An Indian religious leader Krushnaswarup Dasji, a member of the major Swaminarayan sect of Hindus in prime minister Narendra Modi, Gujarat, made a statement in which he said that women who cook food while on their period will be reborn as dogs. Yes, you read that right.
Dasji also said that men who eat food prepared by women on their period would be reborn as bullocks, and he added that he doesn’t care if anyone doesn’t like his views, because this is written in the Shastras (scriptures).
The Supreme Court ruled a temple’s ban on women “of menstruating age” to be an unconstitutional affront to freedom of religion in 2018, and prejudice among conservative Hindus against women on their periods is very widespread.
The Press Trust of India has since reported that Dasji is a religious teacher associated with the Swaminarayan Temple, which is an organization that runs a girls’ college in Bhuj, the place where more than 60 female students were told to remove their underwear so staff could check if they were on their periods.
The guru’s sermon is defending the college over the incident which resulted in the arrest of three senior members of staff at the Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute after an investigation found that girls who were on their periods were being made to eat meals separately from the rest of their classmates.
Dasji has since accused women of being “careless” about their periods, and he suggested that “men should learn cooking” as a solution for when women are menstruating.
The guru’s sermons are being posted on Swaminarayan Temple’s YouTube channel.