“If we have people of your ilk in Bharat we do not need external enemies at all!”

Sharing a series of comments by vijayaa108 and my attempt to respond.

vijayaa108 – You are indeed carrying a very big chip on your shoulder against Bharat ,her cultural traditions and also against the upper caste!
Pity you did not have the choice to be born elsewhere and were born in this पुण्यभूमि (punyabhoomi) called भारतवर्ष! (Bharatvarsh!)

IHM: We are not in competition with the world to prove Bharatvarsh a Punyabhoomi. Any place where people respect human values and where justice is honestly sought and respected is a punyabhoomi.

vijayaa108 – If we have people of your ilk in Bharat we do not need external enemies at all!

IHM: If life and nation have to be seen as a war and ‘enemies’ have to be identified, don’t you think discrimination, injustice, prejudice and intolerance would be serious enemies?

vijayaa108 – Wouldn’t it be better if you along with the person as ‘big as a thumb’ (who has also replied with a comment) emigrate to another country where you will never have to fight against any injustice.

IHM: Why should we not fight against injustice right here, where we live?

vijayaa108 – I am quite amused at the graphic picture you have painted of the very country of your birth.
Horrible injustices like child marriage, being burned on the pyre with your husband, suffering terribly at the hands of the husband’s family, with clean-shaven heads and drab clothes roaming on the streets of Vrindavan!
What a horror land called Bharat!

IHM: It is horrible, and we must face it honestly and fight against it if we care for the ‘land called Bharat’  (or the country of our birth).

Or if we simply care for the people who live in this land. All of them. No matter what their castes, gender or birth place or education or economic levels.

vijayaa108 – And yet paradoxically this land has given Light to World civilization.

IHM: ….

vijayaa108 – As you are ‘western educated’ and lucky to have been born after western education came to Bharat you could try reading a bit on famous Western world figures like Thoreau, Mark Twain, Yehudi Menuhin, Kipling, Arthur Schopenhauer, Romain Roland et al.
There are many more names I could suggest but for the time being this is quite an array for you tackle.

IHM: In today’s India,  the right to equality and right to justice is NOT reserved for those who have read the above list. Whether one can read or not, basic human rights are for all.

Choosing one’s partner and consensual sex without risking sexual assaults or honor killing are human rights too.

vijayaa108 – Never did I ever state anywhere that I am against western education.
I wonder how could you ‘interpret’ my posting as though I am an enemy of western education!
However, westernization does not mean as modernity – denial of one’s own संस्कृति । (sanskruti)

IHM: Which sanskruti is ‘one’s own sanskruti’? The one that one’s ancestors, parents and neighbours etc call their own sanskruti?

Why does this sanskruti need to be defended and saved?  And why do we need to fight against those who don’t wish to save this sanskruti? Why does this sanskruti need approval and support, whose approval and whose support?

Do some of us feel they own this sanskruti and do they get to define how the others aught to treat this sanskruti?

vijayaa108 – What I stated was the innate anathema of some of our people against anything that is indigenously Bharateeya once they get western education.

IHM: Why does it matter? Does ‘anything that is indigenously Bharateeya’ needs to be defended? Who should be bothered, why and how should they defend it? Who should not be against ‘anything that is indigenously Bharateeya’? Why?

vijayaa108 – Unless one has roots in one’s own संस्कृति (sanskruti) one will be like गंगा गए गंगाराम, यमुना गए यमुनादास! (Ganga gaye toh gangaraam, yamuna gaye toh yamunadaas!)

IHM: Roughly translates to – ‘Gangaram when they go to Ganga, Yamunaram when they go to Yamuna’ Meaning someone who doesn’t have an identity of their own, and changes colors depending on where they are?

Does it mean we need a rigidly defined identity? Some of us may just want to be ourselves?

Also consider, many might find it more practical to do in Rome as Romans do.

