Was Ram’s Behavior Patriarchial?

Ram’s behavior is not patriarchal.You have to understand the situation of Ram first and only then you can judge his behavior.

Who is Ram? Ram is “Maryada Purushottam” (Maryada ki raksha karne wala purushon mein uttam). His objective in life is to protect the greater cause and personal ambitions and pleasures are not his goals. 

  • Ram abandons his Kingdom so that his Father’s words are kept. He abandons a luxurious life for his “Father’s cause”. He fulfills the duty of a child.
  • Ram kills daemons in the forest and never seeks his army. He fulfills his duty of a disciple.
  • Ram kills Vali in the forest and gives Sugriva the kingdom he deserved. he fulfills his duty of a friend.
  • Ram raises an army of monkeys and rescues Sita, his wife. He fulfills his duty of a husband.

Now Ram returns to his Kingdom and people question the chastity of Sita. Ram had complete faith on Sita’s dedication but the Kingdom demanded an answer. The kingdom doesn’t know Ram and Sita, they just see a King whose wife was abducted and imprisoned by a Rakshasha King.

Ram lets go of his wife and children for the greater cause of the Kingdom. He finally fulfills his duty of a King, submitting his family and children so that the kingdom doesn’t suffer for his personal situation and “morality” wins.

The kingdom is not responsible for the decisions Ram took. The kingdom is primary, the king is secondary. Kingdom comes first and only then a King is required to manage the kingdom. The king has to let go of anything and everything that stands in the way of the welfare of kingdom.

This should not be confused with Patriarchy since Sita abandoned Ram on her own wish, nobody told her to abandon the kingdom. Sita knows Ram’s limitations as a king (and not as a husband) and she helps the king make a decision (not the husband). To Sita, the King and his Kingdom is more important than her personal property (husband). And she knew that her children can be taken care of away from the Kingdom.

Abandoned Sita wandered about in the forest and at last reached the hermitage of Valmiki who gave her refuge in his hermitage, where she delivered twin sons named Kusha and Luv.

This is a very good example of rectitude on Sita’s part and maturity on Ram’s part.

 
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