Tuesday, September 24, 2013


The bruised and beaten faces of these beautiful Hindu goddesses have an important point to make - that despite the reverence for women that is a part of Hinduism, India's most populous religion, the country has become extremely unsafe for its female citizens. Ad agency Taproot's arresting campaign tackles the problem of domestic violence and sex trafficking to benefit Save Our Sisters, an initiative of Save the Children India which seeks to prevent sexual exploitation. 
The campaign features the goddesses Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati. The campaign declares, “Pray that we never see this day. Today, more than 68% of women in India are victims of domestic violence. Tomorrow, it seems like no woman shall be spared. Not even the ones we pray to.”

India was rocked by a brutal case of gang-rape and murder last year, sparking a national conversation about the need for harsher laws against rape. Jyoti Singh was repeatedly violated on a bus in December 2012, naming her attackers before dying from injuries sustained during the horrific assault. 244,270 crimes against women were reported last year, according to the BBC. 
Images of the goddesses Saraswati, Durga, and Lakshmi can be found all over the country, but none like these have ever been seen before. Hopefully their powerful impact will reduce the occurrence of real-life versions. A number is provided to report abuse to the Save Our Sisters charity - an initiative that works to prevent the trafficking of young girls and women for the purposes of sexual exploitation. The Abused Goddesses series won a 'Lotus' award for Indian ad agency Taproot in March.

The combination of religious Deities with the results of violence against women make for a powerful message in this Indian domestic violence campaign which shows the hipocrisy of men who worship female Deities and at the same time are abusing women. Featuring the Hindu Goddesses Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati, the shots show the women in typical serene yet powerful poses. But each Goddess bears the scars of physical violence - a graze, black eye, a fat lip and cuts. Our spiritual teachers have taught us that it is contradictory to say: "I love God but hate those who do not satisfy my own lust or my ambition." Who is the fool who thinks that God will be pleased with our gift at the altar while mistreat the weaker members of our family? How can God be pleased with us if we mistreat and neglect and abuse of women in our own homes? Just being especially kind, friendly and protective of the weaker members of society - such as women and children - we can receive the mercy and grace of Krishna. Let's Stop Gender Violence! Say NO to Domestic Violence! (Editor's note).

Domestic violence is an acute problem in modern Hindu society. Every year hundred and thousands of young girls and women of all ages become victims of domestic violence in the hands of their husbands, brothers, close relatives, in-laws and even parents. ... Most of the domestic violence in Hindu families happen in the form of wife beating, bride burnings, acid throwing, eve-teasing, mental and physical harassment, dowry deaths, enforced slavery, verbal abuse, malnourishment, neglect, women trafficking, forced marriages, rapes, property related homicides and solitary confinement. Millions of women go through numerous hardships in India as victims of various forms of violence. A number of such incidents also go unnoticed, due to fear, social and domestic pressure and the apathy and inefficiency of the law enforcement machinery who aggravate the situation often by colluding with the aggressors and harassing the victims further.

Jayaram V (Hinduwebsite.com) :
“Violence and Abuse in Hinduism”
“Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women”

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

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