And finally, all these ideas of identities – don’t they create divides? Aren’t we all citizens of this world and isn’t it enough to respect human values?

vijayaa108 – I am out and out for women (being a woman myself) but with balance.
For women to be free, independent, educated, enlightened along with virtues of compassion, honesty, sincerity and enlightenment.
To be a woman is to act with wisdom, discrimination and enlightenment.

IHM: Nobody needs to be ‘out and out for women’, it’s enough if one is for human rights for all, women and men and children.

Women do not need to be any more sincere, enlightened, wise, compassionate or virtuous etc than non-women and the rest of the world.

vijayaa108 – Who does not appreciate the comforts of modern life!
However, you have confused the issue when you say that modern comforts, advancement in medicine etc is due to Western education.
Not at all!
This is because of INNOVATION of the human mind and intelligence.
Western education is not to be confused with modernity.

Kindly do not misinterpret my words.

IHM: So modern comforts, advancement in medicine etc is INNOVATION of the human mind, but Bhratvarsh has given light to the world civilization?

Quoting you,

“And yet paradoxically this land has given Light to World civilization.”

Is that how we defend Bhartiya Sanskruti against perceived enemies?

vijayaa108 – Who says there is no protection for women?
Women have to empower themselves. Responsible thinking and right action.
Women are in fact more powerful than men and I have never ever felt weak or powerless. All the women in family educated or not were powerful women who acted with the greatest of courage and conviction.

IHM: Which is why we pray and fast for, and celebrate the birth of a male child?  Which is why girl children remain unwanted and why we have skewed gender ratio and why India is the worst place in the world to be a woman?

India leads in sexual violence, worst on gender equality: Study

Some doors are different… they are closed for fifty percent of the population.

Do you really believe that ‘Women are in fact more powerful than men ….’?  What kind of ‘Responsible thinking and right action’ would protect women from the culture of obedience and not ‘answering back’, and the culture of Silencing of Victims to protect family honor/name?

Study finds 98% of India rape victims knew their attacker.

vijayaa108 – Education does not mean shouting from the rooftops about women’s rights.

IHM: Meaning education should be permitted (to women) on condition that they don’t let it go to their heads?

Shouting from rooftops, online discussions, some practical support, some emotional support – whatever is needed, whatever one can give, should be welcome. No?

Awareness of rights and justice is more about attitude and mindset, than education level, class, caste or gender.

vijayaa108 – Just wearing western attire does not make us one of them.

IHM: Ever wonder – Why does what women wear concern everybody so much?

It’s not how much is covered or exposed (sarees expose much more than salwar and many western outfits), but how much choice women have in wearing what they are wearing.

It particularly seems to bother those who claim to wish to protect bharteeyata? Why does women choosing what they wear worry them? Do some people feel that controlling women’s choices saves Bharteeyata? In that case, would you worry about what they think is Bharteeyata?

vijayaa108 – The problem is that we have lost our identity and are extremely confused.

IHM: Meaning we have stopped bothering to twist ourselves to fit into the roles patriarchal traditions  defined for us?

Who is this a problem for? Who is confused? Those who had the power to control those born into less fortunate identities?

vijayaa108 – We are neither western nor Bharateeya. We have become deracinated from our own culture.

IHM: That is not a problem at all. Races, castes and even cultural identities are discriminatory and prejudiced generalizations. It is more honest, realistic and practical to see ourselves as individuals.

vijayaa108 – Come abroad and see for yourselves the state of women here and you will then realize the worth of what you have there.

IHM:😦

Here is something from an Indian woman, who went abroad and saw for herself, and this is what she realised.

From Direct Dil Se, by Akanksha Dureja

Getting used to remarks and stares was the only way of life I knew, as an Indian woman.

