If you have already seen Akshay Kumar starrer movie Padman, chances are that you have liked the movie and didn’t even understand how multinational sanitary napkin brands just ran a nice ad campaign while you kept thinking it to be opposite. Today, I will show you how the movie that actually promoted low cost sanitary pads and that criticized multinationals for their costly sanitary napkins, actually promoted their own agenda and a very falsely driven agenda of UN Women.
The Sanitary Napkin Market in India
Hope, by now, the statistics provided in the movie that only 12% (and 18% in the end) women in India use sanitary pads and rest “~88% Indian women use ordinary clothes that Padman will not even use to clean his cycle”, is embedded in your mind. Even the original Padman Arunachalam Murugunatham has used this phrase in his Ted Talks. How did he know these statistics? If you search the internet, you will find a lot of material around it mostly developed by UN organization like UNICEF and some market survey companies like A C Nielson.
Without disputing the number, if we look at the untapped market size for sanitary pads in India, it is huge. Lucrative enough for any business house. So, it is natural for any business house to eye at that market and the easiest way to achieve that is by growing the ‘need’ to use sanitary pads. This ‘need’ can only be established if they show how the existing Indian methods are not only unhygienic but also so risky that can take the lives of women in your home. That is why the movie used a doctor saying these things in the movie so that people start believing him (remember ‘Expert Fallacy’?). This fear psychosis works almost always unless some educated ‘morons’ like me, keep our emotions aside and try to find some justification for it.
As you understand that this movie tries to expand the market size of the sanitary pads in India, it is easy to understand why the multinationals will gain more profit out of this because now people will be more inclined to buy their products which otherwise is not possible to be sold (when people are happy with existing solution why should they try new solution? So, they need to be made afraid of their existing choice). Also when a market grows, its the organized sector that gets maximum profits out of this. Since the reach of Arunachalam Murugunatham’s efforts is only in rural India (and not every nook and corner still), the multinational brands win the battle here by virtue of their robust distribution network and innovative marketing strategies (for example, creating a low-cost brand for rural India and selling). So, you understand why these companies ran their marketing campaign through this movie and how they will benefit more.
UN Lies in Padman
UN Women playing a major role in this movie, not only surprised me but shocked me. Why should UN Women be present in a Bollywood movie unless they had some inherent agenda? And yes, I was right, the dialogues like ‘If a man can’t protect a woman, how can he be a man?’ or some other statements that came from Akshay shows that. So, UN Women has already spread ‘much-needed’ hatred against men and shamed them through those statements. So, if you are not able to give women in your home ‘sanitary pads’, you should be ashamed of yourself because you don’t care for them. Clearly, those statements from Akshay were the brainchild of feminists and a clear marketing attempt to create the shame in the viewer’s mind so that next time they buy sanitary pads if they are not already doing it.
Use of Clothes is As Hygienic
So, you are emotionally blackmailed into believing that those who do not use sanitary pads, are actually inviting infections and maybe death (remember the doctor in the movie said that). But, being a man how am I saying that Indian method of using clothes is equally hygienic? Oh, for the simple reason that our women have used them for thousands of years without any problem. Because if those really created problems then our mothers and grandmothers would have died using them. They were not only physically healthy but they had given birth to dozens of children in normal delivery method without any problem whatsoever. Today’s sanitary pad users can’t even deliver one healthy child, then how is this sanitary pad bringing revolution in women menstrual health? Today’s women suffer from more sexual disease, ovarian issues than our mothers and grandmothers ever faced. Ovarian cyst, congenital disease, and incapability to bear children are more of modern problems.
If our grandmothers have sustained menstruation using clothes, then why is this sudden emergency that our women have never felt so far? Isn’t it a pure lie created by UN organization for the benefit of sanitary pad manufacturers? (oh I forgot, our markets are open to the world now).
But why should you believe me? I am a man and do not undergo this ‘problem’. Neither I am ashamed to be a man nor for not bleeding like women (many men actually feel that way, let them rest in peace). The movie, in fact, has enough hints to shame men that they don’t bleed, so they don’t understand this ‘problem’. So, we see Padman Akshay Kumar jumping into the river when during his experiment the blood spills in his pants. This was another emotional feminist drama to make men feel guilty of women’s menstruation and for not doing enough for them. It was a message for men that if they start bleeding, only then they will understand the pain and will feel like jumping in the river when that happens (as a man are you convinced enough to demand to waive off all taxes from sanitary pads yet??). Then this becomes a man’s (and a husband’s too), fundamental duty to buy his wife pads, expect divorces based on this issue now.
But you don’t need to believe me in this regard. You can check your own family history and get amazed to see how your grandmothers have delivered dozens of children using local methods, that today’s women can’t even do with all sophisticated methods. What does it mean? To me, it simply means that only because someone could innovate something like a tampon, that doesn’t mean we all need to run towards it, forgetting its affordability. You can also read what Sinu Joseph, a menstrual hygiene educator of Mythri (a women’s NGO) had to say about this. In an article, published on Swarajya.com in 2015, she mentioned the reality. An expert who worked in the field of rural India for years has exposed all the UN lies shown in this movie.
