Garda Ghista


"However much people might indulge in tall talk, in no country or age were women given full freedom in religious and social matters, nor are they given their rights even to this day!"

Prabhat R. Sarkar

A Sad Scenario

Every religion existing today discriminates in some way against women. The scriptures of all religions degrade and denigrate women, put them down and designate women as being inferior to men. This may or may not be the fault of the original prophet who created that particular scripture. But, it is for sure the fault of the men who later on over the years, after the departure of the original prophet, revised the text of those scriptures.

Let us take each one of the major religions and first look at its scripture, and decide by reading the scripture what status it has given to women. Second, we have to look at the society in which that particular religion abounds, look at the status of women, and then try to analyze what impact the scripture has had on the status of women in practical life. Suppose we look at the world's five major religions - Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.


The scripture describing the conduct to be followed by Buddhist monks and nuns is called the Vinaya. It evolved over centuries and described how to live as sparse a life as Buddha himself lived. However, if we study this Vinaya, we see immediately that the rules and regulations were quite different for women than for men. In one published version there are 250 rules for monks but more than 350 rules for nuns. While during Buddha's lifetime it is possible that nuns were treated similarly to men, due to negative societal elements, nuns could not go out alone asking for alms as the monks did, and were therefore escorted by the monks. Thus it evolved that even for the nuns' religious ceremonies, monks also had to be present - the kind of thinking developed that the women could not do anything without the presence of the men.

If one reads the Vinaya further, one sees that many of the rules for women are so graphic that they border on pornography! The author concludes that those men who wrote such rules were themselves obsessed with sex! But, instead of admitting this to themselves or to others, they wrote that in fact it is women who are obsessed and sexually wayward. For this reason, they concocted endless rules for the women for what was in fact their own weaknesses, their own inability to remove filthy sexual fantasies from their minds.

After the departure of Buddha the monks made it every difficult for women to join as nuns. Hence, while initially there were thousands of nuns, after a few centuries their numbers were reduced to practically zero in India. In the 20th century there was a slight revival of nuns in India and Sri Lanka due to women in other countries becoming nuns. To summarize, Buddhism became a patriarchal power structure that viewed women as lustful temptresses immersed in sensuality and not in dharma. A famous passage from ?"The Tale of King Udayana of Valsa" in the Collection of Jewels states unequivocally the monks' attitude towards nuns and women in general:

"Women can be the cause of great suffering.
If desire is destroyed, there will be everlasting happiness.
The dead snake and dog are detestable,
But women are even more detestable than they are."

According to Buddhist monks, because a female body is associated with evil, lust and greed, it is not possible for a woman to become spiritually realized. However, if she desires to become a man and mentally becomes a man, she can get realization. Buddha himself said, "The female's defects - greed, hate, and delusion and other defilements - are greater than the male's ... You (women) should have such an intention ...Because I wish to be freed from the impurities of the woman's body, I will acquire the beautiful and fresh body of a man." (!) Despite great obstacles there have been Buddhist nuns whose noble and courageous lives have been recorded for history, one of them being Nangsa Oobum. Today Buddhist nuns prevail in Sri Lanka, Nepal and a few other countries. They shave their heads, and take vows of poverty and chastity. They are still subordinate to monks and are also compelled to serve as housekeepers to the monks. The Sri Lankan government subsidizes the monks by providing them food, housing, health care and education. However, it provides nothing to nuns. Nevertheless, the nuns continue their lives of meditation, sacrifice and service to the poor.


Let us now take a look at the status of women in Christianity. It is impossible to separate the position of women in a religion from the time and place in which that religion was born. Several thousand years ago in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and also in India and surrounding cultures, female deities were the main object of reverence. Those cultures have been described as matrifocal, agricultural, egalitarian and peaceful. By 4500 B.C. this had changed to a patriarchal, stratified and warlike culture. It was this patriarchal culture from which Christianity emerged. Hence we have male deities of the Lord Jehovah, God the Father and Jesus, the son. We also have Eve, the corrupter of Eden who cast an affliction on the entire humanity. In Genesis 3.16, Yahweh curses Eve, telling her, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." There are also old Latin hymns which when translated are in fact talking about Eve who brought endless suffering on earth by her sins. While Christianity originated as a cult, it gradually grew into a mainstream religion, absorbing the misogyny characteristic of those times.