“I hadn’t known that is was possible to be out the whole day and not be reminded of being a woman who is unsafe. Getting used to remarks and stares was the only way of life I knew, as an Indian woman. A pepper spray in my bag could also not make me feel safe even during the day. But then I saw a different world which is too good to be true. If only I could make Indian women feel respected and safe. If only I could given them a taste of safety, I would be able to enjoy my own. The guilt just refuses to go… “

vijayaa108 – If you think our traditions have been twisted then I say why don’t you untwist them?
You have the power to do so.

IHM:  I see these online discussions as a small step towards untwisting them for ourselves.

vijayaa108 – You talk of choosing freedom and yes of course why should anyone stop you.
Yet there is something called ‘freedom with responsibility’ not only to oneself but those close to one.

IHM: The Freedoms that bother patriarchy the most  are,

1. Freedom from semi forced marriages arranged by the family elders,

2. Freedom from being pressurized to bear male children,

3. Freedom from Moral and Culture police,

4. Freedom from being objectified as the Honor of the family, community, fathers, brothers, uncles

5. Freedom from raising a loved child to be a future obedient, dependent daughter in law.

6. Freedom from having to Get Married and Stay Married.

7. Freedom from having to save the Bharteeya Culture (particularly as defined by those who feel it needs protection)

8. Freedom of expression – which would not be necessary if it did not include expressing unpopular opinions.

9. Freedom to decide who women love, hate, divorce, have sex with, refuse sex to, live with, separate from etc.

There are many, many more.

*

And, here are some Freedoms that are popular with those who want to save Bharteeya Sanskruti and modern Indian women:

1. Freedom to dictate who other equal citizens have sex with, marry, divorce, dance, eat, drink, socialize with, avoid, ignore etc.

2. Freedom to decide who does not enter places of worship and when.

3. Freedom to decide what other people wear or not wear, when and where.

4. Freedom to decide what other people ear or drink.

5. Freedom to decide what other people read, watch, admire, appreciate, ignore, display, sometimes even buy or sell.

vijayaa108 – No man is an island. Everything is not based on the basic instinct sex.
Anyway your ideology is centered around yourself and so ahead and good luck.

IHM: Basic Instinct Sex is not the problem. Patriarchy is.

Basic Instinct Sex – so long as it is between two consenting, uncommitted adults (or above age of consent) is only their business.

Problem is when Patriarchy sees virginity and abstinence as virtues and attempts to enforce it, or punish those (mainly women) who do not agree with them.

Problem is when patriarchy sees Honor and Shame in heinous crimes, but refuses to respect harmless personal choices.

And problem is when victims are silenced and criminals are protected.

Related Posts:

A response to: Why we think women activists should change their attitude of “wear what you like”

Why do Indian women like to wear western clothes?

Letting an outsider see or comment upon our imperfections is washing dirty linen in public?

Display of respect to those in power, in Indian culture.

How are mothers treated in Indian culture?

Response from the email writer accused of betraying her “parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage”

“I am betraying my parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage, people are talking, younger sisters not getting married.”

When parents own their children, and men own their women.

Do some of us see anything that is done purely for pleasure (no moral or monetary benefits), as wrong?

So what does marriage mean to traditional and conservative Indians?

24 thoughts on ““If we have people of your ilk in Bharat we do not need external enemies at all!”

  1. Dear IHM,
    You have responded & stated the facts in the best possible way. Things that every woman would like people like “vijaya008” to understand.

    It’s time for change. It’s time to broaden our minds & hearts & to accept change. We are not opposing all traditions. We are unique because of them. All we are saying that we need to follow them & integrate them in our life in a way such that it helps in growth & not hinders it. It shouldn’t create divisions between genders. It shouldn’t show someone is superior to another. It should be beneficial to everyone.

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    • Each and every response from me was to a different person’s comment .
      So what you have done is to place them out of context,mutilated them and done a ‘cut and paste’ job.
      And then you have replied.
      you print comments that suit and subscribe to your thinking.
      In addition all my 4 -5 original comments are still awaiting moderation.
      These comments you have divided them into fractions and used them out of context and also put some newspaper reportage as refutation.

