So I was thinking .. from quite a while .. what was Rama thinking when he sent Sita away?? Again. After she proved her character via Agni Pravesh. What was he thinking ?? It bothered me a lot. Especially during my younger ( more impulsive and feminist :D) years.
If Rama was an incarnation of God, and if God incarnates to show people how to live right, with Dharma then what kind of an example was he setting doing this ? So many lesser mortals would quote his example and live their lives to fulfill their own selfish ends. So many wife beaters, wife cheaters hide behind this act of Rama, and God being omniscient would definitely forsee this ( plain common sense is enough :D).
An explanation I came across recently was this, Sita was his own, truly, completely, as close to him as himself. Like Sibi who cut away parts of his body to satisfy the vulture, Rama abandoned Sita to exemplify how ideal a king could be. Unless the king can give up everything of his for the welfare of his citizens he has no right to be king, no right to impose tax. It's easier to cut parts of your body to save an innocent dove; that kind of pain can be transformed to pleasure. It's harder to give up your dearest beloved, the shakti with which you create the universe, companion from the begining of eternity, to satisfy a drunken washerman. Rama exemplified the sense of duty a king should have towards his subjects.
We can olny hope that if it was not his wife, whose character was being questioned but some other citizen's he would have acted differently; more justly in the true sense of the word.
This kind of self-sacrifising attitude over a period of time would lead to situations like in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. What if the washerman now found fault with Kaushalya ? Then Lakshmana ? and then Lava and Kusha ? Would he give them all up ?
What justice is this that makes unfair demands of a King ?
After Sita left there was drought in Ayodhya for 10 years. So did Rama sacrifise the greater good of Ayodhya for the smaller good of the washerman ??