In ancient India, women occupied a very important position, in fact a superior position to, men. It is a culture whose only words for strength and power are feminine -"Shakti'' means "power'' and "strength.'' All male power comes from the feminine. Literary evidence suggests that kings and towns were destroyed because a single woman was wronged by the state. For example, Valmiki's Ramayana teaches us that Ravana and his entire clan was wiped out because he abducted Sita. Veda Vyasa's Mahabharatha teaches us that all the Kauravas were killed because they humiliated Draupadi in public. Elango Adigal's Sillapathigaram teaches us Madurai, the capital of the Pandyas was burnt because Pandyan Nedunchezhiyan mistakenly killed her husband on theft charges.
In Vedic times women and men were equal as far as education and religion was concerned. Women participated in the public sacrifices alongside men. One text mentions a female rishi Visvara. Some Vedic hymns, are attributed to women such as Apala, the daughter of Atri, Ghosa, the daughter of Kaksivant or Indrani, the wife of Indra. Apparently in early Vedic times women also received the sacred thread and could study the Vedas. The Haritasmrti mentions a class of women called brahmavadinis who remained unmarried and spent their lives in study and ritual. Panini's distinction between arcarya (a lady teacher) and acaryani (a teacher's wife), and upadhyaya (a woman preceptor) and upadhyayani ( a preceptor's wife) indicates that women at that time could not only be students but also teachers of sacred lore. He mentions the names of several noteworthy women scholars of the past such as Kathi, Kalapi, and Bahvici. The Upanishads refer to several women philosophers, who disputed with their male colleagues such as Vacaknavi, who challenged Yajnavalkya. The Rig Veda also refers to women engaged in warfare. One queen Bispala is mentioned, and even as late a witness as Megasthenes (fifth century B.C. E.) mentions heavily armed women guards protecting Chandragupta's palace.
Louis Jaccoliot, the celebrated French author of the Bible in India said: "India of the Vedas entertained a respect for women amounting to worship; a fact which we seem little to suspect in Europe when we accuse the extreme East of having denied the dignity of woman, and of having only made her an instrument of pleasure and of passive obedience." He also said: "What! here is a civilization, which you cannot deny to be older than your own, which places the woman on a level with the man and gives her an equal place in the family and in society."
........Sati, the much-highlighted face of Hinduism
Recent incidents of sati and rash of "dowry murders" have made headlines not only in India, but all around the world, and have focused attention to women's issues in India. In the wake of the discussion it emerged that Indian women's problems are not only problems of Hindu women or problems caused by traditional Hinduism. Media paints India as a dangerous place. But if statistics can be trusted, a study by Hindus Against the Abuse of Women presented at the Second International Conference on Bride Burning and Dowry Deaths in India puts USA in the lead of familial femicide. It says USA murders of women committed by "intimate relations" are 15 per year per million population. The rate in Pakistan is 6.44 per million. India's is 6.25 per million.
The study says excessive need for control and greed may be the underlying causes, not cultural or religious factors. India recently passed a law making husbands and in-laws guilty until proven otherwise if a bride dies within the first year of marriage. Since then, the rate of women killed by intimate relations dropped by more than 50%.
.....(source: Hinduism Today www.hinduismtoday.com/1997/9/ ).
WOMEN THEN AND TODAY. THEN THEY WERE GODDESSES AND TREATED LIKE SISTERS. THESE DAYS THEY ARE INFERIOR SCUM- NOT ABLE TO MATCH ITALIAN WHITE ELEPHANTS IN BEAUTY, AND THE BURMESE BORN BRAT OF THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA IN BRAINS.
IN INDIAN MOVIES THEY ARE DELIVERED TO KHANS OF MOHAMMEDAN PEDIGREE, "MADE IN MECCA". THAT IS HINDU WOMEN TODAY. WE WISH THEM DIGNITY AND EMANCIPATION.