      Madam this is your blog and you have the upper hand.
      Is this what one would call Equality and Freedom?
      Of course from your side you will call it Your Right.
      THIS SMACKS OF UTTER INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY!

      You have not published two of my previous comments directly sent to you and I am sure this too will not see the light of day.(3) in total.

      The sum and substance of your blog is to attack everything BHARATEEYA coming from Bharat!
      One’s view of the world will always be muted by the colors one wishes to see!

      Every enlightened human being coming from anywhere in the world should be fair and just and do his/her best for self and those around.
      We begin with ourselves and those around us.
      Society can never be homogenous and perfect though we all should strive for perfection.

      Every injustice cannot be controlled by ranting and raving.
      Crying from the rooftops and attacking one’s roots for existing ills is like spiting one’s own nose and cutting it off!
      This type of ‘utter foolish reactionary behaviour’ is to be seen NOWHERE in the world.

      People fight injustice and wrong doings but not at the expense of self-respect and the dignity of one’s own nation!
      There is a Western saying ‘never wash dirty linen in public’ or you will be completely vanquished and obliterated from the face of the earth.
      Bharat is the only nation where people ‘gang up like you’ within and without to attack their own roots and their very being.

      Let me deliberate.
      The Catholic Church starting from Rome and all the countries where it has ardent followers was explicitly accused of committing paedophilie on minor children,innocent young men and women.
      For years the erstwhile Catholic Church brazenly denied such dirty activity.
      People fought without accusing the religion of Christianity and its roots and after 10-15 years the church was obliged to come out and is now giving compensation in millions of dollars all over the world to those who were violated.
      It is horrendous but we in Bharat will never ever get to read such headlines.They are cleverly hidden from the public.
      Now to something that never sees public print nor consciousness in Bharat.
      These very same much-maligned church agencies are given great respect and have systematically been diverting horrendous sums of money into Bharat for conversion activities under the title of ‘Aid agencies’ and NGOs.

      You who are proud to be a western educated woman did you know about this?
      Did you react to this injustice ever?

      These agencies go into the interiors of our villages where masses of innocent and naive people have been converted using deceptive means.This is causing division and inequality in the social fabric of our society.
      Inequality because the converted are given goodies.
      The demography of our Bharat has changed stupendously and if this continues it will be a danger for national integrity.
      Bharat is the only nation that has withstood this type of western onslaught till now that started decades ago.
      Did you react to this onslaught madam?
      Our government is headed by a headless pm. and surrounded by corrupt leaders.
      They are being ‘dictated’ by a Western woman sitting behind who wishes Bharat to come under her control.The state to which our nation is in today in every way is tragic.
      Does your heart bleed ,does your blood boil????

      Did you ever raise your voice against the injustices inflicted by these people ever in your blog.
      You will say you are concerned with women and not politics.
      But everything is connected and related as you yourself know.

      And with friends like you who needs any external enemies!
      The future of our Bharat and the generations to come is at stake today.

      During the Tsunami these ‘missionary agencies’ categorically demanded people to convert to receive help.Is charity religion based? And if so is where is the western value of Justice and Equality?
      IHM do you have any answers?Did you even know about this and when you came to know did you even speak about it?
      What fight did you and your ilk put up against such anti-national activities?
      Such news never sees the light of day because there are vested interests within the nation that see to it that common people never ever get to know about them.
      Every news item is ‘re-worded and twisted’ and people are mis-informed.

      Again gross intellectual dishonesty!

      Now let me tell you something about Western Equality and justice.
      News items that portray the West in bad light is never published by our media and you sit there thinking that West is a best.issues that matter to the West are tackled by people with strength,character and perseverance while never attacking their roots and cultural heritage.
      Europeans are proud to be Europeans and too too Americans
      You would have definitely watched the US President swearing and saying with profound respect GOD BLESS AMERICA AND HER PEOPLE.
      ((What a pity that here on your IHM blog you have people who are ‘suffocated’ by BHARAT.
      And my response to this was to this person to emigrate to another place of her choice -but you ‘cut and pasted’ the context of my comment).

