Shakti Mother Goddess
Shakti , meaning “Power” or “empowerment,” is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism. Shakti is the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as ‘The Great Divine Mother‘ in Hinduism. On the earthly plane, Shakti most actively manifests through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form.
Not only is Shakti responsible for creation, it is also the agent of all change. Shakti is cosmic existence as well as liberation, its most significant form being the Kundalini Shakti, a mysterious psycho-spiritual force.Shakti exists in a state of svātantrya, dependence on no one, being interdependent with the entire universe.
I really don’t like writing up these posts about violence against women, but this latest drama involving the airing of the documentary “India’s Daughter”
on BBC and many other countries around the world this Sunday as a part of International Women’s Day and how this documentary has now been banned in India
, I feel I have to write something.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, the documentary is a look at the circumstances and the characters involved in the brutal rape and disembowelment of 23 year old medical student Jyoti Singh on a Delhi bus by 6 men on December 16, 2012. The day after, women, men, students and all sorts of other Indian citizens hit the streets in the hundreds of thousands for weeks to protest against the violence towards women in Indian society, how the police are in on it, the judges, the lawyers, in fact the entire establishment.
I don’t want to outline the case too much since it’s been written to death in millions of articles right now along with the dumbfuck comments of one of the rapists, Mukesh Singh. The documentary keeps being uploaded and taken down off of Youtube constantly even after over 1 million views in a single day.
Typical Indian film posters – many of them are painted.
What I do want to discuss is the mentality behind why this violence occurs in Indian culture and society. For many outsiders, India is the ultimate paradox. A successful democracy, which is coming into its own in a global village and economy. High tech industry in Bangalore, booming tourism, yoga ashrams, a country which graduates more engineers per year than the entire population of the middle-class of France, a fast-growing middle class which now wants a piece of the good life, more often than not copying their counterparts in suburban America, malls, designer clothes, expensive vacations, high-tech gizmos and gated-communities.
A Typical gated community outside of Bangalore which looks a lot like San Jose, California. Check out the servants weeding the lawn.
What many people fail to see or really understand is the sheer size, diversity and complexity of this country of 1.2 BILLION persons. 50% of this 1.2 billion live in poverty, that comes out to about 600 million people living on less than $2 a day in a slum and doing whatever they can to make it through the day. I’ve had friends of mine who told me that visiting India for them was like visiting another planet completely. There were things about Europe, Japan and the Middle East they could relate to but once they got to India, it was like absolutely EVERYTHING was completely different, from the colors, to the traffic, to the Bollywood painted film posters. It was like an assault on all their senses all the time. Some of them loved it and some of them positively hated it and couldn’t wait to leave.
Last night, the CBC radio ran an interview with lawyer and president of India’s Supreme Court Bar Association, Dushyant Dave about why the film has been banned in India. Remember this dude is supposed to be educated, well-read and one would hope, open-minded to the status of women in India. I just kept shaking my head the whole time because every single one of his responses to the journalist’s intelligent questions, were so, SO typical of the old guard of Indian men, men who run the law, the police, business, and society that if the establishment thinks this way, it’s the thinking which has to be challenged radically and changed in time.
Oh, it goes something like this….
1. India has no problem at all. What problem?
2. If it has a problem . It is no body else’s business
3. Everybody else has this problem. Everybody else also has other problems. Why don’t you talk about talk about those instead?
4. Why are you saying this is a problem? This is part of our 5000 year old culture. Our culture is unique and we don’t share the same values and culture as you in the West.
5. We knew the answer to all our problems in the Vedic age.
6. Even if we have this problem , it is not our fault.
7. We cannot accept any of the solution that have been shown to work elsewhere in other parts of the world. India is a 5000 year old civilization. We know better than you.
8. Even if we have this problem it is much better than what it was before.
9. Perhaps we have this problem but it is none of your business.
10. It will affect our tourism, our reputation , don’t talk about this. We are now an “investment destination” for global interests. If people think India is unsafe, we will lose tourist dollars and investment dollars! So please shut up!
11. This is a conspiracy by the West to demean India , to target India.
12. Some men who are poor and uneducated in India are dumb they will consider the rapist as a hero so you must ban this documentary or else there will be many copycats.
13. People of India will be traumatized by the truth that is revealed. Better to keep their minds protected in their cocoons.
14. You are a racist!
15. You anti-national!
16. You are anti-Indian!
17. India hater!
18: Sex is taboo and a shameful topic. We never discuss these issues openly. Never.
I’ve always believed that the problem is that there are many, many men in India and in this world who don’t want to look at women as equally valuable members of the same human family. They just don’t and they will use whatever they can to justify keeping a woman in her place. It could be religion, “culture”, rape, physical violence, emotional, psychological or sexual abuse. Anything just to scare the girl, intimidate her and make sure she does what she is programmed to do.
People may say that this is just a problem in the developing world or among crazy Muslim jihadists. Bullshit. I remember watching the 1970s film “The Stepford Wives”
and thinking to myself that really besides cosmetic and superficial differences, the same old story of a “woman’s place” seems to be the same the world over.
As for me, I too was expected to follow the same path of all dutiful Indian-Bengali daughters. Have an arranged marriage to a good Muslim boy from a good, educated family, ideally a doctor or an engineer while I became a chartered accountant. Go back to Bangladesh and India every year to see our families there. Maybe pop out 2 kids and take them to Disneyland and road trips to the Grand Canyon and weekend trips to the outlet centers. In fact all my female cousins who are older than I am, took that route. One of them lives very comfortably in a gated community in Florida with a traditional PhD biochemist husband who I can only say physically reminds me of Animal from The Muppet Show.
I was the first one to rebel and said “No” and boy did I ever get it. My dad was at a loss and had no idea what to do. My mother had passed on when I was 7 and any other female ally I could possibly have within the family were nonexistent because they took the route I didn’t want. I even heard one asshole uncle tell my dad “Why don’t you beat her?” which my dad then used as an opportunity to tell him to screw off. Dad finally let it go and now he’s sees and understands what a real bunch of cretins certain men in the world are and doesn’t blame me for resisting.
The Age of Aquarius is not going to happen fully unless one half of humanity looks upon the other half of humanity as an equal and valued partner.
People go on about the oncoming Age of Aquarius and how the Golden Age is coming but what drives me nuts about many of the conspiracy theory sites, new age sites and so forth is how many of them don’t even see that jack-all is going to happen as long as women are not valued as equal members of the same human family. Some of them, like Henry Makow
even think that feminism and giving “women too many rights” is a conspiracy theory used to destabilize the family, for women to stop having babies and make sure that the New World Order has its way. Here, they lose me completely. That’s not the point either.
“Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I don’t see anything conspiratorial about women being valued as an equal human being and being conferred the same rights, freedoms, privileges and same amount of respect. But I’m reminded of a line I once read, that women define and ultimately guide the society they live in, not men. The way women go will be the way that society will eventually go.
[Note: I initially had a quote here from Yogi Bhajan but given the allegations of rape and abuse now surrounding this “guru”, I have removed it.]