Another problematic group of edits proposed by the Hindu nationalist lobby group erase references to patriarchy—the fact that women had less power than men—in ancient South Asia. While we wish patriarchy did not exist in the subcontinent the reality is that our history is littered with examples of sexist practices.
A short list of practices includes Sati, the practice of forcing widows to immolate themselves at their husbands’ pyres, dowry, dowry deaths, the use of rape against minority communities, ostracization of widows, separation of women during their menstrual cycles, female foeticide, committing lower caste women into prostitution and the violations faced by gender nonconforming persons and sexual minorities. Many women still face these problems today!
Thankfully, the IQC has not accepted any of the edits proposed by the Hindu nationalist groups to erase or downplay South Asia’s patriarchal history.