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Varanasi
Monday, October 18, 2021

SheThePeople, toxic digital platform targeting Hindu traditions, supported by Anand Mahindra

After ‘Feminism in India’, which hailed the Hijab as a sign of liberty and choice while defaming the ghunghat as a sign of ‘oppression’, a new digital platform has surfaced to take the objective of slandering the Hindu family system and its religious rituals, one at a time: SheThePeople.

A toxic platform that, in the name of woke culture, promotes promiscuity, hate for family and male relatives, Shethepeople is detrimental to our society because of the enormous influence such ‘woke’ platforms cast on young malleable minds. Their posts on Facebook have repeatedly mocked Hindu rituals, and despite the “empowered woman” site it claims to be, it has not been able to sum up the courage to question the misogynistic norms in the Abrahamic faiths.  

We have discussed previously that the conventional Hindu parents do not discuss dharma with their children, inculcating tradition is not a priority and the significance of various Hindu rituals is completely irrelevant for many modern families. Hindu children growing with no knowledge, half or distorted knowledge about their culture and traditions make them vulnerable to the attacks by vicious anti-Hindu entities.

On the other hand, Muslim and Christian families seep their children with their religious theology and ideology since their early years. Religious teaching is an integral part of their growing up. Muslim families raise Muslim youth who will not tolerate a word against their rituals, and who react violently if one questions even the ugliest parts of their culture, be it nikah halala, triple talaq, or female genital mutilation.

Sites like Shethepeople know better than to meddle with Islamic rituals. They cover bland news pieces on these malpractices, but they play safe and steer clear of condemning these practices with the same spite they reserve for Hindus.

Regardless of how strong the feminism they try to propagate, these channels do not mess with Islamic or Christian rituals, no matter how outdated and anti-women they are. Again, their feminism is flawed, full of bias, and misleading. Their articles, mostly drafted by writers of seemingly half-baked knowledge, reek of prejudice and all the false notions that attack the family system in Bharat.

In one of their Facebook posts, they tried to assert that that “a father taking care of their child is parenting not babysitting” with a picture of a man holding a baby. 

This post is so out of place in a society like that of Bharat where most toddlers, including myself, have completed the journey of Vaishno Devi sitting on their fathers’ shoulders. Fathers take their kids around the mela, carrying them on their laps and shoulders is a common sight in any village of Bharat. ‘Babysitting’ is a culture of the west, not Bharat where even Bhagwan Krishna, as a baby, was taken to safe harbor across the raging river Yamuna by his father on his head. 

In a recent article, the website defends the Manyavar-Alia Bhatt ad, relegating the ritual of Kanyadaan as a “patriarchal”, “backward social custom” and an example of “sexism backed by religion”, while we have done an article on how the ritual of Kanyadaan is none of the above as claimed by Shethepeople’s opinionated writer Tanvi Ankhuri. We would like to see an extensive study by this ‘feminist’ portal condemning the medieval Islamic practices like Nikah Halala, Triple Talaq, burqa, FGM and other aspects of sharia law.

Will they cover the exploitation of nuns (aka ‘brides of Jesus’), the absence of female pastors and Bishops, the pedophilia epidemic in the Church, or the effect of unchecked individualism and sexual obsession on young teens like Audrey Potts.

In another story done by the site, Raveena Tondon was praised for adopting two daughters at a younger age, breaking the “stereotype” and made it look like adoption was a taboo in Bharatiya society. The writer presumably forgot that it was Hindu society that made way for the “dattak santan”, that is, the adopted child. The most revered of them all, Mata Sita was a dattak putri of Raja Janak, the great warrior Karna was a dattak putra of Radha and her husband. Maybe they should do these pieces calling out the Islamic society where adoption is religiously prohibited due to reasons explained here.

They make a FB post deriding the Hindu tradition of wearing red at weddings, unaware that many brides since decades have picked other colours and were welcome to their choice as well.

On the other hand, the white gown of a Christian wedding that represents a woman’s “purity”, that stands for her “virginity”, could be considered degrading for women too, but the writers of this Hinduphobic site will probably swoon over Christian wedding gowns, brought up as they are on a diet of Hollywoood movies.

Another post bats for women priests to conduct Hindu weddings, but don’t question why it is the father of the bride that walks her through the aisle and why it is always a male priest leading the Christian wedding? Dia Mirza is born to a Christian father, a female padri would have been a better blow at patriarchy prevalent among Catholics, instead of the sermon to reform Hindus she made her wedding into.  

What is noteworthy is that Shethepeople is being financed by billionaire businessman Anand Mahindra. The Chairman of Mahindra Group has invested an undisclosed amount in this Hinduphobic digital storytelling platform since 2016. His Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard was also listed as a co-sponsor of “Dismantling Global Hindutva Conference” a Hinduphobic seminar where many speakers ended up advocating eradication of Hindu Dharma in the guise of fighting Hindutva.

But such deracination is not limited to the Mahindra group. As we have shown previously, many funders of the vitriolic propaganda site The Wire are also wealthy and influential ‘Hindus’.

The solution to such self-loathing is simple: decolonize and reconnect with Dharma. Understand its true essence. Understand the actual meaning of traditions rather than the distorted theories spread by vested interests. Understand how upholding traditions is a way of honoring our ancestors who fought valiantly to protect and sustain this civilization. Yes, change is a way of life – but learn to make your point with empathy and grace, being grateful that you live in a pluralistic and diverse society where you can express yourself without fear.

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