of elephants in the room

A 24 year old fucktard called Akil Mali slapped Gauhar Khan for wearing a short dress two days ago and social media is abuzz with posts written by people who are either praising/abusing the guy or speculating that this was just a publicity stunt.

As with all other ‘trending topics’ I refrained from commenting because let’s face it, you don’t need one more person telling you how this man’s actions were wrong at so many levels. There surely is no dearth of people who believe that this guy was definitely not being a “good muslim” trying to show the path of righteousness (which clearly some really misogynistic men decided for her) to a lost soul. So I had decided to keep quiet about it and I did.

Until I saw this:

Gauhar

So from what I understand, he was wrong in slapping the actor not because it is a human rights violation but because if he were a good muslim (a) he would not touch a woman he does not own, (b) would realize the futility of slapping her because slapping her will not make her cover herself up because somehow chaste women always keep their bodies covered, (c) he would not have hit her on the face because Islam does not allow hitting people on their faces and hurting Muslims.

Of course I’m puzzled by all this and have thousands of questions swarming in my head, such as – is it ok to hurt a non-Muslim, is hitting people elsewhere on the body okay – but these questions are not the reason for my outburst.

My question is – why does it have to always come to religion? Why can’t we, as a country, see this matter as a human rights issue instead of debating whether his interpretation of his religion was justified? Is self-righteousness (even if it is rooted in a deeply flawed understanding of his religion) enough to give this man an excuse for physically assaulting a woman? And why do people feel the need to justify that his actions are not endorsed by their religion? Surely no religion supports crime – can we not be mature enough to dismiss the applause coming his way as applause coming from equally misguided people?

It upsets me that we think of people as Muslims/Hindus first – and human much, much later – and sometimes not even then. Am I the only one that can see the elephant in the room?

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anawnimiss

Blogger. Crazy bitch. Stalkee. Weirdo magnet. Wannabe housewife. Corporate Slave. Find me at anawnimiss.wordpress.com!

24 thoughts on “of elephants in the room”

  1. and then i saw this and i t made me so mad…but then i just felt sad.
    Delete

    Capt. Ajit VadakayilDecember 1, 2014 at 7:50 AM
    SUBJECT : Brave sisters fight molesters on Haryana bus, thrown off .
    ##########################

    we want the BRAVEHEART sisters to be booked under IPC law for assault and battery .

    WE ALL HAVE SEEN THE MIDGET SISTERS, UGLY, UNCOUTH, WITH NIL CLASS – PUNCHING, KICKING AND BEATING WITH A LEATHER BELT- A TALL HANDSOME BOY WHO WOULD CONSIDER IT BELOW HIS DIGNITY TO FART ON THEIR UGLY ROHTAK FACES .

    THE BENAMI INDIAN FRONT MEDIA CAN TRY THEIR BEST TO SHOUT FALSE RAPE DAILY – TO LEGALISE PROSTITUTION IN INDIA AND CREATE GENDER TILTING SNOOPGATE BUSTER LAWS – IT WONT WORK .

    BRAVE HEART EMPOWERED WOMEN CAN KISS OUR COLLECTIVE AS$ES !

    capt ajit vadakayil
    ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    Capt. Ajit VadakayilDecember 1, 2014 at 7:56 AM
    I WANT MY READERS TO COMMENT ON THIS INCIDENT– ONE DAY YOUR OWN SON WILL BE JAILED AND THEN HIS LIFE IS OVER !

    SCHIZOPHRENIC PSYCHO GIRLS ( PLENTY OF THEM IN INDIA ) CAN IMAGINE ANYTHING .

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      1. Oh he is for real and has a whole herd of guys following him around like disciples.
        He dispenses advice for everything from Karva chauth, hemorrhoids, back aches, ED, to marital advise. Infact his most common advise in all caps is “PUNCH INTO GOOGLE VADAKAYIL ….” I kid you not.
        He had a run in with IHM during the karva chauth post last year.

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  2. the elephant has been in the room for decades, but since it is not attacking them ,they are quiet and the ones who really do point it out are being sent out of the room for good. such is the state of affairs in our country.

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  3. I think that being considered human a distant second to religion is the root problem in most of the world today. It’s just an excuse to act in a barbaric way. One final note, No one ought to hit anyone, or step on anyone’s toes (see what I’ve done there? :D) NO ONE.

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    1. Maybe we should be the ones to start elephantism. But then I’m afraid it’ll turn out to be yet another elephatine pain in the ass.
      (I know it’s not a word. But if I can invent a religion, why can’t I invent a word?)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I so agree with you Ana! The elephant has been there for I don’t know how many years now that it has become a part of the room’s furniture now! People know the elephant is there but they love its existence, thrive on it!

    May be what I say next is completely irrelevant and may be completely relevant. I can’t decide but will tell it nonetheless. I follow a few pages on facebook relating to Indian political and social setup. And I have seen that religion comes up as a topic in the comments section, irrespective of whether the post was about it or not. As an example, there was post about the (in)famous kiss campaign. One would assume, that with sensitivities like ours, both hindus and muslims would team up against something that was apparently “killing” their wonderful culture, but well.. They were fighting over whose fault it was MORE. And the crass language.

