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Can the exuberant celebrations surrounding Maa Durga improve the fate of women in our society

Thursday - October 18, 2018 5:13 pm , Category : OPINION & INTERVIEW

WTN- Every year we prostrate before the goddess en masse in hysteric devotion, seek her blessings and pray for forgiveness but once the 10 days of celebrations are over, we forget the divinity and honour of women around us.
 
Women in India constitute almost half of the country’s population, yet they have poor representation in the public workspace, largely because of the unsavoury approach of men towards the fairer sex. Madhya Pradesh sees the highest number of rapes and abuses of girls and women in the country. In states like Haryana the sex ratio is alarmingly dwindling.
 
Dowry deaths are still common across the country. The debate should not be whether it is alright to allow women into Sabrimala Temple or not. That’s only symbolic liberation. Unless women are allowed a more participatory role in nation building, it is insignificant if they can visit a temple or not. Unless women can walk alone safely in the night in any part of the country, it is insignificant if they hold #meToo placards or not.
 
Law cannot decide societal proclivities and predilections. It can issue guidelines and suggest ways but implementation is a different ballgame. It depends largely on people’s acceptance and cooperation in promoting a certain idea. If people at large are unrelenting and non-complying it is hard to force emotional and psychological sanctions on them. There are stringent laws against rape as well, but has that stopped rape? If there is rot in the roots of our culture, what law can remove or resurrect that? There is nothing against religious practices.
 
It is great if Durga is worshipped, but why can’t we be more honest with our philosophies and replicate the same devotion in our real life? Why do we need to harbour this hypocrisy of serving our deity outside and taming amorous and ribald intentions for other women inside? May be because it is easy to serve an idol but it needs valour to serve a woman with honesty which coward men can’t. They compensate their insufficiency by shifting their devotion to idols of goddesses but cannot tame their bestial propensities when in front of real flesh and blood women in society.
 
Unless there is that courage and discipline in men, there is no point showering all devotion and money on goddesses. No god will be happy to see the condition women are subject to by patriarchic fiefdom. Goddess Durga will be happier and more benevolent on humanity if people learn to respect women and give them their due place in society. Perfunctory show of devotion is not something that’s going to change society if our hearts are unclean. Action is more important than blind devotion. We cannot culturally evolve or call ourselves civilised if our mothers, sisters and daughters don’t live fearless in a free democratic atmosphere where they have equal rights as men in practical life. All worship of the mother goddess is a sham as long as women are beaten up, sexually harassed, subjugated, burnt, abused and exploited. Once complete woman’s emancipation is a reality in the country, then only real devotion will show.
 
-Window To News
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