Guiding Light: Can Lack Of Support Be Termed ‘Violence’?

Guiding Light: Can Lack Of Support Be Termed ‘Violence’?

Swami Brahmavidananda SaraswatiUpdated: Thursday, April 11, 2024, 09:46 PM IST
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Representative Image | Pixabay

In a conversation with a young woman in her early thirties who is working for an NGO, she said, “There are many women who want to get into the workforce but their families are not very supportive.” She wanted to classify this as violence against women. I asked, “Are you sure? At best, this can be classified as lack of support or rather lack of unconditional support because these women are being supported in other ways.” In the professional domain, there is no support for the woman’s career. She was insisting that this was violence. I wondered, if this is classified as violence, a huge set of problems will appear. How would one classify verbal abuse? Something more than violence? Or emotional abuse? Or even physical abuse? More than violence? By using a disproportionately loaded word, like “violence” for “lack of support”, we end up abusing the word and then, we have no word left to describe real cases of violence.

Not only that, if you classify this as violence in the name of changing the society you will lose the support of most of the men. You will lose the support of most of the women as well, as they wouldn’t want their husbands or fathers or brothers to be arrested for “violence”, just because their career is not being supported. If this is the attitude of people working in our NGO sector, how does one really hope to change society? She further said, “This is because of religion, especially Hinduism.”

This is a confusing statement. There may be Hindus who are not supportive of career women, as in all societies. But Hinduism as a religion is never against working women. The Vedic and the Pauranic period indicate that a lot of women had very respectable professions as scholars, judges, teachers, pandits etc. Some sort of wokeism or distorted thinking is coming into our youngsters. Often, these are entitled people who are working in the NGO sector without knowing the ground reality of society. It is most unfortunate.

The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at aarshavidyaf@gmail.com

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