Indian lawyer Chandan Kumar Singh has attempted to file a lawsuit against the Hindu god Ram over mistreatment of the god’s wife, Sita.
Singh told the court in Bihar that Ram sent his wife Sita to live “in exile in a forest without any suitable justification,” even though she passed a purity test to prove that she had not been unfaithful, according to Hindu mythology.
“The Devi (goddess) was exiled for no fault of hers. How can a man become so cruel to his wife that he sends her off to live in a forest?” asked Singh.
The Bihar court “rejected his plea last week, saying it wasn’t a ‘practical case.'” Singh still believes his case against Ram is legitimate.
“It’s well known that Ram asked Sita to prove that she was pure after he rescued her from the clutches of the demon king Ravana. He did not trust Sita,” Singh explained to the BBC.
He added: “Ram’s treatment of Sita shows that women were not respected even in ancient times. I am aware that the case may sound ridiculous to many, but we have to discuss this part of our ancient religious history. I will file a case again because I really believe that Indians have to acknowledge that Ram mistreated Sita.”
His colleagues “sued him for defamation,” claiming he only wanted “publicity.” But Singh brushed aside the criticism.
“I filed the case because we cannot talk about respecting women in modern day India when we know that one of our most revered gods did not treat his own wife with respect,” he retorted. “Is it wrong to seek justice for women? The court’s acceptance of my plea would have sent a good message that respecting women was important to Indians.”
Lawyer Ranjan Kumar Singh filed one of the cases against Singh, insisting his colleague “insulted Hindus.”
“He has a history of filing publicity-seeking pleas. But this time he has gone too far. He has hurt our sentiments,” said Ranjan. “We have also requested the bar council to cancel his licence to practice law. All lawyers are united against Chandan, he needs to learn a lesson.”
The story of Ram and Sita remains popular among Hindus, their love story among the most well-known in India. Sita joins Ram when the kingdom banishes him into a forest even though he told her to stay behind. Ram protects her in their exile.
Ravana, the king of Lanka, kidnaps Sita and holds her hostage for a year, according to legend. The story states the woman did everything she could to preserve her chastity for Ram. He rescues Sita a year later after he slays Ravana. Ram gives Sita new clothes and allows her to bathe before seeing her again. But those around Ram doubt Sita’s chastity once the pair reunite. He demands Sita give Agni Pariksha, which is a trial by fire.
Sita stepped into the flames, which did not harm her and showed Ram her purity. However, Ram condemns a pregnant Sita to live in a forest because his subjects do not approve of her.