RELIGION IS UNFAIR TO WOMEN On the one hand Hindu religious books tell us “yatra naryastu pujyante, ramante tatra devata” (The land where women are worshiped is the abode of Gods and Goddesses.) Our Goddess of education is Saraswathi, Goddess of wealth is Lakshmi and Goddess of Power is Durga. Names of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna are prefixed with the names of their consorts, Sita and Radha. And here is how Sabari describes herself while showing her gratitude to Lord Rama: “Adham se adham adham ati nari, tinha mah main mati mand adhari”---Ram Cahrit Manas- Aranya kand. (Means: Woman is at the lowest of creation and on top of that I am stupid and rudderless) And this is how Ravana describes women: “Avgun aath sada Ur rahain, sahas, anrit, chapalta, maya, bhaya, avivek, asauch, adaya”---Ram Charit Manas -Lanka kand(Ravana to His wife Mandodari) (Means: A woman has eight vices namely: 1. Indiscrete. 2. Liar 3. Freckle 4. Deceit. 5. Coward. 6. Foolish. 7. Impure. 8. Unkind) There are so many instances in Tulsi Ramayana where women have been talked about in derogatory terms. A few examples: “Sati concluded that the omniscient Lord had come to know everything and felt sorry that she had tried to deceive Sambhu. The woman is silly and stupid by nature”--- Ram Charit Manas –Bal Kand- 57 Now Geetha: Also in Geetha 9.32 here is how woman is equated with Vaishya (prostitute) and Sudras (Outcasts and is considered of a sinful birth.) It goes: “For taking refuge in me, they also who, O Arjuna, may be of a sinful birth –woman, vaishayas as well as sudras—attain the Supreme Goal” It is said that but for his wife Tulsi Das would never have gained the wisdom to write such a beautiful poetic description of Rama’s life “Ram Charitra Manas”. He was passionately in love with her and on one dreadful dark night crossed the flooded river at the cost of his life. His wife was devastated and said “If you would develop for Lord Rama even half of the love that you have for my filthy body, you would certainly cross the ocean of Samsara and attain immortality and eternal bliss”. Kalidas, the famous Sanskrit scholar, Dramatist and poet also had the blessings from his wife in form rebuke and humiliation for his lack of education. For centuries women have been degraded in every walk of life. The situation is not any better still today in some of the communities. Also the situation is not any better in Islam or Christianity. Women are not permitted to become Maulvies or Pastors as far as I know. In spite of all this degradation and indifference, women have survived and surpassed men in many fields of excellence. The question still is why our religious books are biased against women and should not we ask for deleting these verses from these books. Forget about religious books as they have been scripted by men. The women are treated by women in families is well known, particularly DIL and MIL issues. A survey has reported that women bosses have been a hurdle in the promotions of women in offices.