The Myth of Using Husk and Ash
The movie Padman shows (and even Arunachalam Murugunatham told that in his TED and INK talks) that Indian women use husk, ash etc. Sinu Joseph cleared the air around that and clarified that there may be very insignificant percentage of women in Rajasthan using that (for lack of water availability) and there is no reason to think that many in 88% use those. Those users, however, may not have the affordability to buy sanitary pads at all. The normal observation here is, if these really harmed women then they would have got rid of this practice rather than following this for hundreds of years. So UN propaganda around this is completely baseless.
Sinu Joseph’s invitation to International Conference on Menstrual Health and Reproductive Justice, held in Boston in June 2015, opened her eyes in this regard. In her article, she clearly stated that as she exposed these lies about India, she was welcomed by researchers but the sanitary pad manufacturers who created their identity based on these lies on India, avoided her. She has also explained why the statistics that AC Nielson is showing, is wrong.
Western Cloth Pad Vs. Indian Cloth
As Sinu Joseph exposed these companies and also UN lies, she found that foreign companies that are trying to sell non bio-degradable (non-reusable) pads in India (thus contributing to environmental pollution), they promote the use of reusable cloth pads in their own country while they continue to show India as backward country and Indian methods being unhygienic.
What’s more intriguing is that when she spoke about Indian method of menstrual hygiene, foreign companies, and UN agencies suggested her to tie up with those companies and make money. She clearly didn’t understand how are foreign cloth pads more hygienic than Indian ones. In fact, she said because of inner layers, those pads do not even get sanitized properly even after drying in the sun. Indian clothes, however, do get sanitized in sunlight.
So, you understand how in an open economy these multinational brands can actually fool you using their power and UN hypocrisy.
Why Not Reusable Menstrual Cups?
So far I have told you enough of Sanitary pads and how the multinationals are trying to brainwash Indians into believing that sanitary pads is the way to go. At a time when the western society is shelving this product for environment hazzards, they are pushing the same in Indian market and even in schools. After all, a habit grown in childhood is very difficult to get rid of. Also, parents will almost always be emotionally attached to the child’s needs and will be forced to provide costlier foreign branded sanitary pads as it is not possible for Arunachalam Murugunatham to reach the nook and corner of the country.
But the question is, why the foreign brands, UN and even Indian actors don’t promote reusable Menstrual Cups that can be reused for years? These also don’t have negative environment effects. So, why there is no mention of these as if these don’t exist?
It doesn’t need a super brain to understand that anything reusable have no marketing value since these can’t generate continued and sustained profit for MNCs. They are running these campaign hiding behind movies like Padman and actors like Akshay Kumar or Twinkle Khanna is that they want to grow their market and grow profit. Promotion of menstrual cups is definitely not in their interest for obvious reasons.
Women Leaving Education Because of Menstruation
Until very recently I had an impression that Indian girls leave the education system because of the absence of toilets in schools and because of not having access to economic tamponss. In this matter, I have always believed that for many families in rural India even a 2-rupee sanitary pad is costly (they don’t even get food, how can they afford this luxury?). But this misconception was cleared when I read Sinu Joseph’s article. She argued, if girls are leaving our education system because of the toilet or sanitary pads, then why are boys leaving school? In India, the Gross Enrolment Ratio of boys and girls in both Primary and Secondary education is 1. This is however slightly less in higher education. But that can never be attributed to sanitary pads. My research on this matter shows that it may also be because of marriage and/or merit. Since girls in India do not need to earn to sustain a family, they really don’t need to go for higher education. From Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan data Sinu observed that in many states the drop-out rate among boys is more compared to that of girls. So, why are the boys leaving education?
When Sinu Joseph clarified that in the International Conference, the UNICEF representative clarified to her that UNICEF was not building toilets to reduce dropout. And we all are told every day by media and different leaders and foreign-funded NGOs that because of lack of toilets our children are leaving schools. What a great double standard that the movie Padman also promoted and it is nothing but a lie of United Nations.
This clears the cloud around the myth created again by UN organization (like UNICEF, UN Women etc.) that girls are leaving education system for lack of access to sanitary pads.
Foreign Red Tents Vs. Indian Separation of Menstruating Women
The movie Padman also shows separation of women during menstruation and showed it in such a way to generate hatred against this Indian ‘oppressive’ system, however, the same morons promote ‘Red Tents’ for menstruating women in the western world. This is a system to keep women separate during those days.
