As outrage spilled over 60 girl students of a college in Bhuj being allegedly forced by hostel authorities to remove their undergarments to check if they were menstruating, videos from a preacher of the sect that runs the hostel suggest the misogyny behind the move was inculcated into the system right from the top.
Videos from preachings of one Krushnaswarup Dasji — the spiritual leader of the Swaminarayan Bhuj Mandir sect, whose followers run the Bhuj hostel reveal the regressive attitudes that still prevail around menstruation.
“If you eat food prepared by a menstruating woman even once then your next avatar will definitely be that of an ox,” the guru can be heard saying at one gathering.
He has more insights — “A menstruating woman who cooks food for her husband will certainly be reborn as a kutri’ (bitch).”
The preacher allegedly made the comments at a ratri sabha in Bhuj. He justifies his remarks by saying that these rules have been “outlined in Shastras”.
The spiritual leader can also be heard telling men to learn how to cook so that menstruating women do not break their “dharma”.
The SSGI college is run by a trust of the Swaminarayan Temple and is affiliated to the Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kutch University.
When local daily Ahmedabad Mirror reached out to hostel trustees for comments on the preacher’s remarks, they refused to say anything.
According to varsity officials, the SSGI hostel has a rule that girls having periods are not supposed to take meals with other inmates. However, some menstruating girls allegedly broke this rule.
A hostel inmate said more than 60 students were taken to the washroom by a woman staffer and made to remove their undergarments to check if they were menstruating.
On Monday, police arrested four persons, including the principal of the Gujarat college in the incident. Principal Rita Raninga, girls’ hostel rector Ramilaben Hirani, college peon Naina Gorasiya and one Anita Chauhan were arrested by the police.
The accused were booked under Indian Penal Code sections 384 (extortion), 355 (assault with intent to dishonour a person) and 506 (criminal intimidation), they said.
After the incident came to light, a seven-member team of the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Sunday met the girl inmates of the hostel.
And Twitter is not holding it back
Who will tell him he spent the first 9 months of his life in a sac filled with menstrual blood? https://t.co/S0jUp3xAGH
— Ray Stings (@Purba_Ray) February 18, 2020
If menstruating women who cook will be reborn as bitches ..all I have to say is I would rather be born a bitch than an ass 😉
— epifunny (@nandinisushil) February 18, 2020
What can I say – misogyny and regressive attitudehttps://t.co/TfAlU4ElBm
— Vibha Mathur (@vibhamathur10) February 18, 2020
So menstruating women are so impure that they would be reborn as bitches if they cook, and men who ate that food as oxen?
Okay. What should menstruating women feed to their newborn babies, swami ji?
Or they should starve their babies for those 3-5 days?https://t.co/O75oTqzkqY
— Samar (@Samar_Anarya) February 18, 2020