    This post you wrote about is disgusting. Makes me wonder how many more centuries it will take to remove so misplaced and yet so strongly believed beliefs. Sigh!

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    1. It is absolutely relevant, RIG, because that is my point. Not that a man slapped a woman or whether the kiss campaign is good or bad. Everyone has an opinion about these things, and they’re already voicing it loud and clear. But the fact that religion sneaks in no matter what we’re discussing makes me so mad! We should just ban religion.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well.. banning it might not be a great idea! We would find out something else to fight about! A known devil is better and all..

        But I am all for banning public debates on religion. And a strict penal law against whoever enters into debate. “keep your opinions to yourself” kind of thing. No loudspeakers in temples, mosques, gurudwaras, churches. Afterall prayer is supposed to be personal.

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    1. Exactly, SG. We constantly lose focus of the big picture. When we should be worried about the whole male entitlement issue, we’re debating whether Islam permits something like this.
      Disgusting.

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  5. Hmmm. I agree with you Ana – religion inserts tself into all our affairs. In fact it is not only the elephant in the room, it is a whole herd of elephants. You can rail against it, you can hate it, you can disavow paticipating, you can bring the issues to public light, you can attack it anyway you want. It is like trying to get gum out of your hair – not going to happen, short of cutting it out and that is way too big a job for any human. Especially as humans seem to be hardwired to look for something bigger than themselves and a meaning in life. What ever you cut out will come back. As I grow older, I have learned to pick my battles and removing religion from daily human affairs is unwinnable. And perhaps even undesirable – for without it we are not accountable to anyone or anything for our actions.

    That being said, it is possible and desirable to work at changing the behaviours of those who use religion as an excuse for violence. The only violence permitted in most scriptures is self-defense or declared war (and even then only combatants). The Koran – which I have read – is adamant about that. And I have preached over and over that religions – including Islam – need to stop and disown those who are perpetuating violence, be it misogynism to terrorism or any other violence. Christianity is no different – many different sects of Christianity fight and kill each other and innocents to prove they are God’s chosen. I don’t suppose it has occured to them that God made the people they are killing or abusing as well – striking an innocent person is tantamount to striking God (or Alah or whatever name is chosen to represent the higher power).

    So, as much as I agree with you Ana, that the treatment of women is of concern in many cultures, I think that every little battle won – i.e. he shouldn’t have hit her for religious or any other reason – should be trumpeted as a blow for the good side.

    Thought provoking post. Thank You.

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    1. What bothers me most, Paul, is that sometimes we are so blinded by (our interpretations of) religion that we forget that we were born with the ultimate guiding light – our hearts. If people could only look inside for answers, they’d get all the right ones. They’d learn that the only thing that is under their control is their own actions and thoughts. Trying to control anything else is futile.

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  6. You know religion in India is so big, I come from a mixed family Christian Dad (non Indian) and Muslim Mom. As a kid that was the first question I was asked “what are you?”
    I would never know how to reply. Uh, I am a girl, I am an American of part Indian origin?
    but I knew they wanted to know if I was christian or muslim. As a child that made me run from religion as far as I could. To say its not big here would be a lie, it is but you are not judged by it largely unless you live in the deep south/bible belt.
    My big question is if the woman is “permissible to him” ie: wife, daughter,then its ok to beat them up?
    Such a regressive thought of woman being permissible like we are animals.

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    1. Exactly, Ariana.

      I have a male friend who has a Muslim name because his father is Turkish and his mother an Indian. He’s an atheist, and openly says that, but people still tell him – that is all very well but you are a Muslim, right?

      As a country we are obsessed with religion. I think that what Paul said about us humans wanting to seek something bigger than themselves that can provide some sort of emotional and intellectual anchor, and religion provides that anchor.

      What this man did was wrong at the basic, human level – and people have busied themselves debating whether his religion allows something like this – and even though the writer of this post probably has his heart in the right place, even he does not seem to see the woman as a human being – instead, she is still being portrayed as a “Muslim” gone astray. If she “belonged” to this man and if he had hit her on the arms or the legs, he would probably be forgiven and even lauded for teaching her a lesson.

      It’s sad how people think religion is bigger than everything – even humanity.

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  7. Religion is just a way for the masses {Hindus} to blame someone else. It gives them the gratifying sense that ‘I’d never do this’ even though we know that in India, women are sexually and physically assaulted every single day by men of every single class or religion. People like to use concepts like class and religion to make themselves think they are better than that. But the fact is, they are not.

    You are bang on when you say it’s about a human being at the end of the day.

    It’s about violence against women. It’s yet another incident of where men think they can control women. It’s another incident of objectifying women.

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    1. Sanch, you’re right. This is a male entitlement issue more than a religion issue.
      But I am a little concerned about what you said: “Religion is just a way for the masses {Hindus} to blame someone else”. Do you think Muslims, or Christians, or Jews don’t blame someone else? And do you think you might be doing exactly that, blaming someone else (Hindus)?

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      1. Sorry I should have clarified that in this case, the masses are Hindus… it is the majority religion in India. In countries where other religions are the majority, they are quick to blame a minority religious group. I guess that’s why I don’t like any religion. Period. And I will freely admit I blame religion for a lot of problems in the world.

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