Days after 68 girls from Shri Sahajanand Girls’ Institute (SSGI) in Gujarat’s Bhuj were allegedly forced to remove their underwear to prove they weren’t menstruating, videos from a preacher of the sect that runs the institute will further prove the misogyny and regressive attitudes that still prevail around menstruation in India.
Videos from preachings of one Swami Krushnaswarup Dasji – the spiritual leader of the Shree Swaminarayan Temple Bhuj sect, whose followers run the SSGI – have now gone viral on social media.
“A menstruating woman who cooks food for her husband will certainly be reborn as a kutri (bitch). If you eat food prepared by a menstruating woman even once, you will be born as a balad (ox) in your next avatar,” the guru said at one gathering in Bhuj, Ahmedabad Mirror reported.
The self-acclaimed spiritual leader further justifies his remarks by saying that these rules have been mentioned in the centuries-old shastras. The preacher asked the men to learn cooking and directed the women not to break the dharma.
The SSGI is run by a trust of the Swaminarayan Temple and is affiliated to the Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kutch University.
The institute which claims ‘self-development and empowerment of girls through modern, scientific and value-based education’, allegedly forced 68 girls to remove their underwear to prove they weren’t menstruating.
The students were taken to the washroom and made to remove their innerwear to check if they were menstruating.
Principal Rita Raninga, girls’ hostel rector Ramilaben Hirani, college peon Naina Gorasiya and one Anita Chauhan were arrested in relation to the incident under section 384 (extortion), 355 (assault with intent to dishonour a person) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
In India, the topic of menstruation has been a taboo until date. Menstruating females are still not allowed to enter the kitchen and temple, in many households in India.
Photo credit: Youtube screengrab