Feminism And Love In Ramayana : A Short Note
I, always, since I was a child had a problem with Rama sending Sita away into exile cause of a washerman's gossip tale.
But I'm reading the history of England, and the Yorks fell from throne and were driven into abject misery and the country taken over by the greedy, evil Lancaster-Tudors because the Prince married a girl he loved instead of one he was promised to as a contract to keep the kingdom in harmony.And as I was reading it I understood his love for the girl, but in his position his priority should have been his subjects, a whole country punished for his impulsiveness.
Of course the right thing to do would have been to step down himself and given the kingdom to his brother.
Rama could have stepped down, handed over the kingdom to Bharat and left with Sita.
But if for some reason he thought Bharat wouldn't make an efficient king, what he did was right.
Some feminists are quick to judge...
But to a king his subjects are a higher priority than his personal relationships, and that was probably what Ramayana was trying to convey.
And as for asking Sita to step into fire to prove her fidelity. He didn't ask her to, she volunteered. And now that I think about it, it would have been abominable if he had stopped her. Saying no don't jump into the fire is just another way of saying I'm afraid you might burn, cause I've a suspicion that you were not true to me. Letting her do it was his way of saying I love and trust my wife so much that I know the fire isn't going to hurt her so I don't care if she steps into it.
And as King and Queen, there were certain things they had to do to keep their subjects happy and satisfied and loyal. And that's what they did.
Again, I believe the fire test scene was overly romanticized, misrepresented and misinterpreted.