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Chapter 5: Laughter - As Sacred as Prayer

Man is almost magnetically pulled by the woman. He can see that he is just a puppet. How can he forgive the woman who has forced him to be just a puppet? - whatever he can do, he tries to do.

Women everywhere are not allowed to read the holy scriptures. In many countries the woman is not even allowed to show her face in the society. It used to be so in India; it is still so in all the Mohammedan countries.

I have heard, when Mulla Nasruddin got married according to the tradition, his wife asked him, “To whom am I allowed to show my face?”

Mulla Nasruddin said, “First let me have a look, only then can I say anything.” So he looked at her face, closed his eyes and said, “Enough! Except for me, you are allowed to show your face to everybody.”

These are subtle ways of humiliation, of cutting women off from the world of power, from the world where everything is happening. The woman is not part of it. She is not part of your wars, she is not part of your businesses, she is not part of your religions.

And there are countries like China - not a small country..

A woman was reading in the newspaper that of every four men, one is Chinese. She came very much worried and concerned. She said to her husband, “This paper says that every fourth person is Chinese. Now you have to be careful; we already have three boys, and I don’t want any Chinese in this house.”

In this vast one-fourth of humanity, for ten thousand years it was believed that the woman had no soul, she was as soulless as your furniture. Hence, if a husband killed his wife, there was no crime, he had simply destroyed his property. It was nobody else’s concern to come into it. Thousands of women were killed by their husbands, but the court, the law, did not accept it as killing, because how can you kill somebody who has no soul?

In India millions of women have been burned alive simply because of the male ego: “My wife is beautiful, young. If I am dead, she may get married again.” This jealousy was the reason for deciding that every woman should jump into the burning funeral pyre with her husband. The husband is dead; the living woman has to jump into the fire. And we have practiced this for ten thousand years. It still happens once in a while, although now there is a law against it.

One feels as if we don’t give any attention to our social mores, our behavior mores. In the whole of Indian literature I have not come across a single statement saying that if women are required to die with their husbands to show their faith, their love, then why are men not required to do the same? What kind of game is this in which the rule applies only to the woman, not the man?

The society is made by men. Women are living in a society which is not made for them, not made by them; it has not considered them at all.

Your anger towards women is worth understanding. Perhaps it is really your anger against yourself, your anger against men - what men have done to women.

Women have been victims. You cannot be angry at them.

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