The question that led to the writing of my book Sex and Power was, why is India with its erotic history, so neurotic about sex today? See “India Uptight over Erotica in Hinduism?”
Yet, there are two other factors I observed over the course of my research. Firstly, there continues to be an underlying sexuality to the practice of Hinduism, which Indians seems bizarrely blind to, and in denial of even as they practice it!
Secondly, modern India has the most extreme form of cultural tolerance for various types of sexually deviant social behavior – like sex-trafficking in the form of marriage! As I tried to understand why this was so, a theory from Freud explained it quite clearly, and also made a projection. As I searched further, I realized that Freud was right! The biggest shocker for me was making the connection that the female genocide in India today is a direct result of India’s confounded, perverted social attitude to sex and sexuality!
Below is an excerpt from the last section of my book.
The lingam-yoni which continues to be worshipped by millions in India is perhaps one of the most blatant sexual allusions in Hinduism. It is not just the terminology, the actual use of the words ‘penis’ (lingam) and ‘vagina’(yoni), but it is the representation as well, the idol (bearing) a likeness (to) the respective anatomies…an unambiguous portrayal of sexual intercourse. Yet, surprisingly, most Indians will vehemently deny (more…)
Posted by Rita Banerji on February 6, 2013
“But what about the collected Karma after all this killing?”
This is what a friend, who is Swiss, had asked me in 2006, when I told him that in less than 3 generations India had, systematically, without blinking an eyelid, exterminated at least 50 million women from its population, killing them at every stage of life.
Not surprisingly, that is one of the questions I’m frequently asked as founder of The 50 Million Missing Campaign, a global online lobby to raise awareness about India’s female genocide. After all isn’t India the land of religion and spirituality, and isn’t Karma a big part of the Hindu philosophy — this idea that whatever you do, comes back to you in one way or another?
The answer to this question I put into an article “The Schizophrenia of Moral Systems” I had written for the Word Worth Magazine (Vol 6, No.10, Oct 2006).
To read the article click here (and then click on ‘Columns’)
Posted by Rita Banerji on August 13, 2012
What makes people voluntarily deaf, dumb and blind to the workings of their culture and tradition?
Take the festival of Diwali in India — also sometimes called “the festival of lamps” because once a year, everyone lights their houses with lamps.
The symbolism here is that of lighting a lamp in the dark — good over evil, etc. — which is what makes it so appealing to people visiting India at this time. That in addition to the fact, that everything looks so pretty with hundreds of lamps lit everywhere.
The story behind Diwali, that millions of us in India have grown up with, is that of the victory of the Indian king Ram. Ram’s wife, Sita, is said to have been kidnapped by the Sri Lankan king Ravana. After a massive, bloody battle, Ram rescues Sita and brings her home. And to welcome him home and celebrate his victory over evil, the people of India lit lamps. Thus today essentially marks Ram’s victory in battle over Ravana — who in India is considered a force of evil.
Across the strait, in neighboring Sri Lanka, however, there is another version of this story (more…)
Posted by Rita Banerji on October 26, 2011
This picture was taken in May this year. That’s me in the center with some local guys on the streets of Calcutta.
There are 2 things I’d like to point out about this photo:
1) If you walk down any street in India, it is not at all uncommon to find men partly clad like this — as they work, or sleep or, urinate, or play cards or just sit at the local tea vendor’s chatting with friends.
2) You would never see a picture like this in the reverse — that is, a man sitting all clad in the center, with a bunch of semi- clad women prancing around him, on any street corner of India!
And when the Slutmarch came to India, the people who were organizing it were really not demanding the right for women to run around, tearing their clothes off. They were asking “Why is rape the fastest increasing crime in India even though women go around fully clad and men have the freedom to take their clothes off anytime and anywhere?” Do read this article “Slutwalk to Femicide” that I wrote for The WIP (The Women’s International Press) where I argue why the fundamental message of the Slutwalks was lost not only on India, but on the rest of the world, and why it is of significance not only to the issue of sexual violence against women, but also to the issue of India’s ongoing femicide. Click here for the article.
Posted by Rita Banerji on October 20, 2011