The occasion is Dussehra and along expected lines, feminists are out in numbers in their attempt to prove that Ramayana, the tale of Maryada Purushottam Rama, reeks of misogyny. Feminists offering sermons on social on Hindu festivals is as regular an occurrence as celebrations across India. Towards that end, on Dussehra, prominent feminists on social media have chosen the Laxman Rekha as their object of ire.
An image wishing everyone a happy Dussehra that is doing the rounds on social media says, “Never draw a line around a woman.” Swara Bhasker claimed it was the best thing she read today. The line that is spoken of here is obvious the Laxman Rekha that was drawn by Laxman to protect Sita Mata from Ravana. Thus, we see an inversion of reality here. The line was not drawn to impose restrictions on Sita, it was drawn to keep Ravana out.
The actual purpose has been perverted to mean precisely the opposite of what it actually is. It should not surprise us at all since feminists are often found declaring Rama as a misogynist while glorifying Ravana as someone who treated Sita better than her divinely ordained husband. In doing so, they only reveal their lack of knowledge about the Ramayana.
In reality, Ravana could not force himself upon Sita due to a curse that he suffered for sexually predatory behaviour as a consequence of which he could not touch Sita without her consent. However, that does not prevent feminists from glorifying an abductor of women. Swara Bhasker was not the only person who shared the image.
Rahul Mehra, standing counsel for the government of Delhi, shared that image as well and earned a stern rebuke from Devdutt Pattanaik of all people. The pop mythologist, who has a conflicted relationship with facts, said, “How cleverly even “feminists” turn a line meant to “keep Ravana out” into a line meant to “keep Sita in”….. amazing!”
Wishing all of you a very happy Vijaya Dadhami🏹 pic.twitter.com/h0BCUM7m5q— Rahul Mehra (@TheRahulMehra) October 25, 2020
This is, of course, the standard operating procedure for such pseudo-feminists who are often batshit crazy. When the larger objective is to prove Hinduism to be an irredeemably sexist and misogynist religion, it is only to be expected that people will clutch at straws to reach the conclusion already drawn. It is to be borne in mind that for people who are capable of portraying the Hijab as a symbol of women empowerment, absolutely anything is possible.
The fact that the intended purpose of the Laxman Rekha is not what feminists claim to be is of no concern. That it was only meant to be a temporary protectionary measure is summarily ignored. That Sita Herself did not interpret it to mean unjustified restrictions on Her liberty does not mean anything at all; because, of course, feminists know better and Sita has been consumed by internalised patriarchy.
Every Hindu festival is an occasion for such people to offer sermons furthering their morbid agenda. if reasonable avenues do not exist, as they very often don’t, then they are invented to suit their purposes. Consequently, tales of mythical semen-filled balloons are concocted during Holi, Kanwar Yatra becomes the embodiment of rowdy behaviour, Jallikattu is turned into a festival that oppresses animals and the Laxman Rekha is twisted to portray a patriarchal symbol that symbolises the restrictions that are imposed on women by toxic masculinity on Dussehra.