We can easily find quotations of women's oppression from the Bible, for example, I Timothy 2.11-12, where it says "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." In Ephesian 5.22-24, Paul says, "Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as unto the Lord." And further, "The head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man." "Man is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man." The apostle Peter says (in I Peter 3.1-2,6) that let wives "be in subjection to your own husbands" and have "chaste conversation coupled with fear."

The attitude of early Christianity towards women is clearly seen in the case of Hypatia. Hypatia (370-415) was the head of the Neoplatonic school of philosophy in Alexandria. She was famous for her research in mathematics and astronomy. She saw the world famous library of Alexandria burned down by Christian mobs, causing priceless work to be lost forever. She spoke out against this, saying, "Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all." She also said, "To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing." Because of this and because she was a beautiful, unmarried woman, Bishop Cyril denounced her as immoral. At that time there were many men who devoted their lives to intellectual research and did not marry, but they were never condemned. Bishop Cyril then incited a Christian mob to kill Hypatia, drag her body into the church and cut it into small pieces. Bishop Cyril went on to higher offices and after his death was made Saint Cyril of Alexandria. The library was finally totally destroyed by the Muslims. Charles Kingsley, a Victorian Anglican clergyman, wrote a novel on Hypatia to point out to the women of his time the dangers of overstepping their ordained place in society!

How has Christianity been molded and shaped over the centuries? Well, we have the famous theologian Origen who stated, "For it is improper for a woman to speak in an assembly, no matter what she says, even if she says admirable things or even saintly things; that is of little consequence since they come from the mouth of a woman." Another theologian named Tertullian stated, "You (women) are the devil's gateway. You are the first deserter of the divine law; you are she who persuaded him (Adam) whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God's image (which is) man..." (It is woman's fault that) "even the Son of God had to die." Martin Luther believed the man to be head and master of the house, and wrote one time that "If they (women) become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth, that's why they are there." John Calvin maintained that political equality for women would be a "deviation from the original and proper order of nature." Later we come to Thomas Aquinas who says the following: "As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from a defect in the active force or from some amterial indisposition, or even from some external influence." (While the names of Thomas Acquinas, Tertullian and others are prefixed with St. (standing for saint), it is not possible for this author to give their names such a prefix, in view of their persecution of women. In fact, according to the great seer Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, "cheating, theft and the persecution of women are the greatest crimes. Such criminals should be categorized as Maha'pa'takiis (great sinners) and severe measures should be taken against them from the beginning." In view of this, we can change the prefixes of the above theologians to Sr. - Sinner Aquinas, Sinner Tertullian!)

The German inquisitors described women as "intellectually deficient, unable to grasp philosophy, burdened with weak memories, not inclined to self-discipline but ready to follow their impulses." Sexism was an integral part of both the Christian and Judaic societies of the early days. In fact, Christianity became strongly supportive of patriarchal despotism. Opposition to female clergy was (and is still today) based on the absurd notion that such women were unnaturally masculine, shirking their obligations to home and family, and prone to be shameless and unchaste.

The sufferings of women under Christian laws have known no bounds. Women were forced into marriages against their will. They were put away at their husband's whim. And worst of all, tens of thousands of women were burned at the stake after being declared witches. They were also burned at the stake for other "crimes" such as "talking back to a priest, stealing, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, and bearing a child out of wedlock." Later on in the 19th and 20th centuries, it was the Catholic and Protestant clergy who were in the forefront of the opposition to women's suffrage, saying that female submission was ordained by God!

And today? Men continue to dominate the organizational structure of Christian religions. And women continue to do the unpaid work in our churches - cleaning the chapel, teaching Sunday school, fundraising and other volunteer work. The question now arises, that at the beginning of this new millennium, twenty one hundred years after the appearance of the prophet Jesus on this earth, why are Christian women tolerating all this rubbish? The next time a group of good Christian sisters get together to do some volunteer work for their church, let them just sit and re-write the entire Bible and delete all the garbage spoken by Paul and others about women. And let us please not refer to him as St. Paul, because if he really did say the above about women, then it is a sure thing he was no saint. Rather, he was just an ordinary male chauvinist pig. Let no man who abuses, persecutes or slanders a woman (be it his wife or his servant) delude himself into thinking that he is a spiritual human being. A truly realized soul, a genuine saint, regards every created being as an embodiment of God, and hence will be unable to differentiate between man, woman or even animal in terms of intrinsic value.

