Topless Female Protesters: The Victims are the Victimisers

Recently someone asked about whether calling out someone as sinful is also a sin? Although it seems absolutely necessary that criminals be identified as such, according to the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.17.22), those who identify criminals are just as guilty of the crime as criminals themselves.  Here is the verse:

rājovāca
dharmaṁ bravīṣi dharma-jña dharmo ’si vṛṣa-rūpa-dhṛk
yad adharma-kṛtaḥ sthānaṁ  sūcakasyāpi tad bhavet

“The King said: O you, who are in the form of a bull! You know the truth of religion, and you are speaking according to the principle that the destination intended for the perpetrator of irreligious acts is also intended for one who identifies the perpetrator. You are no other than the personality of religion.”

In his purport to the verse, Śrīla Prabhupāda explains as follows:

“A devotee’s conclusion is that no one is directly responsible for being a benefactor or mischief-monger without the sanction of the Lord; therefore he does not consider anyone to be directly responsible for such action. But in both the cases he takes it for granted that either benefit or loss is God-sent, and thus it is His grace.”

So, the point here is that those who identify the perpetrator of sinful acts without reference to the sanction of the Lord do so in ignorance and are therefore no less guilty of perpetrating those sinful acts. In other words, people who are Kṛṣṇa conscious see the hand of the Lord in everything whereas others do not. Indeed, they are not Kṛṣṇa consciousness because they want to act against the will of the Lord. Hence, they come to this world so they can act in forgetfulness of Him.

As an example of this, there is news item, “Topless activists parade through New York.” According to the article, on August 26 of this year, people in the state of New York (USA) celebrated International Go Topless Day. During the day, small numbers of women participated in “consciousness raising” marches and protests by taking off their shirts and undergarments and exposing their bare chests. As per the article, “Participants of all shapes and sizes held up placards proclaiming ‘Equal Topless Rights For All’ and ‘War Is Obscene Not My Nipples, Meditate 4 Peace Topless.'” Another woman is quoted as saying,

“It’s important to send a message. These are our bodies. They should not be policed any other way than men’s. Men walk around like this all the time, so why is it such a big deal?”

AFP, 26 Aug. 2017, Mail Online, 27 Aug. 2017 <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Topless-activists-parade-New-York.html>

As per Vedic scriptures, this is mode of ignorance. According to Lord Kṛṣṇa in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, kāma eṣa krodha eṣa rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ, mahāśano mahā-pāpmā viddhy enam iha vairiṇam, “It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world” (3.27). Problems like rape, war and other social ills arise because of an increase in passion. If you increase people’s lust and passion, then all the other social ills like rape and murder are sure to escalate. Yet these women believe that the opposite will happen. That is the mode of ignorance. And the result is that by following their misguided conceptions, they end up increasing the very social ills they protest.

So their big problem is that because they are not devotees, they fail to understand the world as it really is. And understanding the world as it factually is is possible only through the Lord’s instructions in authorized scriptures like Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Not otherwise.

Therefore solutions to these problems are incomplete and misleading unless they are fundamentally theistic, fundamentally Kṛṣṇa conscious.

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