NOTE: Our reporter went deep undercover in a sting operation but had to be replaced by a male correspondent to file this story. She suffered a breakdown and we were only able to piece this together from scribbled notes and a distorted voice recorder; she smashed her phone through the editor’s glass door.*
Mangalapuri, U.P.: When the Stanford study on Hyena Moms was published in September of 2019, Indians rightfully scoffed at the concept of “bad mothers”—mothers who feel no maternal bonding with their children. What a rubbish oxymoron, the Bharatiya Sabhyata Board (BSB) said in their press release. “Typical Americans and their dysfunctional non-issues. Please ignore,” their official tweet advised.
Because in India, not a single mother feels disconnected from her children. No maternal instincts? Utter nonsense! An Indian woman’s ultimate salvation is motherhood. A sherni who protects and nourishes her cubs tirelessly, an Indian mother slaves and ceaselessly sacrifices for her kids. Every day she wakes up to erase herself a bit more in their service. Everything the offspring does and is, is a reflection on her. It’s her hard-earned diploma after all, surpassing all MBBS-es and Doctorates and STEM and Management degrees.
However, our team is sad to report that there are numerous homegrown “Anti-Mother” sleeper cells popping up all around the country. We urge you to be alert: see something, say something.
Here we present snippets from one such underground meeting:
Right at the start, a woman is heard sniping: “Mothers are goddesses, I’m told non-stop by TV and film and WhatsApp forwards on Mother’s Day. I hate it!”
Of course, mothers are goddesses. If a woman is not a mother she is incomplete, don’t we all already know this?
Speaking of goddesses…things get worse as this mother-hating conference proceeds.
This particular group of reluctant mothers (Gangas Anonymous, they call themselves) meets in a shadowy room in the basement of an abandoned building near Varanasi. They cover their faces and use aliases. They say they fear exposure, taunts, ostracisation, and worse: lynching.
“Why did you name your group after Ganga, the beautiful river—?” our reporter is heard asking.
But she is rudely cut off mid-sentence.
“Ganga, the woman, is granted a powerful backstory in religious mythology to rationalize her unmotherhood. She actually drowns her newborns! Seven times over, can you believe it?” someone shrieks.
“And then the son she doesn’t end up drowning, becomes history’s biggest incel! Wouldn’t, or couldn’t even end the great war fought over gang-rape. What a joke!”
Raucous laughter breaks out at this sneering disinformation.
“Well, to be fair, Bhishma was history’s biggest voluntary celibate!”
More blasphemous guffaws.
“But back to Ganga,” the first speaker takes up the narrative. “…It’s a titillating story of lust, sex and punishment. She is the anti-mother only because she’s fulfilling an ancient curse. But if she’s accepted as the ultimate mother despite her monstrosity, ambition and pride, why can’t we be accorded the same complexity?”
“Because all mythology is really a long story of male contrivances and conveniences. And that’s what we hope to challenge here,” someone adds.
The mind truly boggles at this continued perversion.
Also read: Are Mothers Machines? A Review Of Interrogating Motherhood
“But I feel so selfish,” says Mishti. “I know there are hundreds of women who want children—our culture shames them for being ‘incomplete,’ for being unable to conceive. And here I am…blessed with a child and…and so resentful. What’s wrong with me?”
“Mamta ke naam par kalank!” “Maa ke naam par dhabba,” they soon chant in falsettos, and the group hyena-laughs some more.
“We repeat these slurs out loud at our meetings,” someone explains. “It takes away the stigma, its sting. It reminds us that we are human and not goddesses.”
But “Sarita” says she hears these taunts in her head every Mother’s Day. “I am not brave enough to even whisper to anyone that I’ve come to resent motherhood.”
“Same! I feel such a b***h for even thinking these thoughts. But they circle and circle. And come Mother’s Day, they make me want to scream,” says “Amina.”
“I cannot bear those WhatsApp forwards,” someone says, and everyone claps. “Burn it all down!”
More applause! Imagine.
“One sugary GIF, and the guilt and anger come rushing,” says another woman who uses her dupatta to cover most of her face according to our correspondent’s notes.
Even more shrill voices chime in:
“I wish some aunt or grandmother had warned me: you can choose to not be a mother. That it’s OK to be childless. But our culture raises girls only to get married and bear multiple children.”