"There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on one wing."
Prabhat R. Sarkar


The Old Testament, on which Judaism is based, reeks with abuses against women. Men?s wrath against those women who dared worship the ancient female deities knew no bounds. In Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea, worshipping the female god of those times was equated with harlotry, infidelity and witchcraft. Jezebel (wife of a Hebrew king) is described as a vixen, an evil female. And because she followed the old religion that worshipped a female deity, she was gruesomely murdered by followers of the religion of Jehovah. According to the Old Testament, a woman should be stoned to death if found to be not a virgin. But, if a man rapes a woman, he merely has to pay her father 50 shekels of silver. That rape victim is then also compelled (by the Old Testament) to be married to her rapist - to mitigate her shame. Under Jewish law, a husband could get a divorce any time by writing a note - a "bill of divorcement." However, a woman had no legal standing at all.

In Numbers, chapter 5 of the Old Testament, we can read about jealous husbands. If a wife is jealous, it does not matter. But if a husband was jealous, he could bring her to the priests who would test her fidelity by making her drink water mixed with the dirt on the floor. If she did not fall ill from that drink, she was innocent! When Jews of olden days went to war, it was accepted that when victorious they were allowed (by their god) to take with them the conquered women, children, livestock and everything else. ("You may enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the Lord your God has given you." Deut. 20:11-14. Would a real God, a fair and just God, sanction genocide, rape and slavery? Can any really honest spiritualist believe that God wanted men to treat women as mere property of men?"

In earlier days some rabbis compared a woman's exposure of her hair as equivalent to exposure of her private parts, as they felt a woman's hair could be used for erotic excitement. They also forbid the recital of any blessing in the presence of a bare-headed woman. Hence we have Kimhit who never uncovered her hair either within or without the house. In the opinion of this author, it was and is the minds of those men making these oppressive regulations - it is their own minds that are filled with filthy thoughts towards women. They make the mistake of assuming that all others' minds are as degraded and obsessed with sex as their own. But, it is not the case.

In the Old Testament when Eve took some fruit from the tree (so the story goes), God then said to her (Genesis 2:4-3:24): "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you." Now, can we believe that a just God will speak in this manner?" Studying the Old Testament further we find the following statement: "I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare" while I was still searching but not finding, I found one upright man among a thousand but not one upright woman among them all." (Ecclesiastes 7:26-28). A still more outrageous sentence follows: "No wickedness comes anywhere near the wickedness of a woman.. Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die." (Ecclesiasticus 25:19,24). This sentence is so ridiculous that even the roadside dogs will howl with laughter!

Even to this day many devout Jewish men recite in their prayers, "Blessed by God King of the universe that Thou has not made me a women." Ecclesiasticus is simply rampant with religious edicts against women. According to Jewish tradition, a husband owns his wife as he owns a slave. To this day many husbands deny their wives any control over their property and their earnings. When she married, not only did the wife lose her property, she lost her personality also! Under Jewish law, a husband can divorce his wife any time. But a woman cannot without very strong reasons such as unfulfilled conjugal responsibilities. Worse still, a husband can desert his wife any time and then refuse to grant his wife a divorce. In this case she becomes an agunah - a chained woman. Neither can she divorce, nor can she remarry. In the US today there are maybe 1000-1500 such agunot while in Israel there are more than 15,000. Husbands blackmail their deserted wives for thousands of dollars, finally agreeing to a divorce. - How is it that Jewish sisters everywhere tolerate this abuse, this persecution - this extreme injustice?


One can find supremely beautiful words in the scriptures of all religions. However, as we are seeing, we can also find extremely oppressive, even horrifying words about women in those same scriptures. Muslim scriptures simply excel in their persecution of women. We can say that Islam is deeply anti-woman. Islam regards women as physically, intellectually, morally and spiritually inferior. This belief is explicitly stated in the Koran - the scripture which is claimed not to have been altered even by one word since the time of Mohammed - and is corroborated by the hadiths (sayings ascribed to the prophet that are deemed reliable by Muslim theologians). Sadly, in Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, one cannot ignore the ulama. The ulama are the Muslim priests, or mullahs - learned doctors of Islamic law who by their fatwas (decisions/dictates) regulate the lives of all Muslim citizens. Ibn Al-Ghazzali, the famous Islamic theologian said that "The most satisfying and final word on the matter is that marriage is a form of slavery. The woman is man's slave and her duty therefore is absolute obedience to the husband in all that he asks of her person."

Dr. Nawal Sa'dawi is a Muslim woman who has rebelled against her own religion and its oppression of women. She has written that it is not possible to talk about rights of women, "...since a woman under the Islamic system of marriage has no human rights unless we consider that a slave has rights under a slavery system. Marriage, in so far as women are concerned, is just like slavery to the slave, or the chains of serfdom to the serf." Marriage is a kind of slavery, for the wife becomes the slave of her husband, and it is her duty absolutely to obey him in everything he requires of her..."

Prophet Mohammed himself stated, "We have not been left any calamity more detrimental to mankind than woman." Islam is a religion for men alone - both in the present and in the future when men reach paradise. The Koran states that a man may have four wives plus as many concubines as he can afford. A woman may have one husband, and generally only the man can divorce.

The Muslim ulama are so powerful that total obedience to them is the norm in all Muslim countries. For this very reason, the people of these countries do not get the chance to engage in critical thinking - free and independent thought. For this very reason, the intellectual, cultural and economic cultures of those fundamentalist countries have stagnated and illiteracy is perhaps the highest. Sudan is a prime example of extreme repression of the general populace, where healthy criticism is not tolerated, as the leaders know that critical thought and liberty move hand in hand! Muslim theologians have concluded that man was the original creation, and woman was created for the pleasure of man. Al-Ghazzali, the philosopher revered by all male chauvinists, has defined the woman?s role as follows:

"She should stay at home and get on with her spinning, she should not go out often, she must not be well-informed, nor must she be communicative with her neighbours and only visit them when absolutely necessary; she should take care of her husband and respect him in his presence and his absence and seek to satisfy him in everything; she must not cheat on him nor extort money from him; she must not leave her house without his permission and if given his permission she must leave surreptitiously. She should put on old clothes and take deserted streets and alleys, avoid markets, and make sure that a stranger does not hear her voice or recognize her; she must not speak to a friend of her husband even in need. Her sole worry should be her virtue, her home as well as her prayers and her fast. If a friend of her husband calls when the latter is absent, she must not open the door nor reply to him in order to safeguard her and her husband's honour. She should accept what her husband gives her as sufficient - She should be clean and ready to satisfy her husband's sexual needs at any moment."

Elsewhere Al-Ghazzali has said "...Their deception is awesome and their wickedness is contagious; bad character and feeble mind are their predominant traits..." Such inequality, such sheer abuse of women has been perpetrated by highly respected Islamic theologians! Even recently (1985) a Muslim writer, Ahmad Zaky Tuffaha, seriously quoted the following Hadith: "If a woman offered one of her breasts to be cooked and the other to be roasted, she still will fall short of fulfilling her obligations to her husband. And besides that if she disobeys her husband even for a twinkling of an eye, she would be thrown in the lowest part of Hell, except she repents and turns back." In the same vein, in another Hadith we read as follows: "It is a noble sacrifice for a man to share his life with the woman...she being deficient in mind, religion and gratitude. It is condescension on the part of the man to spend his life with her. She cannot repay this favour, no matter what sacrifice she makes." (!) The Koran states that a man may have up to four wives. Ghazzali gives the reason for this: "Some men have such a compelling sexual desire that one woman is not sufficient to protect them (from adultery). Such men therefore preferably marry more than one woman and may have up to four wives." Another famous Hadith states that "The Prophet (Mohammad) used to pass (have sexual relations with) all his wives in one night, and at that time he had nine wives."

It is said that the Prophet Mohammad did not accept the testimony of women on issues of marriage, divorce and hudud. Hudud are the punishments stated by Mohammad in the Koran and the hadith for (1) adultery - stoning to death, (2) fornication - 100 lashes, (3) false accusation of adultery against a married person - 80 lashes, (4) apostasy - death, (5) drinking wine - 80 lashes, (6) theft - the cutting off of the right hand; (7) simple robbery on the highway - the loss of hands and feet then with death, either by the sword or by hanging. Furthermore, according to these same sick sadists, the husband has the right to administer corporal punishment to his wife if she (1) refuses to make herself beautiful for him; (2) refuses to meet his sexual demands; (3) leaves the house without permission or without any legitimate reason recognized by law; or (4) neglects her religious duties. There is one hadith attributed to Mohammad which says, "Hang up your whip where your wife can see it." As Prabhat R. Sarkar has said,

"A handful of unprincipled, power-hungry men propagated these doctrines in order to paralyze women's reasoning and to inflate men's vanity. This doctrine is against nature and we have only to look out into this wide world to find numerous proofs against it. Can anybody drape a burka over a tigress? Is there anyone with enough courage to do it?... Can anyone dictate to a tigress, 'You cannot take part in game and sports, for this is prohibited to women' ...When women develop a sense of self-respect... they will then be enabled to expand their role in serving society in a balanced and consolidated way."

Now, keeping in mind these core hudud given above, let us see what has transpired in recent years as a result of Islamic religious laws. In Pakistan in 1977, General Zia al-Haq took over the country in a military coup and proceeded to make life a living hell for Pakistani women. He introduced two Islamic laws in particular that brought forth untold sufferings to women - so much so that it is difficult even to write about it. The two laws were the Zina and Hudud.

The word Zina refers to adultery, fornication, rape and prostitution. Hudud are the punishments meted out for these "crimes." In real life, rapists are completely protected by Islamic law. Rather than receive any kind of justice, the raped woman is usually charged with adultery or fornication. Once in a small town in Punjab a woman and her two daughters were stripped naked, beaten and gang-raped in public. The police did nothing.

In another case, a thirteen-year old girl was raped by a "family friend." Her father pressed charges against the rapist, and consequently the girl was put in prison and charged with zina - illegal sexual intercourse. The father managed to get his poor daughter released by bribing the police, after which the traumatized child was then severely beaten by her parents for disgracing the family's honor!

In a third case, a fifty-year old widow decided to rent some rooms to two young women. Suddenly the police came and arrested the girls, along with the widow's nephew who had been simply standing there. Later that day the widow went with her son-in-law to the police station to inquire about her nephew. The police told her they were arresting her also, and took her jewelry. Then they pushed the same two girls into the room, naked and bleeding and gang-raped them in front of the widow. When the old woman covered her eyes, the police forced her to watch by pulling her arms down. After abusing her sexually also, the widow was stripped and raped by all policemen present. One of the policemen covered his truncheon (stick for beating) with hot chili paste and forced it up her rectum. She screamed in agony and then fainted. She woke up in prison, charged with zina. She was released after three months in prison but was not acquitted until three years had passed. See the power of men in the Islamic country of Pakistan! Their power is unlimited! And the abuse of their power is also unlimited! The Human Rights Commission has stated in its annual report that one woman is raped every three hours in Pakistan and one in two victims is a juvenile. According to Women's Action Forum, a woman's rights organization, 72% of all women in police custody are physically and sexually abused, and 75% of those women are in jail on charges of zina. They remain in jail for years together. Now the reader can understand what is meant by zina and hudud! The source of zina and hudud is Islam! The hudud are straight from the Koran, while zina represent the maximum misutilization of religion by brutes in human form!

Muslim sisters, the time has come to throw away words of dogma and exploitation, because those words are riddling you with inferiority complexes and paralyzing your minds! It means, your religion, instead of giving you liberation, has put you into bondage! The time has come to speak out against all exploiters of women - regardless of whether they are in the judicial system or serving as high priests!


The great philosopher and spiritualist, Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, has written:

"If you analyze human history in all its aspects in a new way, in a new light, you will find that attempts were made to exploit others by injecting a fear complex in their minds." What a nasty psychology it was to inject the fear complex in people's mind in the name of God! And here lies the difference between religion and dharma. You will find that everywhere in religion, the fear complex has been created in human minds. For women so many rigid rules and regulations were framed so that they would respect men and stand before them in awe with folded hands. But for men, there are no such rules and regulations. For example, (Hindu) women were forbidden to take the names of their husbands, and the husband's elder brothers. For what reason? To make women exceedingly reverential towards their menfolk. How can it be justified that a virtuous lady, with the border of her sari wrapped around her neck, should have to lie in prostration before her immoral husband? This is absurd, meaningless!"

We stated that truly Islam is anti-woman. Can we say something different for Hinduisim? No, we cannot. It is even worse! This statement is based upon facts - reams of facts. The facts are the horrific stories of suffering taking place in India even today. Sometimes it is suffering in silence. Sometimes it is with screams.

The book Genocide of Women in Hinduism has been dedicated by the author, Sita Agarwal, to her sister, who was murdered in a dowry-related incident. She writes that as of June, 1999, the "status of women in India has sunk to its lowest ebb. - cases of female infanticide, sati, dowry-related murders and crimes against women are on the increase..." According to Agarwal, the reason for this degeneration is not tackled. Instead, Western or "foreign" influences are blamed. But in fact, she states unequivocally that it is India's own religion - Hinduism - that is fully to blame for the pitiable plight of the Indian women. She refers to the Vedic and Vaishnava "religions" or scriptures as prescribing in their texts the "crushing of women to the status of sub-humans. Rather than being due to some kind of 'corruption,' the ghastly practices of sati, female infanticide, dowry and related acts are actually enforced by Vedic and Hindu scriptures." It is also a commonly-known fact that in the Vedic era and in the Puranic era, if a woman or a lower-caste person so much as heard the Vedas (Hindu scriptures) being recited, molten lead would be poured into their ears, to deafen them forever!

