Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Donkeys versus Wives

In the Indian state of Rajasthan, known for its conservative attitude towards women, the men have made a comparative study of the relative usefulness of wives and donkeys.

In a textbook to be used in schools, and approved by a state government led by the righwing/nationalist Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the relative merits of housewives to donkeys are laid out, revealing that the animals make better companions, as they complain less and are more loyal to their masters.

The book states: "A donkey is like a housewife ... In fact, the donkey is a shade better, for while the housewife may sometimes complain and walk off to her parents' home, you'll never catch the donkey being disloyal to his master."

The Hindi-language textbook is meant for 14-year-olds students. The BJP women's wing are furious, lodging an angry protest. I wonder whether the females in response to the "donkeys are better than wives" had retorted "husbands are asinine"?

State education officials, obviously in damage control after the ferocious reaction, said people should not be upset by the comparison which had been made in good humour. Yeah right! They promised that the ladies' protests have been noted and the board is in the process of removing that comparative analysis.

KTemoc notes that the equines have remained in dignified silence, refusing to be involved in the controversy.

Hmmm, we Malaysians don’t use donkeys at all, and definitely not in the Rajasthani way of relating them to wifely 'functions' ;-) but I was wondering about their transportation usefulness in the light of our higher fuel price.

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