The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has been very active about women empowerment. The first step in this direction will be undertaking the depiction of women in television shows and movies as damsels in distress who need to be rescued by the men.
VHP is a unit involved in working on women’s issues and seeking to promote Hindutva. It recently said that it is planning a campaign that aims to change the portrayal of women, which it believes contributes to the crimes against them. Matru Shakti ‘central minister’ Minakshi Pishwe said they will also seek the government and the Censor board’s involvement in the campaign.
“Every TV serial contains a message that we should call and inform [the regulator] about the portions we find offensive. Through our campaign, we will make people aware of this provision and appeal to them to call in large numbers to stop the objectionable scenes,” she added. “We will also create awareness in such a manner that people come forward on their own to participate in this campaign.”
Matru Shakti wants the government regulators to execute a stern code to monitor content, saying the depiction of women in TV serials and movies goes against Indian culture. The unit wants “to portray women protecting themselves rather than some saviour coming to protect them”.
“The advertisements in newspapers and [on TV] are dishing out an obscenity. These advertisements increase crime against women,” she said. “Some TV shows depict a woman as being mistreated or being attacked and someone comes to save her. We instead want scenes where women fight for themselves. This will send a good message to society.”
Pishwe claimed that movies project women as “objects to lust for and this needs to stop”.
“The VHP is quite troubled by the rising graph of crime against women in a country like India, which has always believed in worshipping its women,” Pishwe said. “The cases of rape and eve-teasing are growing unabated. Today, women of this country feel unsafe even in their own colonies (surroundings). All seers and mahatmas of this country are greatly worried on this count.”
“We will submit a memorandum to the government and say that, if it fails to act in time, we might take some strict measures on our own,” she added.
The campaign will be aimed towards women empowerment instead of their liberation. The organisation also wants the government to make respect for women a part of school lessons, and the provision of self-defence classes at educational institutes.