Guidelines for excellent off-spring
Imposing taboos on expecting mothers may not have desired results of improving future generations.
Mother is a symbol of nationalism in India. Motherhood is a dream that every woman cherishes to achieve one day. Abusing one’s mother is certainly retaliated with force and often violence. But proper sensitiveness and awareness are clearly lacking regarding the health of a mother to be.
However, mothers who are going to give birth to the future generations can be seen straying – like their bovine counterparts – here and there in search of proper healthy diet and medical treatment, which are conspicuous by their absence.
These starving pregnant mothers among teeming masses, it seems, are even inferior to cows, which have got state protection under the new regime. If it were not so, the Union health ministry would not have undertaken a surgical strike on the platter of these would be mothers just to implement the agenda of the party in power of making India ‘Hindu-sthan’.
In order to obtain the purified offspring of improved race, Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) ministry has issued a booklet containing suggestions and guidelines for the health of pregnant women and their to be born babies.
In the booklet, titled ‘Mother & Child Care’, the ministry suggests all would be mothers to cultivate pious thinking and abstain from Tamasik (non-veg) food during pregnancy. According to the booklet, sinister Tamasik food is unfit for human consumption, especially during pregnancy, and includes hot spices, fried food, eggs and all types of meat and hence should be avoided by an expecting mother.
Such suggestions defi-
nitely show that AYUSH ministry is completely oblivious of ground realities and conditions in which thriving masses survive. At the same time, it seems to be an attempt to curb and control the eating habits of the people apparently fuelled by some vegetarian lobby that wants to impose its agenda of making India a vegetarian country through the current government.
What is more, the BJPled Central government, which is remote-controlled by RSS, seems to push ahead its agenda of banning cattle sale in the name of protecting cow by publicising non-veg food as harmful for the health of pregnant women and their progeny.
In the process, the Cenand tral government seems to have forgotten that it does not represent only the high caste Hindus, who are supposed to be strictly vegetarian, but is the government of all the population that resides across the length and breadth of India.
Is the Union health minister unaware that non-veg foods, especially eggs, are rich source of protein and iron? Making such suggestions simply shows the sick mentality of health ministry babus who control it.
Majority of Dalit and tribal people relish meat and non-veg food. From the northeast to down south, not only tribal people but high caste people also consume meat and cow meat is no taboo for them. When Muslims were being beaten on the charges of eating cow meat, one minister of State in the home ministry – who incidentally hails from the northeast – had boasted that he was eating cow meat and no one could stop him. And now egg has become acceptable food item even among Brahmin families of north India.
Malnutrition and anaemia resulting from it are major problems that the tribal people are facing and struggling with in major parts of India. They are being stripped of their inherent rights on natural resources like land, water and forests. In this backdrop, AYUSH ministry’s suggestions could be an attempt to further weaken them physically and even eradicate them in the end.
The government gets disturbed when sentiments of high-caste majority are ‘hurt’. But who has given the government a right to run a campaign to change eating habits of millions of tribal people, Dalits as well as Muslims and Christians? All this is being done in the name of making a pure and improved race of Hindus at the behest of Sangh.
Various surveys conducted by the health ministry itself say very loud and clear that more than 50 per cent of pregnant women in India suffer from malnutrition and anaemia. In such a situation, suggestions made by AYUSH ministry will further promote malnutrition and anaemia among expecting mothers and may ultimately result in making India a country of malnourished, ill and weak people.
One cannot get healthy and excellent offspring by
keeping would be mothers starving and malnourished. Children of such mothers can never make India a strong nation excelling in every field.
It was needed to address the row emanating from the booklet. But the Union health minister brushed it aside by summoning a report from AYUSH ministry. Ministry, too, presented its clarification on the subject and that was all.
Still, guidelines given in the booklet make the agenda clear. It contains moralitybased appeals for women, such as nurturing spiritual thoughts during pregnancy and control damaging emotions like desire, anger, hate and sexual feelings.
These appeals certainly aim to douse the possible unrest among women and also to subdue the danger that India’s male-dominated society may face from freedom conscious modern woman. Anybody who reads these morality preachings may become confused if these are important tips for good health of expecting mother and her child or suggest them to suppress their natural human instincts and become ascetic.
Perhaps, the government which has enthroned so many yogis and sadhvis wants to make all men and women yogis, so that masculinity of nationalist Hindus does not go astray by female sexuality. It may be a conspiracy to reduce a woman’s status to childbearing machine only; which has no human desire and emotions. Once make her pregnant and then ask her to suppress her sexual feelings in the name of morality.
Naturally, health and features of coming baby are supreme considerations for an expecting mother. The question is: Why same suggestions – of nurturing spiritual thoughts and abstaining from sex with pregnant wife – are not given to men? After all, they too have their share in the coming progeny.
Even a literate person may become confused by this Centre-sponsored propaganda of body-cleansing celibacy. An example is the former Rajasthan high court judge Mahesh Chandra Sharma, who made head- lines for saying peacocks didn’t have sex for procreation. Later, he argued that his theory didn’t need scientific evidence as it was backed by religious texts.
This is worrisome that the Central government is indulging in Hindutva politics for petty political gains. Instead, it should discharge its constitutional duties of promoting scientific and logical progress. In the name of unproven ancient practices it is promoting confusing and misogynistic suggestions. AYUSH ministry, which suggests expecting mothers to hang beautiful pictures on walls to get beautiful babies, perhaps thinks that ugly children have no place in this country.
Everybody knows that Aryan benchmark of beauty is limited to fair skin colour only. Does it mean that people with dark skin colour are not Indian? Or are they not as nationalist and patriotic as fair ones? A government with huge majority has equally bigger accountability. It ought to honour public mandate and behave very cautiously while doling out odd suggestions for the public good.
But regrettably, the actions of current dispensation speak otherwise. It is not only propagating a specific cultural agenda but also establishing unscientific and illogical temperaments as social values, which may prove very fatal for the coming generations. Another apprehension is that the government may soon finish off the modern medical system, allopathy.
Girls being trained in selfdefence techniques.