According to Agarwal, the worst holocaust in human history was not that of Jews or Africans. It was the holocaust inflicted on Indian women by Brahmins - the priestly caste. It continues up to the present day. Female infanticide was sanctioned right from early times, by the Vedas, as stated in Atharva Veda.6.3.4.: "Let a female child be born somewhere else; here, let a male child be born." Female infanticide helped the Brahmins to maintain control over conquered populations by reducing the number of women. Hence the populace was brainwashed regarding the "holy Vedas" - the unerring truth of the Hindu scriptures.

The Brahmins further indicated the killing of baby girls in a prescribed manner, such as cutting up the baby and then feeding it to animals. Or it was to be smothered. Or it was to be thrown into the Ganges River where crocodiles would quickly gobble it up. The Rajputs would throw their baby girl up in the air and slice her with swords as she fell down to the ground. Today, starvation, suffocation and live burial of the babies is done - often by the mothers. And today, not only do we have female infanticide, we have also female foeticide - killing it before it is born! Since Indian independence, in the past fifty years, more than 50 million baby girls have been killed in India. It is an average of 1 million babies per year, and it is continuing! 50 million baby girls is ten times more than the Jewish Holocaust!

Young Hindu girls when given in marriage could be abandoned at will. Quoting from Manu Smrti IX.72: "Though a man may have accepted a damsel in due form, he may abandon her if she be blemished, diseased or deflowered, and (if she have been) given with fraud." Such girls, thrown out by their husbands, led a pitiable life as outcastes of society. Yet Brahmin men were free to engage in debauchery with devadasis any time they wanted! Subscribing to Hinduism means being a "mindless male supremacist pig!"

Now let us talk about bride-burning. It is rampant all over India. It is happening every few seconds. Every day the local newspaper will report a case in that town. So many go unreported. The women's screams remain silent to the world. In Tamil Nadu one can read that wives are tortured with burning cigarettes by their husbands and mother-in-laws - in order to try to get more dowry from the wife's parents. If they fail, very often they burn her up completely, pouring kerosene over her and lighting a match. The reason the practice continues is because the police are easily bribed. For a few hundred rupees, the husband and his family go free or are never sought. More than 5000 women die each year for not giving more dowry money. Many of them are reported in the newspaper as "kitchen" fires. The sari (dress) caught fire while the woman was cooking! The Aryan Hindu wife can be burned by her husband any time, for any reason. If he merely suspects her of infidelity, the council of village elders forces the accused to walk through fire. Any sign of burns are taken as proof of guilt (Encyclopaedia Britannica 8:986). Then, as prescribed by Manu.VIII.371, the guilty wife is to be devoured publicly by dogs. (It is happening today still in the villages, and is mostly unreported in the press.) This is why today murder of supposedly "unfaithful" wives is tolerated by the police and by the society. This is the justice given to Hindu women!! The dowry system has been prevalent in India since the time of the Vedas thousands of years ago. Modern materialism and the rise of Hindu fascism have only made the practice more vicious.

Another horrible fact one can also read in Indian newspapers is witch-burning. Any woman in any town or village can be accused of being a witch. The grounds for charges can be nothing more than being outspoken or talking back to men and priests. It may not even be that. It may be nothing at all. Maybe her husband wants a new wife! That "witch" is then hunted down and murdered in the most gruesome manner the townsmen can concoct for her. Some are eaten alive by wild dogs. Others have boiling oil poured over them. Still others have their genitals mutilated after being paraded naked through the town.

According to Manu, the great Hindu law-maker, "If a wife, proud of the greatness of her relatives or (her own) excellence, violates the duty which she owes to her lord, the king shall cause her to be devoured by dogs in a place frequented by many." It was Brahmins who destroyed the dignity of women by (1) forcefully confiscating a woman's property, (2) enforcing the dowry system, (3) locking women in the home, and (4) denying their women education and keeping them in a state of enforced illiteracy. Many marriage practices of Hinduism prevalent today have a terrible origin. Prabhat R. Sarkar writes:

"Even to this day, there is a custom whereby the mother asks her son on the eve of his marriage, 'Where are you going?' He replies, 'I'm going to bring you a maid-servant.' It comes from those days when the victorious clan would drag the defeated women back to its own hill. Not only that - to bind someone you need a rope or a chain - The women would be brought back in those days with chains on their wrists, otherwise they might run away. The iron bangle that a married (Hindu) woman wears today is a symbol of that early servitude. In those days women also fought in battle, and were often hit on the head and severely injured. A small vermilion mark then came to represent the blood streaming from their cracked heads. But today a woman must wear that vermilion mark if she is to be recognized as married."

