Saturday, 1 April 2017

RSS/BJP/Adityanath’s Ideology and Women.

I remember the year 2004 when I was teaching a post graduate course in social work in the Government College in Barwani, Madhya Pradesh (MP) when Bhartiya Janta Party’s (BJP) Uma Bharti became the Chief Minister (CM) of the State. Soon after, the regional press extensively reported that a dress code for girls in the colleges of MP was to be implemented soon by the BJP Government. The reason given was “provocative dresses” worn by the students were leading to “perversions”.

I had decided back then that if the BJP Government imposed the dress code, I would change my attire from my regular salawar khameez to pants and kurtas in solidarity with the protesting girls even if it cost me my job as a lecturer in the Government College. However I did not have to do anything of the kind as the Government bowed to wide spread protests across the state. It was a proud moment for me when young girls stood up to the proposed diktat by the then BJP Government.

Come 2017 and a statement by BJP minister Maneka Gandhi as reported by the Indian Express comes to my mind  - "Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi recently made a statement that has left a lot of people baffled. Speaking to NDTV, she said early curfews in hostels ensured safety. “When you are 16 or 17 you are also hormonally very challenged. So to protect you from your own hormonal outbursts, perhaps a lakshman rekha is drawn. It really is for your own safety.”"

It is important to take note that Maneka Gandhi herself has exercised her freedom from her young age by pursuing formal education only up to I.S.C. She took up modeling at age seventeen and dated Sanjay Gandhi as a teenager. But that does not matter. She adheres to BJP –RSS’s skewed ideology concerning women as its minister of Women and Child Development. 

Other BJP – RSS functionaries have also expressed their regressive ideas about women very vocally in recent times. This is not surprising as this is the part and parcel of RSS-BJP ideology in its endeavor to build a Hindu Rashtra. However what is worrying is that ever since BJP has come to power at the center, it has started executing its ideas in an aggressive way. For example the Vice Chancellor of the esteemed Banaras Hindu University (BHU), a BJP appointee himself reportedly advocates discriminatory treatment towards girls in the university as follows 

1.   Girls not to be served meat in the hostel mess as it makes the girls “impure”. 
2.    Girls cannot avail of the 24X7 library facilities as it would be immoral for girls to study after 10 pm. 
3. Girls cannot use mobile phones after 10 pm.

There are no such restrictions on boys. During my recent visit to Banaras Hindu University, I was told that the girl students are not allowed to raise their voice against the discrimination meted out to them or participate in any protests.

It is under this back drop that the appointment of BJP CM Adityanath and his regressive views about women should also be understood. More importantly, by appointing Adityanath as the CM of UP, the BJP/RSS has given a clear message that this is what BJP stands for and requires the people of this country to abide even if it is contrary to the Constitution of India.  

I therefore bring before the readers what Adityanath as BJP CM thinks about women through his article titled, Matru Shakti Bhartiya Sanskruti Ke Sandarbh Mein: 

In reference to talking about women's reservation, he says: