MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Thursday, 20 June 2024

Pure power: Editorial on the RSS-backed garbha sanskar programme

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, however, has appropriated an ancient practice to turn it into ideological advantage

The Editorial Board Published 13.03.23, 04:58 AM
The prescribed texts and stories must be associated with the majority religion and the RSS version of history.

The prescribed texts and stories must be associated with the majority religion and the RSS version of history. File Photo

Ensuring the health and happiness of pregnant women and their unborn babies is a laudable goal. The problem begins when that is replaced by a concrete programmme aimed at producing children with the virtues of Hindu rulers — religion and domination together — such as Ram or Shivaji. This mingling of epic and history in the examples was achieved at the meeting in Jawaharlal Nehru University organised by Samvardhinee Nyas, a branch of the Rashtra Sevika Samiti, the women’s wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. It had among the audience gynaecologists and ayurvedic doctors. The programme is garbha sanskar, or introducing culture to the foetus through the mother’s chanting of religious texts, her recounting of the struggles of Ram, Hanuman, Shivaji and freedom fighters, her satvik or vegetarian diet and practice of yoga, among other things. The idea related originally to the purification of the womb on ayurvedic principles, usually through the mother’s diet and efforts to keep her calm and positive. Now it has been given a direction beyond the production of healthy, intelligent children. The prescribed texts and stories must be associated with the majority religion and the RSS version of history. The organising secretary of the Samvardhinee Nyas clarified the purpose: children must be taught, even before they are born, that the country is the priority.

The conflation of religion and country even pre-birth was predictable, but what was disconcerting was that doctors were the listeners, and that the meeting was held in a university. Science went for a toss when the audience was told that garbha sanskar could alter DNA and that the mother’s expectation of a girl made boys homosexual. Ironically, modern science supports the belief that unborn children can hear music and their mothers talking, while every culture tries to provide mothers with support and a regimen to follow. The RSS, however, has appropriated an ancient practice to turn it into ideological advantage. It already has a centre for garbha sanskar in its own mode; the issue was brought before the public late in the last decade. Now, with the aim of producing 1,000 children every year through the process, perhaps it is aiming for an army of conditioned defenders of an ideology — to ‘restore the old glory of India’. Or more. Hindu rulers liked to rule, after all.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT