Essay on The Influence of Injustice to Women in Hindu Mythology

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As a common theme in society, politics, and books, gendering originated from mythology. Hindu mythology repeatedly reinforces gendering in Indian society, in which the males have a certain point to prove and the females are forced to sacrifice their own happiness. In the Ramayana, a ruthless villain Ravan kidnaps Sita. Her husband, Rama, saves her, but then doubts her chastity because she has lived with another man for so long. Sita is then forced to prove her innocence. Stories with this same archetype are repeated throughout the Mahabharata, another Hindu mythological text. In this story, the female character, Draupadi, is the common wife for a group called the Pandavas. The Pandavas pawn her as a prize in a game against a villain named…show more content…
Now all she wants is to be united with him again. Every moment’s delay is a new agony for her. Rama has ordered that she be bathed, perfumed, decked out in beautiful clothing and jewelry, and even that her hair be curled, before she is presented to him. When finally she is brought before him, a stunning display of cruelty is enacted by the ideal man. (Hess 5) Rama, being the hero of the story, is not criticized for his cruel actions towards Sita. Sita, however, is not supported by anyone through her ordeal of doubt by her own husband. She decides that there is no point in living if the man she loves suspects her. She says, “These unjust reproaches have destroyed me, I cannot go on living. Publically renounced by my husband, who is insensitive to my virtue, there is only one recourse-the ordeal by fire” (Hess 6). When she gets on the pyre, the fire does not burn her. “In the human drama a living woman’s body is consigned to the flames, as culmination of her career of perfect devotion to her husband and as final test of her sexual and psychological purity” (Hess 6). This is evidence for Rama of Sita’s innocence and chastity. “Sita becomes representative of a "national" womanhood because she distinctively forms part of a narrative of caste, masculinity, and national identity that is consonant with the dominant

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