Sarkar further writes that:

"The scriptures also proclaimed that to live the life of a virgin was a vice. Hence it was not uncommon for a nine-year-old girl to be forced to marry an old man waiting at the jaws of death. After the death of her old spouse, hymns were chanted to make the young bride believe that she was destined to return to her husband after her own death and had no right to turn a new leaf in this life by marrying again."

One more disgusting custom is the fact that in those days, there were two categories of women: Aryan women, who were covered from head to toe, and the indigenous Sudra (lower-caste) women. The Sudra women were forced by the Brahmins to go around topless - another aspect of exploitation of native women by Brahmin men. This practice persists even today - is still dutifully followed by some lower-caste women! To distinguish or demarcate a woman's caste in this demonic form of apartheid inflicts enormous psychological damage. Even to this day, lower caste women must submit to rape by higher caste men, because the police in India do nothing.

The Hindu scriptures are as denigrating of women as are other scriptures we have already examined. In the Rig Veda (10-95-10), it states, "The friendship of women does not last long. Their nature is like that of the hyena." Manu characterizes women as loving ornaments, having impure desires, being full of wrath, dishonesty, malice and bad conduct. (Manu.9.17). In the Atharva Veda one verse states that "a wife is given by God to a husband to serve him and to bear him children. Further she is referred to by her husband as his subordinate and slave." (Atharva Veda 14.01.52). Hinduism is the only religion where women are considered as innately promiscuous. The Puranas state that " a butcher is not satisfied with the slaughter of any number of animals, similarly women will not be satisfied with any number of men." Hindu literature truly pours hatred on women, calling them thieves, dacoits, pirates, thirsty tigresses and hypocrite cats. In one scripture it states, "The following eight qualities are characteristic qualities of women. They are: uttering lies, unsteadiness, deceit, stupidity, greed, impurity, wickedness and rashness." (Sukra 3-163).

In the Mahabharata, (Anusasana Parava, Section XXXVIII), the great Indian religious epic, there is an entire chapter in which an Apsara talks in detail about the character of women and says how they are the root of all problems and how they are always looking for another man, no matter how good their husband may be. How, because of this, a woman never deserves to be independent - as she can never be trusted! We can still read these lines in many places in India:

"The husband is the highest guru,
Service to the husband is the highest service."


"The husband is the be-all and end-all of life,
verily, the husband is god;
The husband is greater than heaven,
The husband is the ruler of destiny."

As we wrote earlier, Sarkar stated regarding the above lines, "A handful of unprincipled, power-hungry men propagated these doctrines in order to paralyze women's reasoning, and to inflate men's vanity!" Even modern Hindu swamis still propagate these doctrines. These swamis will tell the husband to be detached from his devoted wife because she is an illusion, but will tell the wife to serve the husband as a god. Swami Shivananda states: "To a woman there is no greater yoga, sacrifice or act than the service of her husband. She who worships him in thought, word and deed is adored by all the gods" even if he is easily irritated and mean, the wife should serve him whole-heartedly" even if he taunts and hates her she should speak sweetly and gently to him. She should never show her anger towards him. If she ill-treats him, she goes to the unhappy world." Truly, the mind is numbed by the sheer ocean of outrages perpetuated by Hinduism against women!

"It is very difficult for a woman suffering from an inferiority complex, which is a psychic ailment, to approach the Supreme Entity. She is bound to think, 'I am low-born. I am a woman. I have no rights. How can I go close to the Supreme Entity' " .. The opportunists announce that women are not entitled to salvation, and if they want to attain it, they will have to be reborn as men... this notion is unsocial, and totally ultravires to humanism; and ...those who utter such statements, being exploiters of women, seek to check the collective growth of humanity. You are to be vocal against these exploiters!"

- Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar

What Now?

