Agneepariksha

sita-agni-pariksha-the-ramayana

It was just a usual weekday morning where I was at the dining table with my got cup of coffee and the morning newspaper. While going through the paper a headline caught my eye that a 27 year of was raped by the same Taxi Driver while she was on her way home after availing the cab service of the same provider. This was a very reputed cab company, but it had a record of such similar incident earlier as well. At reading it in a little more detail, it was pretty clear tar the company had failed to conduct the background checks for their hired employee. The girl had to pay the price of someone else’s irresponsibility. Her life is completely ruined.

Putting a little more thought into this scenario, it made me realize that the value of the girl’s life & her reputation is equal to nothing. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened neither would it be the last. But have we put a thought is to why is this happening? How is it possible, that the gender which is capable of bringing a new life to this very world has to fear for her own life at times? Is her life this expendable? Why is it that the girls have completely lost their respect& the value of their own existence? Where did this gender fail? Like the usual reasons, please do not even attempt to tell me that this happens because of the way the girls dress up & all. I find this argument not even worth a second of my thinking time.

I have a theory regarding the entire cliché. Knowing that my mind is a wanderer, it went all the way back well into the mythological era in hopes to get a clue of the beginning of the patriarchy revolution. I think this all became very prominent from the Ram Rajya, i.e. the Ramayana. You all would be like ‘WTF is she talking about’. But seriously, try and recall the entire Ramayana and then stop at the point where a lower class Dhobi (washer man) had asked the King (Ram) regarding the purity of his Queen (Sita). This doubt came into existence because she was abducted by Ravana and kept as a prisoner for quite some time (at least the time they finished constructing the bridge). I remember my childhood when my grandmother used to tell me Ramayana (mostly to keep me away from the Disney stories) I always used to wonder why would even one think about such a thing. How could someone else even think like this about a person knowing that they have come back after a huge fight? How does the physical part of the body has anything to do with purity? What happens about the person’s heart, feelings, the intimacy they shared? The biggest question which still remains unanswered is that Why didn’t she refuse?

Coming back to our Sita, she did stand firmly with her husband at all times. Please do not forget similar to Ram she was also from the royal family, a princess. She willingly spent all the years with Ram in his ‘Vanvas’. I agree that she got kidnapped and all, but they were just a series of unfortunately accidents which landed her into huge amount of trouble. But then her knight who wasn’t exactly a Knight in Shining Armor but rather a leader of monkey army did come and rescue her and took her to their rightful home. But what did she get after coming home, she was forced to give Agneepariksha to prove her purity. Which leads to my basic question, how to prove purity of a person? I never understood why Ram never defended Sita to the Dhobi. Didn’t she prove that she loved him in those 14 years? Wasn’t she the one who walked away leaving all the luxuries of the palace for a life with him? Let us for a say that he was forced to question her. She should’ve refused to give Agneeparisksha. Like she was alone in some other land so was he, making him also doubtful in her mind, although this thought never occurred to her.

I feel that when she accepted to give the Agneeparisksha she just made her gender the weaker one who would be again and again forcefully made to bend by the opposite gender. We would be forced into following the rules created by Men. I think if it weren’t for this incident Patriarchy would not have existed up to this extent and major population would have lived under the umbrella of equality. We all would be living in a different world where the Women/Girls would be treated with much more respect.

Hence I say that She Should Have Refused. It would have saved a lot of lives today.

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