Durga Puja: A pretentious endeavour to celebrate male chauvinism
The grey autumn mornings of September have blown into crisps of the chilly winter. With every rising, the sun tenderly touches and outshines within the fervent blessings of Goddess Durga, encompassing the nine days of celebration by her ardent devotees. The time encapsulates all that is loved- from beetles to the moon- to foster goodness and harmony among all. But, who are we kidding? With all positivity from Ionosphere being concentrated in India now-a-days, the empty vessels are indeed making much noise. Ringing the bells a thousand times in temples might wake up even the lifeless statues of God but never our eccentric social conscience. For nine continuous tedious days each year we chant the songs of victory, goodness, justice all suffixing the call for Maa Durga – the mother of our souls. But where does the mother vanish when the death anniversary of Mahishasur passes? One date is crossed and it all comes back to the same male dominated spectrum. A man’s own will to bow to a Goddess is just like a politician’s crusade in India. It changes nothing. It only builds up a series of 5 year plans that the Government seem to work upon in the name of development. They result into reserved coaches for females in metros and local trains; reserved seats for women in buses and even pink auto-rickshaws with women drivers. Some 50th or 75th Rajiv Gandhi/Jawahar Lal Nehru Balika/Mahila Suraksha Yojna also might come up that will provide a separate lane of the road that only females can use with shops only for females with lady venders. Perhaps a vision into the future might also hold a clean partition of state into males and females, with a series of “human husbandry” farms dividing them. The point, my astute readers, is not simply protection and safety of women but respect for women. Why do we women need to be kept into extremely fortified cages into order to be safe against the animals outside? What kind of equality is it when falling into “reserved coaches” is all that can retain our integrity? Why shall we be provided with a chair when the world stands, while we deny being physically, psychologically and emotionally impaired? We teach, we debate, we participate, we struggle, we earn, we win and we lead; but how far have we really made a difference is a question yet to be answered. The fight therefore, is not for one’s own rights and fundamentals, but against the very male-dominated-mentality of our society. The thinking will have to change, the prevalent will have to upgrade, for now, it is only for us women to choose: we desire to be liberated or be free. ——————– About the Author: This article is contributed by Ananya Pal, our intern.