July 31, 2017

"Some of the most conservative Hindus in India believe that a woman whose husband has died should no longer live because she failed to retain his soul."

"Rejected by their communities and abandoned by their loved ones, thousands of destitute women make their way to Vrindavan, a pilgrimage city about 100km south of Delhi that is home to more than 20,000 widows. These women have no choice but to live in a vidhwa ashram (ashrams for widows) run by the government, private enterprises and NGOs. Clad in white, they know they will never return home and that this is where they’ll end their days. According to Hindu tradition, a widow cannot remarry. She has to hide in the house, remove her jewellery and wear the colour of mourning. She becomes a source of shame for her family, loses the right to participate in religious life and becomes socially isolated...."

A BBC photo essay (from last September).

32 comments:

brylun said...

Multiculturism is a failure: some cultures are just better than others. Western culture is the best.

Ralph L said...

Burn them!

India needs the fuel.

Bay Area Guy said...

Who are we to judge other cultures?

Some cultures burn innocent widows to death, some don't. (sarcasm off)

Paco Wové said...

For the BBC, it's not the Hinduism that's the problem. It's the conservatism. If the problematic individuals were just tossed in the multi-culti blender and imbued with the correct liberal values, all would be well.

Quaestor said...

This ashram for widows is a relatively new feature of Hinduism. Before widows were expected to commit sati — ritual suicide by fire, which was banned by the evil British imperialists.

Robert Cook said...

All religious belief is delusion.

zipity said...

Yeah, but ALL cultures are equal.

Well, except for ours. Ours is horrible.

Or something....

Fernandinande said...

Holy cows, Batman! In a civilized country most of them would be in nursing homes.

Angel-Dyne said...

The White Male Christian Patriarchy strikes again.

Not just adding a stale joke here - I really have heard mistreatment of widows (as well as any other age-old behavior that provokes contempt from outsiders) blamed on colonialism.

brylun said...

Robert Cook: You're a Marxist - Religion is the opiate of the people.

brylun said...

Religion had nothing to to with the establishment and prospering of civilization .

brylun said...

Sarcasm off.

Sebastian said...

A patriarchy that discards women is the worst kind.

Except for whatever white supremacy produced. That's worse than worst.

Big Mike said...

Horrifying if true. But keep in mind that this is the BBC -- can we get confirmation?

Ralph L said...

But when my husband died, I was 54 and I was thrown out of the house by my relatives. I had to live in the streets and then found a kind man who helped me to get a train ticket
I hope she was childless. Otherwise, she raised wolves.

William said...

Opium is the opium of the people.........I understand that the Hindus in Britain have a higher per capita income than the natives. So far as I know, Hindus in Britain don't burn their widows or make them live in ashrams. In England and America, they've adapted well......I don't know that much about India, but there's probably a variety of people there, some with retrograde beliefs and others with more progressive ideas about breast enhancement surgery.

Fernandinande said...

brylun said...
Sarcasm off.


Each religion has a different set of delusions so Cook is obviously correct, but that doesn't mean that groups of encephalized apes can't benefit from delusional ideas about themselves.

Phil 3:14 said...

"Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them."

from Paul's first letter to Timothy.

(PS: But I should add that this is delusional thinking.)

sinz52 said...

brylun: "Religion had nothing to to with the establishment and prospering of civilization"

Religion often kept civilization from collapsing when there was nothing else to depend on.

If you stepped through a time warp to the time of the "Black Death" plague, what would you tell a man whose children were dying horribly of the disease?

"Sorry about your kids. But don't worry. In a few more centuries, we'll have medicines that will stop such plagues."

That would be small comfort to a man whose entire family was *in the process* of being devastated.

Instead, the Church would tell the guy that his kids were going to a better place and that he would meet them again in heaven someday.

Atheists would claim that they were giving the man false hope. Perhaps.
But the alternative to false hope is often despair, when there is very little in reality to give you any hope.

Gahrie said...

Yeah..women in the U.S. have it tough...fight the Patriarchy!

Gahrie said...

"Religion had nothing to to with the establishment and prospering of civilization"

Pure bull crap. Religion provided the extrinsic motivators most people need in order to allow them to live closely together, in large numbers without chaos.

Roger Sweeny said...

sinz52, or the Church could tell the man that his family and/or village was being punished for its sins.

Earnest Prole said...

Twenty years ago in rural Portugal you would still see widows, some of them startlingly young, dressed entirely in black, which they were required to wear for the rest of their lives.

brylun said...

I guess you guys didn't read my "sarcasm off" comment after my religion comment.

mockturtle said...

We used to have a close friend/co-worker who was a high-caste Hindu. His wife was an airline executive but, at dinner parties in their home, she would stay in the kitchen and never joined us at the table. Other than that, they seemed a modern couple.

Robert Cook said...

"Religion is the opiate of the people."

Along with television and booze. And opioids.

Crimso said...

"Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs." Sir Charles James Napier

Scott M said...

Yes...but...but..the Crusades...

William Chadwick said...

Socialism is the opiate of the pseudo-intellectuals.

Mark Rodgers said...

Well, at least they can live -- and that is partially as the result of an individual exerting his male, white privilege -- Charles James Napier -- who had the audacity to reject moral and cultural equivalency while serving as the British Army's Commander-in-Chief in India in the mid-19th Century. His response the the practice of widow-burning was quite keen as the British are wont to say:

Napier opposed suttee, or sati. This was the custom of burning a widow alive on the funeral pyre of her husband. Sati was rare in Sindh during the time Napier stayed in this region.[12] Napier judged that the immolation was motivated by profits for the priests, and when told of an actual Sati about to take place, he informed those involved that he would stop the sacrifice. The priests complained to him that this was a customary religious rite, and that customs of a nation should be respected. As recounted by his brother William, he replied:

"Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs." [12]

Gospace said...

Well, they're not Christians doing this, so there is nothing to criticize. At least, that's how the leftists who dominate the Democrat Party think.

mockturtle said...

"Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs."

I only wish the Brits were as sensible today as they were then.