By Ila Ananya
Who is the ideal mother? The Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, the women’s wing of the RSS, has taught 50 young girls at its summer camp in Delhi that it’s Shivaji’s mother Jijabai Shahaji Bhosale. You know, because she brought Shivaji up in such a way that he used his intelligence to establish the Hindu empire. Ah, the Hindu empire.
On Sunday, 11th June, the 50 girls reportedly displayed how well they could use knives, sticks and swords. They wore white salwar kameezes with saffron ribbons around their waist, brandishing swords and chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. “We teach the girls to be fully empowered and equipped — that is, physically, mentally and spiritually strong, so that a girl is capable of protecting herself and is able to guard her country, its traditions, its sanskriti, and its language. The samiti instills pride for the nation in her,” Chandrakantha, the RSS women’s wing’s uttar shetra karyavahika, and chief guest at Sunday’s event told Indian Express.
And then it went on: the ultimate goal for women is motherhood, while for men is was to make money. Motherhood was what held all the power, because a woman, if she wanted, “can bring up her child to be a saint or a destroyer”.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard something like this. In November last year, just after demonetisation, Heeraben Modi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mother, was touted as the woman who was making a contribution, along with her son for the greater good of the nation. It was an exercise in nation-building, just like motherhood is, a lot like Mohan Bhagwat’s ‘matra shakti’ idea. Like the young girls were taught at the summer camp, Bhagwat too had made a speech in Jammu about the heights India can be taken to with the participation of women, “They should start from their homes to create mini-India and work for the society without getting distracted by anybody.” Like we had said then, what about the fact that this idea wasn’t the nation women want?