“Motherhood is overrated. Useless Bollywood and its glorification of the ‘mere paas Maa hai’ dialogues! I want everyone to leave me alone on Mother’s Day! I want to hide. Just disappear. Or I’ll rage like an elephant and do some serious damage!”
“I am more like the stereotypical father, you know? In fact, I’m pretty sure I’d make a pretty decent dad,” someone else boasts. “I don’t cook, I hardly helped with their homework. But on Father’s Day, a dad doesn’t feel any of this guilt. Men are expected to be slackers and given cookies for just picking up a plate!”
More hoots follow.
Where is all this rage coming from? Who radicalized these women?
Here are more rabid opinions from the same meeting:
“This day reminds me of what a fraud and impostor I am. A day of hypocrisy: I smile and share happy Mother’s Day wishes and memes. I participate with gritted teeth in this pornography of sacred motherhood because if I don’t … the world would end, right?”
“Such a relief when Mother’s Day ends! Some peace till next year we go through the same hoopla.”
The horror mounts:
One woman bemoans: “I wish I could tell my daughter you don’t have to be a mother if you don’t want it. I’m scared though. She romanticises the idea of motherhood and says she wants at least two kids. In my head I’m screaming, no!”
Good question. Why and how can an actual mother even think this?
“I don’t want to pass on the toxic motherhood gene,” the woman replies in a subdued voice.
Everyone nods in sympathy, according to our correspondent’s notes.
There is apparently a psychologist present.
“Ladies, ladies,” she says. “Stop hating yourself. You are not evil for feeling any of these feelings.”
Aren’t they, though? Who are these women? Are they even women? It’s not that anyone in the group has lost a child and that this day brings pain. Our correspondent did verify this.
Dr. S. Savitri, a behavioural psychologist based in Mumbai, tells us that such thoughts are “normal.”
We doubt this very much. But we must be vigilant to not let this become the nation’s “new normal.” Our entire system will crater if women start entertaining taboo notions of nonmotherhood. We cannot allow Holikas in our homes. As western society continues to corrupt our women, we must stand up to this indoctrination—a potential terrorist threat against the Matribhumi. We don’t call India “Bharat Mata” for nothing!
A sociologist and gender studies professor at Anti-Sanskar Institute (ASI), Dr. Mamta Kumari, went even further in her malicious diagnosis: “This glorification of motherhood is the flip side of rape culture,” she says.
I mean, come on. What are they even teaching girls these days?
She goes on to rant in her YouTube video (which has over a million views. Most of the comments may or may not be death and rape threats):
A culture that needs to couch its misogyny, will put some types of women on a pedestal and others in the gutter. So the mother comes in handy. She is needed not just to provide free labour in raising new generations, but also as a badge of honour: She is asexual, almost virginal—despite having become a mother through the sexual act. When society is blamed for rampant violence against women and repeated violations of female autonomy, its men will happily trot out the “but we worship our mothers” defence. But try to enlist support for real change at home and in public policies on childcare and reproductive rights, then we’re devils, not devis.
Eesh! How can they even talk of mothers and sex in the same sentence? We couldn’t bear to watch the whole segment. How can women detest being mothers and then also complain when they are sexualised?
Here’s our verdict: Such “women” are demonising motherhood. How can these Lady Macbeths not revel in its fulfillment, its blessings? And bringing up Mother Ganga’s redacted bio data to suit their diabolical agenda! Deplorable.
Does the nation then not need new armies of Maa rakshaks, we ask. They could be called Bhishma Sena and these righteous warriors could interrogate and surveil all such self-declared “Gangas.” Like Bhagirath, we have to lead these shameless Gangas down the right path.
Also read: Mothers’ Day: Let Us Not Celebrate Women’s Exploitation
Mother’s Day may be an imported concept, but we do support its utility in rooting out pretenders and saboteurs. We must bombard our women with even more WhatsApp memes and messages on this day. We must start the hard work of generating a gazillion of these missiles right now so that we are ready for 2021.
Pledge now to protect motherhood! Give “mere paas Maa hai,” new meaning and purpose.
*There is no correlation whatsoever between mental health awareness falling in the same month as Mother’s Day.
Featured Image Source: The Atlantic