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The Oldest Form of Slavery

The Oldest Form of Slavery

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Published by Ananta

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Published by: Ananta on Apr 06, 2009
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The Oldest Form of Slavery
By Garda Ghista “Today the clattering chariot wheels are turning. That din is making the hearts of theopportunists quake. This is the decree of fate. The pace of change is fastaccelerating. Women in many communities of the world still do the household chores,but the men are earning the money. That is why the men are in an advantageousposition. The women are still subservient to the men and the men want to keep themin that state of servitude. But when the situation changes, this cheap slave labor willescape from men’s control.” - Prabhat Rainjan SarkarThe above statement reveals the glory of its author. No other spiritual person inhistory has had the courage or the honesty to so boldly state the utter truth –namely that the endless labor of housewives all over the world is nothing but slavelabor. To say this openly in a society such as India where women are brainwashed byreligious dogma to touch and wash their husbands’ feet, where husbands order theirwives around like servants, where women have the highest suicide rate in the world,is an act of indomitable integrity.
The Rage of Quaking Hearts
In the face of the integrity shown by women, the hearts of male opportunists arequaking. Just as the advances in the women’s movement in the West during thesixties caused a severe backlash in the eighties, similarly the advances in thewomen’s movement in the nineties has caused a severe backlash in Easterncountries in the form of dramatic increase in wife abuse, rapes, and violent degradingpornography. The rapidly rising number of acid-attacks on young girls and women inIndia and Bangladesh is a clear reflection of men’s deep-rooted psychologicalinsecurities as well as the most brutal and callous attitude towards the femalespecies, such that a man thinks nothing of throwing acid into her nose, eyes andmouth, causing the flesh to melt and disintegrate, thus destroying her faculties andher life forever – only because she rejected his advances. Just as the movies of ClintEastwood and Charles Bronson endlessly showed rape as something natural, similarlythe modern movies of India always manage to show a rape scene. Just as the revivalof TV evangelicalism in the West has furiously fought to bring women back to thesubservience advocated by the Bible, similarly in the East fundamentalist fanaticsfight right now to bring women back to the even more debased subservience of theVedas or the Koran.In Africa right now we are seeing the violent backlash against women in the form of the militia violence in Sierra Leone. But this extreme violence masks the day-to-dayquiet violence of women kidnapped, raped and set ablaze in the Third World. Womenin India who try and control their dowry money given by their parents are bathed inkerosene and set on fire every two minutes by outraged husbands and in-laws. If alower-caste woman or a kidnapped prostitute asks for help from the police, the policeusually rape her. In areas like Assam where there is extreme exploitation bycapitalists from the Western Indian states, militancy has sprouted like mushrooms onthe dead tree of justice. In combating the militants, the police, the army andespecially the pro-government militias (like those in Columbia, Sri Lanka) routinelyrape women when punishing a village. This is because in the military culture of ThirdWorld countries (created by colonization) rape is an accepted form of behavior. Wefind the same behavior with the Russian army. In these countries the public
conscience is not yet awakened to protest such crimes as for example the VietnamWar awakened the American conscience. Women are expected to endure rape andviolence just like the earth endures industrial violence. On the day-to-day level thismeans women are to endure commands, humiliation, ridicule, and slander just likethe ever-silent Sita of Indian mythology who walked through fire to save the prestigeof her spineless husband Rama. Just as a dog after being beaten or scolded rushesback, whines and lovingly licks his master’s hand, so are women expected to behavewhen faced with petty raging, shouting and even beating. This is perhaps why dogsare not so beloved in Asia as they are in the West where they are man’s best friends.Who needs a dog when you have a wife!! This is why Hindu religious leaders holdSita as a role model for Indian women who even today call their husband ‘pati’ orLord.As Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar has stated:"The inhuman rules and regulations and tortures inside the house filled a woman'slife with bitterness. Nobody knows how many have wept away sleepless nightshaving suffered tortures for which no redress is possible. The dogma of the scripturescrushed their emotional feelings, their hopes and aspirations like a steamrollerflattening soft clay. Nobody has paid any heed to their sobs and tearful outbursts."The fury and the passion of these chauvinistic fundamentalists arise from their deep-seated emotional insecurities. They are emotionally not evolved enough to have arelationship of equals. The only intimacy they are capable of is that of the benevolentmaster to an adoring, childlike slave. This form of relationship mimics and reflectsthese males’ own relationship at the workplace where they smile and flatter theirexploitative bosses while cursing them in their minds. In Third World countries theemployees are forced to act like simple, innocent children in order to be patronizedby their bosses. This