The Ramayana is considered to be one of the highest authority of Code of Conduct and Moral Behavior in India.
RAMA is the conclusive jurisdiction for Moral Guidelines in Indian society.
But there are a few questions that remain.
After defeating RAVANA, RAMA takes SITA to Ayodhya – quite befittingly as a King, as a Rulemaker, as a Husband. But then grapevines start spreading out in the population of Ayodhya that SITA is now Impure and Tainted. She has been enjoyed (forcefully, of course) by RAVANA during her stay at Lanka. In unequivocal language, she has been raped by RAVANA.
But then, what did RAMA do?
He bowed down to the pressure of the public, who were essentially blind and ignorant. He prostrated himself to the illogical demand of the crowd, who did not had any proof or reason behind the claim they made.
It was entirely a rumor, RAMA probably knew that very well.
But, He abandoned SITA, he made her to prove her purity by entering into the open fire, what we call “Agni Parikhya”. And then she was left alone in the forest, for ever. She was punished for some crime she never committed.
But, what did he wanted to prove?
That he is a King who is so upto his citizens that he can do anything for them. Even if they demand something so irrational and untenable.
That he is a King whose only endeavor is to please the people or subjects. Even if they don’t know what they are doing and what they are asking for.
Even if for arguments sake, we assume, SITA was raped by RAVANA, what should the society do? Throw her in the fire? Desert her in a God forsaken place?
Well, what does The Ramayana teach us then? What knowledge and guidance does RAMA instill into us then? Agreed, many and most of the lessons rendered by the characters there are correct, but in entirety how can RAMA and Ramayana be the singlemost Moral Guide for us Indian people?
And, we can see the consequences as well.
Firstly, In India, still today the rape victims are punished thoughout her life. The actual accused people are never confined, but we do make the girl exiled. There are no obligations over the accuseds, but the society never accepts victim. She is deserted for her life.
Secondly, the general mob violence is common and dominant in India. It is not protest, it is not to demand what you rightfully deserve. It is just arrogant insistence that “this is correct”, without any basis, without any fore thinking, without knowing about the consequences.
We probably need to think again, what we are following, how much we should follow, apply our mind why we are following.
These questions and this enigma are of course known (and probably acknowledged) by every Indian and follower of RAMA, but not raised, not discussed and thus not understood.
Why avoid such negatives? Is following a figure or philosophy (either regional or non-regional) is more imperative than actually drawing positive advantage from that?