In fact I am a bit confused whether I should address this to you or to your author Shaan Khan, who authored the piece that you published on 23rd Feb, 2016, titled “What’s really behind India’s rape crisis”. Anyway, I decided to write to you. It is a sort of report that blames Jesus Christ for the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler, for Hitler is an ardent Christian.
I do not know what sort of a publication you are, but it appears – considering you are an honest opinion publisher, you were misguided by the author, who in fact was not qualified to write on Hinduism and how it treats women. The most lovable part in the “India’s Rape Crisis” report that attempted to provide a sort of authenticity was the quotes from ancient scriptures of India. Still, the quotes failed to achieve the intended purpose for the original Sanskrit text with meaning to these words should have been provided. But, it is really difficult, for you to find very few who really had that sort of knowledge, even in India. I understand the author had to rely on Wikipedia and other such sort of sources, mostly English translations that were done during the period when India was occupied by foreigners.
Now, coming to these ancient scriptures, there is not a single scripture older than a thousand years that contain the words ‘Hindu’ and ‘Hinduism’. All the ancient scriptures were simply notes, records, stories and compilations that our forefathers recorded – initially in oral form and later in written form – so that next generations could understand how it was earlier. They used it to pass on knowledge and their experiences.
I do not deny, or subscribe to the views expressed by the author, for it would be for the editor, to get these evaluated and commented by some proper authority. In fact, I had two versions of two texts referred in the article – Mahabharata and Matsyapurana. It was from the English translation of Mahabharata, by Mr Ganguly the text that the author quoted.
Ancient scriptures of India have evolved with the evolution of the native humans. But, the point to note is their evolution was continuous. As with all societies, there were some groups that had grabbed power and exploited others. But, this trait is common to all societies. I am explicitly saying this, because I don’t intend to defend the native culture, for it doesn’t need to be defended. And, I don’t consider this as a religion, but a native culture that had many customs and practices that varied from one extent to the other extent.
In native culture where there are billions of Gods to cater perhaps to each individual, the three most important features that a human aspire for – knowledge, wealth and power; are gifted to people by females. Yes, we have goddesses to pray for so that we can have wisdom, money and power. In our practices, the first respect goes to the mother – ‘Matru Devo Bhava’, unlike the teachings that enabled a young man in Syria to kill his mother, for she wants him to quit following the extremists there! I know how Shaan Khan feels even to the indirect mention of his so called ‘peaceful religion’. His mates back in India have a similar syndrome and refuse to say ‘Vande Mataram’ meaning ‘Salutations to the Mother’.
Yes, there are rapes in India. It is a fact. Now, the author referred to Wikipedia (I really get annoyed when people quote half-truths). Let me give the data (from Wiki).
Rapes in China in 2007 are 31833. Rapes in India, in 2013 are 24923. Figures of China are not available. And Shaan Khan claims that China is gentle, as if he is a Chinese!
Refer to the ranking of countries based on number of rapes per 100,000 population. India fares very poor even in the rape statistics.
Yes, as per the data for the year 2010, (that was the latest available on this site – you may refer to), India ranked 94(with 1.6 rapes per 100000 population), while Australia ranked 11(28.6) and USA ranked 14(27.3). Sharing space with all toppers of the list (most of African nations) is one of the most advanced nations, Sweden ranked 6 (63.5).
Now, even if one consider ninety percent of rapes do go unnoticed, India can only move into the top 10, whenever ISIS takes over the country. Now, analyse the same list. Most of the Islamic nations do not present, for no data would be made available. You can infer yourselves. It is common knowledge that a guide to rape slaves was prepared by the custodians of the peaceful doctrine ISIS.
I request Shaan Khan to explain the reason behind the higher rape rate in African countries (most are Muslim dominated) and other Western nations (most are Christian dominated). Do you ever have the same type of vulgar reasoning to blame the rapes to Islam and Christianity? NO. You will never. And you should not, for no religion in the world teaches to be so repulsive.
Ancient scriptures were used to teach and differentiate what was good and bad. They simply portrayed some stories, for all religious texts, including those belonging to Abrahamic religions were full of stories. Taking few sentences out of context to blame any religion is … you know what I mean.
In fact, it is the native culture of India that was and is changing forever with time. We still change. We still have many black spots like caste based discrimination. In India, it is caste. In US, it is race. All societies do have good and bad.
As the Khan mentioned, there was a notorious rape in Delhi, and the whole world witnessed how the general public reacted. Khan may note that the person assaulted the victim with steel rods was not a Hindu and I don’t want to name his religion. I leave it to your guess. I challenge Khan to show me one other nation of even with half a population India has to respond to one incident. Especially, one nation where his religion rules!
With all the evolution, humans are still evolving. We are not perfect. We agree. In India, we have an internal mechanism to correct our faults, unlike our many of our neighbouring countries to the west. And I suggest you to watch the video of a news channel from Pakistan, wherein the speaker claims only because of Hindu roots, they are tolerant society!
Now, I hope you publish this article in the thedailybeast with an apology from you or Khan as a footnote.