Indian Offical Proposes Yoga to End Violence Against Women


On Dec. 16, a 23-year-old medical student named Jyoti Singh Pandey was brutally raped and beaten aboard a New Delhi bus. After the attack, Pandey and her friend, who was also beaten by the assailants, were left on the side of the road to die. Her friend survived, but Pandey, who was left with severe internal injuries, died 13 days later.

The crime outraged the nation. Rape and other violence against women is not a new problem in India. While many are asking for strong punishment for the assailants, Karnataka’s female energy minister Shobha Karandlaje, a proponent of castration for the men involved with this crime, has an additional suggestion to prevent future violence against women: Young Indian men should practice yoga.

As reported in a recent Times of India article, Karandlaje, speaking at conference in Bangalore, said that with the practice of yoga, "Men's thought process can be directed towards something positive and constructive … Yoga can serve as the most cost-effective and preventive medicine."

At the same conference, a retired high court judge also stated that a change of understanding at society’s deepest level is what’s essential to prevent violence. "Judiciary and legislation alone can't curb crimes,” Justice M Rama Jois said. “They can't comprehensively prevent crimes that are manifestations of the uncontrolled human mind. We need a paradigm shift in our education system if we have to usher in reform in society … Had we included dharma in our education system, we would not be witnessing such deterioration of values in society, including rapes and outraging the modesty of women.”