      Whatever stilted negative issues regarding Bharat these Western agencies wish to print and broadcast ( backed with active support by our own anti national Bharatis) is seen and heard in national and international TV and printed headline news.
      Their own negative news is hidden with ulterior motivation.
      So Bharat is attacked by outsiders and active participation of westernized ‘converted’ insiders.

      I have not just visited the West I have spent decades there and so have firsthand information.
      Sitting close one loses perspective and sitting too far one also loses sight.

      You talk of justice,equality and liberty.
      These are mere empty words.( First look within your own self ).

      You may surprised to know that in the West ( of liberty,equality,freedom and justice for all) there is wife-beating as rampant as in Bharat,infidelity,drug-addiction even in schools,violence,rape,sexual crime within the family,cruelty beyond imagination and child abuse that will rant your innards.
      Even today many women are not paid salaries in level to the male employees.
      And I am not exaggerating.
      Yes there are proper laws in place but everywhere there are ‘miles to go’.
      Do not live in a delusion-filled world where everything Bharateeya is negative and wrong and that West is best.
      Far far from it!
      So stop all this sermonizing from the top of the hill.

      Think with discrimination and with a view to setting things right but not with hate and revulsion at your own roots.
      Our Bharati roots are strong and robust the BEST.
      In fact much of all this metamorphosis is due to first colonization and ravage of our nation and NOW the colonization of minds such as the likes of you et al.

      Words are empty.Actions count.

      We as people of one nation Bharat should join hands in setting things right and not calling names at each other and also learn something which was innate in our सभ्यता ।

      One point I would suggest to you about your blog is the use of decent vocabulary from all who write.I do not mean use of faulty language ( because after all we are not English people ) but use of decent vocabulary and not the use of street language.

      And this shall be my last comment to you.
      I shall be surprised if you have the integrity to print this comment (just as it is )on your blog.

      Good luck & good bye!

      Like

      • Vijaya108, I get the sense that you are very patriotic. And that you see this blog, and any questioning of any practices of our country as unpatriotic. This is not the intention of those who write here, as far as I can see. They are proud Indians too. All they debate is how India ought to be in the future, going forward, and what changes can be made. While we may agree or disagree on specific points, we all wish the best for the country itself.

        Now you may wish to consider one point: are you defending the ideas and culture of Bharat (which is incredibly diverse), or are you defending your own ideas and beliefs? Is it the people of Bharat who are confused about their identity, or are you? I do not ask these questions disrespectfully. When I see the reality – that India does not have one culture, that we are 1 billion people with hundreds of sub-cultures and practices, and that our culture keeps changing as time passes, I think it is not really wise to get so worked up if it is just about an abstract concept like culture. If you personally find it difficult to deal with change, especially the change of things you love like your country or culture, then I quote the Buddha to you: hold to no external support. Change is the only constant feature of our universe.

        All the best🙂

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      • I think there are good things everywhere, and there are wrong-doings and injustice everywhere. I don’t see any point in arguing about which culture is better or worse.

        I agree there are many things lacking in ‘western’ culture, and there are many people pointing it out and working to improve things. I know plenty of westerners raising their voice about what they see wrong in their culture – they aren’t bashing it, they try to improve it. Same goes with the ‘bharatiya sanskruti’. There are things that are marvelous, and they will continue for ages. But there are things that could be changed and pointing out the faults of a system in order to improve it does not mean that one is blindly upholding another culture, or bashing your own. Also there is nothing wrong is imbibing good things from other cultures, is there?

        “Bharat is the only nation where people ‘gang up like you’ within and without to attack their own roots and their very being.” It’s about improving, changing for the better. It is not attacking roots, but trying to make them stronger. And this happens in all nations. And similarly, India is also not the only nation where people are so proud of their ‘culture’ that they are almost blind to its fault. You see it happening everywhere, the idea of ‘exceptionalism’, believing your nation, your culture is better than others. Isn’t it better to work together to change for the better, instead of creating divides by comparing whose culture is superior?

