Kolkata: Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member Brinda Karat on Monday said extreme right reactionary forces in the country like the BJP and the RSS are promoting a form of Hinduism that fuels patriarchal ideologies, thereby threatening the security of women.
Referring to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’s speeches, she claimed that the ideology that attacks the idea of gender equality in the society also adversely impacts the women’s freedom and security.
“The extreme right reactionary forces not just in this country but throughout the world are creating a backlash against progress of women and are trying to confine them back into the household. Such extreme right forces like BJP-RSS nexus that is running the central government now, are trying to redefine Hinduism in line with ‘Manusmriti’ that fuels patriarchy,” Karat said here.
“Every man and woman have equal right in a democratic country but if such values influenced by Manusmriti become powerful in the society, then the freedom of women would increasingly comes under threat. There would be questions on women’s character and they would be harassed,” she said.
Karat alleged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders who are elected as central ministers or RSS chief Bhagwat are giving out a message that according to Hinduism, a woman’s ideal role should be to look after her husband and children in the household.
“There is no doubt that patriarchal ideology is becoming a practised culture in this country. When a country is moving towards modernisation and the women are breaking social barriers in every sphere, why should the ideas of patriarchy be so prevalent in the society?” she said.
The left leader also flayed the administration for quoting the National Crime Records Bureau report for 2016 that showed while crimes against women were on the rise, the number of conviction in those cases had gone down.
“38,947 cases were rape cases. The report also says that cases of atrocities on minors had increased by 82 per cent in one year. However, in only eight per cent cases, the offenders had been convicted,” she said.
“The quantum of punishment in cases of atrocities against women is very less. Now the government is discussing the provision of giving death penalty in every rape case to prevent the crime against women. However, as the rate of conviction is so less, it seems that extreme punishment like death penalty in rape cases would be another excuse not to convict people,” she added.