Updated: Jul 8, 2021
If anything done in an emergency, even against established customs, is entertained, but anything done destroying customs and rituals just for the sake of doing it, or in the name of hollow equality, propagating leftist feminism is highly condemnable. Mandira Bedi performed the last rites of her husband, depriving her son of the right, as well as a duty that he was meant to perform. I understand the optics of us sharing about this topic. But it's not about religion, customs or rituals. It is not even about women’s or men’s rights. It is about gender politics, a leftist feminist ideology slowly creeping into our society that really has not been properly thought through or made subject to proper scrutiny. Yet being presented virtuous at face value. Leftists and feminists are boosting this act of Mandira Bedi as her stand against the so-called 'patriarchal Hindu society' or support for feminism. While on one side leftist vultures are highlighting this as an instance of pride for feminists with all baseless nonsense, several wise people are also trying to burst their propaganda of feminism and never-ending Hindu hatred. Came across Sh. Pankaj Saxena's views on 'Upword' Facebook page bursting feminist propaganda, the same is shared below for you all.
Mandira Bedi did not let her son do the cremation of his father and did it herself. Like always social media erupts with reactions. I would have left this alone if someone from our side had not been virtue signalling on the ‘correctness’ and ‘bravery’ of her act.
Hindu dharma has never been against common sense and regional customs. All dharmashastras continuously command to pay heed to the regional and the commonsensical. Similarly they neither favour ossification of laws and customs like the Shariat, nor do they advocate chaotic and constant change leading to anarchy and subsequent destruction of all society.
So emergency laws and customs are always entertained.
But there is a sea of a difference between doing what is necessary (but might be against established customs) on one hand, and to destroy customs and rituals just for the sake of it on the other hand. There is a third attitude at work vis-à-vis rituals here. The toxic sentimentalism that is prevalent today teaches us to see everything from a modernist prism soaked wet with the tears of public emotions.
We are now taught to wash our dirty emotions in public; to shed all tears in front of the whole world; to show ourselves as victims of great emotional trauma; to project victimhood that cannot be nourished without a constant dose of cheesy sentimentalism.
We are taught to be always ‘friends’ with our kids. The fact that they will have ample friends in the society and no other parents doesn’t matter at all. Everyone is today friends. Fathers are buddies with their kids. Mothers are ‘sis in crime’ with their daughters. In all this fun and frolic, garnished with an equally extreme display of tears, psychological traumas and imagined victimization, everyone seems to forget that nobody is left to do the task of parenting.
As a result the kids never grow up. Their size increases and the number in front of their age column changes and yet they always remain perpetual teenagers, never capable of taking up responsibility, never capable of facing the hardships of life, never capable of taking life as it is, which is equal parts pleasure and pain.
In the sentimental bringing up that parents are now learning in nuclear one kid families, the bringing up that they learn from reading books and not from watching it happen, not from learning from their parents, in this kind of bringing up, the kids are never given any reality checks. Instead of preparing them for the hardships of life by throwing them into real-life situations, kids are actually shielded by parents from every kind of possible hardship that they can.
Not surprisingly these kids grow up without any idea of how real life is. They think it is all fun and frolic and it is their birthright to always have a party, and go to Bali on vacations and have a ‘blasting weekend with friends’. They are not just unprepared for real life, they are intentionally made unfit for it by training, training in treating everything with an emotional, sentimental lens.
By constantly paying attention to their emotional states, they start believing that these transitory states of the basest mind are real things and every little up and down of life start affecting them greatly. Even while leading the most comfortable, sheltered and indoor of lives they are vulnerable and grow up with a sense of having been wronged by the world.
By constantly appealing to their sentimental side, these sentiments grow strong instead of becoming weak. This simple lesson which was all available in a traditional society is completely missed in modern parenting.
It is true that the son of Mandira Bedi is very young and to lose one’s father like this is the most tragic thing in life. But to perform the last rites of your father is not a burden; it is a privilege, as seen by tradition. It is a duty most sacred, most central to one’s entire existence, entire being. To complete the last rites of your parents, both father and mother is the greatest desire of any Hindu growing up in a traditional set-up.
Yes, to lose one’s father is extremely traumatic. What is more traumatic for any even nominally Hindu family would be: to not able to perform the last rites of the one who brought them into this world.
What she did was to deprive her son of performing a duty that he was meant to perform.
And no, I am not saying she should have followed every tradition. To give her son support, yes she could have accompanied him to the crematorium, yes she could have led him, guided him and be his support at every stage of the ritual. By providing that kind of support she would have made him stronger, and not taken anything away from him. Hindu society would easily accept that. What she should have done is to coach her son into the harsh realities of life, by letting him perform his duty, by teaching him how it is done, instead of taking that privilege from him forever.
And no, I would not coach her in this. To lose one’s husband like this is traumatic for anyone. But my words are for those others splashing jnana about how she did a ‘brave thing’. You, sir, don’t understand anything about dharma and even about emotions.
About women not going to the crematorium, Koenraad Elst once quoted someone else and said this: “Oh yes, ‘birth is a woman’s job, and death is a man’s.’.
Precisely! A traditional society does not see everyone through a prism of equality. A traditional society sees men and women differently and sets separate duties for them. Just like women are excluded from the last rites of the crematorium, men are excluded from birth. The beautiful act of birth, the spectacle of creation is something reserved for women, in which men do not take part. On the other hand, the harsh reality of death and the real act of cremating someone, of seeing a body go up in flames and flesh and bones melting in the heat and the kapala finally exploding is something reserved for men.
Women and men both get to say goodbye to the dead body and they get ample time to be with their loved ones. But any traditional society divides the two jobs of death and birth.
A modern society mixes everything in the violent equality that it espouses.
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