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      • Firstly I have a feeling that anything ‘bharatiya’ to you means ‘hindu’. Secondly, you do not understand the basic idea of this blog. You are the kind of person who would further victimize a victim, breed prejudice and promote patriarchal practices. Hence, I don’t see a point in arguing with you. I think IHM has been completely fair in responding to you and incredibly patient as well. Nothing you have mentioned can be taken out of context. No matter the context, I think the point you were making stays the same. All the best to you.

        Like

  2. “To be a woman is to act with wisdom, discrimination and enlightenment.”

    Did I read this right? To be a woman is to act with DISCRIMINATION along with all else.

    What does that mean?
    To be wise and enlightened, also means I have to discriminate?
    What if I don’t want the ‘enlightenment’, that means I am not being a ‘woman’?

    Like

  3. “Bharatiya sanskruti”! Firstly which sanskruti does it refer to? The sanskruti before the Aryans landed in India? After they landed and before the Mughals invaded? After the Mughals invaded? Pre-independence? Post-independence?

    Are women the only upholders and retainers of sanskriti? Do we hear protests about men wearing jeans or business suits? Should they wear a loin cloth just around the waist upto the knees like a pre-historic cave man or should he wear a lungi / dhoti (which variety and style) or should he wear kurta pyjama or sherwani? Does that tradition not need to be protected?

    In the Rigvedic period, women were very powerful. It was only down the line that we entered the dark ages and women became personae non grata (except to cook and produce children). Are the Vedic periods not part of our tradition, especially the older ones?

    I have never understood this blind support for our “culture, heritage and traditions” without reference to what we are talking about. Nor have I understood the need for it. Just as we worship God because (S)He is all powerful and then feel insulted at anything we perceive as a slur on our Religion and our God as if that all powerful being needs us to protect Her/Him, I have never understood why we need to defend a culture which can protect itself and be carried down the ages without any issues if it is fair and loved by all.

    Like

    • Should we ignore facts such as the preference for “fair” coloured skin in these upholders of BHARATIYA “culture and tradition” when our genetic code dictates that our skin is brown (different shades)?

      Like

  4. bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-janma yāra janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra
    “One who has taken his birth as a human being in the land of India (Bhārata-varṣa) should make his life successful and work for the benefit of all other people.” (CC Adi 9.41)

    Seems to support IHM’s side, no?

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  5. @IHM: You have a lot of patience to deal with such arguments. Kudos !
    @vijayaa108: ”Women are in fact more powerful than men ” Mostly they don’t. In some situations they are . But even that is a problematic issues ! Nobody should yield disproportionate power over others. It’s not men vs women, it’s about equality, freedom and justice for everyone.

    Like

  6. “Anyway your ideology is centered around yourself and so ahead and good luck.” I think vijaya, like many others, has confused being self-centered with individual rights. Dear Vijaya, someone who campaigns for individual rights, like IHM does, is not selfish or self-centered. She is selflessly campaigning of the welfare of all people, not just women. Each person deserves their rights. Every person is precious. That’s the core ideology. If this blog focuses a little on women as a group, it is because women are more discriminated against today than men are, in India. When that changes, I am sure IHM will champion oppressed men too🙂

    What you must ask yourself Vijaya, is whether a society that believes in making some individuals sacrifice their happiness and give up their individual rights is truly a selfless society. Isn’t it a bit selfish in its own way? Of course, we must all sacrifice for the common good, but it is better that the sacrifice comes from us voluntarily, and we are persuaded to do so out of our free will, while we have our full rights. It cannot be demanded and taken in the name of duty, culture, honour, religion, dogma, nation or whatever. It cannot be taken by force. First give everybody freedom, rights and individual choice. Then make your demands and preach your ideals.