is the same reason why African slaves in America were alwayscalled ‘boy’, no matter how old they were. They take out their frustration by re-enacting the same drama in their relationship with their wives. Just as employers arebenevolent to employees so long as they remain completely subservient anddependent, similarly husbands are kind to their wives so long as they remainsubservient. Even in the major cities domestic violence has increased, as for examplewhen wives refuse sex, the outraged husband beats her. In the villages this violentmimicry is revealed in the way in which lower caste men are often more chauvinisticthat the more Westernized higher castes. Just as with the trauma of globalization,the unrest and awareness of workers has increased in Third World countries, so alsothe unrest and awareness of their wives has increased. This is one of the reasons forthe acceleration of prostitution in Third World cities like Bombay and Bangkok. Menfeel more comfortable and secure in relating to a kidnapped and enslaved prostitutethan in relating to a real woman with her own mind, heart, and above all her ownspirituality. This is the reason why the movie “Pretty Woman” was so enormouslypopular in Third World countries.
Dependence & Slavery
In the quotation given at the beginning of this article, the key reason domesticslavery is highlighted is namely that the husband controls the money. No one hasever told the terrible tale of the countless humiliations faced each day by wiveshaving to grovel before and beg their husbands for money. Just as many slaveowners flattered themselves that they were kind, generous fathers to their slaves, sodo many Third World men flatter themselves in relation to their wives. This is thesame relationship as when one’s pet is a good doggie and stays quiet, she is given abiscuit and if the dog is too independent and barks too much, she gets a beating!
Recent research on emotional blackmail has shown that the ways of coercion arevery subtle. It is a tragedy that so many Third World males misuse their intellect tomanipulate and inculcate inferiority complexes in their wives by taking advantage of their financial dependence. But, as Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar has stated above, thechariot wheels are turning!What research on emotional blackmail has also shown is the amazing depths of pettiness such husbands resort to. Just as in the fifties most men in America feltangry and insecure if their wives developed a life outside the home, so is the casewith men today in the Third World. Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar has pointed out theshameful fact that the bangles worn by women all over India originated from thechain that formerly kept women tied to the house like a dog. The prime reason forthis anger and insecurity is not merely the irritation of not having 24-hour servicebut the fear that their wives will lose their innocent joy in working like a slave.It is truly only an utterly insecure and pathetic person who takes pleasure in havinghis wife at his beck and call. If one travels on the trains in India one can note thedespicable way in which arrogant husbands order their old wives around to do thesimplest of chores and to help them stuff their bellies. One can with shame see howthese old women are not allowed to rest at all so long as their husbands are awake.In Himachal Pradesh and other parts of northern India the women do even all thelabor of harvesting. In Ibsen’s play, The Doll’s House, the wife realizes that she hasbehaved like a silly girl (with a petty mind and a shallow heart) in spite of her beingin her 40’s because this is how men have conditioned her to be. Similarly, now,women all over the Third World have started to reject the role model of the mindless,adoringly subservient women portrayed in Hindi movies. This is one of the reasonswhy religious fundamentalists hate so passionately even the news and sciencechannels on TV, because those programs show Third world women the reality of liberated and active women in other countries.All over Asia there is domestic turmoil in the Westernized cities because the wife hassome financial independence as a result of working. Husbands, especially in thepoorer, less educated communities, are outraged when women do not simply handover their earnings. It seems to be a crime for wives to control their own hard-earned money. Often the wealthier husband will contrive numerous sordid schemesand blackmail to get his greedy paws on his wife’s money. However, it is also truethat in more educated communities in the cities many young Asian men are beingforced to grow up and treat their wives with more respect and even to share in thedomestic chores.
Escaping Men’s Control
How do we translate the rhetoric of freedom into the reality of liberated living? Withthis in mind, Shrii Shrii Anandamurtijii (the spiritual name of Shrii Prabhat RainjanSarkar) created the Ananda Marga Gurukula. It is a university based on Tantra or thespiritual practice of expansion. It is only in the Tantric tradition that women weregranted full equality to expand themselves mentally and spiritually, and were able toburst the chains of dogma and domestic tyranny. For real freedom, women mustbecome free from the mental complexes arising from millenniums of exploitation.This can only be achieved by a spiritual practice that liberates one from thelimitations of propensities, petty thoughts and emotions. In Ananda Marga Gurukulathe knowledge that is imparted through so many subjects is the knowledge of permanent liberation from all limitations. Unlike in other religious universities, whichwere run by dry, pedantic priests, Ananda Marga Gurukula is a university based on

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