pyre) and child marriage
- Savitribai Phule started the first school for girls at Bhidewada in Pune city in 1848.
- In 1972, SEWA, the biggest trade union for women was set up by Ela Bhatt for women working in the informal sector.
- The Chipko Movement was launched and led by women in 1973.
- #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse was started in 2006 and revived in the year 2015.
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family.Unsplash
Feminism is often misunderstood as pseudo-feminism and hence, becomes the target for public hatred and is accused of wronging other genders under the façade of feminism. It is misunderstood by Indians as female domination instead of gender equality. Indian society and Indian feminists believe that only men are perpetrators of a heinous crime like rape and they refuse to even recognize the men who say they were raped and it's the toxic masculinity in the society that believes how can a woman rape a man? Reality is different from what we believe, women can be the perpetrator too, women threaten to file a case of domestic violence, or sexual assault against innocent people just to fulfill their ego.
Thankfully feminism and pseudo feminism are two separate concepts and feminism is just about equality and not judgment. Indian society and feminists actually need to understand the difference between the two and stop tarnishing the Feminist Movement as a whole.
Keywords: Feminism, World, India, Pseudo-Feminism, Gender
Kerala is a land of many good things. It has an abundance of nature, culture, art, and food. It is also a place of legend and myth, and is known for its popular folklore, the legend of Yakshi. This is not a popular tale outside the state, but it is common knowledge for travellers, especially those who fare through forests at night.
The legend of the yakshi is believed to be India's equivalent of the Romanian Dracula, except of course, the Yakshi is a female. Many Malayalis believe that the Yakshi wears a white saree and had long hair. She has a particular fragrance, which is believed to be the fragrance of the Indian devil-tree flowers. She seduces travellers with her beauty, and kills them brutally.
Yakshi idol in Veroor, Sri Dharamashastha temple Image source: wikimedia commons
The Yakshi is believed to live in a palm tree which can appear like a palace. Victims are taken here before they are killed. Travellers on highways are often advised not to stop near heavily forested areas, or speak to anyone who closely resembles a Yakshi. Some believe she can change form, while other hold to the belief that she doesn't. after securing her victim, the only trace left behind is body parts like hair, nails, and teeth.
They say, like other ghosts, a Yakshi's feet will not touch the ground. This is something to look out for. Mysterious deaths have been reported across the rural areas in Kerala, and all these have been attributed to the legend.
Keywords: Legends, Yakshi, Urban legend, Ghost, Kerala, Myth, Vampire
The LGBTQ+ acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and others. In India LGBTQ+ community also include a specific social group, part religious cult, and part caste: the Hijras. They are culturally defined either as "neither men nor women" or as men who become women by adopting women's dress and behavior. Section 377 of the India Penal code that criminalized all sexual acts "against the order of nature" i.e. engaging in oral sex or anal sex along with other homosexual activities were against the law, ripping homosexual people off of their basic human rights. Thus, the Indian Supreme Court ruled a portion of Section 377 unconstitutional on 6th September 2018.
But the question is, "was India always against homosexuality"? Has the concept of homosexuality being unnatural existed forever? No, in Indian history and Hinduism homosexuality has never been an offense, in fact in several instances it has been depicted how people embraced their identity, be it sexual identity or gender identity. Section 377 was brought to India by the British in 1862, while India was colonized. Even after the Independence, it was only in 2018 that the Supreme Court ruled it as irrational and illogical.
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Homosexuality in Ancient India
When Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality in India, there was an uproar about it being a western ideology and liberalism. But in reality, homosexuality has existed since the time of the Vedas. The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) researched and discovered that it was around 3102 B.C. (during the Vedic Age) that homosexuality or non-normative sexual identity was recognized as "Tritiya Prakriti", or the third nature. Ancient India not only made mentions of homosexuality but accepted it as well.
Hinduism is the most vastly followed religion in India. Hinduism does not explicitly mention homosexuality however it does contain a homosexual theme and characters in its text. There have been various instances in our scriptures and texts that have introduced us to LGBT+ characters such as the androgynous form of Shiva and Parvati Ardhanariswara meaning "the half-female lord". One of the most popular and ancient texts on sexuality, eroticism, and emotional fulfillment of life, "Kamasutra" has a complete chapter dedicated to homosexuality and homosexual sex. Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities.
Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities. Facebook
Our Mughals were Queer
Mughals are often seen under the light of cruelty, rigid ethics, nobility, and polygamy. Simultaneously, Mughals are also the ones credited for the emergence of Sufism, abolished jizya tax, love beyond religion, classes, and gender.
In the Baburnama written in memoirs of our very first Mughal ruler Muhammad Babur, several instances documented Babur's infatuation and affection towards a teenage boy named Baburi. We also have multiple Persian couplets as evidence of Babur's affection for Baburi. Mughals engaged in homosexuality and pederasty, and they believed that later was a form of "pure love".
But as time passed homosexuality was suppressed more and more though people practiced it in secret if revealed they were punished. According to the Fatwa-e-Alamgiri Sharia-based text of the Mughal Empire, there is a common set of punishments for homosexuality, which could include 50 lashes for a slave, 100 for a free infidel, or death by stoning for a Muslim.
British Raj and Independence of India
In 1862, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalized homosexual sex came into force. Even after Independence in 1947, the section remained a part of the Indian Constitution. There were protests all over the country to give people of the LGBT+ community basic human rights but it was not until 2018 that The Supreme Court of India ruled the portion of Section 377 has unconstitutional and struck it off. One judge said the landmark decision would "pave the way for a better future.". With Section 377 gone are LGBT+ people allowed to fall in love freely? No, people are still afraid to love because of the stigma in our society when it comes to homosexuality; they are seen as lesser humans.
ALSO READ: Significant Support for Rights for LGBTQ+
Although the Supreme Court has decriminalized homosexual activities, same-sex marriage remains illegal in the country. Homophobia is still prevalent in India, and homosexual children would rather commit suicide than come out to society with their true identity, that's how harsh of a world we live in. Lacking support from family, society, or police, many gay rape victims do not report the crimes. In 1977, writer and Indian mathematician Shakuntla Devi published "The World of Homosexuals". It was the first study in the Indian context; the book contains interviews with homosexual men set in the years of Emergency. She wrote, "rather than pretending that homosexuals don't exist it is time we face the facts squarely in the eye and find room for homosexual people." We've had small victories in our fight against homophobia and getting LGBT+ community the rights they deserve as humans, but we still have a long and exhausting fight ahead of us.