    For my part, I find myself strongly agreeing with what I believe to be at the core of IHM’s writing: that people matter, not just in the aggregate, but down to the smallest and most vulnerable person. Every single person matters. She is not anti-Bharat, unless Bharat is anti-people.

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  7. Wow, my comments incited a response from vijaya and a counter response from IHM, exciting.

    “I am quite amused at the graphic picture you have painted of the very country of your birth. yet paradoxically this land has given Light to World civilization.”

    – That graphic picture was REALITY for millions of men and women for centuries in this country. I refuse to turn a blind eye towards what happened to them due to fully sanctioned religious and social customs that were an integral part of your so called “bharat mahan punyabhoomi”. I won’t sing along empty praises and drink the vedic/sanskriti kool aid just because it is my motherland.

    -What does “Light to World” civilization even mean? Give some concrete examples. Did we invent the light bulb, electricity, find the cure to malaria? Even if we did, how did any of that make life any better for those men/women who suffered terrible injustices? Or we just supposed to forget and ignore them and bask is our glorious past? Widows and shudras don’t matter, they are not even fully human deserving of any respect/dignity/freedom, how dare they mar the pristine “bharat” image with their pesky little misfortunes?

    – I do not need to learn from white men like Rudyard Kipling and Mark Twain on what to think about India. They never had to live the inhumane life of a young window, they can write whatever they want. I can look around myself, read history, think critically and draw my own conclusions, that is the whole point of being educated.

    “Come abroad and see for yourselves the state of women here and you will then realize the worth of what you have there.”

    – I have lived abroad for many years and was absolutely thrilled and very happy with the state of women. I could travel alone day and night by public transportation and never once felt unsafe or disgusted the same way as in India. Sure, I won’t walk around gang infested parts of town at 11 pm, but anywhere else I could be out and about taking same level of precaution as any of my guy friends. That level of personal safety for women is unimaginable in India, how do you counter that Vijayaa?
    – Outside India, I can walk out of an abusive or unhappy relationship anytime I want without having to fear about what others will say or being a social outcast or fearing for my life. I know I do not have to tolerate any bullshit in name of being a woman and “adjusting” or keeping the in-laws/husband/society happy. This is absolutely fantastic compared to how women are mistreated and abused in Indian society within their own families as very much evident from countless posts on this blog. I do not want to be an eternally self-sacrificing “bharatiya naari” putting everyone else’s needs ahead of mine. I see nothing wrong in being selfish and working towards my own needs, desires, happiness, mental peace and aspirations instead of trying to make every other person happy.

    Like

  8. Dear Smt, Vijaya,

    Thank you for writing to me personally.
    I find that your comment has appeared in full at IHM’s blog, contrary to your apprehension that IHM would suppress it.
    I trust that removes at least one grievance you may have had in this matter.
    Thank you for sharing your views with me.
    However, you must now live with contrary views too.

    I follow this blog for one main reason, and that is to keep my finger on the pulse of modern young women, who are educated and financially empowered and who are coming out in large numbers against traditional Indian patriarchy. In real life, I will have no access to them and their thoughts , due to my age and my gender. I don’t agree with everything that these ladies say, at all times but I greatly value their comments, even when I don’t agree.
    My own views are intermediate between your views and the extreme views held by some of these readers. Sometimes I swing one way, sometimes the other, depending the the particular issue being discussed. I am proud of Indian culture and value it but I also admit that not everything about India and Indian culture is worth treasuring. I am tolerant when it is criticized. I feel happy when the good in Indian culture is appreciated.

    Your complaint about the language used perhaps applies to some of IHM’s more outspoken and militant readers only, and should not apply to IHM. I find IHM’s views quite reasonable and well argued and the language is always restrained and dignified. Most of her readers too argue their cases well. Ihm is fortunate to have a really intelligent readership. I am not too perturbed when a few hot blooded youngsters occasionally get carried away and use language that I would not use. Let them vent.