During my study on Indian culture, I came across a speech of a global religious leader of a Hindu organization where he told that foreign women were thrilled by the Indian concept of keeping women separate and giving them complete rest and be in their own self. The Vedic concept was that women undergo a lot of disturbances during those days, and hence should be given complete rest. Modern scientists explain this as a hormonal disturbance. So, our Vedic society and many other traditional societies have already recognized the need of keeping women separate and giving them space (and also leave from housework) in those days.
Feminist Hypocrisy in Menstruation Leave
You will understand feminist hypocrisy when you see that modern feminists are campaigning hard for menstrual leave from their offices. While they do that and when such campaigns are promoted by UN organization, feminists also try to shame Indian method of keeping women separate.
The movie Padman, which is another mouthpiece of UN Women promises to ‘give back’ women those five days every month. Akshay in his speech in UN Women shames men for having 12 months and not ensuring that women too have 12 months. For him, women lose out two months (5X12 = 60 days) every year due to their separation. Instead, if they use sanitary pads they can get all 12 months.
However, if you closely look at this proposition you will understand that feminists are only telling lies here. Women when given rest per the traditional system, can have all those 60 days only for themselves than using sanitary pads (and again asking for leave in those days).
Menstruating Women and Deity Worship
Feminists have been vocal about menstruating women not given the opportunity for deity worship in many temples or even at home. They termed this patriarchal oppression against them. Vedic gurus, however, are very clear about this. Anyone in an unclean manner can’t perform deity worship. Since the menstrual flow is continuous, and can’t be predicted, women are prohibited deity worship during that time. Similarly, any man who touched such a woman or who is not properly bathed and cleaned can’t perform deity worship. You may also know that a man (Brahmin) can’t do puja if he has a cut and bleeding and similarly there can’t be any animal sacrifice to god if the animal is woozing blood from anywhere. So anything that is oozing blood from anywhere is considered impure and can’t be involved in deity worship. So, we find there is no discrimination against women by stopping them from deity worship during menstruation.
Vedic society had also some exception where they allowed menstruating women for deity worship in their homes when no one else was available. But Vedic gurus also caution that this can be done only in extreme situations when no one else is available in the family because ‘deity worship must go on. Gurus also caution about not doing so in any temple.’ The underlying assumption here is, temples must have an alternate priest present at all times. In traditional society, the joint families always had many women to perform all duties and hence menstruating women had complete rest from all duties (including cooking). In one speech, one Hindu guru said, if needed even children in the home can perform duties such as cooking and the menstruating woman should be given her space. Today, feminists say that was oppression for women when in reality it was actually good for them.
The Manufactured ‘Need‘
By now, you may understand the feminist hypocrisy around women’s menstrual health and how they have manufactured a need for Indian women to use sanitary pads. This is all created by UN agencies who are nothing but working for foreign multinationals. While feminists shamed men for not understanding this ‘need’, elsewhere in the world some feminists are campaigning for freely menstruating right (Free Blood Movement) –
The GST on Sanitary Pads
In a recent time in India, there was a huge demand to reduce GST on Sanitary pads. Feminist demand was created around the premise that India does not care for its women. Now with the movie created so much ‘need’ to give sanitary pads to every Indian woman, without which they will ‘die’ (as if that is what is happening for hundreds of years), soon we will see another wave to feminist demand to withdraw all forms of tax from such tampons. You will again be emotionally blackmailed into believing that patriarchal India hates women. Unless you understand that only multinational companies will gain from that at the expense of our people.
Why Is Padman Harmful To You
This movie Padman is an effort to create menstrual hygiene as a fundamental right of every woman (don’t be surprised if soon you start hearing about this). This also creates another responsibility for men that they should financially support menstruating women in their ‘problem’. Already you see how feminists are talking about waiving of the tax burden on this (facilitating only foreign companies at the expense of male Indian taxpayers). Since India is a poor country it will always be projected with how many women do not use sanitary pads and the data will be huge enough to make you feel ashamed of women’s bleeding and will ultimately make you open your wallet to the foreign companies.
Very soon you will also see divorces happening around husband not providing the wife sanitary pads. As you see lack of toilet was never an issue in Indian marriages until recently when the toilet in every home was made a compulsion. So, no matter whether the poor family can actually eat meals, they need to have a toilet today. Soon, sanitary pads will be made such a big issue that you expect divorces happening on this and court orders coming in this aspect.
Justice M Katju once wrote that 90% of Indians are idiots. During my research on Vedic Philosophy, I came to know the same from some religious leaders (all foreign nationals from US and UK) as well. Feminists and UN know that Indians can be easily fooled by using patriarchy and other crafted lies with the help of foreign-funded NGOs, free-flowing funds of global corporates and through various UN organization. Unfortunately, we don’t see women like Sinu Joseph in our mainstream media and other debates because those channels are also funded by these global foundations. All they need is business from this large population, the well-being of women or this society is actually their last priority.
[This is a part of joint research effort on Modern Feminism and Vedic India.
All articles under Modern Feminism can be found – Here
All articles under Vedic India can be found – Here]
For other movie reviews, see – here