Every religion existing today in the world discriminates in some way against women. The scripture of every religion today degrades women. Every scripture indicates to women that they are inferior to men that their value is next to nil. It may or may not be the fault of the original prophet who founded that particular scripture. But it is for sure the fault of certain men who, later on over the decades and centuries after the departure of the original prophet, revised the text of those scriptures. In how many such scriptures does it state that women are not entitled to salvation, and if they want to attain it they will have to be reborn as men! Due to these old and outdated scriptures, and due to every man who has participated in perpetuating these scriptures, the untold tortures and sufferings of women everywhere have been boundless! These five major world religions were all founded thousands of years ago. Their scriptures and tenets were changed again and again over the centuries - by men! I ask the question, could not even one man have gone down in history as having objected to such abuses of women as we find in the scriptures?

How many thousands or millions of men have remained silent in the face of the exploitation and torturing of women? Surely the time has come to update these scriptures - by women! How is it possible that my Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Hindu sisters can continue to accept this blatant and shameful degradation of all women by the current male-dominated religions? And if those religions are too archaic, too corrupted, too riddled with dogma and denigration, then maybe it is time to think of ushering in a new spiritual culture, full of the freshness of new green grass in springtime, full of the soft sentient whiteness of cottony cumulus clouds - a spiritual culture that acknowledges the complete egalitarianism of men and women, a culture that affirms the true purpose of all human beings on this earth as being the unceasing march towards the Supreme Desideratum. And while on this march, it is simply our joy and our duty to spend blissful hours in worship and adoration of that Supreme Consciousness!

"Do not tolerate injustice! This will not only harm women or a neglected and downtrodden segment of humanity, but will cause a serious carbuncle to grow on the vast body of society. That carbuncle will be so poisonous and infectious that it will infect the entire society. Do not allow such a thing to happen under any circumstances."

Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar


1. Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, The Awakening of Women, Ananda Marga Publciations, 1995.

2. Michael Parenti, History as Mystery, City Light books, 1999, p. 84, 90-91.

3. Encyclopaedia Brittanica

4. Karen Ho Torjessen, When Women Were Priests, Harper-San Francisco, 1995, p. 114.

5. Barbara MacHaffie (ed.) Readings in Her Story: Women in Christian Tradition, Fortress Press, 1992, p. 27.

6. Merlin Stone, When God was a Woman, Harcourt Brace, 1976, pp. 226-227.

7. Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, Ananda Marga Carya Carya, Part II, Ananda Marga Publications, 1987, p. 15.

8. Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, Supreme Expression II, Ananda Marga Publications, p. 59.

9. Agunot - plural form of agunah.

10. One of the most famous fatwas of recent years was by the Bangladeshi ulama demanding the extradition of Tasalima Nasarina for her very simple writings and speeches demanding equality of men and women.

11. Nawal El Sa'dawi, The Hidden Face of Eve, Zed Press, London, 1980, p. 139-140.

12. R.A. Klein, The Religion of Islam, p. 190.

13. Hughes, The Dictionary of Islam, p. 680.

14. The divorce rules are slowly changing. It was my personal experience living in the United Arab Emirates that it is now possible for a wife to request a divorce. Generally, if a wife is very unhappy, she will just return with her suitcase to the home of her parents, and then the husband files for divorce, which gives the wife her freedom.

15. Tuffaha, Ahmad Zaky, Al-Mar'ah wal-Islam, Dar al-Kitab al-Lubnani, Beirut, first edition, 1985, p. 176.

16. Sahih Bukhari, Arabic-English translation, Vol. 7, Hadith no. 142.

17. Kurt Schork,"Pakistan's Women in Despair," Guardian Weekly, September 23, 1990.

18. Manu Smrti - the book of Hindu laws written by Manu.

19. Apsara means the women in heaven that are there for the men to enjoy. Hinduism shares this doctrine with Islam.

20. Agarwal, Sita, Genocide of Women in Hinduism, Sudrastan Books, Jabalpur, India, 1999.

21. Ibn Warraq, Islam?s Shame

22. Interview by e-mail with MaryCarol Hopkins, Professor of Anthropology, Northern Kentucky University.

23. Old Testament Laws

24. Women in Buddhism, Part II by Rev. Patti Nakai

25. Women in Islam. M. Rafiqul-Haqq and P. Newton

26. Women in Islam Versus Women in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition.

27. Link on the Internet

Garda Ghista is author of The Gujarat Genocide: A Case Study in Fundamentalist Cleansing, and President of the World Prout Assembly. She can be reached at

Towarzystwo Humanistyczne
Humanist Assciation

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