Asaram Bapu has made some comments which have sparked a lot of protests. What he said basically was that when the Rapists were trying to rape the girl, she should have called them “brother” and begged them to leave her.
This is coming obviously from a person who (i) has never known a woman’s pain at being overpowered and brutalized and (ii) has never been raped.
But what has surprised me is that why has the society suddenly woken up to the menace of idiocy masquerading as “Non Violence” and “Spirituality”? Such has been its wont for a long time!! These same TV anchors .. these same activists who are up in arms against Asaram Bapu have shot down many “Spiritualists” because they would suggest violence when it is needed.
Recently, I have heard so many people even coming out and saying Bhagwad Gita promotes violence because Krishna asked Arjun to fight when they were wronged. So there is this strange “Spiritual Compass” of this nation now, that esoteric ideas like non-violence and love or peace start defining Spirituality. As if someone who can see through the world clearly will suddenly become dumb to atrocities.
I doubt that those who oppose Asaram’s comments realize that they are really displaying the ugliness of their own internal conflict!
Let us go back to another era of gross inhuman conduct and the advice of a Great man. In the 1940s Hitler was killing Jews in millions through his concentration camps. And, at the same time, Gandhi was experimenting with his choicest weapon – the Non-Violent Satyagraha. He sent this piece of advice for the Jews:
Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs. As it is, they succumbed anyway in their millions (The Life of Mahatma Gandhi (1950) by Louis Fischer. The quote is in the context of Gandhi’s argument to his biographer that collective suicide would have been a heroic response that would have “aroused the world and the people of Germany to Hitler’s violence”) (link)
From where I see this, Gandhi is actually going even further than Asaram Bapu. If I use Gandhi-speak in place of Asaram Bapu’s statement it would have gone something like this:
The Delhi girl should have requested the men not to molest her and then if they didn’t want to stop, should have openly offered herself up for rape. She should have not resisted. At least the opinion of the world and men would have been with her. May be some of them would have been shamed by her act to not follow through. She would have been raped anyway.
Read Gandhi’s statement carefully and my twist on Asaram’s statement to equate it to that (however idiotic it is). Any difference?
I want to bring out the utter hypocrisy and the moronic values that this society has followed in the name of Spirituality.
If this society is aghast at Asaram Bapu’s remarks, then it should also please understand that this modern day “Bapu” is not the one who invented this “Let the rapist rape and offer yourself” policy, but another Bapu whom we never raise fingers at.
Violence and Spirituality
I always find it ridiculous when Non-violence as a “principle” and moral stand is equated with Spirituality. It is as nonsensical as Gandhi’s and Asaram’s comments were, but it took Asaram’s comment to bring it home. Gandhi’s didn’t because we were not Jews. Because our family wasn’t taken away.. because we weren’t smoked.
There was a reason, why Dharmic Spirituality has never made a pretense of going the non-violent way. It is quite fine when it is required. But violence is never the main weapon of choice. Interestingly, as I have always argued, it is the Sikh Gurus who have best explained the Dharmic Spiritual Principle through the concept of “Miri-Piri” and thereafter by taking up the mad Islamic rulers directly in the fight.
Spirituality is NOT being “peaceful” .. it is NOT always being a “Smiley face”.. it is NOT being non-violent and offering yourself up for Rape or Massacre. It is having the awareness when to take up the sword. And when not to.
So stop going after Asaram Bapu. First get your own Spiritual compass in place. A society which rejoices Gandhi’s non-violence which was at the level of lunacy cannot suddenly start shooting Asaram down for following in his footsteps!!