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In an appalling viral video, a self-proclaimed godman, Krushnaswarup Das, of the Swaminarayan Bhuj Mandir is seen preaching that if a menstruating woman cooks food, then she will be reborn as 'kutri (bitch).'
This comes days after 60 female students of Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute, Bhuj, were allegedly forced by hostel authorities to remove their undergarments to check if they were menstruating.
The SSGI college is run by a trust of the Swaminarayan Temple and is affiliated to the Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kutch University. Video of the preacher points at the misogyny and regressive thoughts around menstruation and how it is transferred right from the top.
"If you eat food prepared by a menstruating woman even once then your next avatar will definitely be that of an ox," the self-proclaimed swami said at a ratri-sabha in Bhuj, justifying that these rules have been mentioned in the Shastras.
Krushnaswarup made shocking statements a year ago. However, the remarks have re-emerged because he belongs to the same sect that owns the SSGI college.
The spiritual leader also advised men to learn how to cook so that menstruating women do not destroy their "dharma."
According to the university officials, the SSGI hostel has a rule that girls having periods are not supposed to take meals with other inmates. However, some menstruating girls allegedly broke this rule, Ahmedabad Mirror reported.
As many as 60 students were taken to the washroom by a woman staffer and forced to remove their undergarments to check if they were menstruating.
On Monday, the police arrested four people, including the principal of the Gujarat college in the incident.
The accused were then booked under Indian Penal Code sections 384 (extortion), 355 (assault with intent to dishonour a person) and 506 (criminal intimidation).
After the incident caused an uproar, a seven-member team of the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Sunday met the girls of the hostel.
Despite all efforts to spread awareness about menstruation and shun all myths surrounding it, it remains a taboo in India. Several influential leaders promote period-shaming comments that increase the stigma around it.
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