Tag Archives: bharat mata

Bharat Mata and her unruly daughters

Bharat Mata’s daughter? But the Hindutvavadi motherland produces only sons – Hindu, savarna sons – to protect their mother’s ever fragile honour.

Let us begin these reflections with a moment from Nisha Pahuja’s disturbing film the World Before Her, which tracks two young women – Ruhi, a beauty pageant contestant and Prachi, a trainer with the Durga Vahini, women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

While Ruhi and her fellow participants emerge as conventional and pallid, Prachi is fierce and questioning, independent minded. But towards the end of the film, you realize that for both women (and not for Ruhi alone), this period of training was only a small window that gave them a brief glimpse of broader horizons. It was only a brief moment of excitement and hope, and what seemed like freedom, before real life – the real lives of real women – closed in on them.

Throughout the film, Prachi has been telling the film-maker that she will never get married, she will live her life as a Hindutva activist. She emphatically rejects the ordinary life of a wife and mother. But towards the end, her father declares quite explicitly that this is out of the question. She can never be a full time activist. Of course she must get married. She has a womb, do men have wombs? Her responsibility then, is to bring up children. Initially in this sequence, Prachi argues against him vehemently, verges on the insolent, but gradually she falls silent. Her expression, still rebellious, but devastated, resigned, signals to us her recognition that the daughter of the Hindu nation is only in training to be a mother. That is the highest ambition she can have.

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The Difference between What They Tell Us and What We Know: Shehla Rashid

Guest Post by Shehla Rashid. Based on a Status Update on her Facebook Page.

They tell us that the military is meant for fighting the “terrorists”; But most of the time, it is the civilians who are killed.

They tell us that “special powers” for the army are necessary for national unity; But the army only teaches us how to hate India.

They say the University is anti-national because it wants to break India; But it’s the University that teaches us to love Indians.

Then, who is anti-national? Those who teach us how to hate India, or those who teach us how to love Indians?

Yes, we see the difference between India and Indians; India is at war with Indians throughout India.

I wish the Indian state could also see the difference between Kashmir, which it claims as its own, and Kashmiris who belong to no one; They claim to love Kashmir but hate and kill Kashmiris.

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Many faces of the mother – Four voices on Bharat Mata and a quiz



Bharat Mata by Dr Lal Ratnakar

This image is from a post by Shachi Seth on India Resists:

Are demands for ‘azadi’ from blind state worship, systems of power and exploitation, such an impediment in the identity of Bharat Mata? Is the idea of Bharat Mata not ironic, given the depth to which the roots of patriarchy infiltrate our society? Is it not ironic that the Gau Maata and Bharat Maata which must mandatorily be respected and protected are bound by ideas of selfless giving and motherhood? Is the maata really not okay with being called by other names? Does the maata get to retaliate when her rights are violated, or is she an eternal symbol of sacrifice and docility? Where does the maata go when her resources are stripped to bring about development and when other females are stripped of their dignity on a daily basis? Is this benevolent, great mother in such great need of patronizing protection from the same men that threaten it when it isn’t dressed in a tri color sari? Will the mother ask me to go to the neighbors’ place if I happen to get in an argument with her? Am I not patriotic if I criticize my nation for knowingly or unknowingly allowing exploitation of its people?

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क्या यही प्यार है? कहो, कहो ना…








आजकल दर रोज़ हमें बताया जा रहा है कि हम देश से प्रेम करें, राष्ट्र से भक्ति. बड़े परेशान हैं आज के शासक हमं जैसों की करतूतों से. जोश में आ कर कुछ भी बड़बड़ा देते हैं : कभी आज़ादी की बात करते हैं, कभी काशमीर की. कभी जातिवाद से छुटकारा चाहीए, तो कभी पूँजीवाद से. ऐसा लगता है हम न भक्ति जानते हैं, ना प्रेम. तो चलीए, भक्ति ओर प्यार, राष्ट्र ओर देश: इन चारों संज्ञाओं का विश्लेषण कीया जाए.

पहला प्रस्ताव: भक्ति में मिला हुआ है डर; प्यार के साथ चलती है रज़ामंदी.

प्यार मासूम नहीं होता. बच्चे प्यार ज़रूर करते हैं, पर प्यार बड़ों का खेल है. प्यार करना जोखिम भरा काम है दोस्त. ख़तरे की खाई है प्यार. क्योंकि डर लगता है कि जिससे हम प्यार करते हैं, वह हम से फ़क़त दोस्ती जताना चाहता है. “Let’s just be friends.”है इस वाक्य से बड़कर कोई अनर्थ? किसी नौजवान से पूछिए जिसने काँपते हाँथों से Valentine’s card दीया, ओर वापस मिला,”Thanks.” हँसी तो फँसी नहीं, हँसी तो भंग आशाओं की शिखंडी कलेजी में घुसी. पर होता है दोस्त. होता है. क़बूल करना पड़ता है. रो कर, हस कर, दोस्तों के साथ मदहोश शाम में पुरानी फ़िल्मों के गाने बेसुरी आवाज़ में रेंक कर, सुन कर, सुना कर. जब बैंड बजती है तो गाना गाओ दोस्त. गोली मार कर प्यार तो करवाया नहीं जा सकता. Continue reading क्या यही प्यार है? कहो, कहो ना…