    (Edited to add: Let the tigresses roar! Aparna, are you there? Let’s hear you roar!)

    I also happen to know that there are several readers who don’t share the views expressed by the readers but are hesitant to express them openly. Many of these readers have written to me in private giving me their opinions.

    I have been following this blog for a little over three years and on several occasions I too have faced severe opposition to my views. I take that in my stride and do not worry too much about it.

    In reply to your query, yes, I am a Paalakkaad Iyer by birth, but a secular, cosmopolitan and modern Indian in my day to day life and relationships.
    I have my roots in Indian culture, but I have also borrowed liberally from the West.
    I adopt the best of both, and discard the bad from both.

    I am taking the liberty of sharing this reply with IHM’s readers by posting this as a comment. I am excluding your personal and private mail to me on the subject.
    Regards and best wishes.
    GV

    Like

  9. Vijayaa,

    I think you need to take a chill pill. Culture is all very well but if it is restricting or preventing someone from fulfilling their potential, then it’s time to let go.

    Three things for you.

    1. You seem to have a problem with the ‘West’ in general. Like Bharat, the West too is a plethora of different cultures and values. By lumping them together, you are being as racist as some Westerners who claim all Asians are similar. For instance, America has a very low human rights record while Norway has a very high one. Canada has some great equality policies while Australia is struggling with it. Netherlands has some very progressive laws but Romania will take long to catch up.

    2. No sane person supports the atrocities of the Catholic Church. Just because we criticise Indian religions and traditions doesn’t automatically mean that we are all running to join the CC. In fact, I despise the CC. Most of us here are actually Hindus or agnostics, atheists. Plus you are being really racist towards Indian Christians who identify themselves as Indians and are part of the culture. This also applies to America. Just because people here are criticising India, doesn’t mean they are all running to America. I don’t like America either.

    3. Freedom, justice and equality are not only meant for Westerners. These principles should be applicable to ALL human beings irrespective of nationality, race, religion and culture. If you see Americans having trouble with it, try to help them achieve it, not make it a prop for repressing Indians who value freedom. Finally, the focus should be on the people. People are important, not ideas.

    However, I do agree your post should not have been taken out of context and ripped apart without your permission. I have long wondered if permission was being taken for the comments being published as posts. I simply assumed that the proper blogging practices were being followed. I would be upset too if my comment were ever taken and then published as a post by someone else without my knowledge or permission. It’s my work, not theirs.

    IHM, your post doesn’t show up on the main page because the date has been set to 1st February instead of 1st March. You might like to correct that.

    Like

    • All comments can be responded to in posts or in comments section, if the comments are not related to the post they are being shared on, then there are more chances of their being discussed separately, in a post.

      Like

      • IHM,

        That’s not right. Comments are comments. You can, of course, ask for people to write guest posts, but you cannot take other people’s comments and make it your own post without their knowledge or permission. You don’t get to decide whether comments should be made into a post or not. It’s not good netiquette. Blog posts are something you need to write yourself. If you want guest posts, I am sure many of us would happily oblige.

        Like

        • But Fem I have been discussing comments from this blog, from other random blogs, from news articles, from books – why do you think is it unfair to discuss opinions we either agree or disagree with?

          Like

  10. People like her irritate me. Firstly I don’t understand what in the world she is trying to prove here. AT one point she is ‘out and out for women’ and in another point she exclaims that we don’t need to ‘shout from the rooftops about women’s rights’ ! While I am all for her having the freedom to state her point of view, but currently I am suffering at the hands of someone just like her – my society secretary who thinks it is ok to look down on me everytime I pass him just because I am an unmarried woman staying with in a society of married families. It is offensive to be treated like shit just because you don’t fit into the mold of some random stranger’s expectations. If this is what our sanskruti is about, I am glad I don’t believe in it.

    Like

  11. Pingback: How many women would dare to say this? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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